This paper aims to give information about the distance education based project performed collaboratively by Anadolu University, Afyon Kocatepe University and Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, in order to increase and disseminate the utilization of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in Turkey. The first phase of the project focused on raising and training GIS personnel in the Ministry and was completed in 2015. To fulfil this aim a distance education based GIS training model was developed and used for the online training of 650 personnel. Besides, an open courseware portal and course management system, as well as open courseware, training data and application courses were developed. The second phase comprises the organisation of further and more comprehensive online trainings for the managers and technical personnel within the Ministry and is supposed to be conducted in 2016. The experiences presented in this paper is also considered as a significant massive online open course (MOOC) example, which is utilized by a governmental organization for the dissemination of vocational trainings.