A Quick Start Guide to Mapping with GIS

The GIS 20: Essential Skills, Third Edition, helps those who are new to GIS or unfamiliar with it to quickly learn how to perform the basic GIS tasks of mapping, thematic mapping, and geocoding.

The author, Gina Clemmer, has been teaching these basic skills for two decades to students of all ages and backgrounds. The 20 lessons in this book are based on her experience. The result is a book that avoids using jargon and employs a project-based approach. “This book is an extension of my passion to help everyday people quickly learn the fundamentals of ArcGIS,” Clemmer wrote in the preface. “Once you see the power of GIS and see that you yourself can create maps easily, you simply can’t unsee it. GIS will change the way you think about presenting data and solving problems.”

She avoids discussions of the inner workings of GIS and focuses on providing clear, step-by-step instructions on how to perform the most commonly used tasks and functions such as downloading shapefiles and using essential tools in the software, preparing data for a map, geocoding addresses, making thematic and other types of maps, mapping latitude and longitude points collected with a GPS, using aerial photography in maps, and publishing maps.

Clemmer is the president of New Urban Research, Inc., a social research and training company based in Portland, Oregon. She has spent her career teaching GIS to anyone and everyone from New York City executives to the inhabitants of Alaska fishing villages so they can use GIS for making better decisions.

The GIS 20: Essential Skills is available in print (ISBN: 9781589485129) and as an e-book (ISBN: 9781589485136) from Esri Press ( or online retailers.