GIS Training Opportunities

Esri ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Explorer Training

ArcGIS Online

Free public accounts are available for ArcGIS Online.  You will need an account to make maps and use other free content published by Esri and other authoritative data sources.  To create an account view the instructional video  and then visit the site to sign up.  From here, numerous training videos are available to help get you started.  The Inyo-Mono Program Staff will also be offering an in-person training to help get you started using these tools…so stay tuned!

ArcGIS Explorer Online

Explorer Online provides just a touch more functionality that ArcGIS Online’s Map Viewer. Once you have your public account you can also access this open source tool through your web browser (It is recommended that you download Google Chrome for the smoothest experience using these tools.)  Explorer Some of the things you can do with ArcGIS Explorer Online include:

  • Search for and open maps, and navigate around within a map
  • Create new maps, add and edit different types of map content
  • Find out more information about the things shown in the map
  • Locate places, addresses, airports, intersections, and other geographic entities
  • Measure the length and area of things on a map
  • Visually interpret data in the map using a dashboard
  • Create a presentation to show to other people
  • Share your map with other people
  • Create and manage data and groups on ArcGIS Online

To learn more about Explorer Online visit this link, and start exploring!

Esri ArcGIS for Desktop/Server Training

There are free, instructor-led, and web-based classes offered by ESRI to enable its users to become more familiar and efficient with its products.

Sign Up for a Free Account

In order to access available trainings you will need to establish a free, ESRI global account by providing ESRI some basic information. This is different than a public ArcGIS Online account, but you can register your global account for use in ArcGIS Online as a public account.  To sign up for ESRI Global account please visit:

Most courses are geared for versions 10.0 and 10.1 of the Software.  Trainings based on older versions of the software are consistently becoming less frequent but at the writing of this document, date back to version 9.1.  Check for a complete list of courses.   You can specify trainings for the version of the software you’re interested in by selecting in from the Narrow Your Search Window on the right hand side of the screen.

Types of Courses


Classes are $500/day and are usually (not always) held in person so travel is required 


Classes are charged by module, averaging about $32/module. Each module is 3 hrs. (Offered free to employees of federally recognized tribes, See Additional Trainings Offered for Tribal & Indigenous Peoples section below for details)


All free classes require an internet connection, and they are self-paced courses.  Most range from 1-3 hours, with a few longer courses.

Other Esri Resources

There are also numerous short videos and tutorials on the ArcGIS Resources page.

I can’t stress enough what a valuable resource this website alone is.  If you plan on using any type of ESRI products, please bookmark this webpage for your future reference.   Of note the Help, Forum and Video sections have provided me with extensive aid in figuring out the mega-puzzle of ArcGIS products and functionality.


Esri Trainings Offered for Tribal & Indigenous Peoples

“Esri supports tribal and indigenous people in the learning and use of GIS for managing tribal affairs and resources.”(Esri, 2012)  In doing so, they offer an abundance of free trainings as well as software and support packages.  To learn more about products and programs offered please check out the links provided below.

BIA’s Office of Trust Services Geospatial Support

April-Sept 2013 Training Schedule


Other GIS Training Outside of Esri

Open Source Online Education Resources 

Quantum GIS    (

QGIS is fully functional GIS platform, analogous to Esri’s ArcMap.

With it you can:

  • Perform advanced analysis (manipulate, add, remove, edit data of multiple sources and generate a unique products)
  • Perform advanced analyses including georeferencing, and raster analyses.
  • Create and provide large amounts of data to your organization, with no upfront software costs!

Quantum GIS (QGIS) is a cross-platform free and open source desktop geographic information systems (GIS) application that provides data viewing, editing, and analysis capabilities. (Wikepedia, 2013)

Currently very limited for in-person training and what is available is offered by consulting firms overseas. However a well-documented online QGIS Manual has been assembled and is updated constantly with each version as well as a downloadable PDF for your convenience.   Look for increasing opportunities and training associated with Quantum.


Penn State Online Open Source Courses

If you get really serious, there are a plethora of opportunities out there for you.  I’m including only one that I am familiar with to let you know what is available to those who are interested in learning the art of GIS.  Without a doubt there are many more opportunities to be found via Google if interested.  The Department of Geography College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State have an entire GIS program Online.  Although you need to pay to earn credits for a certificate or degree in this program, a large percentage of their courses are offered  self-paced and free of charge.  Weekly quizzes, discussion forums and project grades are reserved for enrolled students.