GIS Resources

GIS knowledge and skills have become invaluable when applying for most planning jobs these days. Below are resources for building intro-level skills in GIS, put together by Associate Professor Aslıgül Göçmen.

  • UW-Madison has a site license for ESRI GIS, and a web site with info on that.
  • UW–Madison Geospatial Alliance: The alliance is made up of a group of practitioners and academics interested in sharing GIS related resources, events, and job announcements.
  • Find GIS courses offered on campus via GIS Professional Programs at UW-Madison.
  • There are many free online courses through ESRI, the provider of ArcGIS software. Find a list of these courses here.
  • With UW–Madison’s campus-wide ArcGIS license, students have access to an additional number of self-pace training modules in ESRI.  Anyone with a NetID can create an account using Enterprise login on our Organizational ArcGIS Online site, and this comes with access to the ESRI online classes at
  • Geography department conducts introductory, free of cost, half-day GIS workshops multiple times a year. Note that these workshops are very popular and they fill up within hours of announcement.
  • There are some excellent texts on fundamentals of GIS. Some examples: Bosltad, Paul, 2008 (3rd ed.) GIS Fundamentals: A First Text on Geographic Information Systems & Clarke, Keith, 2003 (4th ed.) Getting Started with Geographic Information Systems, which can be found at UW libraries. For hands-on ArcGIS exercises, try: Ormsby, Napoleon, Burke, Groessl and Bowden, 2010 (3rd ed). Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop. There is a copy of this book in the URPL computer lab reserves.