An e-book that is openly available to the public as part of Penn State University’s Open Educational Resources Initiative. This book is designed for use with PSU’s GEOG 482 class, the Nature of Geographic Information. A short version of this course that includes ArcGIS exercises appears in Esri’s Virtual Campus as “Understanding Geographic Data.”
From the publishers’s website: Designed for use in an introductory GIS, Digital Earth, or combined introductory GIS/remote sensing course, Introduction to Geospatial Technologies introduces the wide range of geographic information systems available to and used by geographers. Each chapter is divided into two sections:an introduction to the technology and a hands-on lab activity that utilizes free software widely available on the Internet or ArcGIS, depending on the instructor’s preference. Because of its introductory approach and wide-ranging applicability, the book can be used effectively by both non-majors and majors.
These topics form some of the basic building blocks of map knowledge, and there are whole texts devoted to them. Here is a brief introduction that may answer some of your early questions. WhitePaper1_Geog_Coordinates
GeoDa (pronounced gee-ó-da) is one of the most robust and thorough tools for Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis. Cross-platform, open source. A must-use when you’re committed to interpreting the meaning behind the patterns and colors.
One of those free packages that always seems to be getting better and better. GeoMapApp is “an earth science exploration and visualization application that is continually being expanded as part of the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS) at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.” Great for earth systems science, satellite imagery from many diverse platforms. The Profile tool is handy for explaining DEMs through different visual perspectives. Can be a quick complementary tool combined with other raster-based exercises.
Their educational resource collection has expanded too.
This is a comprehensive e-book, able to modified by instructors to be aligned with their course content. Though essential concepts in GIS tend to remain constant, the situations, applications and examples of GIS are fluid and dynamic. The Flat World model of publishing with the MIYO (Make It Your Own) customization platform is especially relevant for a text that deals with information technology. Many instructor supplements included.
Quantum GIS (QGIS) is an Open Source GIS, licensed under the GNU General Public License. QGIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). It runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, Windows and Android and supports numerous vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities.
CUNY Hunter offers a practicum using QGIS; here is info and a manual.
Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis has quick guides and a do-it-yourself Workshop.
The SpatialThoughts blog maintains QGIS Tutorials.
Esri is a global leader, and the most widely adopted in higher education, with over 8000 universities, worldwide, having licenses on their campus. They maintain an Education Community page and a listserv for Higher Education users. You might find their extensive GIS bibliography helpful, or their info on educational licensing options. ArcLessons may be a good solution for finding lab activities. And don’t forget about requesting desk copies of books from Esri Press.
Based in the Crop & Soil Science department, this class (CSS 4200) serves the needs of undergraduates majoring in many areas of natural resources management and environmental sciences.