ArcGIS Tutorials & Tip Sheets

This page includes information on getting starting with ArcGIS Desktop products (ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro) along with tutorials written for other ESRI platforms such as ArcGIS Online, ESRI StoryMaps, Survey123 for ArcGIS, Experience Builder, and more…

Getting Started with ArcGIS Desktop Tutorials

ArcGIS Basics – Somerville Land Use

Learn the Basics of ArcGIS by mapping Somerville, Massachusetts data from MassGIS. Learn how to symbolize data by unique values, label features, set a projection, create a locator map, and create a final map layout for export.

This tutorial takes approximately 2–3 hours to complete.

ArcGIS Basics – India

Learn the Basics of ArcGIS by mapping large and small-scale demographic data in India and Kolkata. Learn how to symbolize data by quantities, select by attribute and location, label features, set a projection, create a locator map, and create a final map layout for export.

This tutorial takes approximately 3–4 hours to complete.

ArcGIS Basics: Examining the Link between Human Epidemic Status & Cases of Yaws in Primates – Africa, 2013

Learn the basics of ArcGIS by mapping cases of Yaws in Africa by country and by primate outbreaks. Compare the outbreaks to primate habitats. This tutorial will cover symbolizing categorical and quantitative data, selecting by attributes, setting a projection, labeling features, creating a locator map, and creating two final map layouts for export. 

This tutorial takes approximately 2–3 hours to complete. 

ArcGIS Basics – Mapping the US

This tutorial shows you how to use the ArcMap module to create a simple map. You use ArcMap to create maps, query data, perform analysis, and most other basic GIS operations.

The tutorial may take 3–4 hours to complete.

Selection & Attribute Tools

ArcGIS Pro: Selections and Queries: Mapping the Transatlantic Slave Trade Database: 1676 – 1805

This GIS tutorial will lead you through the steps in ArcGIS Pro to create a thematic map of transatlantic slave embarkment ports in Africa between 1676 and 1805. This tutorial will cover adding data to ArcGIS Pro, symbolizing categorical and quantitative data, select by attributes and select by location, attribute table tools, and composing a final map layout.

This tutorial takes approximately 2 hours to complete.

Basic Mapping & Cartography Exercise – Haiti

This short tutorial focuses on mapping unique categorical values showing livelihood zones in Haiti. It also introduces users to the select-by-attributes query tools, labeling features, inserting a locator map, and creating a final map layout.

This tutorial takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

Basic Queries Exercise – Haiti

This tutorial teaches different selection tools, including Select by Attributes and Select by Location, in addition to attribute table functions. It also introduces students to spatial joins and zonal statistics tools.

This tutorial takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete.

Using the Selection Tools for Querying

With this tip sheet, you will understand how to use selection tools for fundamental basic queries and analysis with Select by Attribute and Select by Location. You will also learn how to view statistics for select records.

Viewing Statistics and Summarizing Information

This tip sheet explains how to get information for selected sets of records or see data summarized for types of features.

Working with Census Data

Working with Census 2000 Data from MassGIS

In this tutorial, you will use pre-processed census data from Massachusetts to create maps of
demographic and housing variables at the Block Group level. Important: This tutorial uses Census 2000 data, not 2010!

Downloading, Joining, and Mapping International Census Data – South African Census Tutorial

This tutorial covers how to access and download South African census data. It teaches how to clean and join the Excel data to administrative boundaries. Students symbolize quantitative data, review attribute table tools like field calculators and statistics, and create a final map layout.

This tutorial takes approximately 2–3 hours.

Downloading and Mapping Healthcare Census Data for Massachusetts – USA Census Tutorial

This tutorial teaches students how to access and download health care insurance census data for Massachusetts from the US Census Bureau website. It also covers cleaning Excel data, joining data to census tracts, field calculator, labeling features, and creating a nice final layout.

This tutorial takes approximately 2–3 hours to complete.

Downloading and Joining Housing Demographic Data in Boston, MA – USA Census Tutorial

This tutorial teaches students how to access and download the US Census Bureau website’s housing demographic data for Boston, Massachusetts. It also covers cleaning Excel data, joining data to census tracts, field calculator, formatting and labeling features, and creating a nice final layout.

This tutorial takes approximately 2–3 hours to complete.

Using Census Data to Calculate Social Inequality in Colombia

This tutorial uses international census data from Colombia to review Joins and Selection tools. The tutorial aims to teach students how to create a vulnerability model within the Attribute Table by Adding Fields and using Field Calculator. Students will create a final map layout showing social inequality and vulnerability.

Using Census Geolytics – Neighborhood Change Database

Census Geolytics Neighborhood Change Database is an archive of census data at the census tract level for 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000. Tufts Data Lab has purchased this and other Census Geolytics products.

Geocoding and Adding Latitude & Longitude (XY) Data

Geocoding vs. Latitude & Longitude (XY) Data using Axle (Reference USA) Data

In this exercise, you will map businesses from an Axle (previously Reference USA) database. The exercise demonstrates three methods for geolocating business (or other address-based) information to compare accuracy. It will cover using latitude and longitude (XY) coordinates, using address information geocode using Census TIGER street centerlines, and geocoding to address points for the city of Cambridge.

Displaying Latitude & Longitude (XY) Data

In this tutorial, users will learn how to import a table of longitude and latitude (or XY coordinates) as points to work with them in GIS.

Geocoding Addresses with Google Maps

This tutorial uses data about Cambridge grocery stores from Reference USA to visualize Google Maps data and convert it to ArcMap shape files.

Converting Google Earth .kml Files to .shp Files (and vice versa)

This tutorial shows how to convert a feature or raster layer into a KML file format to display these geographic data in an Earth browser (e.g., Google Earth, Google Maps, ArcGIS Explorer, ArcGlobe). If you have built a map in Google Earth that you would like to import to ArcGIS, this tutorial will also lead you through converting Google Earth files to ArcGIS layers.

Downloading Data with DNRGPS and Importing to ArcMap and Google Earth

This tutorial explains how to download GPS waypoints from a GPS unit, view the points on Google Earth, and import the data to ArcMap.

Spatial Analysis

Raster Suitability Analysis: Siting a Wind Farm Facility North of Beijing, China

The purpose of this suitability analysis is to find optimal locations for an energy storage facility that will serve Wind Farms in the region north of Beijing.

ArcGIS Pro Raster Suitability Analysis: Who were the Indo-Europeans and where did they live?

The goal of this tutorial is to learn how to conduct a raster suitability analysis to determine the most likely
location of the Indo-European’s homeland considering various factors experts know about their culture and environment, including the density of Proto-Indo-European languages, distance to wild horse range in 5000BCE, and historical climate data. You will use the analysis criteria to determine which of the three proposed homeland hypotheses by Heggarty et al is the most to least likely for their homeland.

Raster Risk Assessment: Determining the Risk of Malaria Transmission in Ethiopia

The purpose of this analysis is to determine the overall risk of Malaria transmission throughout Ethiopia when considering proximity to rivers, elevation, slope, land cover, and accessibility of health clinics.

Proximity Tutorial: A Risk Assessment for Nuclear Power Plants in Southern New England

This exercise walks through a simple analysis of the population at risk around New England’s four nuclear power plants and exploring potential evacuation centers and routes. You can follow along and practice using the following tools: Spatial join, buffer and multi-ring buffer, near tool, point distance tool, and network analysis – service area.

Hot Spot and Kernel Density Analysis: Calculating the Change in Uganda Conflict Zones

This tutorial uses Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED) data to create hot spot maps of conflict events in Uganda for two time periods: 2000-2004 and 2005-2010. The final map displays where Uganda has experienced an increase and decrease in conflict over this time period. By the end of this tutorial, students will be familiar with the following tools: Kernel Density Tool, Raster Calculator, and Setting your Geoprocessing Environments.

Overlay Analysis: Using Zonal and Extract Tools to Transfer Raster Values

If you have raster data that you want to join to existing vector data, you can transfer these data values in ArcMap using the Spatial Analyst toolbar. Skills covered in this tutorial include enabling the Spatial Analyst extension, using the Zonal Statistics Tool to tabulate areas, using the Extraction Tool to transfer underlying raster data to points, and calculating a percent change using the Field Calculator.

Water Resources Tutorials

Introduction to ArcGIS for Water Resources Data

This tutorial explains how to map relevant watershed data for a watershed of your choosing. Part of this tutorial involves acquiring data from a government data service for a stream gage and watershed of your choosing.

Getting Started with ArcGIS Online (AGOL) Tutorials

Plastic Pollution in the Ocean: Using ESRI ArcGIS Online (AGOL) Map Viewer

This tutorial goes through an introduction to GIS, spatial data, and spatial formats. Then it goes through an activity creating a web map of plastic pollution in our oceans. It covers adding data, stylizing data, configuring pop ups and sharing a web map.

ArcGIS Online New Map Viewer Link
ArcGIS Online Class Map Viewer Link

Additional Resources