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Top 10 Resources for New Users

Are you a new GIS user or do you just want to know more about it? Esri has many resources that will help you quickly learn about how GIS technology can help you work more effectively.

  1. Subscribe to ArcUser, ArcNews, and ArcWatch for free.
    These publications are available at no charge.
    • ArcUser: Learn how to use Esri software to more effectively solve problems and improve processes; start, manage, and grow a GIS program; extend existing software functionality, or create custom solutions using Esri developer tools. Subscribe to the print version or read the digital magazine, PDF, or HTML versions of current and past issues online.
    • ArcNews: Learn where the GIS industry is headed and the latest developments in Esri's software. Subscribe and read the current issue or selected past issues online in digital magazine, PDF, or HTML versions.
    • ArcWatch: Get announcements, tips, articles, and links to resources in this monthly e-mail-only newsletter that keeps you up-to-date with what is going on in GIS. Subscribe today and read previous issues online.
  2. Make a map on ArcGIS Online.
    Make a map you can access anywhere—desktop, phone, or tablet—without purchasing either software or data. Use the arcgis.com map viewer and layers that have been shared on ArcGIS Online. Even if you don't know a thing about GIS, in a matter of minutes you can make a map that you can share on a blog, embed in a website, or email to someone.
  3. Read a blog.
    Esri has blogs that focus on the specific interests of developers, educators, managers, and job seekers. Two blogs that have more general appeal are the Esri Insider, which discusses strategic initiatives and trending topics and the ArcGIS blog, which discusses the latest developments in ArcGIS software.
  4. Visit ArcGIS Resource at the Esri website.
    Find maps and applications, blog posts, forum threads, videos, documentation, and tweets related to specific areas of interest such as 3D, Server, and Python.
  5. Get social.
    Follow Esri on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute information.
  6. Read an introductory book.
    Understanding GIS: An ArcGIS Project Workbook explains the methods, tools, and processes needed to apply full-scale GIS analysis to a spatially based problem. It contains self-paced tutorials with step-by-step instructions, access to a 90-day software trial to perform the analysis, and a DVD with the data needed for the project.
  7. Listen to a webinar.
    Live training seminars provide practical, specific, and current information in an hour long session. Topics can includes GIS tasks, tips, concepts, or new technologies. Attendees can log in remotely to the seminar and can pose questions or chat with other attendees. An archive of these recordings is available.
  8. Take a class.
    Training is available in a variety of classroom and online formats. Visit the Esri Training and Education portal to learn more and enroll.
    • Esri offers instructor-led courses held at the Esri Redlands campus or through the online classroom. Courses designed for specific industry solutions or products taught by Esri Professional Services and offered at your site are also available.
    • More than 120 web courses covering desktop, server, and mobile application topics are available. These courses consist of lecture, hands on exercises, review, and examination sections. Many courses have free introductory modules that let you try before you buy.
  9. Read help files and work the tutorials.
    In addition to supplying step-by-step instructions for using Esri software, online help includes information on related concepts that will give you a better understanding of the technology. Most programs come with tutorials and sample data.
  10. Go to a conference.
    Each year Esri hosts the Esri International User Conference, the largest GIS conference in the world, in San Diego, California. At this conference, you can attend hundreds of technical workshops by Esri staff; listen to paper sessions presented by GIS users from all over the world, network with thousands of GIS professionals, attend special interest meetings, and listen to industry leaders. Esri also hosts events specifically for GIS practitioners involved in education, homeland security, health, business, and other fields. In addition, many regional and state GIS organizations hold their own conferences. All these conferences provide new users with great opportunities to network with other professionals, see demonstrations, ask questions, and get hands-on experience with a variety of GIS software.
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