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GIS Software and Tutorials

This guide provides GIS software download instruction and usage tutorials.


This guide will instruct you on downloading and using GIS software as well as connect you with other relevant resources. It is intended as a companion guide to the GIS Data and Resources libguide. As you conduct your research, please use these pages to keep up to date on GIS events on campus, new data acquisitions, and library resources for GIS.

What is GIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are tools to explore spatial questions.

The acronym GIS most commonly refers to Geographic Information Systems, the interconnected hardware, software, users, data, and procedures that together form a system for geospatial analysis.  GIS can be used to study, analyze, and visualize any phenomenon that has a spatial component.  If location plays a role in your research, GIS offers a way to include these spatial features in your analysis.

This video gives a brief introduction to GIS and shows some examples of what can be accomplished with this versatile tool.


Help Desk

Data Services staff are available to assist with your geospatial questions.  Please visit our Helpdesk at the hours below.  Helpdesk is available in-person in the Research Studio on Level A of Olin Library OR via Zoom by clicking on the links below:

Mondays from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Tuesdays from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Wednesdays from 10:00am to 12:00pm

Thursdays from 10:00am to 12:00pm

We are also available by appointment.  Please reach out to us via the Data Services Appointment Request form.

Data Services GIS Staff

Jennifer Moore

Head of Data Services

Zachary Szczepaniak

Data Curator and GIS Librarian

Mollie Webb

GIS and Data Developer

Saroj Thapa

GIS and Data Analyst