A geographic information system (GIS) is a combination of hardware, software, and data that enables analysis of the location and characteristics of geographic phenomena. For a more complete explanation, visit www.gis.com.
Who is using GIS at U of T?
GIS is being used by a wide variety of students, staff, and faculty in a number departments and organizations associated with the university, including geography, anthropology, civil engineering, economics, forestry, geology, medicine, Near and Middle Eastern civilizations, and zoology. A list of contacts for university partners contributing to the ESRI campus site license (i.e. using ESRI GIS software) can be found here.
How can I learn to use GIS?
There are several ways you can learn more about GIS:
ESRI Virtual Campus: all U of T students, staff, and faculty are allowed to access the majority of ESRI's online courses. ESRI is the software company behind ArcView, ArcInfo, and ArcGIS. Note: you must have the required software installed on your computer to complete the courses. Each course requires an access code that is provided by the university's Licensed Software Office. For more information, go to their instruction page.
Undergraduate courses: there are a variety of undergraduate GIS courses offered at the U of T through the department of geography. The format and content of courses varies significantly between campuses, as does the software used. For specific course information, visit the department's website.
Graduate courses: there are a variety of graduate GIS courses offered at the U of T through the department of geography. The format and content of courses varies significantly between campuses, as does the software used. For specific course information, visit the department's website.
Software vendors: most GIS software companies, such as ESRI Canada and MapInfo, provide short, in-person courses
Do I need a background in math for GIS?
You do not need any advanced math skills in order to understand introductory GIS concepts. However, some experience with basic math, algebra, geometry, and statistics is definitely an asset, especially in advanced courses.
What courses do I need for a GIS minor?
For information on courses required for the GIS minor through the St. George campus, refer to the geography department's undergraduate handbook.