Harvard Maps Collection

GIS Tutorials and Exercises

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Tutorial

The tutorials on this page were developed for a version of the software that is now significantly out of date and will be removed by April 15, 2016. For an up to date tutorial on GIS, consult the Tufts University GIS Tip Sheet.

The Introduction to GIS Tutorial consists of a three-part movie accompanied by hands-on exercises.

These tutorials require the Flash Player browser plugin.

Web resources mentioned during the movie are available at GIS Links and Resources.

The exercises accompanying the movie are compressed into a ZIP file. To work with the exercises:

  1. Make sure that you have the program ArcGIS, which is required to do the exercises. ArcGIS is available from the Harvard GSD Web site's Harvard ArcGIS/ArcView Download Page.
  2. Download the exercises from IntroToGIS.zip
  3. Unzip the files into your local c:\temp directory, where two two folders will be created. The "workshop" folder contains the exercise data, and the "instructions" folder contains PDF instructions to lead you through the exercises.
  4. Complete Exercise 1 after Part 1 of the movie.
  5. Complete Exercise 2 after Part 2 of the movie.
  6. Complete Exercises 3 and 4 midway through Part 3 of the movie when prompted to do so.

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