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Posted on November 6th, 2015

By Clarke Iakovakis, November 6, 2015, 3:42 pm

All students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate in UHCL GIS Day 2015 on November 18, 2015 from 8:00-AM to 3:00PM at the Neumann Library!

GIS Day is an annual salute to geospatial technology and its power to transform and better our lives. The event will include:

Everyone is welcome and no GIS experience is required. See more information at the UHCL GIS Day website.

Interested in getting GIS software and training? All UHCL students, faculty, and staff can obtain a license to install and use ArcGIS for Desktop on their personal desktop or laptop Windows PC for one year at no charge to you. To request this license and access codes to free online GIS training modules, please fill out the ArcGIS License Request Form. If you are a faculty or staff member, please contact the Support Center at x2828 to request installation of the software.

Please contact Jeff Lash at or Clarke Iakovakis at if you have any questions.

Any individual requiring an accommodation in order to participate in this event will need to contact Clarke Iakovakis at 281-283-3914 or via email at at least one week prior to the event.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Houston, Texas at Night. Image Credit: International Space Station Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory. Image courtesy Nasa Visible Earth.

Free ESRI MOOC starts today: Going Places with Spatial Analysis

Posted on September 2nd, 2015

By Clarke Iakovakis, September 2, 2015, 6:56 pm

Register through September 15th for a free six week online course developed by ESRI, focusing on Spatial Analysis using ArcGIS Online.

Going Places With Spatial Analysis

GIS Software & Training

Posted on August 13th, 2015

By Clarke Iakovakis, August 13, 2015, 9:28 pm

*NOTE: About the blog subscription error

You need four things to get started using Geographic Information Systems: GIS software, training in how to use the software, data to analyze, and most of all an interest in thinking about geo-spatial relationships in your research. Fortunately for you, if you are a student, faculty, or staff member at UHCL you can get the first three at no cost to you! This post will describe how to get access to powerful GIS software and high quality GIS tutorials and courses.

ArcGIS for Desktop Softwareesri logo

UHCL has negotiated a site license with ESRI, the company that develops ArcGIS software. That means the software is installed on all computers in the UHCL Academic Computing labs and in the Neumann Library. But you can also get ArcGIS for your personal computers:

Students: All UHCL students can obtain a license to install and use ArcGIS for Desktop on their personal desktop or laptop Windows PC for one year at no charge to you. To request this license, please fill out the ArcGIS License Request Form.

Faculty and Staff: All UHCL UCT-supported computers are eligible for the installation of ArcGIS for Desktop. To request installation, call UCT at extension 2828 or email

GIS Training

Now you have the software, but how do you use it and what can you do with it? ESRI has developed hundreds of high-quality tutorials that will help you understand everything from fundamental concepts, to more complex spatial analysis, developing apps, and writing Python scripts. These tutorials include step-by-step instructions, datasets, and quizzes, and would cost you hundreds of dollars if you were not affiliated with UHCL, but we provide them to you at no cost! Browse the list of classes and fill out the ArcGIS License Request Form to request access codes for a class.

The GIS 20: Essential skills, by Gina Clemmer

The Neumann Library also purchases print and electronic books on GIS and geo-spatial analysis. Browse a list of available books on GIS. Become a specialist in a particular of GIS, like Web GIS, or Python scripting, or socio-economic applications of GIS. Use GIS to analyze crime patterns or address public health problems or model weather and climate. Learn about how GIS is being used in the humanities or how computer mapping became GIS. ESRI recently published the full text of The ArcGIS Book for free, available on the web or as an interactive PDF. This book “explores ten ‘big ideas’ that encapsulate the technological and social trends that have pushed geographic information systems (GIS) onto the Internet in a significant way.”

Massively Open Online Classes (MOOCs) are another source for training in GIS. ESRI will be presenting a course in “Going Places With Spatial Analysis,” beginning September 2nd. Penn State recently hosted two MOOCs on GIS, Geospatial Intelligence & the Geospatial Revolution and Maps and the Geospatial Revolution.

ESRI president Jack Dangermond said, ““The application of GIS is limited only by the imagination of those who use it.” GIS has applications in all disciplines, from humanities to human sciences, business, education, and natural sciences. As you learn the software, you will find yourself “thinking spatially,” or approaching research questions considering place, time, and distance.

GIS software is not much help if you don’t have any data; fortunately, over the last several years, governments have been making their data freely available over the web, and industry and academic researchers have likewise shared their data so that others can conduct new analyses and ask new questions. Next week, we will look at some of these online data sources.

wind map

Wind Map still image by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg via HINT.FM

The blog subscription error

Posted on August 13th, 2015

By Clarke Iakovakis, August 13, 2015, 9:03 pm

When you subscribe to this blog, you may receive the message: “Sorry, there seems to be an error on the server. Please try again later.” Please disregard the message: your email address is captured and added to the subscriber list. We are aware of the issue and are working to fix it. Thank you!

Welcome to the UHCL GIS User Group Blog!

Posted on August 3rd, 2015

By Clarke Iakovakis, August 3, 2015, 3:32 pm

Hello, and welcome to the UHCL GIS User Group Blog! The purpose of this group is to bring together UHCL students, staff, faculty and local community members who are interested in geo-spatial technology. This group will facilitate open dialogue, public awareness, data sharing, and professional development. Anyone can be a member of the group; no GIS experience is required. To sign up for our mailing list, go to and enter your name and email address in the box on the right side of the page.

This blog will be an information-sharing platform for all people at UHCL interested in Geographic Information Systems. Here we will post information about User Group meetings and activities, opportunities to get involved with the User Group, tips for using the software and finding data, and much more.

The User Group held its first meeting in April of 2015 with a great turnout and lots of enthusiasm. Students and faculty from a variety of disciplines, UHCL staff members, and even representatives from local businesses were in attendance to discuss methods for the User Group to connect online and in person. We talked about what projects we are working on, and we shared requests for training sessions. This fall, we hope to meet again and continue building our local network.

If you want to receive an email notification whenever a new entry is posted to this blog, please subscribe by entering your email address in the box on the right side of this page. If you are interested in contributing guest posts–for example, discussing your research involving GIS, please contact us.

Check back next week for how to get access to the top GIS tutorials created by ESRI, and tips on finding data to use in GIS!

Volcanic Eruption

Volcanic Eruption at Ninishino-shima. Image Credit: Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department, Japan Coast Guard. Image courtesy NASA Visible Earth.

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