This site is an educational portal for information and resources associated with the statewide Geographic Information Systems (GIS) license in the state of Minnesota. Geospatial technologies are one of the three fastest growing technology fields (Source: U.S. Department of Labor). To introduce students to the geospatial tools and skills that will be required for many high-demand jobs of the future, Minnesota through a partnership of organizations and individuals have negotiated a statewide license for ESRI Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.
The software will be available at no cost to qualified organizations in Minnesota. These include, but are not limited to:
- All K-12 public, private and charter schools
- K-12 aged formal and non-formal youth groups (including afterschool and summer programs)
Get started with FREE ArcGIS software, ArcGIS Online maps and Esri Virtual Campus training.
GIS technology in the classroom provides an opportunity to use the same tools used in high-demand careers to examine geographic questions, conduct analysis and explore themes. Students work with data in ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts. These skills are invaluable to studies in many subject areas, including science, mathematics, career and technical education, social studies, reading and language arts.
Set-up and Getting Started
The documents below will assist with setting up ArcGIS software, answer frequently asked questions and provide educators with resources to get started.
GIS 101: Analyzing Data and Creating Maps
This free seven-hour workshop introduces participants to using a geographic information system (GIS) to analyze data and create maps. Through a combination of presentations and hands-on exercises, participants will learn basic GIS concepts and the fundamentals of spatial analysis. While this workshop is taught using Esri ArcMap software, the concepts apply to geographic information systems in general.
- Workshop dates: November 8 and December 6, 2013.
Web mapping 101: Creating Online Maps using ArcGIS Online
This free three-hour workshop introduces participants to creating online maps using Esri’s ArcGIS Online platform. Through a combination of presentations, demonstrations and hands-on exercises, participants will learn the foundations of designing and sharing online maps. Topics covered include preparing data for use, accessing data on the web, working with thematic and reference maps and creating and sharing well-designed online maps.
- Session dates: October 23, November 13, and December 11, 2013.
Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education (MAGE)
The Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education is a group of educators who advocate for geographic literacy. The mission of the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education is to be the premier collaborative organization on the forefront of geographic education by providing resources for teachers and opportunities for networking and experiences that motivate and inspire teachers for the benefit of students.
Opportunities for teachers exist at MAGE through their workshops and conferences, student enrichment, and curriculum. Members receive announcements via the MAGE NEWSFLASH; a periodic email notification which broadcasts information about free or low-cost opportunities for Geography Institutes and Workshops (with graduate credit or CEUs), and opportunities for receiving free or low-cost teaching materials. MAGE is led by Coordinator David A. Lanegran with a Steering Committee comprised of educators from around the state of Minnesota.