Online Training: Helping You Get the Most Out of Global Mapper
At the beginning of the first session of every Global Mapper training course, participants are asked to evaluate their current level of proficiency with the software on a scale of one to five. Understandably, most respondents initially rate their capability at a level one or two. During a recent session, however, an attendee indicated that they were a level four, a surprising response for someone who felt they needed to attend the course.
After five days of hands-on, instructor-led training, during which the participants were introduced to the full range of the software’s capabilities, the same attendee indicated that their proficiency was now at a level two. Needless to say, this assessment was somewhat disconcerting for the instructor, who saw it as a reflection of their teaching performance. By way of clarifying, the attendee explained that they initially thought they had a reasonable understanding of Global Mapper, but that the class had opened their eyes to a plethora of features and functions that they had previously been unaware of.
This tongue-in-cheek self-assessment is indicative of many of the comments that are shared by Global Mapper training attendees:
“The instructor’s knowledge and presentation of the material was excellent. The class showed us many new ways we can use Global Mapper.”
“Excellent instructor, best I’ve had over many years across many software platforms. Now that I’ve seen what it can do, I’ll definitely be using Global Mapper more than ArcGIS for our 3D work.”
“Everyone was knowledgeable and experienced, the lessons and transitions flowed well, and it’s one of the best online learning experiences I’ve ever had.”
If you are one of the many Global Mapper users who feel that you are barely scraping the surface of the software and you want to unleash its full potential, you should consider signing up for one of the training courses scheduled for the first half of 2022. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 quagmire, the classes will continue to be conducted online for the foreseeable future, however, it is hoped that towards the end of the year, we can return to in-person classroom training.
While online training will never fully equate the advantages of face-to-face teaching and learning, Blue Marble’s years of experience conducting online classes has allowed us to hone our skills in the class delivery process and effectively adapt the in-person course to a virtual classroom.
If the truth be told, there are many inherent benefits to online training, the most obvious of which is convenience. In-person classroom instruction is location-specific, and while we have striven to conduct training classes in cities and countries with the highest concentrations of users, inevitably many attendees face the added logistical and financial burdens of transportation and accommodation. Online training effectively reaches an unlimited audience with significantly fewer logistical considerations.
Two online courses are currently being offered and are typically conducted in successive weeks. The Global Mapper course, comprised of five three-hour sessions, introduces the core functionality of the software, including raster and vector processing, terrain analysis, and map design. A supplementary course comprised of three three-hour sessions, focuses specifically on lidar or point cloud processing, including the use of the Pixels to Points tool, point cloud filtering and editing, and feature extraction. Attendees who complete both courses are awarded an official certificate of completion and are recognized as Certified Global Mapper Users.
For the first half of 2022, four Global Mapper and four lidar classes have been scheduled. The start time of the classes is staggered to accommodate attendees from different time zones. For instance, the classes slated for late June begin at 9:00 pm eastern US time, offering a more convenient schedule for attendees in Australasia.
What exactly does online Global Mapper training entail? First and foremost, it is an interactive experience, offering attendees direct access to subject matter experts. Similar to classroom training, real-time questions and answers are an intrinsic part of the online training experience. Participants can watch, listen, and follow along as the instructor introduces and demonstrates the components of the software simulating real-world scenarios. To that end, all attendees are provided with a complimentary temporary license for the latest version of the software, along with the requisite data files. A supplementary training handout is also included, offering detailed, step-by-step instructions for the various workflows.
Not to leave out Blue Marble’s flagship program, training focused on geodesy and using the Geographic Calculator is offered in the same interactive, virtual format. While more niche in focus, Applied Geodesy and Geographic Calculator Training is conducted for a few hours over three consecutive days and aims to bolster the geodetic understanding of the attendees, preparing them to better use the full functionality of the Geographic Calculator program. Offered infrequently compared to Global Mapper and Lidar training classes, Geodesy Training sessions are available this coming February and June.
Attending a scheduled public training course offers individual Global Mapper users the best opportunity to expand their knowledge of the software. For larger companies or organizations with multiple users, a custom class is usually a more effective training option. The class content can be adapted to address the specific needs of those being trained, the curriculum can incorporate user-provided data and scenarios if appropriate, and the schedule and duration of the course are determined by those attending.
For more information on all of the public and custom training options, or to register for one of the courses scheduled for 2022, visit bluemarblegeo.com/gis-training.