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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to GIS Mapping by University of Toronto

1,009 ratings
357 reviews

About the Course

Get started learning about the fascinating and useful world of geographic information systems (GIS)! In this first course of the specialization GIS, Mapping, and Spatial Analysis, you'll learn about what a GIS is, how to get started with the software yourself, how things we find in the real world can be represented on a map, how we record locations using coordinates, and how we can make a two-dimensional map from a three-dimensional Earth. In the course project, you will create your own GIS data by tracing geographic features from a satellite image for a location and theme of your choice. This course will give you a strong foundation in mapping and GIS that will give you the understanding you need to start working with GIS, and to succeed in the other courses in this specialization. This course is for anyone who wants to learn about mapping and GIS. You don't have to have any previous experience - just your curiosity! The course includes both practical software training and explanations of the concepts you need to know to make informed decisions as you start your journey to becoming a GIS analyst. You will need a Windows computer with ArcGIS Desktop installed. (software is not provided)...

Top reviews


Apr 17, 2020

Don Boyes is one of the best instructors I have seen. Throughout the course, I never felt boring. So all credit goes to Don Boyes for making this course very interesting with his good sense of humor.


Aug 04, 2020

This course is the basic introduction of GIS. It gives an insight of the GIS system especially the projection systems. Out of all these Professor Don Boyes made is so entertaining. Thank you Prof!!!

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26 - 50 of 356 Reviews for Introduction to GIS Mapping

By Francis S

Aug 03, 2019

Great background on what goes into making maps and how to interpret map projections. I learned more from this course than from a very expensive GIS course I took years ago. It gives you time to install and play around with ArcGIS, and it comes with a 1 year student license for the software. Information is well presented, and care clearly went into this course! I'm happy to have done it and I will continue on with the specialization. Thanks Prof. Boyes!

By Saqalain H

Jun 07, 2020

This is the most basic course about GIS. The course is really worth taking. I am thankful to University of Toronto, Don Boyes and coursera for providing us the opportunity to take the course.


Jun 04, 2020

The content, materials, examples, and explanations of this course are awesome. Dan, you are an awesome teacher. I really enjoyed this journey and highly recommend this course.

Best wishes. 😊

By Paula R

Jan 16, 2020

Great course. Don Boyes is very clear when explaining. I think you get to understand a lot of the concepts behind the software that are not easy to get when browsing through ArcGIS.


Oct 30, 2019

For a newbie like me, they have laid out a simple and easy to comprehend modules, and with these, I am eager to learn more

By Nicholas A

Mar 24, 2020

Great introduction to theory, I really liked the way a lot of the information about projections and basic concepts were presented. I wish there had been a bit more of a practical component (like in the UC Davis course) to put to work the things that were being taught.

By Fatma I

Mar 22, 2020

I enjoyed the course. The only issue I had was the peer-reviewing of the final assignment - I had undertaken the task as required, and one peer reviewer gave full marks and the other seemed to not understand what was required and provide me with a very low grade, so I wasn't able to pass. I resubmitted the exact same thing so it was assigned to other peer reviewers and was able to earn my course certificate.

By Lindsey H

Jul 01, 2020

This has been an excellent and informative introduction to GIS! The videos have been clear and engaging. One request/thought that I have: perhaps consider providing downloadable or linked data for small practice projects. Many of my favorite tutorials - where I've learned the most by doing hands on, guided projects - provide learners with the basic data and then walk them through the steps. I know that we've been able to see walk-throughs in these videos - which is quite helpful - but actively doing small, buildable projects oneself is a way to solidify that learning. And, while I get the sense that being able to find accurate, reliable, and usable data is a huge skill and portion of the work within GIS, being an introductory student and trying to make your first maps with data that might be incomplete, less than helpful, or even impossible to download in the first place can be quite frustrating and makes for difficult practice. Other than that request, I just wanted to say thanks for putting together these excellent courses!

By Ryan L K H

May 22, 2020

Prof Boyes is a great teacher, introducing you to GIS in a way that requires no prior background at all. Software used is ArcGIS, but ArcPRO seems to be the dominant version now, so not all software steps he demonstrates might be applicable. But, the fact that it's not at all hard to figure out what to do in ArcPRO by simply watching him explaining how to do it in ArcGIS is testament to how clear his explanations are. You'll never just get the steps, you'll get the "why the steps are important" and "what the steps are doing" also. Refreshing to have software taught in such a demystifying way!

By Jesús A L H

Jun 24, 2020

Es un excelente curso de introducción. De verdad es el mejor curso que he tomado en Coursera. Es muy completo, el profesor es excelente, dinámico, con ejemplos variados y alguno que otro chiste. Sin duda lo recomiendo a todos los que quieren iniciar en este campo. Yo estoy ya involucrado con el manejo de software GIS pero hay conceptos y algunas cosas prácticas que me ayudó a comprender al ciento por ciento. Me gustó mucho la manera de ilustrar todos los ejemplos, los entendí muy claro. Espero poder terminar todos los cursos de especialización.

By Edward S

Apr 21, 2020

The course is really great especially the instructor. The material is really well done. There are some issues with the software of course, if you are not a Windows user. ESRI only runs on a Mac using a windows emulator. So the install instructions on a MAC needs some external, ESRI web site, research.

The submission of the material for the lab is confusing. as it asks for three JPEGS but only accepts one. Some external knowledge is needed.

Then the dreaded peer review, as always in MOCs a poor process.

By Abdullah A R

Jul 15, 2020

Don Boyes is an outstanding teacher. He is probably one of the best teachers I have ever seen in my entire life. By completing this course, I have learned the basics of GIS and learned about the projection system in a more detailed way. It is an outstanding course for GIS. Those who are going to learn it for the first time will have no problem understanding it. Don Boyes visualizes his discussions in the learners' minds. That is one of the many reasons I have enjoyed this course a lot.

By Srinivas R

Jun 21, 2020

Hello, I overall liked the course. Thank you very much Dr. Boyes for making such amazing learning content.

One suggestion: Please add some content explaining the various types of files and its components used in ArcGIS. I felt a little confused over what a file geodatabase held, what were feature classes, feature datasets, raster datasets etc. So if you could make a video about those file types and their components, it would be wonderful.

Once again, thanks a lot, You're a great teacher!

By Nicholas M

May 08, 2020

This is a very interesting course and helpful to gain a solid foundation in understanding GIS and maps in general. I had some experience using GIS and have studied geoscience previously but this has really helped build a good understanding of the fundamentals of creating maps I have previously taken for granted.

I recommend this for anyone who wants to understand maps better in general whether a beginner or someone with more experience but perhaps lacking a formal understanding.

By Prabin P

Jun 29, 2020

Dr Boyes, thank you so much for clearing the concepts of basic knowledge on GIS and user interface to ArcGIS.

I am well satisfied with your all explanation; most people do work ultimately but partly understand the knowledge on the part of the coordinate system and projection.

Finally, I got clear now from you well sequence lecture. I was planning to join other courses too.

By Clerance G

Jul 30, 2020

Prof. Don Boyes has presented the course in a detailed and a systematic order. This course has changed my perspective of maps and has given me a skill to digitize and create feature classes in ArcGIS.

I recommend this course to those who want to change their perspective on 2D Maps and for those who want to explore the digital world of Earth and its applications.

By Rajiv D

Jun 06, 2020

Hello Sir, '

It was a great experience for me to became a participant of this programme. Course content & the way of delivering the content was very good. I definitely looking forward for the next course on this topic. Teaching method of the faculty was excellent and being a faculty i must appreciate his communication skills. Thank you very much.

By Muhammad A W

Aug 18, 2020

first of all, I warm thanks for COURSERA and University of Toronto, Thanks Dr. Don Boyes for teaching its is a great opportunity, especially for mine. such a great time we spend here, this pandemic time it is a great opportunity. I learn many things Introduction to GIS Mapping course. it is very helpful for my upcoming study

thankyou very much

By Niloofar S

May 22, 2020

This course was really helpful for me to get familiar with the fundamentals of

GIS. My field is in Environmental Engineering and I did not have any idea about geographic maps, coordinate systems, projection and etc. but everything was explained in an easy understanding and interesting way that motivated me to continue the course, Thank you.

By Vanessa J O

Jul 03, 2020

I learned in this course the more impotants concepts to start to work with GIS. The meaning of the features, geodatabase, why and how represents things in a map, tools to design in ArcMap and ArcGis, how to save the information, ArcCatalog and many other things amazing about the maps world. I learned a lot thanks the DonBoyes teacher.

By Tomás J C O

Sep 18, 2020

Excelente curso de introducción, ya he trabajado con GIS antes, por lo que conozco varias funciones, pero me sirvió para repasar conceptos técnicos olvidados. El curso no deja pasar ningún detalle lo que lo hace muy completo, como explicar los tipos de archivos, la escala, los diferentes sistemas de coordenadas, etc.

By Sofía E P

Aug 07, 2020

I think this is a great introductory course to GIS mapping as it covers the necessary concepts to start feeling confident with GIS, and you get to start using the software. Also, Don explains everything - even the most complex ideas- in a way that is very engaging and understandable. I highly recommend it!

By Daniel F V O

Jul 28, 2020

I liked this course a lot! Don Boyes is really an excelent teacher and he makes every topic really easy to undestand. I struggled in week 5 because it's a lot of information but I managed to learn the basics and I downloaded the explanations so I can consult them whenever I want to refresh my knowledge.

By Gabriela K

Oct 01, 2020

The instructor is very clear explaining the material. It is understandable but yet deep as its the concepts and principles for mapping was explained in this course. Also in giving GIS instruction and explanation its so practical but yet we understand the theory behind it and the reason behind it.

By Gabriel M

Apr 05, 2020

Both informative and applicable, I not only enjoyed this fascinating introductory course, but also appreciated Prof. Boyes's straightforward, clear and engaging style of presentation. This course is a must for anyone interested in learning how to work with GIS (or maps of any kind).