GIS Investigation Resources

Educator's Guide to ArcView GIS (Acrobat (PDF) 1.1MB Sep22 06)

This guide from the Saguaro Project at Science Education Solutions describes how to carry out basic GIS techniques, such as making a theme active, building a query, changing projections, etc. Although written for ArcView GIS, most of the techniques function the same in ArcVoyager GIS. Right-click on a PC or control-click on a MAC to download the guide from the link above.

Land Layers: A sample GIS lesson (this page may be archived)

In this lesson from the Center for Image Processing In Education, students relate the geographic distribution of roads, rivers, and cities of the United States to its topography. Although written for ArcView GIS, the analysis techniques and the downloadable shape files can be used with ArcVoyager/ArcExplorer GIS. Available at no cost.


These GIS activities from Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) cover a range of grade levels and subject areas including science, math, social studies, and technology. Most lessons are teacher-developed and available at no cost. ESRI is currently hosting the 2006 ArcLessons Challenge. Submit a new lesson by October 16 , 2006. Top entries will be published on the ArcLessons Web site and up to six awards will be given for lessons that help other students and educators. Students, educators, and administrators in the United States from K-12 education, colleges and universities, and libraries and museums are invited to participate.

Exploring the Dynamic Earth

In this set of curriculum materials from Science Education Solutions, students use ArcView GIS to explore plate tectonics and geologic hazards. This module is intended for beginning college classes. The high school version will be available in Fall 2006. Exploring the Dynamic Earth is one of four curriculum materials from the NSF-funded Saguaro Project. Available for purchase.

MassGIS (Massachusetts Geographic Information System)

At this site, download a very comprehensive set of images and shapefiles for the entire state. Images include scanned topographic maps and digital orthophotos (aerial photos). All shape files are in the NAD83 datum, Massachusetts State Plane Mainland Zone coordinate system. This means any of these shapefiles can be layered together in an ArcVoyager GIS View space. However, they should not be layered with the geographic data that comes bundled with ArcVoyager GIS. Available at no cost.

Geography Network

This site, sponsored by ESRI, is a global network of geographic information users and providers. Includes a range of GIS data, such as FEMA flood data, census data, street data, etc. Some data available at no cost. Other data available for purchase.

PIGWAD (Planetary Interactive G.I.S.-on-the-Web Analyzable Database)

Online mars maps and downloadable GIS data from the USGS. Includes Mars and other planets. Available at no cost.

Mapping the Environment

ArcView GIS modules from the Missouri Botanical Garden. Available at no cost.

GIS in Education

GIS lessons, data, and articles from Joseph Kerski at the USGS. Available at no cost.

Mapping Our World

This book from ESRI contains seven modules built around different geographic themes. Available for purchase.