Attention Researchers, College Students And Professionals: Do You Want To Add GIS To Your Toolkit Without Having The Hassle Of Enrolling In A College GIS Course? Read on to discover whats in my QGIS tutorial for Beginners like you.


Learn The First Five-Steps That All GIS Professionals Learn When They Start Out.

Have you been trying to learn the basics of GIS without any luck?

You have looked for GIS tutorials (specifically QGIS tutorials) around the web but the information you find is incomplete, often out-of-date and narrow in its focus.

That’s understandable because the best GIS tutorials are usually for expensive commercial GIS’s and the lessons for the FREE, equally functional, Quantum GIS (QGIS) are mostly written by well meaning volunteers.

Fortunately, my GIS Tutorial for Beginners #1: QGIS Orientation course offers a solution. It’s a QGIS tutorial for beginners. I teach you the beginners basics of GIS using videos and downloadable workbooks and datasets, Step-by-Step Follow-Along style.

It is as simple as watching the videos on your computer and following along with the exercises using the FREE Quantum GIS Software

Start now and you could be working on your own QGIS project this time tomorrow!

Imagine what would be like to have your own GIS maps on your own computer and under your control.

My name is Ian Allan. I am a Masters graduate from (world top 100) Monash University in Melbourne Australia. While doing my post-graduate research, I co-authored the University’s first two GIS courses and taught both Grid Cell and Vector GIS to both Undergraduate and Graduate students.

Over the last 24 years I have authored and co-authored fifteen peer reviewed publications. I have worked professionally as a GIS researcher, taught GIS to thousands of students, and worked as a GIS consultant on projects as diverse as the following…

  • United Nations: Post tsunami strategic planning in Banda Ache
  • Australian Federal Government: National Broadband strategic assessment.
  • Victoria’s Department of Premier and Cabinet: Housing affordability modelling.
  • Local Government: Environmental sustainability modelling for planners,
  • Water industry: Buried water pipe condition modelling and ease-of-digging modelling

GIS Tutorial for Beginners #1: QGIS Orientation is a QGIS tutorial for beginners that will teach you…

  • Generic GIS functionality – how to open, navigate and interpret GIS maps and air photos, change how they look on screen, and understand the relationship between a GIS map and the table that lies behind it.
  • How to create simple GIS time-series maps.
  • To understand GIS conceptually – why maps have limitations, why GIS maps are also rich databases, what is map overlay and what are the four GIS map objects
  • That the shapes and colors in GIS maps and GIS air photos can be surrogates for both socio-economic and environmental information. Why visual clues such as block size, watercourse shape, location, condition and even vegetation reveals all sorts of valuable information.
  • How to use Project Files to recreate screen environments from days, months or even years ago
  • How to Shade a GIS Map with 9 data categories – understand the need to generalize data for some audiences, how to find a color scheme for your own GIS project, and how to validate your map

For the past 24 years I’ve been a GIS researcher teacher and consultant.  Over 4900 students have enrolled in my GIS Udemy courses alone.  Here’s what some of of my students say about my teaching style…

“A very good beginners course which gives a good amount of detail regarding the GIS theory. I enjoyed the content that was supplied and found myself learning quickly and spending lots of time in between lectures playing around with what I had just been taught. Thank you Ian.”  – Stavros A

“It was very thorough and comprehensive… Ian also covered aspects of GIS Analysis – which increases your learning and appreciation of the capabilities of how powerful the GIS tool can be” – Brian L

“Ian is vast and knowledgeable in what he teaches. I would do another course by Ian if he offered it” – Umar Y

“A very informative course. It helps me review the GIS experience I haven’t used in a while and brush up on my skills. Thanks Ian.” – Jayram S

“Really great introductory-level course! The examples were simple to follow, but also very useful. All the work can be finished while watching the videos, there was no extra work to be done without guidance. I really look forward to the next course by this instructor. – Cheers and well done!” – Nathan L.

“Very good background, easy to follow and helpful for a foundation of GIS.” – Amelia K

“Simple and very clear lectures with the minimum basics/backgrounds to get a taste of what awaits us further and also making us think of what we can do more.” -Boojhawon R

Here’s what you get in this QGIS tutorial for beginners.…

  • You get to eavesdrop as I work: Gain insight into shading GIS maps that you would otherwise likely overlook or possibly never grasp.
  • A zip file of the GIS datasets I use in the videos: Extract these and follow-along with me in the videos.
  • 4 hours of training videos:  In the videos I’ll show you how to navigate Quantum GIS, create shaded maps, create time-series maps, and how to think like a GIS analyst.
  • The course workbooks:  55 pages of screen captures and explanatory text to compliment the videos

Try the course risk free. If within 30 days you’re not satisfied with the course for any reason return it for a 100% refund and keep the dataset and the workbook.

Be sure to click on the “Take This Course” button on the top right corner of the Udemy signup page.

All the courses in my GIS For Beginners series had been developed by me.  All the techniques and concepts I teach have been proven in the research and consulting environments.  Buying this course is not a risk with my 30 day 100% money back guarantee.


Q. The course does not use ARC. Does this matter?

A. No, it doesn’t matter. I teach you the basics of GIS in a way that’s applicable to ALL GISs, even Arc.

Q. I have no experience with GIS. Does that matter?

A. No previous Geographical Information Systems knowledge needed

Q. I am worried that this course will be like many other technical courses – abstract and hard to follow.

A. All exercises are deliberately based on the type of practical every-day GIS problems that I encounter day-to-day in my GIS consultancy. All my GIS for Beginners courses use datasets covering the same area – Yarmouth in Massachusetts. That means you get to understand how the value and usefulness of maps over an area increases as more maps are added.  Download the dataset and follow-along with the videos.

Q. What Work Materials are there to support the teachings?

A.  A 55 page Text with screen captures and explanations to compliment the videos, and a zip file containing the same datasets I use in the videos.

Q. Do I need to purchase software to do this course?

A. No, there is no need to purchase software. We’ll use the FREE Quantum GIS (be sure to download the “long term release”)

Q. I want to buy this course today, but I don’t have time to do the course right now. How long do I have access to the course for?

A. You have Unlimited Lifetime Access to the course (including future upgrades)

Q. What if I decide this course is not for me.

A. I offer an unconditional, no-questions-asked full 30-day money-back guarantee!

Q. If I have a problem, can I ask questions?

A. Yes. I welcome questions because they help me improve the course. Its best to use the course Q&A area for this.

Be sure to click on this link to claim your $12.99 discount coupon (normally $39.99)

I look forward to seeing you inside!


PS. All the links to my GIS For Beginners series of courses contain $9.99 US discount coupon codes. This a huge discount to the Udemy enrollment fee…

These links to my other GIS for Beginners courses may interest you too…


    3 replies to "QGIS tutorial for Beginners #1: QGIS Orientation"

    • R

      Hi. You do not seem to advise the cost of this course. Pls Advise. Thks R

      • Ian


        Udemy has changed the way it does coupons. I now need to upgrade them each month. Please goto for the latest coupon which will ALWAYS be at the cheapest price udemy allows me to offer it to you for.

        If those coupons don’t work you can email me at ‘courses (AT symbol)’ and I’ll setup new ones for you.

        I appreciate it when you use my coupons because most of your fees goto me. Otherwise I often get as little of 1/4 of what you pay.



    • Iain Stuart

      In the text book you talk about using maps of different scales etc and how photocopying maps and enlarging them doesn’t make them more accurate. You could also helpfully point out that for example topographic maps in the pre-GIS days were only surveyed and mapped to a certain level of accuracy in any case which is actually specified in various not often read documents. So the dot on the map representing a house on a 1:100000 map is only approximately in the right place.


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