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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Fundamentals of GIS by University of California, Davis

3,939 ratings
1,182 reviews

About the Course

Explore the world of spatial analysis and cartography with geographic information systems (GIS). In this class you will learn the basics of the industry’s leading software tool, ArcGIS, during four week-long modules: Week 1: Learn how GIS grew from paper maps to the globally integrated electronic software packages of today. You will install ArcGIS on your computer and learn how to use online help to answer technical questions. Week 2: Open up ArcGIS and explore data using ArcMap. Learn the foundational concepts of GIS, how to analyze data, and make your first map. Week 3: Make your own maps! Symbolize data and create an eye-catching final product. Week 4: Share your data and maps and learn to store and organize your data. Take Fundamentals of GIS as a standalone course or as part of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialization. By completing the first class in the Specialization you will gain the skills needed to succeed in the full program. Students who need an ArcGIS license will receive a non-commercial, 1 year student license for participation in this course and specialization....

Top reviews


Dec 28, 2018

the content is awesome. i would recommend it to those who need to have some basic knowledge of GIS. it's very easy to learn the ArcGIS because of the instructions and demos given by the instructor.


May 04, 2020

Muy buen curso, me sirvió mucho, aprendí demasiado sobre las cosas básicas y el profesor es muy bueno !! Super recomendado si no saben nada de GIS y están empezando a comprender las herramientas

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1026 - 1050 of 1,141 Reviews for Fundamentals of GIS

By Gokce S

Jan 09, 2019

Making the online features of ArcGIS mandatory components of the final assignment may pose a barrier to some people. In my case, I am learning ArcGIS for my work and have been using the software on an offline work server (my personal computer could not meet the minimum system requirements for ArcGIS and often crashed). So, I was not able to add the elements like basemap to my maps, which made it a big challenge for me to pass the final assignment.

By Pankhuri M

Oct 31, 2016

This course gives a good overview of GIS. It helps in becoming familiar with ArcGIS software and also teaches a lot of fundamentals that can be generally applied to different GIS products as well. But looking at the expenses of using ArcGIS for commercial purposes, it would have been great had there been some sort of additional, optional demonstrations of other products.. For a small-medium business, ArcGIS doesn't seem viable at all.

By Aubrie B

Jun 15, 2020

I really enjoyed this course and I learned a lot. My only critique is that most of the lectures were about specific processes and tools in ArcGIS, but they were not necessarily created in such a way that students could follow along in ArcGIS easily. I think it would be easier to learn and remember all of the processes if each lecture were more structured around the student going through the same actions as the lecturer.

By Ryan J

Mar 13, 2019

I would give this course 4.5 stars if I could. It is a great course and I feel like I really grasped the basics of GIS and using ArcMap after I completed it. The only reason that I gave it 4 stars is that it would be nice if there were an intro course like this that was a little more geared towards people who already have some basic knowledge of SQL and relational databases so that the course could move a little faster.

By Jason M

Sep 13, 2016

I found a number of the lessons were light on content, but I have guilty knowledge having used ArcMap on and off for the past few years. A lot of the meat of this course is replicated in similar or only slightly more detail in the follow-on class in the specialization. If you have experience with GIS or Arc I would strongly recommend skipping this class and moving directly to GIS Data Formats, Design and Quality.

By Kevin B

Mar 23, 2020

I really liked the instructor and his style, and the course was layout well. But pay attention in the lectures and do the assignments. I'm not giving 5-stars because I feel that a little more lecture time should have been dedicated to using ArcMap to do spatial joins, as well as having a few more examples, each with different end-goals for the joined columns.

But the course is very good, and I'm glad I took it.

By Caroline V

May 16, 2020

I enjoyed this course and thought it was a great intro to GIS. Instructions and videos were thorough and I feel like I have the tools I need to move on to the next course. Sometimes it felt like there was less focus on more challenging topics (like spatial joins) and more on topics like exporting documents. This is an intro course though so I understand we were trying to cover a lot at a basic level.

By Natasha K

Nov 17, 2016

Contains a lot of great content through videos and demonstrations that are easy to follow and in depth enough to understand the concepts. Would be great if there was a way to contact the professor or someone within Coursera to help with technical issues, as I ran into quite a few of those along the way and did not have anyone to reach out to (not a problem with the actual course, just the courser

By Rifqi A S

Aug 11, 2020

This course is not lying about being fundamental, and it's a good thing! I was struggling to find a course to start GIS, and I am genuinely relieved to have found this specialization. Although I couldn't give a full star because of it not using ArcGIS Pro, but this course splendidly covers what is essential to start with GIS.

Thank you very much for Nick Santos and team to make this available!

By Hilary W

Jun 01, 2017

I found the course tutorials and materials really good and clear. I found achieving what I wanted on ARC GIS much harder than I thought it would be, so it was re-assuring where they indicated that people would re-watch the tutorials more than once (Can't tell you how many times I had to watch them to get some elements of the course!!). But encouraged to go on and do the next one.

By Christiane

Apr 26, 2020

Comprehensive introductory course, providing links, ways to approach troubleshooting when learning online/by yourself plus background information. The videos that accompany the weekly assigments provide insights into the learning material that is actually being used in the assignments. By taking the weekly quizes one was enabled to assess their own learning process. Thank you!

By Antje C R

Mar 30, 2020

The guided assignments were excellent. In the lectures, however, I sometimes missed the forest for the trees. Since this course is for novices to GIS, an overall "roadmap" covering the forest of functions in ArcGIS would be helpful.

Nick Santos presents the materials in a clear, low-key manner, while conveying a good deal of enthusiasm - I enjoyed listening.

By Phyllis T

Jan 20, 2018

The course material was detailed and the facilitator made the subject understandable. Learning GIS was interesting. However, waiting for peers to review my work was frustrating. I reviewed more than 6 assignments for others but my assignment was only reviewed last minute after I sent requests in the discussion forum.

By 李博涵

Mar 05, 2017

In general, it's quite helpful for me, but it could be a little bit too fundamental sometimes, for example the professor would explain things like how to find a button... which may not be so necessary, but it's ok, I think I will enroll the next course of this series.

By Bruno A

Nov 21, 2018

Very enthusiastic instructor.

Good starting course, very well structured (with just the necessary small repetitions to consolidate knowledge).

Good final assignment.

(Very small) caveat: could be clearer at times in conveying certain not-so-difficult notions.

By Nataraj N D

Apr 03, 2020

It's an overall good course. But I think you may show more uses of tools in this course. And another thing is; English is not the native language for all classes of students here. So if you speak slowly that will be more helpful to understand.

By Nohelia F C

Mar 10, 2017

I have learned a lot in this course. It is very nice, but I think that it would be nice if the students can communicate with the teacher directly, because sometimes there are some comments or questions and it is only read it by the group.

By Prathana B

Aug 22, 2017

Excellent course to kick off learning in GIS. But for me the peer review of assignment seemed a little discouraging. Other than that a great learning experience. If you are interested in GIS, I think you should give it a shot.

By luisa m

Mar 05, 2016

Great course, right what I needed as I use with statistics and econometrics in development issues, but I needed to add the "spatial" element.

I would give the 5th star, if the slide of the lessons were available


By Cornelis A G

Jun 14, 2020

The course is well laid out and you get access to GIS software for training and studying. The examples are well set up and give a good idea of what you can do with GIS. A complete course manual in pdf would be useful

By Francisco D d B

May 11, 2020

The course is awesome. I learned a lot and it helped me in many ways. The only thing that can be improved is the peer graded assignment, some students did not follow the instructions on how to grade our work.

By Julie B

Jun 04, 2020

Very well instructed. A few of the instructors were hard to understand, but the transcript help in this area. Overall the course was easy to follow and the coursework was challenging for a first timer.

By Aidan r j

Sep 11, 2019

some parts are hard to follow sometimes and can be monotunioos some times but over a great cour to get into gis with plenty of exrecises and avilable file as the one being worked on in the lectures

By Bonnie W

May 15, 2016

The first week was a little slow, but I'm glad I stuck it out. This was very helpful and informative. The labs are invaluable practice that accompany the videos well. Thanks Nick!

By Abdoul K F

Nov 15, 2017

Un cours très intéressant qui part des fonctionnalités d'ArcGIS à la production d'une carte complète. Toutefois à ce niveau, on apprend pas encore à produire ses propres données.