Geographic Information Systems

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CWI Geographic Information Systems

What is Geographic Information Systems or GIS?

GIS is a framework to organize, communicate, and understand the science of our world. Rooted in the science of geography, GIS integrates and analyzes data and organizes it into visualizations using maps and 3D scenes. GIS reveals deeper insights into data, such as patterns, relationships, and situations – helping users make smarter decisions.

Did you in GIS are now one of the fastest growing fields in the nation?

U.S. Department of Labor

In the GIS program at CWI you will have the opportunity to learn in the classroom, in the field, and online. 

What will you learn to do with GIS?

  • Create web maps
  • Create GIS online applications
  • Gather and analyze data
  • Design maps
  • Write scripts

GIS Industry Examples:

  • Business: targeted marketing, logistics, insurance risk analysis, banking, real estate
  • Government: economic development, emergency management, crime mapping, disease profiling, traffic planning
  • Environmental: understand animal habitats, vegetation, changes in land, including development of parks and protected areas
  • Natural Resource Exploration and Management: telling miners where to mine, drillers the best options for running pipe, and farmers where to plant crops for the most yield
  • Utilities: understand and restore outages, plan distribution and construction, respond to emergencies

Get started on your future in GIS with education and training from College of Western Idaho.

Apply Today


The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Academic Certificate provides you with the fundamental skills, knowledge, and experience necessary for entry into the field of GIS. Through this program, you will gain a robust understanding of the theoretical basis of GIS, including hands-on experience with GIS software and geospatial technologies.

Why This Program

This 18-credit online GIS Certificate program will provide you with the fundamental skills, knowledge, and experience necessary for entry-level positions in the field of GIS. The innovative curriculum design will teach you to identify, analyze and understand spatial patterns, with an emphasis on critical thinking, data analysis, problem solving, and the development and completion of both independent and collaborative hands-on GIS projects. The Certificate is a complement to any existing major or expanding your career opportunities.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Apply analytical GIS skills to real-world applications
  • Use the state-of-the-art GIS software
  • Program In Python to automate GIS processes
  • Create maps to effectively communicate a message
  • Apply critical and spatial thinking skills to understand and solve geospatial questions

Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

Landscape of lake and plants growing out of it with trees in the background

Faculty from Boise State’s Environmental and Urban Studies Program will be on campus to discuss transfer opportunities, make connections, and help students explore career paths.

GIS students hard at work using technology

Are you curious about the science behind Apple Maps or Google Earth? If so, you may be interested in College of Western Idaho’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) academic certificate program.

Geographic Information Systems student and 2021-2022 scholarship recipient, Daleesa Cole

Geographic Information Systems student, Daleesa Cole, hopes to use her skills and abilities to change the world for the better as a Wildlife Biologist.

Bryan Krouse Headshot

Bryan Krouse has been named the September 2017 Faculty of the Month. Krouse grew up in Santa Barbara, California, and received a bachelor’s degree in Geography from University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned a master’s degree in Medical Geography from California State...

Kelsey Wilber CWI Student

Kelsey Wilber, who will graduate on May 13, 2017, came to CWI in 2014 to pursue her education after feeling “intellectually unsatisfied” and desiring a means to find her true potential.

CWI District Map

The CWI Board of Trustees reviewed and approved a proposed zone map to comply with a new state law, House Bill 512.