Best free Online GIS Courses, Classes, & Training with Certificates 2021

The list of the best GIS courses and training with Certificates was thoroughly and extensively researched from the best MOOC platforms online.

GIS is in full Geographic Information Systems and it is a tool used to analyze and present geospatial and spatial data in the form of multi-layered maps and visualizations. You can use GIS to monitor agriculture, topography, geology, and city planning.

Furthermore, in this content, we provided the list of the best GIS courses, GIS training courses, GIS certification courses, Gis courses online free, GIS online certificates programs available in 2021.

Also, there are both paid and free resources available for this course, to help you better understand Gis.

The list offers the best GIS courses and training with certificates. All of these courses are suitable for beginners, advanced, and GIS specialists.

To a geologist or a geographer, your knowledge of GIS helps you create, produce, and also digitize maps that are very cool and professional.

Map Your World With GIS. Explore the tools, concepts, and terminology of spatial analysis and modeling.

The knowledge of GIS is arguably one of the most sought after skills in the world today. The public sector, Agricultural sector, Geologic sector seek GIS specialists on a regular basis.

Before we dive deeper into the list of the best GIS courses and training with Certificates lets take a pick at some frequently asked questions on GIS.

Also Read:

Who is a GIS analyst?

A GIS analyst is someone whose work is data analysis, programming, and mapping. Its main functions include the analysis of spatial data through mapping software and digital mapping with geographic data and various other data sets.

How Can I Learn Gis for free?

You can actually learn GIS for free with these platforms.

  • Tufts University – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Urban and Environmental Analysis.
  • MIT – Spatial Database Management and Advanced Geographic Information Systems.
  • Penn State – Open Courses from the Geography Department with several for GIS.

Is GIS analyst a good career?

This question has a Yes and No answer. No GIS Analyst is not a good career reason being that GIS is an area that is constantly growing, but unfortunately, GIS education is delayed by a decade or almost market demand, and therefore GIS students are not ready to work in this industry. Yes! the GIS is a good career choice, but not in the way that the universities determine.

How can I learn GIS?

  • Subscribe to ArcUser, ArcNews, and ArcWatch for free.
  • Make a map on ArcGIS Online.
  • Read a blog.
  • Visit ArcGIS Resource at the Esri website.
  • Get social.
  • Read an introductory book.
  • Listen to a webinar.
  • Take a class
  • Read help files and work the tutorials
  • Go to gatherings.

Is GIS in demand?

Yes! GIS today is in demand in almost every sector. It is a fast-growing field with a high probability of employment.

According to P&S Market Research, the global GIS market could be worth $ 17.5 billion by 2023. With this expansion comes an increasing demand for surveyors, cartographers, photographers, GIS analysts, and GIS experts.

Online Gis Courses

Have you been on the lookout for some online gis courses? Worry no more, notwithstanding, I have compiled some online gis courses here for you to choose from and learn at your own pace.

Knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an increasingly sought-after skill in industries ranging from agriculture to public health.

However, this specialization, offered in partnership with the developer of ArcGIS Esri, will teach you the skills you need to successfully use your GIS software in a professional environment.

Interestingly, you will learn how to analyze your spatial data, use mapping techniques to communicate your findings on maps, and collaborate with your peers in areas relying on GIS and GIS.

Also, in the Final Project, you will create a professional-quality GIS portfolio piece using a combination of data identification and collection, analytical mapping development, and spatial analysis techniques.

This is a beginner level course offered on Coursera platform. Also, you will learn some interesting skills in some of the gis courses listed here for you like satelite imagery, spatial visualization, Data Analysis, Data Visualization (DataViz), Software Analytics, Workflow Data Management and many more.

Lastly, you will earn a certificate of course completion at the end of the course.

Free Online Gis Courses

There are quite a few online platforms that offer free online gis courses. However, I have researched thoroughly and have rounded up some free online gis courses from some reputable online platforms.

However, here is an opportunity for you to seize some of the resources that provide you access to free online gis courses from some of the world’s best universities and institutions. 

Learn GIS on your own or supplement your existing geospatial education with these free resources. Below are some of the free resources.

MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) GIS

There are some MOOC platforms that offer free online gis courses. It is now left for you to seize this opportunity and learn gis for free.

This is a kind of learning that doesn’t require you to be present at a classroom, A kind of distance learning, MOOC offers free online education to tens of thousands of students at one time.

Penn State offered the first known GIS-related MOOC entitled “Maps and the Geospatial Revolution” in July of 2013 based on a four-part video series by the same name: “Geospatial Revolution“.

In the nearly five years since the first MOOC GIS, the number of free GIS courses available has increased

Esri now offers a series of GIS MOOCs each year covering spatial analysis, cartography, imagery analysis, and mapping apps.  UC Davis offers a five-series course on GIS that can be audited for free. 

 You can search for other geospatial courses by browsing the listings at MOOC platforms like Coursera and EdX.

Self-guided GIS

There are a few options for self-learning GIS. Many public libraries in the United States subscribe to, a subscription site that offers online lessons.

 Check with your local library to see if they have a subscription, providing you with free access to this site’s GIS tutorials.

The Open Textbook Library provides free access to two online GIS textbooks: Essentials of Geographic Information Systems by Jonathan E. Campbell and Michael Shin, both from UCLAand Nature of Geographic Information Systems by David DiBiase from Esri.

OpenCourseWare – Free GIS Courses from Universities

OpenCourseWare (OCW) are free courses published by universities and available to the public on the Internet. However, this is not a MOOC platform, where all students learn the same materials at the same time, OpenCourseWare materials are out of sync and students navigate through the materials themselves.

High-ranking universities such as MIT, Yale, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan offer OpenCourseWare. In contrast, these courses are outdated (especially for technical classes), but the basic principles and concepts are still valuable.

Some examples of OpenCourseWare GIS courses:

Free GIS Courses from Esri

Esri offers a large number of free and paid courses that teach a variety of courses, mostly for learning Esri’s GIS suite of programs.

There are several free online gis courses available from Esri. Some examples of some free Esri GIS courses are Introduction to GIS, Teaching with GIS: Introduction to Using GIS in the Classroom) With ArcGIS .com and Python for everyone, free registration with Esri is required to take any of their courses.

Free QGIS Courses and Tutorials

GeoAcademy offers a five-course series on learning QGIS.  The courses cover learning spatial analysis, managing data, cartography, and remote sensing.

The QGIS site offers a training manual for learning QGIS broken down by modules, each with a lesson.

Gis Online Courses

Here are some gis online courses, carefully and thoroughly researched to give you the best resources as regards gis. Click on each of them to get the full details of the course and also, how to go about the course.

Gis Courses Online

Here is are some of the gis courses online that are worth taking a peek at. However, i have been able to study comprehensively and have hand picked a particular course that stands out from the rest.

After taking this course, you will become Proficient In Spatial Data Analysis Using R & QGIS By Working On A Real Project – Get A Job In Spatial Data!

Also, You will have a greater clarity of basic spatial data concepts and data types.

Click on the image below to get the course

Best Gis Certification Courses

Here are some gis certification courses for you to enroll in and earn a reputable certificate from a reputable online platform.

The GIS Certificate program at Seneca College is designed to provide students with a solid general foundation in GIS applications.

The program, however, gives you the ability to visualize, understand, interpret, question data (in the form of maps, globes, reports, and graphs) and integrate images of the Earth with other data to solve geographic problems.

However, the skills acquired in the program can be applied to any discipline in both the public and private sectors.

Graduates of this program are prepared for entry-level positions in the fields of urban planning, civil engineering, transportation engineering, natural resources, and business.

Free Gis Courses

Here are some free gis courses offered by several institutes and universities to help hone your gis skills.

Pennsylvania State University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Trinity College

Data Visualization for All:

Esri Academy

Gis Training Courses

Here are some gis training courses offered by ESRI one of the leading industry on training and certification of gis.

Do you wish to get started with Gis and don’t know how? Don’t worry, ESRI got you covered.

A geographic information system helps people visualize and create information that can be used to make decisions and solve problems.

However, you will get an introduction to the basic components of a geographic information system in this course.

Also, you will learn the basic concepts behind the use of geographical information systems with practical experience with maps and geographic data.

free online gis courses with certificate

Here are some free online gis courses with certificates

Gis Courses Nyc

Have you been on a look out for some gis courses nyc? We got you covered.

The NYS GIS Association has compiled a list of training resources as a service for its members. For information about the association’s upcoming webinars, see the home page and events calendar. For all other exercises, contact your course provider for additional information.

Click on the link below to get the full details about some gis courses nyc.

Gis Courses Free

I have rounded up some gis courses free for you to choose from and learn Gis at your own pace and also, without cost.

Pennsylvania State University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Trinity College

Data Visualization for All:

Esri Academy

Is a GIS degree worth it?

Yes GIS degree is worth it! Are you contemplating whether or not to go for it? Now more than ever is the right time to apply for it. Go ahead and you won’t regret it. Trust that the geospatial industry will continue to grow. It is a great place to be and if you are skilled you can be employable.

What is the salary of a GIS analyst?

An average GIS specialist or Analyst in the U.S makes $48,962 every month as salary. The range falls between $44,511 and $52,682.

What jobs can you get with GIS?

  • Remote Sensing Analyst.
  • Geographic Information Systems Specialist.
  • GIS Administrator.
  • Senior CAD Designer.
  • GIS Developer.

How do I become a GIS developer?

Software developers generally have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills. Software developers generally earn a bachelor’s degree, usually in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable.

How do I get ESRI certified?

The Esri Technical Certification Program identifies suited individuals who are good at best practices for using the Esri software.

Get certified online
Run a system test.
Make an appointment for your exam.
Take the test.

The skills a GIS technician must have

  • Basic Programming Experience
  • Involvement in Professional Organizations.
  • A Great Network.
  • Keep Learning.
  • Software-Specific Knowledge.
  • Analytical and Critical Thinking.
  • Project Management.
  • Sales Skills.

What is the difference between a GIS analyst and GIS technician?

GIS is a job to a GIS technician while GIS a commercial tool to do a job for a GIS analyst. GIS Analyst perhaps are more experienced than the GIS technician and there may be some specialized knowledge of spatial analysis in a specific field (such as oil, renewable energy, civil engineering, etc.)

What is the importance of GIS?

The Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system for obtaining, saving, analyzing, and presenting location data on the Earth’s surface. By joining seemingly irrelevant data, GIS can help people and organizations better understand spatial patterns and relationships.

Here is a list of the best GIS courses and training with certificates available online in 2020.

5 Best GIS courses and with Certificates in 2021

Now we are going to discuss the best GIS courses and training with certificates one after the other. Relax! You will relish every moment spent here and in the end, you will be happy you stumbled on this content.

#1. Geographic Information System (Coursera)

GIS is one skill that companies will pay heavily to get the best specialists. ArcGIS specialists are in high demand today. This course in partnership with ArcGIS developer Esri will extensively and succinctly teach you everything you need to know about GIS and also the necessary skills you need to successfully use GIS software in a professional setting

You will understand how to analyze your spatial data, use mapping techniques to communicate your results on maps, and collaborate with your peers in GIS and GIS dependent areas.

At the end of the project, you will be able to create a professional quality GIS portfolio using a combination of data collection and identification, analytical mapping development, and spatial analysis techniques.

Enroll now and set your career in the right track.

Benefits of this course

  • Create and work on raster data.
  • Development and analysis of data for the geospatial analysis project.
  • Develop an important processing workflow in ModelBuilder.
  • Interpret and explain your results compared to the original GIS question or hypothesis.

#2. Top GIS Courses (Udemy)

Udemy has a plethora of courses as regards GIS for you to choose from and have an in-depth understanding of the ArcGIS software.

Are you interested in specific GIS tasks like basic spatial analysis? or creating an institutional GIS using databases like PostgreSQL, Udemy has a set of highly-rated courses for you to choose from.

They also offer some important courses such as core spatial data analysis, the theory, and practice in GIS, open-source tools, and also fundamentals of remote sensing and many more. These courses are for both beginners, intermediate and experts in the field.

Benefits of this course

  • All topics are covered from the start, including browsing and installing the necessary tools.
  • Lessons contain tips and best practices based on the teacher’s experiences.
  • Learn industrial techniques and skills that will help you reach large numbers of clients and successfully complete the assigned work.
  • Lectures contain illustrations and examples to clarify concepts.
  • Conferences + articles + downloadable resource + assignments + full lifetime access

#3. Getting Started with GIS (Esri)

Are you a beginner in GIS? Looking to get a good start in GIS? Search no more because Esri has got you covered.

You will understand the basics of ArcMap in this course, explore the necessary strategies and concepts to acquire the necessary GIS skill.

Before the completion of this course, you would have learned how to create a GIS map, Evaluate data for use in a GIS mapping project, Visually analyze feature relationships and patterns on a GIS map, and lastly Share GIS maps and analysis results.

Benefits of this course

  • Create a GIS map
  •  Introduce necessary software, tools, and get familiarized with the interface of the websites as by requirement.
  • Obtain valuable skills that will be helpful for applying to relevant profiles or going freelance.

#4. GIS on the Web (LinkedInLearning – Lynda)

The instructor Dr. Jason VanHorn is an expert in cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), and spatial analysis. He will explicitly teach you how to use some GIS tools like Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Esri to create map mashups: multilayered visualizations that combine data from multiple sources.

Furthermore, you will understand how to use these tools to analyze geographic data and create interactive, mobile-ready maps that convey your ideas better than ever.

Benefits of the course

  • The illustrations make the classes much more understandable and clear.
  • The tasks and tests give you an opportunity to study the concepts covered in the lectures.
  • The option of ‘view offline’ allows you to attend classes without the internet and on the go.

#5. Real-World GIS Free Course (LinkedInLearning – Lynda)

This is another wonderful GIS course provided by LinkedIn. Do you have a solid foundation or knowledge of GIS? This is your opportunity to improve your skill.

GIS requires training in cartography, database management, and spatial analysis.

After taking this course, it will help you master GIS, practice scenarios, and answer some questions you receive from other GIS professionals, including: Where can I get high-quality data? How do I create projections? What is an inexpensive solution to collect geospatial data? Where do I find work at GIS?

Benefits of this course

  • The lectures include detailed instructions on how to start the exercises.
  • The exercises are available to practice online as well as to learn without an Internet connection.
  • “Offline viewing” option allows you to attend classes without the internet and on the go.
  • The training is divided into appropriate sections along with the relevant exercises.


We have come to the end of this wonderful piece on the best GIS courses and training with certificates, GIS online certificates, and also Geospatial courses. There is a particular course on the Introduction to GIS courses later to come into this platform. Stay tuned!

These courses have been explicitly written, after taking them, you will witness a sudden turn around in your career as a GIS Analyst.

Furthermore, it has been clearly stated that the list contains both paid and free resources available to help you better understand Gis, and also these courses are suitable for both beginners, intermediates, and experts in Gis.

You will get a certificate of course completion when you go for the paid courses, on the contrary, you won’t get any if you go for the free courses.

I would recommend Udemy if your budget is low. But you can enroll for free here on Coursera now.

I hope this information was helpful to you, I wish you a happy learning. Enjoy!!!! Please, drop a comment in the comment session to tell us how you feel about the list and some questions as well. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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