Below you will find links to How-To documents in online and PDF format that teach specific skills with GIS programs. Accompanying these tutorials you may find files to help you complete each tutorial and animated demonstration videos. For help with these tutorials, to request an appointment or to request the creation of a specific tutorial, contact GIS Specialist Lisa Jordan x3740 (

Spatial Data Center Tutorials Archive

Links to a number of GIS tutorial resources for ArcGIS, ArcPad, Trimble GPS Units, and GIS data management.

Getting Started with GIS

Instructions for faculty/staff and students for downloading ArcGIS and Google Earth. Information about other GIS programs, data resources, tutorials, and instructional materials.

Google Earth Tutorials

Exercises for learning to use Google Earth. Recommended for courses and projects in which no data analysis is required.

Google Earth Basics

A condensed set of how-to instructions for beginning to work with Google Earth.

ArcPad Tutorials

Living tutorial documents in uKnow help students, faculty, and staff use Trimble GPS units with ArcPad 8 software to create dynamic map projects.

How to Collect and Edit Data Points

A set of instructions for using the Trimble GPS unit with ArcPad 8 software to collect latitude and longitude coordinates for map projects.

Changing the Symbology of Points

Instructions for changing the way the symbols used to represent latitude and longitude points in your map project using ArcPad 8 on the Trimble GPS unit.

The courses projects and programs described on these pages are not supported by government funds. Major support from the Andrew Mellon Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.

ArcGIS Tutorials


GIS Laptop Readiness Tutorial

This document is recommended for anyone downloading ArcGIS software onto a computer that is more than a year old. Though the title suggests that they are only for laptops, these directions are recommended for Drew desktop computers as well.

Making Maps with ArcGIS

Basic instructions for navigating the ArcGIS interface, adding shape files and data to a map document, designing and symbolizing data so that it can be read by users.

Geocoding Tutorial

Geocoding allows you to add street addresses as data points to your maps. In this tutorial, users learn to use online map documents from the ESRI GIS Server services, access ESRI’s Geocoding database, import addresses in a .csv file to their map document, and use the geocoding function in ArcMap to code the uploaded addresses to show up on their map.

Measuring Distances with GIS Using Hawth’s Tools

Measuring distances between points can provide useful data for a wide variety of analyses. Users will learn to create layers of geocoded addresses and then use the analysis capabilities of Hawth’s Tools to measure distances between those addresses. Users will also learn to create new data columns within layers and write a calculation script that automatically converts calculated distances from one unit of measurement to another. Designed for users who have already taken the Geocoding Tutorial.

Cartograms Tutorial

Cartograms are a method of displaying geospatial data as totals, wherein data are displayed with both color and area as a function of their values. Cartograms are analogous to pie charts in which the slices of the pie are geographic regions rather than wedges. Maps that display data as cartograms are quite dramatic and will provoke reactions and spur dialog in the classroom.

Exporting ArcGIS Data to Google Earth

This tutorial teaches you how to save data layers and map documents into a format that can be imported and used in Google Earth.