Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

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Below are the top discussions from Reddit that mention this online Coursera specialization from University of California, Davis.

Knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an increasingly sought after skill in industries from agriculture to public health.

Geographic Information System (GIS) Satellite Imagery Analysis Model Building spatial visualization Spatial Analysis Data Analysis Data Visualization (DataViz) Software Analytics Workflow Data Management

Accessible for free. Completion certificates are offered.

Affiliate disclosure: Please use the blue and green buttons to visit Coursera if you plan on enrolling in a course. Commissions Reddsera receives from using these links will keep this site online and ad-free. Reddsera will not receive commissions if you only use course links found in the below Reddit discussions.

Taught by
Nick Santos
Geospatial Applications Researcher

Offered by
University of California, Davis

This specialization includes these 5 courses.

Reddit Posts and Comments

3 posts • 57 mentions • top 32 shown below

r/geologycareers • comment
21 points • foosbiker

GIS courses ( I think they're free unless you want to get a certificate. But I'm not sure about that.

and 40 hr HAZWOPER if you're going into environmental. (not free)

r/QGIS • post
20 points • anotherMiguel
Is the "Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialization" training on Coursera worth it? Just finished teaching myself with and I want to "formalize" my QGIS training. Thank you.
r/TOmaps • post
16 points • toramble
U of T GIS, Mapping, and Spatial Analysis courses online at Coursera
r/gis • comment
14 points • elagarde90

I recommend auditing these [GIS Courses] ( on Coursera for free and paring it with an ESRI personal use license which is about a $100 for the year and gets you access to basically all products and extensions.

r/gis • post
25 points • jericho24444
Anyone take the Coursera GIS course?

I plan on learning some GIS fundamentals and was wondering did anyone have any experience taking it?

The course it self is partnered with ESRI and UC Davis Campus. Thoughts?



r/environmental_science • comment
10 points • TabesL

So I recently started a five course GIS certification from Coursera and UC Davis. There are five courses, about a month each, and you pay $50/month.

r/ecology • post
5 points • penguinluvinman
Coursera GIS specialization?

I'm a fairly recent grad in the last couple years with a BS in molecular biology and MS in general bio (non-thesis) with a focus on human biology and ecology/evolution. I've had a few different jobs, mostly seasonal, and now know that I love field work as opposed to lab work and am trying to make the transition into full time wildlife/marine/zoology/conservation/ecology or something along those lines. Anything that puts me outside working with nature. A ton of the positions I've seen and applied for (especially government jobs) seem to lean heavily on GIS knowledge and experience, of which I have absolutely none.

Does anyone have experience with the GIS specialization offered on Coursera (through UC Davis)? I've taken a lot of Coursera courses before, mostly for fun, and have one certificate in forensics. Would something like this actually contribute much to my applications? It's a good bit of money to throw down ($355 for the full specialization), but I'm willing to do it if it would really be beneficial, as I'm currently unemployed and need something to do anyway. Coursera does also offer financial aid, which I'll probably apply for, but I have no idea how that works or likely it is for it to be waived.

I love Coursera as far as courses to take for fun, but how much are those certificates respected in the real world? Do they actually mean anything to add to a resume or is it just a novelty? Does this specialization cover what I'd need to know to use GIS in biology (I literally know nothing about it)? Are there any other online GIS course options that would be a better bet?

I know ultimately experience is what counts in this field moreso than education, but this seems like a possible exception since so many jobs want the knowledge in GIS and I can't find a starting point to get any.

Edit: I'm also considering going for a PhD, likely in marine sciences, if that matters.

r/india • comment
6 points • areumdawol

Do not waste money on training, that he can learn on his own with materials available for free. OMG they are charging so much for useless tutorials!!! What am I even doing with my life?! You don't need a teacher to learn how to download data. This indian need for tuitions I swear...

Download the trial and search online for a new version of this book "Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop" pdf. This is the RD Sharma of GIS. That's all he needs to get started. DO NOT WASTE MONEY.

Here: free stuff, we indians like free stuff


OP, I am going to go sleep, its 2:30 now. Have him search things, a simple google search will give him everything he needs to know.There's not much I can tell that he can't search.

r/environmental_science • comment
2 points • tilly1256

I really enjoyed this:

r/geologycareers • comment
2 points • shellesssmollusc

I’m still in the beginning stages, just learning the fundamentals, so right now I’m probably around the same place as you. but the four courses (I said five earlier whoops) are 1. Fundamentals of GIS, 2. Data Formats, Design, and Quality, 3. Geospatial and Environmental Analysis, 4. Imagery, Automation, and Applications. The four courses which compromise the specialization are suggested to take ~6 months, but everything is on a rolling basis so you could do it as fast or slow as you want. If you audit the course for free you can do the assignments, but you don’t get feedback on them, while if you pay/get aid for the certificate then there is both group-sourced and instructor feedback. One thing if you try to get financial aid is you have to reapply for each course within the specialization, but it is fairly easy to apply.

Here is the link if you wanted to check it out!

r/urbandesign • post
30 points • Sihal
Becoming an urban designer

Hi all,

I’m finishing my master in Computer science, but some time ago I realized this is not what I want to do in my life. I have only my master thesis left, so I want to graduate, however, then I want to change my career path to urban design and planning. I think my studies will give me some benefits and tools I can use, like soft skills, problem solving, analytical thinking, etc.

Since a long time I was fascinated in urbanism, how cities work, the way they can change people lifes and how to create more friendly spaces. That’s why I created the list of tasks I should get familiar with. I’m working, so I want to fulfill them in my free time, after work and during the weekends.

  1. Practice urban landscape drawing and sketching: I think this is quite important skill to learn, even in a digital era.
  2. Learn GiS: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialization:
  3. Read books based on programme of some studies. Here’s the list of books I created:
  4. Happy city by Charles Montgomery(Read already)
  5. Cities for people by Jan Gehl(read already)
  6. Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice
  7. The Image of the City by Kevin Lynch
  8. A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein
  9. The Art of Making Cities by Camillo Sitte
  10. Design of Cities by Edmund Bacon

    HERE I”VE FOUND LONG LIST OF BOOKS: Which one are worth to read and about which I shouldn’t bother?

  11. Do some online courses:

  12. Future cities:
  13. Making Architecture:
  14. Greening the Economy: Sustainable Cities:
  15. Cities are back in town : urban sociology for a globalizing urban world:
  16. Designing Cities:
  17. A Global History of Architecture:
  18. The Architectural Imagination:
  19. Management of Urban Infrastructures – part 1:
  20. Smart Cities – Management of Smart Urban Infrastructures:

After getting more familiar with theory and tools used during designing and planning, I think the next step should be to apply for an internship or apply for postgraduate programmes(mostly 1 year long).

What do you guys think about it? Any recommendations, tips? I based my programme partially on Amsterdam’s Urbanism studies.

r/coursera • post
4 points • anotherMiguel
Any promo code you recommend?

Planning to do this

Any promo code would help.


r/gis • post
1 points • [deleted]
Free Online University GIS Course with certificate


r/gis • comment
1 points • Aphotix

I am almost done with a Coursera specialization and I am quite happy with the quality of it. You also pay per month so if you are quick you can save some money. The first 2 courses of this specialization seem to be enough to learn the tasks you listed.

r/fakealbumcovers • comment
1 points • HP_civ

Kidding, that is a full blown study course over multiple months. Courses like these are in most degrees if you study geography at a university. What this guy did is download a digital elevation model (DEM) from Nasa, fuse it together using a geographical information system (GIS), and then process it a bit graphically (but not too much). I don't know the terrain of the Ohio, or if it is Ohio state or what, but you should see either the mountains of the state or the river in this image. The colour changes from black to white based on elevation.

r/Surveying • comment
1 points • APOS8001

There’s a great GIS education at Coursera that I highly recommend. You learn Argis and a lot of other things that can be very helpful even if you decide to be a surveyor.

Even though I have an education in Cartography and surveying from 14 years ago I took the course at Coursera and learnt some interesting new stuff.

If you like to try some on your own there’s some open source software that’s as good as the commercial ones, such as QGis that I’ve implemented in my own work.

/ Andreas - Sweden

r/gis • comment
1 points • Alillate

This course on Coursera offers a one-year free student license for Arc Desktop. There's a link to check the system reqs. A decent laptop should be able to handle it fine. The course (through UC Davis Extension) is pretty solid as well if you're interested in being guided through the Arc software.

r/gis • comment
1 points • rkelf

I'm doing this 5 course specialisation.

I'm half way through the second course but I do believe once I get to the end of the specialisation I will have enough skills to actually use GIS for what I want. It is well run and you get a 1 year esri licence with it.

r/gis • comment
1 points • terrasparks

Five course online ArcGIS class you can audit.

r/AskReddit • comment
1 points • OffBrandToothpaste

Coursera offers some great GIS courses through UC Davis that cover basic and advanced topics. You can do them all for free or do the paid versions and receive a certificate you can put on your resume/LinkedIn page. They come with a free one year student version of ArcGIS too which is really helpful.

The first one took me about a week and a half to complete working on it a couple hours a day, you could probably zip through it even faster as a refresher if you've got the basics down.

r/epidemiology • comment
1 points • ar_604

Saw this today:

r/gis • comment
1 points • Uskoreniye1985

Thanks for your reply. I'm currently studying in Europe but I'm from the states. Its interesting to know that ArcGIS is more used in North America. I'm obviously not looking for a job right now in GIS but its a useful thing to consider. Then again from what I've read and what you said it seems knowledge of one GIS program can be useful for learning or using others.

In high school I did a coding class and I've played around with some coding stuff such as code academy but in all honesty numbers just don't stick well with me. Hence I've decided to try and start with GIS and then learn coding once I get the hang of it and when I have clear use for it. I'm thinking of doing ArcGIS mainly cause this course uses it and I'll be able to get a discount on using it and I can do the actual course for free.

I'd also consider learning QGIS I just haven't seen many good courses for it. If you know of any I'll gladly take a look at them.

Thanks again for answer and have a good week.

r/gis • comment
1 points • meatpuppeting

I think the Coursera specialization from UC Davis is pretty good. It seems like everything I learned in my GIS minor.

It's not longer free though :( they charge $50/month to take specialization courses. Comparatively though, my minor in total costs like over $6k alone so not bad in the grand scheme of things.

Alternative, I think these series of online tutorials from the MIT Urban Planning department are VERY solid...they focus on a lot of programming especially with their Web Mapping workshop. It's also free which is a plus over Coursera.

r/gis • comment
1 points • chasing_pavements

I had the same question. Just to make sure, you are talking about this one, right?:

r/gis • comment
1 points • ArAMITAS

>UC Davis GIS Specialization on Coursera.

Is this what your referring too?

r/gis • comment
1 points • kumarmanoj05

Hi, Please check the link (below). Coursera provided the Free online course. There are 5 courses from basic to advance. if you complete all courses you will get a certificate but to get the certificate you need to complete the quiz and assignments.

if you need more help please let me know.

r/gis • comment
1 points • Harry-le-Roy

Massive Open Online Course.

Here's the U Toronto program I mentioned, for reference.. UC Davis has some related courses and programs on the same platform. Here's the Maryland program on drones.

r/gis • post
1 points • khellyshan
Coursera GIS Specializations

Hi everyone! There are two specializations in coursera at the moment regarding GIS. From initial checking of the syllabus, they seem pretty much the same. I would like to seek which one is preferable or if I should just take both. Thanks!

UC Davis

University of Toronto

View Poll

r/IRstudies • comment
1 points • LockedOutOfElfland

You want to look into Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), which is on the technical side of the discipline of Geography. Specifically, you could say that GIS is an applied sub-discipline of Physical Geography that deals in digital cartography. There are certainly professional uses outside of academia that relate to your objectives, as I've occasionally seen job ads from think tanks and government contracting firms looking for GIS specialists.

I am not sure how much there is academically in the way of IR/Security-focused conflict mapping, but I do know from my forays into Geography that there is a sort of political aversion in Geography departments to engaging with anything conflict or security-related. As a result, most academic GIS training focuses specifically on the more politically "comfortable" topics of environmental mapping and public health mapping. That caveat aside, if you want to know more about GIS and its applications, you can check out the discussions on r/geography and r/GIS.

In terms of the less technical side of geography, there are plenty of popular authors (Robert D. Kaplan, Parag Khanna, and Tim Marshall all come to mind) and private research/consulting firms (Stratfor, Jane's, etc.) that use geographic explanations for conflicts and security challenges in international relations. However, research in this vein tends not to be taken all that seriously in academia. People in both Political Science and Geography departments will, for different reasons, likely dissuade you from making arguments in that direction. If you're interested in this line of inquiry, you should check out r/geopolitics and refer to their wiki for resources.

As for resources outside of reddit, FEMA and the UN both have free online courses for using GIS in crisis and emergency contexts. Both are available to the general public, and you might want to look into these in order to learn some basic vocabulary and concepts. I've taken both and would recommend them. There is also a specialization on Coursera from UC Davis that gives a broad overview.

r/gis • comment
1 points • cordas

It's been 10 years since I also got my Computer Science degree and did a number of jobs since then, none of them related to GIS, although it was always something on my "to learn" list. Last year I took a Coursera specialization to learn the basics (this is something that I'd recommend, as opposed to jumping straight to the coding without a firm understanding of the concepts) and then got a job developing GIS applications and am very happy with it. Before you decide on a masters, here are some free resources about GIS and related development that you could take a look and see if it's something that really interests you: , , ,

r/learnprogramming • comment
1 points • ASIC_SP

for basics of Python, I'd recommend these:

    • - interactive version

for resources specific to your area, I don't have personal recommendation, but searching online gives many resources like


r/gis • post
1 points • coolrivers
I've been going in circles trying to decide on GIS schooling options and could use your perspectives

Hello /r/gis -

I've been following and sometimes contributing to this sub for a while now. I could use your perspectives on different geography and GIS schooling options.

I'd like to work on and around geospatial applications and data visualizations. I find them intrinsically fascinating to play with and helpful for understanding a variety of problems. My recent web dev side projects have been geospatially-focused. I was freelancing remotely in Berlin, Germany (from July-December 2019) and built a UI + media player for exploring live music events there: Earlier this year, I mapped Oaxaca, Mexico's mountain bike trails and made a map and content site for exploring them: There are a few other web-based map-focused application projects I've worked on. I know these are fairly simple compared to some of the things you guys work on but they are a start. I want to someday work on these sorts of applications professionally and it's been really challenging to figure out the best way to do this.

I know I have a lot to learn about geography, user interface design, data cleaning, and the various software libraries/languages/programs in use. I've considered 4 primary options for how I can get enough skills, experience, and knowledge to get to work on the type of geospatial products and projects that interest me.

Certificate programs

Many community colleges, tech schools, and universities offer certificate programs. Most of them are ESRI-focused and cost $1000-$5000. Many of these programs are migrating to online-only. Most of them seem to be quite similar. There are some OSS ones (e.g. Wisconsin, Kentucky, Penn State) but these cost $20k-$30k+, which doesn't seem worth it to me.

I'm currently doing the Coursera/UC Davis GIS certificate program (it's generally arcGIS pro focused and seems solid so far).

Pros: Quick + generally cheap-ish.

Cons: ArcGIS vs. OSS focused. Perhaps not thorough enough? Not enough theory? Often online only.

AAS Programs at Technical Schools

My local technical college offers an AAS geomatics program that is focused on surveying, CAD, and Arc viewer.

Pros: Hands-on, in person, and generally cheap (if you're in-state).

Cons: Surveying + ESRI focused. Would lead me into the part of the field I don't think I want to be in.

Geography Masters of Science Programs

Many universities (around the world) offers masters degrees in geography and data visualization. For example, Potsdam's (Germany) masters in Remote Sensing, geoInformation and Visualization looks incredibly interesting and thorough.

Pros: Thorough and often more focused on theory, high-level concepts, and OSS geospatial technologies

Cons: 2 years of life and lost income. Expensive if done in the USA.

Developer Bootcamps

There are a variety of 12 week software development or data science bootcamps that cost $7k-$20k. These bootcamps have people work 6 days a week and drink from the firehose in order to theoretically get developer jobs.

Pros: I would get much better at software development or data science (if I went the latter route). This could open doors in the area (data viz and web apps) I want to be in.

Cons: Not actually geography or GIS focused.

If you have any thoughts on this or thoughts to share, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you for reading.