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Learner Reviews & Feedback for GIS Data Formats, Design and Quality by University of California, Davis

1,965 ratings

About the Course

In this course, the second in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialization, you will go in-depth with common data types (such as raster and vector data), structures, quality and storage during four week-long modules: Week 1: Learn about data models and formats, including a full understanding of vector data and raster concepts. You will also learn about the implications of a data’s scale and how to load layers from web services. Week 2: Create a vector data model by using vector attribute tables, writing query strings, defining queries, and adding and calculating fields. You'll also learn how to create new data through the process of digitizing and you'll use the built-in Editor tools in ArcGIS. Week 3: Learn about common data storage mechanisms within GIS, including geodatabases and shapefiles. Learn how to choose between them for your projects and how to optimize them for speed and size. You'll also work with rasters for the first time, using digital elevation models and creating slope and distance analysis products. Week 4: Explore datasets and assess them for quality and uncertainty. You will also learn how to bring your maps and data to the Internet and create web maps quickly with ArcGIS Online. Take GIS Data Formats, Design and Quality as a standalone course or as part of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialization. You should have equivalent experience to completing the first course in this specialization, Fundamentals of GIS, before taking this course. By completing the second class in the Specialization you will gain the skills needed to succeed in the full program....

Top reviews


Dec 25, 2018

Great course. Quite challenging, huge amount of info shared and employed in the assignments. This makes the course very thorough yet as mentioned, challenging to complete. Not for the faint at heart!


Apr 30, 2016

Awesome..... The lectures are very helpful to the students or gis learners who wants to do some on-line, especially the final project was awesome... i really enjoyed and learned much more things...

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1 - 25 of 426 Reviews for GIS Data Formats, Design and Quality

By April H

Dec 26, 2017

This course continues building on the foundation introduced in the first course in the specialization, providing a good quantity of new information using the same easy-to-follow format. One of the exercises in this class involves going through a tutorial provided by ESRI and, while it's very informative, the comparison makes it clear that the instructions with screenshots for exercises created by the instructor are easier to understand and follow. The instructor clearly put a lot of thought and effort into the content and structure of the class and materials. While the course focuses on ArcGIS specifically, many of the concepts demonstrated can be applied regardless of which computer application is used.

By Kevin B

Apr 20, 2020

A very good course to take if you are unfamiliar with GIS and ArcMap. It just scratches the surface of ArcMap, but it gives you a good base (or working knowledge). I feel more confident using ArcMap now, and ready to learn more about it.

The training is well thought out, but is fast-paced. I recommend that you pay close attention in the lectures, and do all the exercises, even the "extra practice" ones because the final project will use a lot of what was presented.

Speaking of these "extra practice" exercises, they are located in a companion book that you can buy, but the book is not required for the course. I recommend getting it because it is nice to be able to pick it up and reference it if there is a topic you don't quite understand. You can find used copies on Amazon.

This isn't a negative, but I think that the estimate of 3 to 5 hrs/week is optimistic. Plan on double that if you're like me and not a gifted learner, and are taking notes.

By Obed M

Jan 27, 2018

Good course, well structured to deliver the invaluable skills, ranging from data management to final output after processing. Good exposure to the toolbox, expecting more in the next course.

By Emily Y

Mar 23, 2019

Very informative course. Some concepts are not easy to understand at the first glance, but it is always interesting to learn and apply in the projects. The final assignment made me frustrated in the beginning. But as soon as getting the whole and clear picture of the project, it was fun to apply the knowledge into the real project, and designed our own workflow. The videos explained explicitly some core concepts which were very helpful and I found myself revisiting many times again when doing the project. Forum was helpful as well. I learned and got clarified some problems there many times. Overall it was a great course for anyone who wants to dig into GIS more!

By Hrishikesh P

Dec 13, 2018

Great course designed by collaboration by UC Davis and coursera. This course explains difficult tools and methodology with clarity that you can master it by first understanding it and followed by practicing the given reading material for the each points that are covered. Great Job by Nick Santos Sir. Thank you.

By Mooraha U

Aug 7, 2016

This is a really nice course that lets to go deeper into GIS concepts, at this point one can feel power on the fingertips - ability to create and publish own online maps can not be underestimated!

By Ankita C

Oct 19, 2020

Nick, you and your team did good job on making the course enjoyable, only problem I faced was having trouble downloading the tutorial 2 assignment data. Still it was a very good experience!!!

By Adam K

Aug 28, 2019

Great course, I learned a lot and it was well structured. It went in to a lot of common and useful skills and theory required for entry level GIS work, and I felt that I learned a lot. The units were quite dense, but the main points for each lecture were explained well and at a good pace. The final assignment was a well balanced application of skills learned in the course, including geoprocessing workflows, digitizing, basic analysis and finally uploading a finished product into ArcGIS online, which was a suite that wasn't around when I last studied in University, so I felt it was handy to get an intro.

My only complaint is there was only one assignment that seemed to be a bit out of place, with content that was quite advanced without relevance to what had been discussed in the course.

By Cole F

Aug 12, 2017

Wonderful. I found this much more challenging than the first course, and to be honest, my enthusiasm for the course was not as strong as it was for course 1. But, that is normal for me with coursera classes. I'm proud to say this is the first Coursera specialization where I completed TWO of the classes. Normally, I would complete 1, and not finish the second. But I was very determined, and I managed to finish this one. Great job Nick. I love your teaching style, and the clarity of the instructions of your assignments is second to NONE on this website. Congratulations on a job well done.

By Vierah H

Mar 29, 2018

I had taken the Fundamentals in GIS course and after completing that decided to continue with GIS Data Formats, Design and Quality. Being an Earth Scientist I have been exposed and have used GIS previously. I have also taken courses on foundation GIS courses. I have been very impressed with the level of the courses in this series. Dr. Santos is knowledgeable and the material is relevant, and interesting. I particularly enjoyed the exercises that allow me to practice the skill sets acquired during the lectures.

By Luis R M

May 14, 2020

Very interesting and dynamic course where you get to learn and apply fundamental GIS concepts. It is high-paced but if you really enjoy navigating and working with datasets you'll never regret the material covered. The thorough presentation, case studies and practice material of basic but useful Rasters, feature classes and geo-processes was a plus, as well as the case study with Spatial analyst tool set. Thank you Nick! I'm so excited with the modules that come next to complete the Specialization!

By Wanqing P

Jun 8, 2019

The content of this course consists of learning more advanced skills to deliver a GIS analytical project, compared to the first course, notably learning how to use Spatial Analysis tools. I highly recommend it simply because the explanations are very clear, on-point and most importantly, beginner-friendly; the videos are nicely elaborated. I plan to finish the whole Specialization before attacking Python and R!

By James M

Aug 17, 2016

Another really good course on GIS. I followed on from the first in the specialisation and I think I would have been quite lost without doing that.

I like to follow the videos with the demo materials in an open version of ArcGIS - this can be quite hard as some of the demo materials are very big and my laptop struggles to keep up with big processing, a slight improvement could be to have smaller demo files.

By Joe B

Jul 28, 2019

Content is a logical progression from the Fundamentals course. Nick presents it in a clear and well-paced way, and the tutorials, quizzes and peer-graded assignment all reinforce retention effectively. I feel that completing the specialization will enable me to make a much broader contribution to the GIS-related projects I manage.

By Ishmamul H

May 10, 2020

A great course which is a part of a very fruitful specialization. The instructor is awesome, he has a special capability of making the lesson enjoyable and easy to understand. Anyone willing to do this course,should complete the first course under this specialization to have a better understanding of the course topics.

By Deleted A

Aug 7, 2016

Another great class in the GIS specialization! The lectures and course materials are very well thought out. This course moves pasts the basics and gets into details for GIS data formats. The tutorial assignments and project are very useful in practicing the concepts learned in the video lectures. Highly recommend!

By Claudia B

Jul 15, 2020

As great as the first course in the specialisation: Even that I am not an IT-expert, I was able to complete the course because of the excellent introduction into GIS and Arc Map, thanks to Nick Santos for his excellent explanations. Will take the next course in the line also, hoping that I can follow as well.

By Jenevra W

Apr 28, 2019

This course is definitely worth your time, especially if you use GIS in your everyday work. There's a lot of information packed in to 4 weeks, but the final assignment is incredibly rewarding. I would recommend anyone who has taken the first course in this specialization to continue on with this course.

By Abhijeet A J

Apr 17, 2020

This is a very effective course. This course has covered a lot of useful things consisting of geoprocessing tools and web maps.The final assignment was superb. I have learnt a lot of new things in this course which is vital for GIS works. It will surely develop someone's skill to a standard level.

By Soumya K

Jun 19, 2022

Very thorough course with lots of hands-on experience. Lectures are precise and informative. Weekly assignments and final graded project help to build a good understanding of the spatial tools in ArcGIS.

By Kasturi V G

Jul 19, 2021

Easy and Fun to learn with hands on project assignments.

By Leo T

Dec 15, 2019

The grading on the final assignment is taking away all my pleasure in taking the course. I should score 100%, but reviewers can't seem to see all layers in the map. And that is while I've checked the online map on multiple computers and in 4 different browsers.

It seems to me that this is an assignment that shouldn;t be structured that way. For me this is grading by chance. Can the reviewer see the map or not? If they can see it, I get a 100% mark, but if they cannot see one of the layers I will flunk.

By Kunjie C

Jan 20, 2017

The final assignment is impossible to finish since I have 10.4 version in my computer. You, as the course provider, should modify the assignment instead of asking the student to make changes. The point is that we are trying to gain some knowledge, not wasting time on solving those bugs.

By Srijita S

Aug 9, 2016

After the Fundamentals of GIS course, this was my second course in the series. This course covers very useful tools that we need to learn. The lectures were short and simple, to the point. The best part was the final peer graded assignment. The course instructors did a remarkable job in designing the problem and it was a great recapitulation of what we learnt during the course. The discussion forum was also a great place to learn. Thanks to my course mates and it actually felt like being together in a classroom. I am thoroughly enjoying being a part of this specialisation and would love to continue. Thank you all.

By Molla S

May 14, 2021

Prof. Nick Santos clearly loves GIS and his love of this makes the course much more worthwhile. He explains things clearly, presents a lot of information to digest and learn, and provides a challenging final project to bring all you learned (or tried to learn) together. I would say, though, that the time estimates for how long each module will take are short compared to the time I find I need to spend to really learn the material.