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

1,934 ratings

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 16, 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 1, 2021

This course is all about the introduction of GIS. It gives an insight of the GIS system especially the projection systems. Don Boyes made this course very easy and so entertaining. Thank you so much.

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26 - 50 of 607 Reviews for Introduction to GIS Mapping

By Wendell D

Oct 3, 2019

This is an excellent Introduction course for GIS Mapping. I highly recommend it to evryone that want to start learning about GIS Mapping.

By Ali W H

Jun 10, 2019

very simplified it is the perfect place to start your GIS journey.

By Lara J

Jun 14, 2019

Great class! Good design and wonderful videos!

By reneryu

Jun 13, 2019

Very detailed and beginner friendly!


Aug 7, 2020


By Francis S

Aug 3, 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 Ibrahim Z

Nov 1, 2020

One of the most important thing you need as a learner is intuition and prof Don is good at that , the concept I have leant have finally stick in my brain. I can always relate them to real world

By Saqalain H

Jun 7, 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.

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.

By Mark J

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 Nick 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 Charles V

Oct 7, 2022

Course video fundamentals were excellent but were weak on teaching the software. My software did not behave the same as depicted in the week three video. The assignment required a lot of self learning of the software and ALL of that self learning came from google and not course resources. I estimate I spent more than 30 hours trying to learn setup and the basic features of this software needed to do this work. The software is not intuitive so there needs to be much more explanation of the steps. For example, I now have separate folders for each 'layer'. These layers are referred to as layers in some 'help' inquiires and attributes in others. I have 30 years of computer experience in over 30 pieces of software, including some CADD but I still do not understand the basic file mangement protocol for this software. (I think my project actually was drawing points, lines, and polygons from separate folders on my computer instead of one folder. Also, I was very disappointed I could not understand how to get items in my table to show labels on my image (many hours looking). My employment will not afford me this many hours to complete a project stated as a 4 hour project. If I just wanted to randomly search for 'how to do A, B, C, etc on google to learn the software, I would not need this course.

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 Kameron A

Feb 20, 2021

Course specifically geared toward year of release as ArcGIS software is no longer available for free with course enrollment. Course content specifies student package of Arc GIS is available but multiple attempts to sign up or use were unsuccessful. Attempted January/February 2021. Course needs significant revision to remain accessible to the public.

By Deleted A

Jul 10, 2020

Joined Coursera especially to do this training but it's not till you go in to start the course that you find out you need to purchase the GIS software to actually complete the course. So unless I pay $100 to download it I can't do the course. You need to make this clear when the course is advertised.

By Luis F B

Oct 7, 2020

A little bit unuseful due to Arcgis license to work by your own

By Lindsey H

Jul 1, 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 Girish Y

Jun 27, 2022

Overall the course was structured promisingly and moreover learnt very basic things as they were beautifully explained and would like to congratulate proffessor Don Boyes and team for designing the course chapters accordingly to the title and lastly it gives me immense pleasure to thank university of toronto for providing me with financial aid which i was in much need of and this course has benifitted me lot and would like to hear from the university end about any opportunities for me further wherein i can serve the university .

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 8, 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 Md. M H

Oct 30, 2020

First of all thanks to the instructor , he really deserve the appreciation. He taught it in a very efficient manner, explanation is very easy to understand too. As for the course material it was also excellent. I have learnt a lot of things in this course such as, how to create file geodatabase, feature class, vector and raster representation of the real world, base map, digitizing etc....

This course is very helpful towards other GIS mapping or spatial analysis related course.