The question Are Online Certs worth their weight? made me wonder if there are any open source training materials for GIS.

By this I don't mean training specifically for open source software - of which I know there are some - but a set of general training materials for GIS and geographic data that are developed as an open source project.

i.e. a set of training materials that are community developed, freely available, and with an open license. That anyone could take and use for general GIS training.

If there isn't, does anyone think this would be a worthwhile project?

Please add license info for the material you're suggesting.

  • This sounds like a great project. I'm trying to get started in FOSS4G and am finding it really hard to know where to begin. (GIS.SE users have been very helpful in giving pointers) Aug 25, 2011 at 1:46

10 Answers 10


OpenGeo have really great material on their site. Some of it is training for their particular software combination (which is not free AFAIK), but they run through a bunch of other tools and methods that are.

For example, here is a PostGIS tutorial; they also provide everything rolled up in this useful zip. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


The OSGEO Education group have a searchable collection of educational materials (some of which it hosts, others are links to materials hosted elsewhere). (Licenses vary between different tutorials.)

Ultimately the plan is to develop a handbook and course materials - feel free to join the effort at http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Edu_goals_and_to_dos


There is the FOSS GIS Academy

The FOSSGIS Academy is a joint venture between Linfiniti Consulting cc, AfriSpatial cc and Geograph (Pty) Ltd. FOSSGIS Academy was formed with the aim of creating a formalised FOSS GIS training curriculum to provide the needed injection of FOSSGIS skilled workers into the geospatial workplace.

Has some 'Resources'

Though most of the actual courses do charge a fee for the course online.

For Mark Ireland: Maybe Safe Software can invest some resources (or some open source datasets) for OpenFME? (A web based lite version of Desktop/Server) *have just made OpenFME up

Have enjoyed FME Training Online and there is a potential for Open GIS Resources - there is just a cost for setting all of this up - with governments freeing up geospatial datasets and open source GIS software and databases it can be possible.


The Boston GIS site (bostongis.com) has tutorials and reference material for a few different OS software packages.


There is GIS Commons, a free textbook being developed by a Sacramento State professor. It covers high-level GIS topics, not any particular software. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License


Possibly out-of-date for some topics, and not exactly what you're looking for but there's the Geographer's Craft site. They have materials on ethics, intro to GIS, map projections and datums, etc.

  • out-of-date but still very useful.
    – maning
    Aug 25, 2011 at 3:27

ELOGeo Project has couple of good pointers in its repository, and let's hope it will grow larger.


Dr. Nicholas Short's Remote Sensing Tutorial

This tutorial on remote sensing is excellent. It is essentially a textbook on remote sensing for free on the web. It's produced by a NASA employee as part of his job so it is in the public domain.


Take a look at Geospatial Analysis. Not exactly "Open Source" in the true sense of the term, but freely available.


Have a look at this repository, it's a list with all the online resources to learn CartoDB, a open-source geospatial platform. From their Map Academy and tutorials to related programming languages such as SQL, CartoCSS or Javascript. The repo is in Spanish, but all the links are in English.

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