Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning, Inc. (Foursquare ITP) prepared content for a free virtual on-demand course on geographic information systems (GIS) that the National Center for Applied Transit Technology (N-CATT) released on June 30, 2022. The course, “N-CATT Free GIS Tools for Transit Analysis and Map-Making,” is geared toward transit agency staff with little to no previous GIS experience who want to use GIS for analysis or map-making but may not have the resources to use a paid GIS program. 

The course contains interactive hands-on exercises complete with sample transit datasets, lectures, self-guided work, suggested readings and resources, and quizzes. The hands-on elements of the course are taught primarily in QGIS, a freely available and open-source GIS software, allowing anyone to participate in the course. The course includes instructions on how to download and install QGIS. 

There are many opportunities for learning GIS online, but N-CATT’s course is unique in that it is both free and tailored to the needs and desires of transit agency staff. Transit planning analyses are woven into the GIS instruction, which covers transit planning analyses such as ridership analysis by stop and transit market analysis. Transit practitioners who are looking to improve or expand upon the spatial analysis of their data could greatly benefit from the course.

Foursquare ITP previously presented different versions of this same workshop—once during a virtual live workshop and once in-person during the 2022 Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Expo 

Upon completion of N-CATT’s Free GIS Tools for Transit Analysis and Map-Making course, learners can earn a course certificate and AICP certified learners can receive 7 CM credits.