About socalgovgis - Michael Carson

Michael Carson, GIS Manager for the City of Burbank and President of Southern California Government GIS User Group

Rio Hondo College GIS Courses

Learn GIS from home this fall!  Rio Hondo College GIS courses start August 15th. Classes are entirely online. More information can be found at www.riohondo.edu/gis . Fall classes include both courses in Geographic Information Systems and new course offering on preparing for exam to pass Remote Pilot (Drone) Commercial Exam which includes survey mapping workflow.

  • Introduction to GIS (GIS 120) 4 units  CRN 74117
  • Small Unmanned Aircraft System (drone) (GIS 150) CRN 77010
  • Cartography Design and GIS (GIS 221) CRN 73311
  • GIS Applications (GIS 220) CRN 74445
  • Geospatial Programming (Python) & Web Services  (GIS 280)  CRN 75607
  • Crime Mapping (GIS 281) CRN 75609

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Are classes online? Yes, part of what makes online courses so convenient is that you don’t have to commute to Rio Hondo Campus but can instead complete your coursework from home. For many of us today, we find ourselves at home with families and unexpected happenings and would much prefer the convenience of online with the ability to work on your own schedule.
  • Do I need a Computer?  Yes, you do need to have access to a computer either a Windows or Mac (mouse recommended) and internet access.
  • Do I need to install software? No, you will have access to the fast high tech labs with the latest GIS and related softwares via remote desktop. No software configuration required on your computer (Windows or Mac).
  • Are the Classes Asynchronous or Synchronous (live)? Classes can be completed Asynchronous. However two 60 minute sessions for each class will be scheduled for those who have time or prefer to meet ‘live’ (Synchronous) on Zoom… the sessions are always recorded and made available later that evening.
  • How to Register? No need to come on campus.  Apply for admission and register for classes entirely online.  To register for classes, you must first apply for admission (entirely free online). Applying for admission and registering cannot be any easier and steps found here.

For additional information, contact Prof. Warren Roberts wroberts@riohondo.edu  (P.S. Did you know select Rio Hondo GIS courses are transferable courses to CSU and other universities?)

Community Mobility Reports

Check out Google’s Community Mobility Reports that provide insights into how people’s movements in countries around the world were altered during the lock down period of COVID-19.  Also you can see mobility change since countries have eased movement restrictions.

The reports use aggregated anonymized data from mobile phones to chart trends in movement over time.  They show how visits to different venues (like retail, groceries, parks, transit stations, etc.) have been effected by government lock downs.  Check it out!


An overview and how to understand the data can be found here.

Huntington Digital Map Collection

The Huntington Digital Map Collection is an internet catalog of over 8,000 maps of California and the World from The Huntington Library, Art Collection & Botanical Gardens.  The maps range from 16th century European portolan charts to 20th century land use maps, including maps owned by British explorer Sir Richard Burton; the Solano-Reeve collection of surveys of Los Angeles and Southern California tracts; and printed tract maps from the Rare Book Collection.  You can see all of the available maps in the Huntington collection with thumbnails and short descriptions so you can easily choose the ones you want to view more fully.  Check it out!