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

5,200 ratings

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


May 16, 2021

GREAT COURSE TO JUMPSTART FOR ANY NEW LEARNERS IN THE FIELD OF GIS. It is extremely helpful to learn the basics & the projects help any new learners to understand what kind of work is done in ArcGIS.


Dec 27, 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.

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26 - 50 of 1,597 Reviews for Fundamentals of GIS

By Amon A

Sep 6, 2017

The assignments are very easy to cheat in. The peer review even makes it easier, upload something crappy, download a better one from someone else, edit the name and upload on your account. The man i reviewed actually forgot to change the author of the map, he uploaded it as downloaded.

The certificate is too plain, it doesn't talk of the skills gained through the course or the weight of the certificate according to the student's performance. It makes the whole thing seem like a joke. First anyone can cheat their way through and secondly even if you work hard and get straight 100%s you are no different from the the average student.

By Alexander B

Jan 19, 2020

Very hard, little direction for the final project. Please update final project with better, more in-depth instructions.

By Shane N

Feb 20, 2017

I should have never paid for this course. By the time I got into the subject the refund policy was expired. Do not take pay for this course or program at all.

By Sahil k

Feb 15, 2022

Course materials have expired, no help from the team, cant proceed beyond week 1 as software is not being provided

By Cameron W

Jan 23, 2023

Instructions are out dated and cannot complete assignments without knowledge of how GIS pro works

By Takiyah

Jun 29, 2022

Receiving help and feedback is nearly impossible.

By Kathy M

Jan 10, 2017

not very well organized.

By Sydney R N

Apr 1, 2022

Great intro to the basic of GIS! Although they are optional, I'd 100% recommend doing the assignments - they're very low-stress since the instructions tell you how to do literally every step (extremely fool-proof) so you realize by the end you've successfully used tools that may have intimidated you during the lecture. Just make sure you don't mindlessly go through them; think about why what you're doing makes sense given the goals of the task. It also makes the final assignment (much less guidance and peer graded) far more doable.

My one critique is the peer reviewed assignment structure. We are required to grade two assignments and also wait for our own assignment to be graded, but for a while only 1 was available for me to grade, and nobody was picking up my assignment even though (in the discussion forum) it looked like they were also waiting for a new assignment to be available for them to give feedback on. I had to manually post the link to my assignment in the forum for people to see it and review it (and of course I did the same for them). It should be faster and more automatic for peers to get assignments to grade. Also, from the discussion forum, it looked like there was a lot of "give me a good grade and I'll give you one" going on - may need to moderate that more or spot-check that the feedback is accurate.

Overall, I was impressed by the clear teaching and I am looking forward to the next course of the specialization.

By Zhan S

Jul 11, 2022

This is one of the first classes i took, and currently my favorite. The instructor will teach you all the fundamental things. After course 1, you'll be able to do basic geoprocessing with your data. It's definitely a comprehensive and interesting course for beginners and not-beginners like me. It has a combination of videos, readings, assignments with step-by-step instructions and extra practices. In the end, i landed safely in the peer-graded addignment session. I had a fun time learning the course.

By Gretchen M M

Jul 1, 2020

This course really opens up the field of GIS for newbies by introducing the most powerful, useful software out there - ArcGIS. Getting to know ArcGIS is the main thing in this course, but introducing ways of handling data is also covered. The lectures were short and easy to understand. It was nice to be able to go back and review things if needed.

By Xiyue Z

May 31, 2020

Best GIS online course I've ever taken! Very well structured, the explanations and illustrations are well paced and very clear. I learned everything about the foundamentals of GIS and can now make an informative map independently. I highly recommend the course and can't wait to start the second one in this specialization.

By Maira A M C

Jun 1, 2020

The methodology applied is the greatest to start working on ArcGIS software. The course involves the main and basic knowledge you must know about GIS. The final project, which you can participate in scoring my peer's project is really cool because it gives you the opportunity to identify your own mistakes and others'.

By Mary C

Jun 27, 2020

This course is phenomenally put together. I've done GIS work and taken a college course before, and this was a great review. Nick lays out so many helpful concepts and ideas that took me much longer than 4 weeks to learn on the job. It is a very thorough introduction and I can't wait to finish the specialization!

By Claudia B

Jul 7, 2020

Great and systematic introduction into GIS. For a beginner it still was a challenge, but not too much - just on the right level.

Thank you to Nick Santos for the clear structured lectures. It is a real advantage to get the student version of ARCGIS as well. See you in the next course & best regards!.

By Sachinka D

Jun 2, 2020

Very nice experience with Fundamental of GIS course in Coursera. I joined this course because of the Corona Pandemic because there is no way to leave home. But thanks to My university and the Coursera team I learned many new things in this time period. Thank You so much for giving these opportunities.

By Jeni B

Oct 31, 2016

This course has given me a foundation to work with GIS, and the program license alone is worth more than the cost of the course. The instructor, Nick Santos, clearly loves his work, and that makes the lectures more fun to watch.

By Suraj D U

May 27, 2020

The best course on the Basics of GIS if anyone wants to start working with GIS. The instructor Nick Santos fully explained the course very well and defined every essential tool thoroughly. I recommend this course to everyone.

By Saul P G P

May 25, 2020

Fundamentals of GIS, es un curso que te brinda todas las herramientas para aprender a navegar, analizar y sintetizar tus diferentes actividades que puedes tener dentro del análisis SIG, un curso espectacular 100% recomendado.

By Carmen T

Mar 14, 2018

I am brand new to GIS and found this course to be excellent for a novice. Nick explains everything with exceptional detail and the examples are easy to follow. The course work is appropriate and is a great learning tool.


May 17, 2021

GREAT COURSE TO JUMPSTART FOR ANY NEW LEARNERS IN THE FIELD OF GIS. It is extremely helpful to learn the basics & the projects help any new learners to understand what kind of work is done in ArcGIS.

By Adrian H

Jun 30, 2020

Nice course! Thanks a lot to the UCDavis team, Coursera and Nick Santos. The assignments guides are awesome. I suggest just to add a sort of index of tools and concepts. Thanks!

By Camila T J

Jul 1, 2020

I found the assignments very usefull to practice all the concepts learned in the lessons, and I really liked the last one were we had to demostrate all we've learned

By Shana N

May 28, 2020

Great teacher. The only way you can learn this stuff is by doing the work, so don't take the class unless you are prepared to do the optional assignments.

By Ritu S

May 29, 2020

This is an excellent course. I have learned a lot from this course. Nick Santos is a great instructor. Thanks coursera for providing this opportunity.

By Eric J

Jul 8, 2020

the best course i have ever taken in my entire life. this course provided with the best knowledge and skill i need to progress my career