SFGIS Quick Start

Dates: August 23, 30, Sept. 6, 13, 20

Time: Tuesday 1:30pm - 5:00pm

Location: CCSF Downtown Campus
88 4th Street San Francisco CA 94103
5th Floor - Room 515c




1. Register
Prospective students must first register, please fill out this form.

2. Wait for notification
Registrants will be notified by email of their enrollment status.


When will I be notified?
Registrants will be notified as early as possible. We generally like to notifiy prospective students 1 week prior to the start of class. However, we reserve the right to notify up to the day of class, though this is usually due to a student dropping the class thus opening an opportunity for the next student on the wait-list.

Do I need to have access to ArcGIS Desktop software?
It's highly preferred. The material is based on Esri's ArcGIS Desktop 10 software.  If you do not have access to ArcGIS Desktop 10.4.1 in the office you can inquire with your local or department GIS coordinator. However, that person is not required to provide you the softwarein order to complete course exercises.

We recommend students obtain a copy of the software by:
A) Purchase Getting To Know ArcGIS Desktop for ArcGIS 10. This book comes with a 60-day evaluation trial; Or,
B) Request a free 60 day trial version of ArcGIS Desktop from Esri.

• This course can not be taken for college credit and attendees are not considered City College students.



The workshop is designed for students with little or no GIS skills interested in understanding basic concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and gaining skills to work with GIS on their own.  The workshop will demonstrate the fundamentals of creating maps, editing data, and performing analysis. Students will gain confidence in these fundamentals through various exercises, group work, and assignments.  Using Esri's ArcGIS Desktop 10, students will be exposed to the most powerful and widely used desktop GIS software package.

Students will learn how to use the applications to solve questions such as:
• Find all sex offenders within 2000 feet of schools
• Where is the best location to open a new store?
• Identify census tracks with high income and high home ownership
• Display the number of accidents at each intersection by direction
• Where might disease spread too?

The five week workshop will focus on the following:
• Understanding the setup of a GIS project
• Understanding GIS file formats
• spatial queries
• symbology
• Basic editing techniques
• Creating new datasets


(1) This workshop requires no previous GIS skills.

(2) Students need to possess an intermediate-level knowledge of the Windows XP operating system. This includes creating new files and folders, copy and paste, transferring data between computers using a flash drive, and other basic desktop functionality. Familiarity with creating and managing new worksheets in Excel and working with a wide range of file types (e.g. TXT, CSV, XLS) is helpful but not required.

(3) Additional skills expected: storing, copying and management of multiple data types; managing multiple windows and applications; and the discipline to save work frequently.

(4) A strong motivation to learn, explore and have fun with computer applications is essential.  This workshop will require a significant amount of independent work and relies heavily on student initiative.

(5) An openness to working with other students in the class as a shared learning experience in order to complete assignments, build contacts in the professional GIS world and to support relatively new GIS learners.