"I wanted my students to excel in GIS, so I chose to teach ArcGIS Pro instead of ArcMap. I was surprised at how easy it was to make the switch!"
How a GIS Instructor Successfully Switched to ArcGIS Pro from ArcMap
Janardan Mainali, PhD candidate and instructor at Portland State University, needed to switch to ArcGIS Pro from ArcMap in just one month for an introductory geographic information system (GIS) online course he would be teaching. Switching to ArcGIS Pro from ArcMap is a challenge that isn't unique to Mainali. In fact, many instructors find themselves in the position of having to update course materials . In Mainali's case, making the switch was not as daunting as he anticipated. With resources available from Esri, he was able to seamlessly switch to ArcGIS Pro, create his classroom curriculum, and set his students up for success.
The biggest challenge was knowing which resources would fast-track learning ArcGIS Pro in just one month. Since Mainali had only used ArcMap, he faced a completely different interface and layout design when using ArcGIS Pro. "My biggest challenge was knowing how to get started in learning how to use ArcGIS Pro," he said. "Luckily, ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap are more similar than different."
Janardan Mainali, PhD Candidate/GIS Instructor, Portland State University
Switching to ArcGIS Pro from ArcMap
Esri Press books Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro and Switching to ArcGIS Pro from ArcMap
Mainali was able to successfully switch to ArcGIS Pro with resources from Esri and begin to teach his online course Introduction to GIS—all in one month.
Esri Press books Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro and Switching to ArcGIS Pro from ArcMap were the go-to resources for Mainali while learning ArcGIS Pro.
Vital Source, a digital textbook delivery platform for most Esri Press books, was a crucial solution in getting Mainali's course textbook available in digital format for students. They had the option to buy or rent the digital version, and 95 percent of the classroom students adopted the e-textbook.
"The e-textbook from Vital Source was so much better for my students, enabling them to directly access resources just by clicking within the e-textbook," said Mainali.
Other resources that Mainali and the students found helpful were the following:
- "ArcGIS Pro Learning Resources"—Esri Community blog post
- Get Started with ArcGIS Pro—tutorial
- "Helping You Migrate to ArcGIS Pro"—ArcUser article
- "Why You Should Move to ArcGIS Pro"—ArcUser article
Switching to ArcGIS Pro resulted in Mainali's students creating map layers and publishing maps with ease. Because ArcGIS Pro is well connected to the Geospatial Cloud, students were able to use on mobile apps like ArcGIS Collector. "It feels like having GIS on the go. It's more portable than ArcMap," said Mainali.
During the semester, students conducted insightful GIS research projects like the following:
- A study on the increases in housing prices due to new grocery stores in the neighborhood
- An analysis of excess housing projects
- A suitability analysis for solar energy
- Salmon habitat modeling
- A spatial analysis of pollution's impact on coral reefs
Mainali has continued using ArcGIS Pro for GIS analysis. Ultimately, his motivation in switching to and teaching ArcGIS Pro was to equip his students with the latest and most relevant GIS skills so that they can apply those skills in future courses and their careers.
If you are looking to make the switch, check out Switching to ArcGIS Pro from ArcMap and Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro. Evaluation copies of Esri Press textbooks now are available to qualified educators worldwide.
If you'd like someone from Esri's education team to help you make the switch, fill out the form below.
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