New MDOT classes have been added on June 12th & 13th

Workshop Descriptions

Hands-On Drone-to-GIS Workflows

Schedule:September 17 - 18

Location: Traverse City, MI – Northwestern Michigan College

This unique and comprehensive, instructor-led training course is taught by experts in the fields of Aviation and GIS. Participants will learn how to effectively and legally deploy drones and process imagery data for real-world applications. Participants will leave the course with a clear understanding of the Drone-to-GIS workflow, including planning and completing missions, processing data and analyzing said data in GIS. During the course, participants will complete the following:

  • Plan autonomous drone missions using inexpensive, yet powerful planning software
  • Fly multi-rotor drones manually and autonomously
  • Learn how to process imagery into usable products, such as image mosaics, surface models and indices using Pix4D software
  • Learn the basics of visible and near-infrared (VNIR) remote sensing
  • Generate 3D surface products, complete volumetric surveys and create vegetation indices
  • Ground truth information using Collector for ArcGIS

Before taking the course, it is recommended (though not required) that users have a basic level of GIS understanding and experience operating quadcopter drones.

Length: 2 days
Fee: $700

Note: No prior experience required.

* While this course is not intended to be a Remote Pilot Certificate prep course, many topics covered on the Remote Pilot exam will be discussed. It is recommended you invest time in further study before taking the exam.

Remote Pilot Training: Level 1

Schedule: May 15

Location: East Lansing, MI – Michigan State University

Level 1 Remote Pilot Training is appropriate for participants who have very little exposure to the operation of small UAS (sUAS). The objective of this course is for students to gain an understanding of multicopter sUAS while obtaining the skills required to safely conduct solo flight. Much of this class is devoted to hands-on flying. Topics include UAS components, multicopter control, principles of flight and hands-on flight. No prior experience is necessary. This course is taught by Northwestern Michigan College Aviation in coordination with RS&GIS at Michigan State University.

Length: 1 day
Fee: $350

Remote Pilot Training: Level 2

Schedule: May 16

Location: East Lansing, MI – Michigan State University

Level 2 Remote Pilot Training is appropriate for those pilots who possess the basic skills required for solo flight. The objective of the course is for students to learn the essential elements required to safely conduct commercial flight and mapping operations in the National Airspace System. Much of this class is devoted to hands-on planning and autonomous flights. Topics include airspace, flight planning, flight preparation, specific flight planning tools, and hands-on autonomous flight. Before taking this class, it is recommended that participants complete Level 1 Remote Pilot Training or have commensurate experience. This course is taught by Northwestern Michigan College Aviation in coordination with RS&GIS at Michigan State University.

Length: 1 day
Fee: $350

Drone-to-GIS: Level 1

Schedule: May 17

Location: East Lansing, MI – Michigan State University

Level 1 Drone-to-GIS training is appropriate for participants that wish to process overlapping static images collected by drones into usable products, such as image mosaics and surface models. Topics include an Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing, Drone-to-GIS workflows, photogrammetric principles and natural color drone imagery processing using Pix4D. Before taking the course, it is recommended that users either understand the process of capturing overlapping images with drones or complete Level 2 Remote Pilot Training.

Length: 1 day
Fee: $350

Drone-to-GIS: Level 2

Schedule: May 18

Location: East Lansing, MI – Michigan State University

Level 2 Drone-to-GIS training is appropriate for participants that wish to process multi-spectral images, understand GIS tools for data analysis & manipulation and learn how to integrate drone imagery into mobile GIS activities. Topics include Multi-spectral processing using Pix4D, GIS tools, drone data GIS processing (e.g., volumetric surveys, visualizing topography) and mobile GIS for ground-truthing. Before taking the course, it is recommended that users either understand the process of processing overlapping images into GIS products or complete Level 1 Drone-to-GIS Training.

Length: 1 day
Fee: $350

Introduction to ArcGIS

Schedule: March 5-6 | August 20-21

This two-day course demonstrates the complex capabilities of the ArcGIS software. Through conceptual overview and hands-on applications, participants will learn how to perform powerful queries and map displays. Participants will become familiar with the ArcGIS graphical user interface (GUI) and explore methods for creating, editing, displaying, querying, and analyzing geographic and tabular data in this software. Course textbook is included in the fee.

Length: 2 days
Fee: $700

Note: No prior experience required. This course does not qualify for those seeking to become an Esri certified instructor.


ArcGIS II - Beyond the Basics

Schedule: March 7 | May 9 | August 22

Are you ready to move beyond shapefiles and simple ArcGIS operations? This one-day course will move beyond the basics by teaching participants how to properly structure a geodatabase, georeference data, edit vector data using a variety of advanced techniques, and create secondary data from existing raster datasets, such as cartographic contours and distance information. Participants will also construct geo-processing models using ModelBuilder and save them to their own custom toolbox. The course culminates in the creation of a map that incorporates advanced techniques such as page definitions, inset maps and data-driven pages.

Length: 1 day
Fee: $350

Note: This course is suitable for those who have a basic understanding of ArcGIS for Desktop software and some experience in creating and editing geospatial data.  Introduction to ArcGIS is a suggested prerequisite.

Introduction to ArcGIS for MDOT

Schedule: February 22 | May 7 | May 21 | June 12 | | August 2 | August 13 | August 23 | October 11 | November 8

This one-day course was designed specifically for Michigan Department of Transportation employees. Through conceptual overview and hands-on exercises, participants are introduced to spatial concepts, ArcGIS functionality, tabular data & spatial queries, symbology, map-making and more.

Length: 1 day
Fee: $350

Note: No prior experience required. While this class is open to the general public, preference will be given to MDOT employees.

ArcGIS II for MDOT

Schedule: February 23 | May 8 | May 22 | June 13 | August 3 | August 14 | August 24 | October 12 | November 9

This one-day course is a follow-up to Introduction to ArcGIS for MDOT and was designed specifically for Michigan Department of Transportation employees. This course moves beyond the basics and focuses on geodatabase creation, vector editing, linear referencing systems, mobile asset collection and advanced layout techniques.

Length: 1 day
Fee: $350

Note: While there is no pre-requisite for this course, it is recommended that participants first take the Introduction to ArcGIS for MDOT course or have commensurate knowledge. While this class is open to the general public, preference will be given to MDOT employees.

Basics of LiDAR

Schedule: April 25-26, 2018

This is an introductory workshop familiarizing attendees with the basics of LiDAR data and how to manipulate this data using standard GIS tools. This workshop assumes no former knowledge of LiDAR, but it is not an introductory GIS course. Attendees are expected to already be familiar with basic GIS concepts and methods.

The workshop is 2 days in duration and includes a mixture of lectures and hands-on exercises. The exercises use standard GIS software tools using ArcGIS version 10, as well as freeware programs. Exercises focus on specific case studies. Day 1 of the course focuses on LiDAR basics, while day 2 discusses LAS files and several advanced techniques, such as DEM and DSM creation, stream delineation and viewshed analysis.

This workshop is taught by representatives from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University.

Length: 2 days
Fee: $600

SAW GIS Workshop Using ArcGIS

Schedule: TBA

This SAW-focused workshop is a 2 day course covering principle GIS concepts and techniques.  This course will focus on techniques relevant to creating, editing, and managing data related to stormwater and wastewater systems.

Topics Include:

  • Data formats, sources and integration
  • Geodatabase construction and data migration
  • Field data collection techniques
  • Image and map geo-rectification
  • Converting and connecting tabular data to spatial data
  • Vector data creation
  • Building geometric networks
  • Processing elevation data to model catchments
  • Building multi-criteria models
  • Creating aesthetically-pleasing maps
  • ...and more

Length: 2 days
Fee: $850

Note: This course is suitable for those who have a basic understanding of ArcGIS for Desktop software and some experience in creating and editing geospatial data.  Introduction to ArcGIS is a suggested prerequisite.

Custom Courses

In addition to our regularly offered courses, we offer customized training on several geospatial topics. Some of our previous courses are listed below. Please contact Robert Goodwin for more information.

Introduction to ArcGIS Online for Organizations

Arcgis.com is a new Esri product that provides GIS Software as a Service (SaaS). This course will introduce you to the main features of arcgis.com and how to take advantage of them in order to generate, share and publish GIS data. You will also learn how to use the administrative tools of arcgis.com in areas like: how to create an account, a subscription, how to customize them, how to manage roles and groups. Some basic understanding of GIS is desirable but not required. Because of the unique nature of arcgis.com, the best way to understand how you can best leverage the technology is for RS&GIS to create a custom workshop specific to your requirements.

Length: 1 day

Getting Your GIS Project off the Ground...

Ready to take the plunge into GIS - the world of geographic data, spatial analysis, and cool maps? Uncertain about how to get started? This workshop will introduce you to the full realm of ArcGIS project management - from the hunt for data to the final output map. Topics will include data gathering, coordinate system conversion, map document organization, and graphic layouts.

Length: 1 day

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience.

Using ArcToolbox for Vector and Raster Analysis

Using ArcToolbox and advanced editing functions, participants will learn complex data manipulation and analysis techniques. Using vector data, focus will be on overlay & proximity concepts. In addition, participants will become familiar with the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst Extension interface within ArcToolbox. They will learn the basics of raster usage, and apply these basics using local, focal, zonal, global and application functions, including, but not limited to surface analysis, density and geometric transformations.

Length: 1 day

Note: This course is suitable for those who have basic ArcGIS experience in creating and editing vector datasets and are familiar with the general concepts of raster data.

ArcGIS - Introduction to Geodatabases

Are you finding shapefiles less than satisfying?  Do you need to move to a more powerful data model?  This course is designed to introduce you to the basics and "not-so-basics" of Esri's geodatabase file format. Explore structure, topology, annotation, domains, subtypes, and relationships. Learn how to convert existing datasets to the geodatabase format and implement this enhanced data capacity into your work environment. The class will focus on File geodatabases with an overview of Enterprise (ArcSDE) geodatabases capabilities.

Length: 1 day

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience.

ArcGIS - Map Design

Learn how to produce dynamic output graphics in ArcGIS. This course will introduce you to the fundamental principles of map design including purpose/audience, proper use of color, symbology, and text, and aspects of visual balance/figure-ground relationships. Following this cartographic introduction, course participants will apply these fundamental concepts to hands-on map creation in ArcGIS. Technical training will focus on thematic map types and classification methods, layout design, and the functional skill sets of element placement, legend construction, text versatility and printing.

Length: 1 day

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience.

ArcGIS - Labeling & Map Annotation

Focus on labeling and map annotation capabilities in ArcGIS and their key differences. Learn the basic concepts of label placement, legibility and design. Manipulate standard labels using label weights & priorities, label classes, label expressions, vb scripting, and more. The class focuses on the Standard Label Engine, but will touch upon the Maplex Label Engine. In addition, learn how to create and manage map annotation, working with annotation classes, layer associations, annotation scale, unplaced annotation, and formatting tags.

Length: 1 day7

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience.

Geodatabase Annotation

An overview of standard and feature linked geodatabase annotation. This class will concentrate on managing annotation feature classes in a geodatabase. Participants will use tools in both ArcMap and ArcCatalog to convert their labels into geodatabase annotation, edit existing annotation, and create geodatabase annotation from scratch. They will gain experience working with annotation related toolbars, annotation classes and subtypes, symbol substitution, overflow annotation and reference scale.

Length: 1 day

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience.

GPS Data Collection using Esri ArcPad

This one day course teaches the process of GPS data collection and is focused on the popular mobile GIS software program, Esri ArcPad. Participants will learn both the office and field sides of GPS data collection, including: proper creation of an Esri geodatabase complete with detailed attribution, data import and export between ArcPad and ArcMap, advanced field data collection techniques and differential correction using the MDOT CORS network. This course includes a hands-on field excursion.

Length: 1 day

Note: Class participants should have basic ArcGIS (ArcMap) experience. Enrollment is limited to 10 people.