Introduction of Mapping, Spatial Data and GIS Course.


Investigate the power of maps and spatial data to document and illustrate local and global issues. Learn how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to explore the world around you and share ideas. This IRES course will help participants apply GIS principles and tools to create your own maps from freely available online spatial data.

Discover the diverse uses of mapping, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial data, and how they underpin decision-making in every aspect of our lives. Explore and critically appraise maps to gain a better appreciation of the world around you. Learn how to use free open-source software (Quantum GIS) to import, display and analyze spatial data. Collect and integrate spatial data from a variety of sources. Experience realistic tasks in the context of international case studies, which range from resource management, wildlife conservation and leisure hiking to archaeology and disaster relief. Apply your learning to create maps, which illustrate your own interests or hobbies, based on sound cartographic principles.


10 days

By the end of this course, participants will be expected to have gained the following skills:

  • Locate and acquire online data relevant to their personal interests.
  • Import their own data into a GIS from GPS, hard-copy maps, digital imagery, shapefiles, and XY coordinates.
  • Manage the spatial references of different data sources to align them within a GIS.
  • Manipulate and interrogate layers in a GIS.
  • Create basic maps with the elements necessary for readers to interpret them.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, participants will be expected to understand:

  • The diverse ways in which spatial data and GIS analyses are applied to help people better understand the world around them.
  • How they might source, edit and use spatial data in their own context.
  • Good practice for managing spatial data.
  • The definition of projections, datum’s and coordinate systems, and how knowledge of these allows different data sources to be mapped together.
  • The importance of metadata to record the source of data, and the degree of precision and uncertainty of spatial or attribute data.
  • The difference between raster and vector data formats, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • The difference between a GIS layer and the data it represents.

Course Outline

Module 1: What Are Spatial Data and Geographic Information Systems?

  • Exploration of the pervasiveness of maps and spatial analysis in our world
  • Consideration of the use of maps in the media
  • Installation of GIS software and initial steps in displaying spatial data

Module 2: Who Uses Spatial Data, Maps, and GIS, and What For?

  • Examination of GIS applications across different industries and leisure activities
  • Illustration of the power and versatility of maps and GIS through case studies
  • Exploration of patterns, such as osprey migration routes, in a wildlife case study

Module 3: Understanding Spatial Reference Systems

  • Learning how to refer to the spatial location of objects on the earth's surface
  • Translation of spatial locations to a flat map
  • Viewing and overlaying data from various spatial reference systems based on a case study

Module 4: Representing Spatial Features

  • Differentiation between discrete spatial objects and continuous surfaces
  • Understanding vector and raster data formats
  • Hands-on practice with both data types in a case study

Module 5: Interpreting Maps

  • Interpretation of symbols, contours, and scale on a topographic map
  • Navigation using a compass

Module 6: Working with Raster Layers

  • Exploration of the use of remotely sensed imagery to visualize environmental patterns
  • Manipulation of raster layers in a disaster relief case study

Module 7: Working with Vector Layers

  • Generation and editing of vector data through hand-digitizing
  • Addition of non-geographic information to new layers

Module 8: Introduction to Symbology and Cartography

  • Exploration of the art of cartography
  • Discussion on communicating messages to specific audiences
  • Modification of map features to identify spatial patterns

Module 9: Making Maps

  • Understanding key map elements (scale bar, legend, graticule)
  • Application of cartographic principles in a case study to create and export maps

Module 10: Introduction to Spatial Analysis

  • Exploration of GIS beyond map-making
  • Concepts in spatial analysis to create new data, identify patterns, and support decision-making

Enroll for this Course

We are proud to offer this course in a variety of training formats to suit your needs.


Enroll for a Face-to-Face (In-Person) Class

We use the highest quality learning facilities to make sure your experience is as comfortable as possible.

Register Here

Enroll for a Virtual (Zoom) Class

Join a scheduled class with a live instructor and other delegates.

Register Here

Enroll for an Online Self-Paced Class

Keep track of your own progression throughout your course and ensure continuous improvement.

Register Here

Benefits of Taking a Course at IRES


Our courses are carefully curated to keep you abreast of latest industry trends, technological advancements, and best practices. We employ a variety of teaching methodologies, including hands-on workshops, case studies, and interactive sessions, all aimed at fostering an engaging and effective learning environment. Our expert instructors bring a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience, providing our clients with insights that can be immediately applied in their professional lives.


Our courses serve as a vibrant platform for professionals to connect and engage with a diverse community of peers, industry leaders, and experts. By participating in our programs, you gain access to an invaluable network that spans across various sectors and geographical boundaries. This networking aspect is not just about forming professional relationships; it's about creating a supportive ecosystem where ideas, opportunities, and collaborations can flourish.


Our courses are designed to challenge and inspire professionals to step out of their comfort zones and explore new horizons. Through a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical application, our programs help professionals refine their existing skills and acquire new ones, making them more versatile and competitive.

FAQs & Course Administration Details:

This training can also be customized to suit the needs of your institution upon request. You can have it delivered in our IRES Training Centre or at a convenient location. For further inquiries, please contact us on Phone: +254 715 077 817 or Email: [email protected].
The instructor led trainings are delivered using a blended learning approach and comprise of presentations, guided sessions of practical exercise, web-based tutorials and group work. Our facilitators are seasoned industry experts with years of experience, working as professional and trainers in these fields. All facilitation and course materials will be offered in English. The participants should be reasonably proficient in English.
Upon successful completion of this training, participants will be issued with an Indepth Research Institute (IRES) certificate certified by the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA).
Payment should be transferred to IRES account through bank on or before start of the course. Send proof of payment to [email protected].
Accommodation and airport pickup are arranged upon request. For reservations contact the Training Officer. Email: [email protected] Phone: +254 715 077 817.

Who else has taken this course?

# Job Title Organisation Country
1 N/A Nigeria
2 Self Kenya