GIS and digital training offer

New for 2022 an offer of specially designed GIS training for planners both on-line and in-person

We have received some funding from the DLUHC Digital Planning Programme to design and deliver some GIS training for planners in 2022. This training is in design at the moment and you cannot book yourself onto it yet. We are very pleased to be working with Alasdair Rae and the team at Automatic Knowledge Ltd who have put together a package designed for the needs of working planners.  

Booking the training

Most sessions in October are sold out - you can check the latest on the eventbrite page. Further sessions will be available in November and December - perhaps your council might host a training day for about a dozen people including some from your neighbours? If so, get in touch

  • An intensive one day introductory course: Making meaningful maps an introduction to mapping and spatial analysis
  • More advanced practitioner course: For those who already know the basics and have specific projects and datasets to work with

Who is the course for?

These short courses are aimed at planners and other built environment professionals working in the UK, regardless of background, prior GIS knowledge or geographic location. Maybe you've previously dabbled with GIS, took a module on it at university, or regularly deal with data in your day-to-day job but don't quite have the GIS and spatial analysis skills you'd like to have. It's for anyone who is serious about digital upskilling and learning how to use GIS software in a real world setting.

Prior GIS experience necessary?

No. You do not need to have any prior GIS experience at all. It may be useful if you do, but it is not required or expected. If you do have previous experience of working with different kinds of data, that may come in useful but this is not a requirement. So long as you're interested in learning, that's all you need!



In this course we'll be using QGIS, the world's leading open source piece of GIS software. It's 100% free, available for Mac, Windows and Linux, requires no licence and is used by organisations across the world to achieve great results. However, we use QGIS not because it is free and open source but because it is fast, efficient, and produces beautiful, accurate end results. In our opinion it is the best tool for the job and its adoption by organisations such as NASA, the BBC, the Financial Times and local, regional and national governments across the world is testament to its versatility and utility. You will need access to QGIS to take part - those of you working in managed ICT environments should ensure that your organisation will allow you to use it on a work machine

How it works

Courses will be run either in-person or remotely on Microsoft Teams to a cohort of around 10 people. These small groups allow participants to learn at their own pace, and we also allow enough time and space for questions and experimentation. Throughout the day, we also demonstrate specific tasks in real time, so that everyone can follow along. We also offer post-training support in the form of one-to-one demos and through our online Map Academy course on Udemy, to which course participants can be given access.

If you can get to London we strongly recommend coming to an in-person course. Alternatively if you can host a session yourself get in touch and we'll see if we can come to you. 


There are so many possible examples of how GIS and spatial analysis can be useful in a planning policy context, and in built environment applications more widely. Some examples include:

  • Creating neighbourhood deprivation maps for a single local authority
  • Finding all locations within a specific distance of a particular location (e.g. a school)
  • Finding all locations within a particular travel time of a particular location (e.g. a workplace)
  • Automating map production so that you can create a set of maps for every ward in your local authority 
  • Creating policy maps showing the specific areas covered by key policy initiatives (e.g. neighbourhoods, bespoke areas, travel corridors)