free esri training

How to Capitalize on Free Esri Training

GIS always seems to be in a perpetual state of growth. It’s always expanding with new and dynamic ways to visualize, capture, and analyze data.

When it comes to GIS training, it’s more important than ever that you stay on top of it with the latest developments.

The GIS industry is heating up. And if you’re not up to speed with your skills and training, you might be missing out.

For this reason, we have created a list of 7 free Esri training courses for you to sink your teeth in 2023. And this includes massive open online courses (or MOOCs) on specific calendar days of the year.

1. Python for Everyone (3 hrs, 30 min)

python logo

If you’ve read our ideas for free GIS programming training, then you already know that Python tops the list of scripting languages to learn in your career.

Because when you use Python, you can automate redundant tasks and create workflows that your organization can repeatedly reuse. By using Python libraries, you can extend the functionality for ArcGIS. But there are a lot of moving parts in Python. And it’s tough to get started.

The Esri Python course helps you get off your feet and learn how to code in Python. Specifically, this helps you master proper Python syntax, script flow, and error handling.

Alternative: If you’re looking for certification, we recommend the Python certification courses.

2. Cartography MOOC (6 weeks)

A lot of folks start their GIS career because of the cartography aspect. No doubt, some of the older maps are works of art.

Even though traditional cartography in paper maps is shifting to the digital age, its fundamentals remain the same. What are these cartography fundamentals and how do we ensure we’re using them in our maps?

In this free Esri training course “Cartography MOOC”, experienced cartographers coach you how to become a smarter map maker.

Alternative: An alternative are these data visualization certification courses with everything from advanced dashboards to data storytelling.

3. Basic of JavaScript Web Apps (1 hr, 15 min)


Next to Python, JavaScript is the next scripting language of choice to build dynamic content online. In fact, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript all work together with Esri’s JavaScript API for creating web maps and web scenes in 3D.

Although Esri’s online documentation is superb, how do you get started? And what are some tips to start building web apps of your own?

Any GIS professional who’d like to rigorously pursue their own web mapping apps can get started with the “Basic of JavaScript Web Apps” free Esri training course.

Alternative: Additionally, this free Intro to JavaScript course covers the basics like syntax for the most popular programming language in web development (JavaScript).

4. Do-it Yourself GeoApps (4 weeks)

Instead of using static maps, Geoapps are interactive and support contributions in real-time. For example, the community engagement app solicits input from the community for potholes, graffiti, and anything location-based.

Esri has a long list of pre-packaged web apps that instantly help you get on your feet. So it’s only a matter of finding your ArcGIS solution and administering it. And this is where the free Esri training course “Do-it-Yourself GeoApps” comes in.

This course helps you build web apps for smarter communities. And the best part? You don’t have to be a web developer to create these custom web applications.

5. Image Processing with ArcGIS (3 hrs)

Sentinel satellite

Whether it’s by drone, plane, or satellite, there is an abundance of Earth imagery being collected. But how do you put this Earth imagery to work?

While there are hundreds of innovative remote sensing applications out there, this free Esri training course “Image Processing with ArcGIS” gives you an overview of how to put these tools into action.

For example, they can increase productivity, save money, and even protect the environment. In addition, you can learn how to identify landscapes and interpret imagery.

6. Getting Started with ArcGIS Pro (5 hrs, 30 min)

There are plenty of reasons to move to ArcGIS Pro and break out of the habit of using ArcMap. But maybe you need a bit more convincing?

If you’re an ArcMap user already, then start with “Going Pro: ArcGIS Pro Essentials for ArcMap Users”. In this free Esri training course, you can learn how to be productive right away.

But if you are relatively new to GIS, then we suggest the free Esri training course “Getting Started with ArcGIS Pro”. These are the essential concepts to jumpstart your productivity in ArcGIS Pro.

7. Introduction to GeoEvent Server (12 hrs)

In short, the GeoEvent server connects to real-time feeds or prompts events based on location. For example, when a service truck enters and leaves a shipping yard, it can generate timesheets on entry and exit automatically.

And we’re starting to see technological advances in “geofencing” for a lot more industries. For example, retail, security, and even home temperature control can have geofencing options.

In the free Esri training course “Introduction to GeoEvent Server”, you begin to apply concepts of geofencing. In 6 modules, you will learn to create real-time feeds that you can connect to.

Free Esri Training and Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC)

Rock-n-enroll in some of the top 7 free Esri training courses available at Esri.

Remember that these self-paced e-learning courses are free and can help you build a solid foundation.

If you’re looking to complement your GIS skills, then we suggest looking into the Nanodegree options available at Udacity.

Subscribe to our newsletter:


  1. Is the Mooc still available in 2022 and can I apply for it as the article is for the previous year

  2. First, you have to create an Esri account. Then, go into the training section of your account. From here, you can find the free training courses or open MOOC by searching for them on the Esri website. Simply, register for them and you’re good to go.

  3. Hello, I studied GIS as a course 5 years ago in Uni but I have never used it since then. Can you please advice on what course I can start with to bring me back to speed. Also, is there a way I can purchase an ArcGIS practice software and data.

  4. I’m Congolese and I am interested in taking the free courses for my job. But it’s not easy for me to learn in English. So, it’s not possible to have a course in French for a better understanding

  5. Thanks for sharing this ESRI training courses. I took the Do-it Yourself GeoApps course last November and I can recommend it for everybody. There is new MOOC coming up in February 2020 (Spatial Data Science: The New Frontier in Analytics). Can you change the duration of Cartography MOOC (6 weeks). Thanks again.

  6. I hold A Master degree in Geoinformatics Technology and willing to relocate to Canada to practice GIS, do you think my GIS experience can be valuable when filling my CIC form for immigration to Canada?

  7. I am interested in taking the free courses as I am teaching a GIS course. Is it possible to get some posters or any materials to be displayed for GIS on our notice board in our GIS class room please? I need GIS materials to promote GIS for students in the college

  8. I want to start free GIS course using arcgis desktop 10.1 and archydro. Applicable for water resources management

  9. All you have to do is sign in and register for the courses for the links that I have provided.

  10. How do I get started. ESRI GIS using ArcInfo was part of my dissertation coursework & research back in 1993. I have taught GIS using ArcGIS Desktop 10.1 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. I want to take some of the free courses before I start ESRI certification. Please advise. Dr. Shariff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *