BayGeo’s Intro to Python for GIS

Python Part 1: Basic Skills

Use Python to build custom tools and perform complex analysis in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications.

This online course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to Python programming for GIS. The course is perfect for GIS professionals, geographers, and other individuals interested in learning how to use Python to automate GIS workflows and perform spatial analysis.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain a basic understanding of computer programming using Python.
  • Understand Python data types and how they are used in GIS and data analysis.
  • Create your own custom geoprocessing script and convert it into a script tool in ArcGIS Pro.

Lesson Plan

    • Intro to programming concepts
    • How computers work, RAM vs. HD memory
    • How code is interpreted in Python
    • Introduce concepts: interpreters, IDEs, command line, Jupyter notebooks
    • Pseudo code and thinking like a computer
    • Intro to Python data types
    • Do in class assignments relating to numbers and strings
    • Continue with Python data types
    • Do in class assignments for lists and dictionaries
    • Example of writing Python in IDLE
    • Example using geoprocessing tool help to get Python format
    • Example of geoprocessing script
    • Intro to iteration (looping)
    • Looping in class assignments
    • Location analysis script example
    • Intro to feature layers and functions
    • Feature layer and function in class assignment
    • Example of converting a script to a script tool


A temporary license of ArcGIS Pro (along with a temporary ArcGIS online account) will be provided to registered students for use during this workshop, and a few weeks thereafter.


  • Location: Online 
  • Instructor: Judi Heher
  • Continuing Education Units: 1
  • Cost: $500

Dates & Schedule

Date Time Location
Monday, September 9 6-9 p.m. Class meets on Zoom
Monday, September 16 6-9 p.m. Class meets on Zoom
Monday, September 23 6-9 p.m. Class meets on Zoom
Monday, September 30 6-9 p.m. Class meets on Zoom


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The University of San Francisco Geospatial Analysis Lab and BayGeo’s GIS Education Center, a geospatial non-profit organization in the San Francisco Bay Area, have designed a geospatial certificate program to offer a skill-based curriculum that addresses the industry's latest technologies.

Take the Next Step

Whether you're a professional seeking to enhance your GIS expertise or a beginner eager to explore the field, you'll gain hands-on experience and invaluable insights to stay ahead in the dynamic geospatial landscape.