Interterm Course 2015 — Recap

The Spatial Analysis Lab was excited to kick of 2015 with an intro to GIS interterm course in the first week of January Term! 14 students joined us in the SAL for 5 days of GIS exploration with ArcGIS.

The course was structured around the development of key GIS skills. Each day focused on one or two of those skills, so that by the end of the week students were equipped with a basic understanding of working in the ArcGIS suite:

Day 1: Navigating in ArcMap — Siting a New Northampton Health Clinic

  • Skills: Add and order data, change symbology, add labels, field calculator, select by attribute, create new layer from selection, buffer, select by location

Day 2: Georeferencing Historic Map and Joining Spreadsheet Data

  • Skills: Georeferencing, joining tables

Day 3: Explore Symbology and Classifications — Firearm Safety Atlas

  • Skills: Create choropleth map, normalize data, create proportional symbols map, create categorical map, learn layout mode

Day 4: Raster Data — Bikeability of Five College Towns

  • Skills: Slope tool, Euclidian distance tool, clip tool, spatial join

Day 5: Map Challenge — Local Farmers Markets

  • Skills: bringing all learned skills together to create own map from scratch

The week-long course also included daily optional sessions:

Thanks to all who participated. We appreciate the hard work and persistence through the program, data, and personal challenges. Welcome to the world of GIS!

For those who couldn’t participate, but are interested — we are looking to host a similar course in May of this year, however, we need a couple more participants to make it happen — if you are interested please write to Victoria at so that we can add you to the list.

Additionally — keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming announcement of Spring 2015 workshop offerings.

Finally, I would like to thank CATS for such responsive technical support, and Jon Caris for sharing his expert GIS knowledge. Thank you to the people at Esri for designing the program and sticking with us through all our requests throughout the years, and finally to the academy. Thank you.