Workshop Part 1: Got Data?

This workshop will cover the three most prolific mapping software applications. Each program has own drawbacks and benefits, which we will cover.

Application Difficulty Versatility Cost
GoogleEarth Easiest Low Free*
ArcGIS Hard High Expensive*
QGIS Hardest Medium Free


Google Earth – Introducing layers and data types

Google Earth is a freely available application that allows you to visualize maps on a 3D surface. The Google Earth platform is ideal for projects that do not require complex spatial analysis and focus only presenting data. The only draw back is that the resulting maps are highly dependent on Google Earth.

Download the sample KMZ file below:


Each of the items under “Places” is a Data Layer.



The different icons to the left of each layer represent the type of data it is on the map.

Most data in Google Earth is shown in points, lines, and polygons. Points are just singul Additionally, it is possible to add Photos and Image Overlays.

Toggling Layers



ArcGIS – Performing spatial analysis