AGOL Training

Hawaii is the first state to have free K-16 access to GIS tools!!


How to Start (without signing in)
Using a Phone for GPS
Adding .CSV files
Maps and Data Tables
Sharing Options
To Gain Skills
Hui Ideas We’ll Follow Up On

Mahalo to Sandy Webb for transcribing the following notes during a STEMworks™ GIS Training Workshop with Charlie Fitzpatrick:



  • Esri focusus on GIS software and creates tools to serve a wide variety of industries
  • Community/industries – everyone uses it because it helps solve problems

Huge job opportunity – defense/homeland and fossil fuel companies are hiring people with GIS skills so other industries need workforce trained in GIS

Start GIS`ing now!

Quick Introductory Activity (without signing in):

  • Go to and click “map” (play with the world map)
  • Play with the “Basemap” buttons
  • Use the search box in ArcGIS to find your home (some base maps won’t show if you’re zoomed in too close)
  • GIS data comes from difference sources (urban areas get updated more often), but you can look up the source
  • Play with main buttons (content button)
  • For teachers: Have students look at the same part of the world
  • Play with “Modify map” (allows user to search for layers)
    • Have students add the same layer to the map
    • Click “done adding layers” then click on “legend” button to see what the colors mean
    • Practice at least three times!
    • Add 2 layers (the same) and zoom….
    • Use sandwich analogy: how many layers – it’s a sandwich making instrument so you can explore relationships between layers
      • Sometimes one layer obscures another
      • Use “contents” button to turn layers on and off (whichever layer is listed on top shows on top). You can change the order (click on the triangle next to a layer for more features)
        • Play with the transparency button
      • Some layers work better at different scales
      • Some base maps work better with different layers (the light grey map works great to show colors: it’s a neutral background)
    • Click on any polygon to find out more information/data

    Using a phone for GPS

    • Add an app so that your phone works just like a GPS unit, for example, to track movements
    • Will need to save files with .gpx

    Adding .CSV files

    • Csv is a good file to use: it’s just a spreadsheet. As long as there are GPS coordinates, it can be turned into a map (helps students visualize patterns). Drag a csv file with GPS data onto a map and it’s magic – it creates a map!
    • Teach major coordinates and X/Y coordinates, teach prime meridian and teach latitude and longitude
    • GPS must be in decimal/degree format
    • Clicking on a data point (feature) will give you information about that point (attributes)
    • Go back to contents and click on the arrow to the right of the layer. Click on table to see all data – can sort data in ArcGIS (right click on heading of column)
    • Use earthquake example to inquiry and look at patterns: go to the layer options and “change symbol”, then click on “size” and the attribute from the table you want to visualize (this is how you get bigger dots for larger numbers)
      • Click on options to change all symbols (practice with symbols until it’s clear) and play with communicating data

    Maps and data tables
    Maps and data tables are tied together so you can play with both and see the changes

    • For teachers: use stick shift analogy

    Login and saving

    • Include name
    • Make sure students log out at the end of a period
    • When saving a map, add a tag (description)
    • Saving in same folder (my content) – systems slows down if everyone is saving into the same folder
    • If you save, you will have the opportunity to share and there are LOTS of options

    Sharing Options

    • Share button: share with world or no one (public account)
    • Get an organization account that provides more options
      • can share maps at several levels – allows for collaboration
    • Organizations can create files and move maps to files

    To gain skills:

    1. Use the ESRI skill builder – has great tutorials (includes help files and movies)
    • For teachers: make students go through the tutorial
    1. Online course built for teachers (takes about 2 hours to complete)
    2. Become a ConnectEd school –
    1. President Obama paid for learning resources to reach out to students: educators can apply for an organization account for their school. Click on “about” (has a great intro video) and scroll down to videos, student stories, RESOURCES

    DOE schools have demographic and marketing data access (If you can imagine it you can map it!)

    • For teachers: think of questions and attributes that you can use for inquiry
    • Census data
    1. Have students completely close browser and see if they can perform key tasks
    • Can give students same root username and password and assign each student/group a 3 digit number (makes it easier to manage). Learn how to do this is in the skill builder tutorial.
    1. if you want to add data, make sure the place you want to add data to is visible.
    • Search layers in ArcGIS Online for “ahupuaa”
    • Click it on and make the layer more transparent
    • Have students find their homes and determine which ahupua`a they live in
    • Have students add their school
    • To add data (point), click on Add. To add map notes, click on “Create”. Click on the map and the symbol will appear: give it a descriptive name (can change the symbol)
    • A skill to build is learning how to adjust the data points to change with the scale of the map
    1. To create a presentation:
    • Save and share your map
    • Click on the “Create Presentation” button
    • Create slides using the “add+” button
    • Click “Set to Current” button. Show all main Hawaiian islands – make a 3 slide presentation
    • Add titles
    • Determine which base map and which layers you want to show (click on and off your choices)
    • Add second slide and zoom into one island
    • Save and press play: it’s an interactive presentation. Click on part of a layer and right click data (cool way to assess and share learning)
    1. The next step in sharing and assessing learning is the creation of Story Boards:
    • Lots of choices – some focus on maps, some focus on photos, some are more flexible. Maps can have clickable text to focus attention on specific things.
    • Exploring the story maps is a great exercise by itself (look at collections).
    • Photography and video are very effective additions.
    • In “gallery”, you can search for story maps : try “Twisters” – check out Twister Dashboard, a great example of a map-centric story board that’s effective.
    • Storymaps makes data much more attractive.
    • To start, determine your objective, then gather materials to support it.
    • Click on Apps and you’ll have access to story map templates
      • The journal template allows for more text.
      • The side accordion template is cool.
      • Users can embed story maps into websites (companies are looking for people who can create good story maps)
      • Hawaii story map examples:
    1. Craig Clouet – Hawai`i ESRI contact – (experienced with many government agencies) –
    • Some layers are protected so you might have to contact an agency and sign something to say how you are using it (HECO and Board of Water Supply data). Craig can help find data that’s more difficult to acquire, especially at the local data level.
    • Craig recommends the online ArcGIS system (desktop is better for printing).
    • The future of GIS is cell phones and more raster maps.
    • Schools can create a free organization account.
    1. Try an introductory developer account – for free for one person
    • Non-profits have special prices.
    1. Zack is the OHA GIS specialist – he developed a webmap that allows public access to culturally significant sites (also land tenure): Install the Silverlight plug-in to run the site. Zack has experience turning a lot of archaic data into more modern GIS format.
    2. Kurt Daradics – – works with business/small start ups at the ESRI Santa Monica office.New companies get free services for 3 years. Kurt made the point that you don’t need to be such a technical expert to connect organizations with GIS. Look at “Citisource – Honolulu-311 –
    3. Great apps to connect communities –
    4. ESRI industry page shows how GIS is working in new ways. Courage, conviction, determination and passion – grit — are key ingredients in success.

    Resource guys (#11-12) can come to Hawaii – can Google Hangout with students-

    1. There are cool apps like “collector” that helps students collect data in the field –
    1. Career path – many are minoring in geography and have taken GIS courses and received certificates in GIS (makes one very marketable) – there are a lot more jobs than trained GIS graduates!
    1. The Kokua Foundation was present – they run Aina in Schools and Plastic Free Schools and are exploring GIS applications
    1. We looked at “add” – Search for Layers – “ A GIS Server” and pasted in to explore lots of “pre-made” data maps – worked best in Chrome server


    1. Cool tool – for Mac – Textedit – for PCs use Notepad
    • Click on Preferences for Textedit and click on “plain text”
    • Type in headings for a spread sheet – site,lat,long,place
    • Go to the ArcGIS map and click on the Measure button – click on the box and you’ll get lat and long coordinates – copy and paste from the “dot” into your Text edit box SWITCH LAT AND LONG
    • Example from Textedit
      • site,lat,long,place
      • 1,21.468693,-157.99497, place 1
      • 2,21.454155,-158.01497, place 2
    • Save file as .txt. or .csv on your desktop and drag into map – this demonstrates how YOU can add data onto a map
    1. Pauline Chinn from UH – wanted to share ways in which they are using GIS with indigenous knowledge see their website –