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The Path to Self Education in GIS

“Self-education is lifelong curiosity.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita.

The internet has opened the door to a wide range of resources. In fact, more and more people are finding it easier to learn on their own. Honestly, school curriculums tend to be rigid, and if you are not curious enough, you just stagnate within the realms of the classroom environment. Does the term half-baked ring a bell? Self-learning can really help you bridge the gap between what you get from class and the market requirements.

When I personally started in GIS, I had limited knowledge. Over the years, I have discovered a lot of resources that helped me sharpen my GIS skills.

But what skills do I need?

Here I outline some of the invaluable skills that are very important for the current GIS market. I will also include helpful links where you can access free content to get you started. The list is not exhaustive, you can find more on the internet.

1.Critical Thinking

Forming a judgement about something is a skill you need to consider carefully both in GIS and in life in general. Logical thinking is a useful tool in GIS since most of the world’s problems are solved through critical thinking.

2. Programming skills

I need not reemphasize how programming has become vital to the modern day GISer (Add this word to your dictionary). The need to automate GIS tasks, creating Web Maps and Apps has made programming such an essential skill. Did you know you don’t need a degree in computer science to learn how to program? Really? Yes!! There are many free online courses in programming. From JavaScript to the versatile Python, you can become a programmer as easily as blinking.

3. Which software?

Knowing the GIS software in the market and knowing how to use them is very important. You can explore the range of free and commercial software available to sharpen your skills.


It may have killed the cat, but I have never heard the death of a curious human being. Curiosity drives you to seek knowledge and that’s how you become enlightened.

5. Networking

“No man is an Island” Bottom line: You need others to grow. Find fellow GIS enthusiast. Link with GIS professionals. You will thank me later.

Here are Useful Links. Please check them out.

  • QGIS (

  • ARCGIS (

  • Learn to Program in Python (


  • Python foundations at Udacity

  • One of the popular places for learning web mapping is w3schools. here you can learn the basics of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

  • And here are a few more websites that have inspired me all along: GIS Lounge, GIS Geography, Monde Geospatial.

Get your wheels Rolling !! Please feel free to reach out to me at my email

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