MFA Kids | Learn About GIS

What is GIS?

GIS stands for Geographic Information System. GIS is a way for us to view data spatially—that means on a map. We can view almost any type of data spatially.

Think about the places you go in a day—home, school, the grocery store, the park. These places can all be viewed on a map.


Back to the MFA Kids HomepageGo to MFA Kids

1. Watch the Video

Watch this video by Esri for a deeper understanding of what GIS is and why we use it. Think about what you could do with a GIS map.

2. Complete the Activity

Create a map in ArcGIS Online—one of the tools that the MFA GIS team use daily.

Step 1: Click here to create a free ArcGIS Online account.

Step 2: Download the two documents below. The first provides instructions on how to use ArcGIS to create a map. Follow the directions and create a map using the destinations outlined in the second link.

  1. Instructions to create a map in ArcGIS Online
  2. U.S. Destinations


3. Complete the Coloring Page

You did the hard work, now it’s time to color! Print this coloring page, color it, and show us your creative side. Click here to download the coloring page.


4. Show Us Your Stuff

Take a picture of yourself watching the video, doing the activity, or coloring, and share it with us by using the form below! You just need to complete one of this week’s activities in order to receive your MFA Kids badge.


MFA Kids Activity 4 Completion

Take a picture of your completed activity this week. Have a grown-up help you upload the picture to this website and we will send you your first MFA Kids badge! Great job!
  • Please provide your mailing address if you would like to receive a prize for completing four activities in the mail.


Additional Resources: 

This activity booklet from the Center of Geography Education in Oregon was created by one of our own GIS Technicians. It’s a great resource if you’re interested in learning more about mapping and navigation.

Ask a GIS Professional a Question
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Ruth McColly, GISP

Senior GIS Analyst

(206) 858-7616