Skip to main content

GIS for Architecture



This guide is designed to assist Architecture students, faculty, and staff who are interested in using GIS in teaching or research.  As you explore GIS, 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?

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.

How does it apply to Architecture?

GIS has many potential uses in architectural research and practice, especially in the the areas of urban design, community planning, and the site selection process.  GIS can also be used in conjunction with other visualization tools, such as AutoCAD, Google Earth, Adobe Illustrator, and Google Sketchup, to create dynamic and complex models.  The benefit of GIS lies in its analytical capabilities, wherein multiple phenomena can be linked by location and viewed through a spatial lense.  Information on an area's geology, soil type, infrastructure, and demographic information, for example, can all be taken into consideration when planning a structure or selecting a site.