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GIS Thematic Data


Our license agreement includes access to a large catalog of self-guided online tutorials for learning the ArcGIS 10.X desktop software, which may be accessed on the ESRI site.

Please click here for a complete list of tutorials available through this program.  

A suggested place to start working with ESRI desktop software; start with this free, one-module, self-paced tutorial: Getting Started with ArcGIS.  For getting started with ArcGIS Online for HWS; start with these ArcGIS Online Quick Exercises

For the experienced user of ArcGIS that is seeking guidance on spatial analysis ESRI maintains a site dedicated to spatial analysis Case Studies.  The Case Studies are organized into different types of spatial analysis that may be undertaken with ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS Pro software. Each case study presents the types of questions posed and presents a tools-based workflow that can either be read through or worked through in a hands-on manner. 

For further resources on integrating spatial statistics into your analysis using ArcGIS for Desktop software you can read this blog post from ESRI. On this blog post, they have collected presentations, slides and exercises for using and applying spatial statistics tools and techniques. 

Storymaps are a set of presentation tools that are embedded into the ArcOnline ecosystem and allows users to create spatial-data based multimedia experiences for sharing stories. This tool has been used successfully by courses across the curriculum here at HWS. An excellent resource for getting started teaching with Storymaps can be found here, at the University fo Minnesota's Story Map Curriculum Portal

Finally, the ESRI Canada Higher Education Resources Website has many resources for teaching and learning GIS. Resources range from recorded webinars, videos and packaged tutorials and lessons. These resources can be accessed here:

For more information, please contact the Digital Learning Team at or by phone at ext. 4420.

Learning Open-Source Desktop GIS Software:

There are many options for getting started with open-source GIS software. Below is non-exhaustive list of some resources to get started with. 


QGIS Tips and Tricks

QGIS Video Tutorial Series from Mango Map

QGIS Training Manual

FOSS4G Academy Curriculum - Thiry-five (35) FOSS4G University-level lectures and labs are maintained and made available for download from the Spatial {Query} Lab on behalf of the GeoAcademy.

Advanced QGIS Spatial Analysis

QGIS for Complete Beginners Youtube Video Series

A Complete Introduction to GIS for Open Source GIS Users - You Tube Video Lecture

NOAA Climate Prediction Center Basic QGIS Tutorial


​R - Statistical Software 

Spatial Data Science

"This book introduces and explains the concepts underlying spatial data: points, lines, polygons, rasters, coverages, geometry attributes, data cubes, reference systems, as well as higher-level concepts including how attributes relate to geometries and how this affects analysis."

"The book aims at data scientists who want to get a grip on using spatial data in their analysis. To exemplify how to do things, it uses R."


LearnOSM - A collection of tutorials available for users to get started with the Open Street Map web mapping platform. 

GeoDa - Open source spatial Statistics Tool

GeoDa - Open source GIS package for determining geographic clusters and other relevant spatial statistics. 

Other resources: blog. This is an excellent place to get started learning about all phases of GIS. This site aggregates how-to tutorials for commericial, open-source dekstop and cloud-based web mapping software. 

VTgeospatial You tube channel. This youtube channel is updated regullarly and provides broad-based background and trainingn on a wide variety of GIS software tools and geo-spatial techniques. 

Project This site provides ready-made pre-formatted and stylized linework for creating maps using desktop software. Data downloads to SHP, GeoJSON, TopoJSON. 


Data Visualization Guide:

The Data Visualization Catalouge. A searchable guide of commonly used information visualizations. This site is searchable by visualization type and also by function of the graph needed as well by name.