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ArcGIS Online Challenge (learning path)

Explore potential uses of ArcGIS Online in your research and teaching at Ohio State

Welcome to the ArcGIS Online Challenge!

Have you ever come across an interactive web map and wondered "how did they make that?" Have you heard about GIS (geographic information systems) and wished you could learn more about how it might be useful for your own research and teaching? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, then the ArcGIS Online Challenge is for you!


Through completing this challenge, you will:

  1. Describe the potential of GIS beyond "dots on a map" and for cross-disciplinary applications
  2. Use ArcGIS Online apps individually and in conjunction with one another for common tasks in geospatial projects
  3. Brainstorm ways that GIS could be used for a research project or teaching assignment relevant to your own work


This self-paced, 100% online challenge is designed to be completed over the course of five weeks, with approximately 1-2 hours of work per week, and is aimed at supporting Ohio State faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students. Each weekly module consists of:


  • Content - short readings and videos highlighting key concepts and relevant use cases
  • Activity - hands-on tutorial(s) providing training on the methods and tools covered in each module
  • Brainstorming Questions - opportunities to think about transferring your new knowledge and skills to your own work


There is no deadline for completing these modules, and participants are encouraged to work at their own pace. The ArcGIS Online Challenge learning path will remain available and be updated to provide new content and activities as necessary.

Credits & Contact Information

The ArcGIS Online Challenge was collaboratively developed by:


  • Joshua Sadvari, Assistant Professor, Geospatial Information Librarian, University Libraries
  • Katie Phillips, formerly affiliated with the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis and the CFAES Knowledge Exchange


If you have any questions as you work through the ArcGIS Online Challenge, please email:


The content and activities included throughout the ArcGIS Online Challenge were identified, evaluated, selected, and organized by Josh and Katie to help participants achieve the path-level learning objectives listed above. Please refer to the individual resources linked throughout this learning path to determine appropriate attribution and rights for third-party content.

ArcGIS Online - Institutional Data Classification

Please be aware that ArcGIS Online is recommended for use with institutional data up to and including S3 - Private, according to Ohio State's Cloud Assessment Registry. ArcGIS Online should not be used for viewing, analyzing, or storing S4 - Restricted data. For more information about data classification and to determine if your intended use of ArcGIS Online adheres to these terms, please see Ohio State's Institutional Data Policy and the Data Element Classification Assignments reference document. If you are working with S4 - Restricted data and have questions about whether there are resources available through Ohio State's Esri education institutional agreement for your intended use, please contact

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