Self-Guided GIS Software Training

Global Mapper

As an alternative to Public Training, this self-guided course offers a series of targeted training labs. This method of training is ideal for individuals who wish to learn at their own pace. The program provides step-by-step instructions following a defined series of workflows and scenarios, each culminating in a freeform exercise.


This program is free, however, users must log in and fill out a registration form. Please note that users will not receive certification for this program.



The first section of the program covers the basic functions of Global Mapper and introduces some of the fundamental concepts in the field of GIS. Each subsequent section focuses on a specific component of the software. Specific topics covered in each section are as follows.

Lesson 1: Introduction to the Principles of GIS Angle right
  • Importing/accessing data
  • Creating and editing vector features
  • Adjusting the appearance of vector features
  • Working with raster layers
  • Querying and filtering data
  • The basics of spatial analysis
  • Methods for sharing data
Lesson 2: Generating a Terrain Surface and Creating Contours Using Lidar Data Angle right
  • LiDAR importing
  • LiDAR editing/processing
  • Data visualization
  • Creating a gridded surface model
  • 3D modelling
  • Shader options
  • Contour generation
Lesson 3: Working with Attributes and Creating a Thematic Map Angle right
  • Creating and managing attribute data
  • Joining attributes from an external file
  • Performing a calculation to create new attributes
  • Applying a shading pattern to reflect recurring text values
  • Applying a shading pattern to reflect numeric ranges
  • Designing page layout elements including a legend and map title
  • Printing the map or exporting to a geospatial PDF
Lesson 4: Rectifying an Image Angle right
  • Importing a base map for rectification
  • Using field-collected ground control for rectification
  • Modifying the projection
  • Choosing a rectification method
  • Adjusting the properties of the rectified map
Lesson 5: Extracting Vector Features from a Raster Layer Angle right
  • Vectorizing a specific color from a topographic map
  • Vectorizing a range of colors to delineate features in from and aerial image
  • Delineating an elevation range from a digital elevation model
  • Outlining areas within a slope angle threshold
Lesson 6: Creating a Watershed Model Angle right
  • Creating a drainage network from a digital elevation model
  • Outlining the watershed boundaries for a defined area
  • Adjusting the watershed boundaries based on area and flow variables
  • Creating a water drop analysis model
  • Delineating the catchment area for a defined location
Lesson 7: Lidar Classification and Extraction Angle right
  • Autoclassifying Ground points
  • Automatically Classifying Non-Ground points
  • Extracting 3D vector features from Lidar
Lesson 8: Raster Calculation Angle right
  • Calculating NDVI values
  • Comparing the differences between NDVI values

Software Licensing

All lab participants must have access to a fully licensed version of Global Mapper and it is strongly recommended that the latest version is installed. Evaluation or temporary licenses impose restrictions on certain functions of the software and are not suitable for this purpose. If you have questions on licensing or would like more information licensing options, please contact the Global Mapper Sales Team at

Geographic Calculator

For Geographic Calculator users, Blue Marble provides a comprehensive Getting Started Guide. Sample images and data files are provided for use with this guide, however, you may also use your own data for the labs.

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