Workshop Descriptions

Hands-On Drone-to-GIS Workflows

Sponsored by the Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology, in coordination with RS&GIS and Northwest Michigan College.

Introduction to ArcGIS
Date has been changed from 11/6/2017 - 11/7/2017 to 11/2/2017 - 11/3/2017

ArcGIS II - Beyond the Basics
Date has been changed from 11/8/2017 to 11/9/2017

Stay Tuned for 2018 Training Dates!

This unique and comprehensive, instructor-led training course is taught by experts in the fields of Aviation and GIS. Participants will learn how to effectively and legally deploy drones and process imagery data for real-world applications. Participants will leave the course with a clear understanding of the Drone-to-GIS workflow, including becoming a Remote Pilot-in-Command*, planning and completing missions and analyzing the resultant data. During the course, participants will complete the following:

  • Learn the current FAA regulations for UAS operation and the requirements for obtaining an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate
  • Plan autonomous drone missions using inexpensive, yet powerful planning software
  • Fly multi-rotor drones, as well as observe autonomous missions
  • Learn how to process imagery into usable products, such as image mosaics, surface models and indices using Pix4D software
  • Learn the basics of visible and near-infrared (VNIR) remote sensing, ground control data collection, photogrammetric principles and more
  • Examine drone imagery and surface model data along with existing publicly-available GIS data using freeware (QGIS and QT Reader) and commercial GIS software (ArcGIS)

Length: 3 days
Fee: $1,500

Note: No prior experience required.

* While this course is not intended to be a Remote Pilot Certificate prep course, many topics covered on the Remote Pilot exam will be discussed. It is recommended you invest time in further study before taking the exam.

Introduction to ArcGIS

Schedule: November 2-3, 2017

This two-day course demonstrates the complex capabilities of the ArcGIS software. Through conceptual overview and hands-on applications, participants will learn how to perform powerful queries and map displays. Participants will become familiar with the ArcGIS graphical user interface (GUI) and explore methods for creating, editing, displaying, querying, and analyzing geographic and tabular data in this software. Course textbook is included in the fee.

Length: 2 days
Fee: $700
CEU: 1.3

Note: No prior experience required. This course does not qualify for those seeking to become an Esri certified instructor.

ArcGIS II - Beyond the Basics

Schedule: November 9, 2017

Are you ready to move beyond shapefiles and simple ArcGIS operations? This one-day course will move beyond the basics by teaching participants how to properly structure a geodatabase, georeference data, edit vector data using a variety of advanced techniques, and create secondary data from existing raster datasets, such as cartographic contours and distance information. Participants will also construct geo-processing models using ModelBuilder and save them to their own custom toolbox. The course culminates in the creation of a map that incorporates advanced techniques such as page definitions, inset maps and data-driven pages.

Length: 1 day
Fee: $350
CEU: 0.7

Note: This course is suitable for those who have a basic understanding of ArcGIS for Desktop software and some experience in creating and editing geospatial data.  Introduction to ArcGIS is a suggested prerequisite.

SAW GIS Workshop Using ArcGIS

Schedule: TBA

This SAW-focused workshop is a 2 day course covering principle GIS concepts and techniques.  This course will focus on techniques relevant to creating, editing, and managing data related to stormwater and wastewater systems.

Topics Include:

  • Data formats, sources and integration
  • Geodatabase construction and data migration
  • Field data collection techniques
  • Image and map geo-rectification
  • Converting and connecting tabular data to spatial data
  • Vector data creation
  • Building geometric networks
  • Processing elevation data to model catchments
  • Building multi-criteria models
  • Creating aesthetically-pleasing maps
  • ...and more

Length: 2 days
Fee: $850

Note: This course is suitable for those who have a basic understanding of ArcGIS for Desktop software and some experience in creating and editing geospatial data.  Introduction to ArcGIS is a suggested prerequisite.

Custom Courses

In addition to our regularly offered courses, we offer customized training on several geospatial topics. Some of our previous courses are listed below. Please contact Robert Goodwin for more information.


Introduction to ArcGIS Online for Organizations is a new Esri product that provides GIS Software as a Service (SaaS). This course will introduce you to the main features of and how to take advantage of them in order to generate, share and publish GIS data. You will also learn how to use the administrative tools of in areas like: how to create an account, a subscription, how to customize them, how to manage roles and groups. Some basic understanding of GIS is desirable but not required. Because of the unique nature of, the best way to understand how you can best leverage the technology is for RS&GIS to create a custom workshop specific to your requirements.

Length: 1 day

Getting Your GIS Project off the Ground...

Ready to take the plunge into GIS - the world of geographic data, spatial analysis, and cool maps? Uncertain about how to get started? This workshop will introduce you to the full realm of ArcGIS project management - from the hunt for data to the final output map. Topics will include data gathering, coordinate system conversion, map document organization, and graphic layouts.

Length: 1 day

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience.

Using ArcToolbox for Vector and Raster Analysis

Using ArcToolbox and advanced editing functions, participants will learn complex data manipulation and analysis techniques. Using vector data, focus will be on overlay & proximity concepts. In addition, participants will become familiar with the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst Extension interface within ArcToolbox. They will learn the basics of raster usage, and apply these basics using local, focal, zonal, global and application functions, including, but not limited to surface analysis, density and geometric transformations.

Length: 1 day

Note: This course is suitable for those who have basic ArcGIS experience in creating and editing vector datasets and are familiar with the general concepts of raster data.

ArcGIS - Introduction to Geodatabases

Are you finding shapefiles less than satisfying?  Do you need to move to a more powerful data model?  This course is designed to introduce you to the basics and "not-so-basics" of Esri's geodatabase file format. Explore structure, topology, annotation, domains, subtypes, and relationships. Learn how to convert existing datasets to the geodatabase format and implement this enhanced data capacity into your work environment. The class will focus on File geodatabases with an overview of Enterprise (ArcSDE) geodatabases capabilities.

Length: 1 day

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience.

ArcGIS - Map Design

Learn how to produce dynamic output graphics in ArcGIS. This course will introduce you to the fundamental principles of map design including purpose/audience, proper use of color, symbology, and text, and aspects of visual balance/figure-ground relationships. Following this cartographic introduction, course participants will apply these fundamental concepts to hands-on map creation in ArcGIS. Technical training will focus on thematic map types and classification methods, layout design, and the functional skill sets of element placement, legend construction, text versatility and printing.

Length: 1 day

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience.

ArcGIS - Labeling & Map Annotation

Focus on labeling and map annotation capabilities in ArcGIS and their key differences. Learn the basic concepts of label placement, legibility and design. Manipulate standard labels using label weights & priorities, label classes, label expressions, vb scripting, and more. The class focuses on the Standard Label Engine, but will touch upon the Maplex Label Engine. In addition, learn how to create and manage map annotation, working with annotation classes, layer associations, annotation scale, unplaced annotation, and formatting tags.

Length: 1 day7

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience.

Geodatabase Annotation

An overview of standard and feature linked geodatabase annotation. This class will concentrate on managing annotation feature classes in a geodatabase. Participants will use tools in both ArcMap and ArcCatalog to convert their labels into geodatabase annotation, edit existing annotation, and create geodatabase annotation from scratch. They will gain experience working with annotation related toolbars, annotation classes and subtypes, symbol substitution, overflow annotation and reference scale.

Length: 1 day

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience.

GPS Data Collection using Esri ArcPad

This one day course teaches the process of GPS data collection and is focused on the popular mobile GIS software program, Esri ArcPad. Participants will learn both the office and field sides of GPS data collection, including: proper creation of an Esri geodatabase complete with detailed attribution, data import and export between ArcPad and ArcMap, advanced field data collection techniques and differential correction using the MDOT CORS network. This course includes a hands-on field excursion.

Length: 1 day

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience. Enrollment is limited to 10 people.