Resources Papers

Instructional DesignInterdisciplinarySkills & Technology

Work-Based LearningWork-Place Relevant
Resource link

Project Surveys

Trends Questionaire link
Clear pixel
Image Clear pixel Image
Clear pixel
BESAC Portal About us Contact Link to Curriculum Development Teams

Susan Vajna, Professor, Business Information Systems
Crafton Hills College

September 2001

All information within this document has been used by permission from
Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc., Redlands, California
The copyrighted information contained in this work is the exclusive property of ESRI.

ESRI Proprietary Rights Acknowledgment

The information contained in this work is the exclusive property of Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc., 380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92373-8100.

ESRI grants the recipient of the ESRI copyrighted information contained within these pages the right to freely use this information for classroom use.

GIS and Its Relevance to Business Majors

Notes to Business Instructors

WHY THIS PROJECT?? Many students majoring in business are looking for new business career options beyond the typical accounting, business law, marketing, and business administration courses taught at community colleges.? Many of you who teach in community college classrooms also expose students to applications software, workplace simulations and integration with the Internet, and Website design and development.? Furthermore, you have undoubtedly thought about developing, or are already teaching, courses in e-commerce.

Exposure to another area of study may prove exciting to students and lucrative to Business departments.? That area of study is GIS.

A career utilizing Geographic Information Systems is one of the fastest growing fields of study for geography and science majors.? It is, however, an area of study that has not yet caught the attention of Business instructors.? Yet it is an area that has caught the attention of many business owners and workers because of its efficient decision-making properties.

HOW I PROPOSE YOU USE THE GIS FOR BUSINESS MAJORS TUTORIAL? The tutorial document can be used as a handout for outside-of-class work, as a homework assignment, as a complement to the introduction of GIS in any business course, as an extra credit assignment, or as an instructor-led presentation.

NOTES ABOUT THE TUTORIAL DOCUMENT? The GIS for Business Majors tutorial document was originally created using Microsoft Word and is read only, with hyperlinks to a variety of Websites.? Copying this document to students? diskettes and instructing students to have the Internet active while working from this document will make all hyperlinks active.?

Because Internet Explorer and Netscape browsers will interpret this document differently, no .html version of this document is available for distribution.? Because Adobe Acrobat surrounds each hyperlink with a border, no .pdf version of this document is available for distribution.

RECOMMENDATIONS? If you copy this document to diskettes for distribution to students, it is recommended that you give an introductory demonstration of the maneuverability of this document.? Make certain that students (1) know how to open this file from the diskette, (2) know how to toggle off the Show/Hide button in Microsoft Word, (3) know how to click back and forward on their browser?s toolbar, (4) can identify hyperlinks, (5) know how to minimize and maximize windows, and (6) know how to zoom in and out of the document.

ABOUT THE TABLE OF CONTENTS? The table of contents follows and is included with these notes so that you can read a list of topics covered in the GIS for Business Majors tutorial.? The TOC is not hyperlinked.? It is recommended that you and your students explore topics in this document in the sequence in which they are listed, rather than randomly jumping from one topic to another.

GIS for Business Majors Tutorial

Table of Contents
Online Introduction Example of GIS Course Offerings

Geography Matters!

Certificate Program at University of California, Riverside

Online Tutorial GIS Careers and Additional Resources

What is GIS?
Who Uses GIS?
Industry Map Gallery

Associates and Societies
User Groups
Books and Periodicals
Building a Career
    Jobs in GIS

Online GIS Activities GIS News, Events, Trends

Related News and Industry Events
Technology and Trends

(Online) Kinds of GIS Software Learn More About GIS

What GIS Software Does
Free GIS Software
Commercial GIS Software
GIS Technology Standards

Foundations, References Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Online Tutorial Using ArcView GIS Software GPS Tutorial Online Tutorial from University of South Carolina Topographic Map Symbols Online GIS Store for GIS Books
(Online) About GIS Data Free GIS Stuff

Using Data in GIS
Why Data is Important
Data Types and Models
Selecting the Right Data
Links to Data Storage

GIS Training and Education Future of GIS

The Right Training for Students
GIS Degree Programs
Instructor-led Training
Online Learning at ESRI's Virtual Campus
GIS in the Classroom
Overview on



GIS for Business Majors

Where are our customers?
Where should our stores be located?
Where are our suppliers located?

Businesses need answers to lots of questions that begin with "where." GIS answers these questions more effectively than any other information technology by integrating a wide variety of data into one easily understood format?a map. The development of more powerful and affordable desktop computers coupled with the increased availability of business data has accelerated the use of GIS. Now more than ever, GIS means business.?


A.     Geography Matters! >

1.      Learn more about how GIS matters to specific industries

?         Local Government

?         Schools and Libraries

?         Disaster Response

?         Business

?         Environmental

?         Transportation/Logistics

?         Law Enforcement

?         Marketing and Sales

?         Emergency Medical Services

?         Electric and Gas

2.      Learn how GIS affects your everyday life

See this entertaining and informative Shockwave Flash animation movie of 14 vignettes showing how GIS affects your life throughout an ordinary day in ways you never imagined!

3.      Learn how GIS is for everyone

The GIS for Everyone book, CD, and accompanying Website introduces everyone to the concepts of GIS technology and its many uses.? Learn the basics of GIS technology.

  • Download GIS software tools for free
  • Share ideas with others learning about GIS
  • Download GIS data for your neighborhood
  • Discover the limitless possibilities of GIS

B.? GIS Is Key to Success for Many Organizations?

GIS projects come in all shapes and sizes and cover just about every industry. What is consistent between these projects is the success they have brought those that undertake them. On this Web page are just a few examples of what has been accomplished by others who started out with GIS.


An educational site and jumping station for information and advice on all aspects of GIS.? Note: You will find several of the hyperlinks in this document on this Website.

A.? What is GIS? >

  • How to use GIS
  • Why use GIS?
  • How to do GIS analysis
  • Related Web links

B.? Who uses GIS?

1.?? GIS through history >

2.?? Using GIS > Mapmaking >

3.?? Using GIS > Site Selection >

4.?? Using GIS > Emergency Response Planning >

5.?? Using GIS > Simulating Environmental Effects >

6.?? GIS for Your Specialty >


7.?? Specific Industries >

Select a professional area of interest and learn why geography matters to each industry and how you can use ESRI's GIS technology in your specialty.


Banking & Insurance

Real Estate

Retail & Commercial Business


Location Services


Defense and Intelligence


Libraries & Museums

Universities &

Community Colleges


Environmental Management





Law Enforcement

National Government

Public Service

State & Local Governments

Health and Human Services



Natural Resources



Mining & Earth Science



Electric & Gas

Water & Wastewater

C.    Industry Map Gallery

1.?? > Index


Environmental Management









Health Care

Public Safety

Crime Analysis/Police

Local Government


Disaster Planning




Natural Resources





2.?? Graphic display techniques >


A.? > Try GIS for Yourself

1.?? Links to Live Mapping Sites
You can try GIS in three ways:

  • Jump to one of the currently featured mapping sites at the bottom of the Web page on this website.
  • Use the search engine to search among the full catalog of sites that allow you to make maps.
  • Download free or trial versions of GIS software and try GIS on your local machine.

2.?? ESRI?s ArcData Online

ArcData Online is ESRI's Internet Mapping and Data Site. The ArcData Online site contains a wide assortment of geographic information that users can access to create map images and download data. ArcData Online is powered by ESRI Internet Mapping technology hosted in both the USA and Europe.


ArcData Online enables you to access a wide variety of geographic data sets to display and download over the Web. ESRI is also building custom mapping applications that allow people to answer questions about their area of interest. We have placed a few of these applications in our ArcData Online Map Studio for users to access. Some map reports are free (such as the earthquake maps); others are fee-based (such as the flood maps). We will be adding other mapping applications to the Map Studio in the coming months. We hope you find the applications interesting and informative!


Each of the Map Machine?s dynamic maps is created on the fly, according to your specifications. This is possible through a technology known as geographic information systems, or GIS. > Resources and Links (located near the top of this Web page)


B.    Fun With GIS


All work and no play makes for a very boring GISer. Take a break from your hectic day of mapping and spatial analysis with these fun links. Send a postcard, take a quiz or learn some trivia.

2.?? > GIS & GPS for Schools


  • What GIS software does
  • Commercial GIS software
  • Free GIS software
  • GIS technology standards

ABOUT GIS DATA > Data for your GIS

  • Using data in GIS
  • Selecting the right data
  • Why data is important
  • Links to data storage
  • Data types and models


1.?? > Education & Training

  • The right training for you
  • Online learnining
  • GIS degree programs
  • Self-study
  • Instructor-led training
  • GIS in the classroom


Tour ESRI?s Virtual Campus to see what courses are offered online

3.?? > Learning GIS

With its multi-faceted approach, learning GIS can seem daunting. Fortunately there are wealth of approaches you can take to get started. From structured curriculums to distance learning and online tutorials, check here to find out more.

4.? Scholarships >


Typical course offerings for a certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of California, Riverside.


1.?? > Additional Resources

?      Associates and societies

?    GIS glossaries

?      GIS user groups

?    GIS directories

?      GIS books and periodicals


2.?? Building a Career in GIS >

3.?? Internships >

4.?? Recruiters >

5.?? Jobs in GIS >

Job descriptions, how to survive a job interview, salary survey, building a career

GIS NEWS, EVENTS, TRENDS > News/Events/Trends

  • GIS and related news
  • GIS Day
  • GIS industry events
  • Technology and trends


1.?? Foundations of GIS >

2.?? References for GIS >

3.?? GPS - Global Positioning System >

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) is a technology that uses the locations satellites to determine locations on earth. GPS is an essential tool for GIS because it allows for the gathering of data that locationwise is highly accurate.
  • Links to online GPS tutorials, equipment, and other resources.

4.?? Online Tutorial using ArcView software from Institute for Geoinformatics, University of M?nster, Germany?>

5.?? GPS online tutorial >



Short course tutorial from University of South Carolina, pages 8-10, An Introduction to GIS Concepts.? (If you haven?t already done so, download the free Acrobat Reader from Apple?s Website to view this tutorial.)

7.?? Topographic map symbols >

8.?? > Online Store (for GIS books from ESRI)


All of the costs involved to learn GIS, purchase hardware and software, and obtain data can be a bit disarming. Listed here are some completely free GIS related resources.


ESRI?s Virtual Campus

For online GIS training, go directly to on the official Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc., website.

ESRI?s Bookstore

Choose the Books link on ESRI?s home page to see what books, workbooks, and other resources are available for purchase directly from Environmental Systems Research Institute.

The book ArcView GIS Means Business is available for purchase online at The book is loaded with full-color illustrations and comes with a bonus CD?ROM that includes a trial copy of ArcView GIS Version 3.0 software and a tutorial that teaches and demonstrates GIS concepts.? For only $19.95, it is well worth the experience.

Clear pixel
Image Clear pixel Image