GIS in the Library
The Brandaleone lab for Data and Visualization Services is located in the Edge on the first floor of Bostock. Installed mapping software includes:
- Google Earth Pro
- Tableau Public
- Some statistical software packages also include mapping components.
- We can help you locate GIS Data, which can often be supplemented by information in the paper map collection.
Library Workshops and Academic Courses
- Perkins Library sponsors workshops on using GIS and statistical software
- The Nicholas School of the Environment offers geospatial analysis courses
GIS, visualization, and data consultants in the Data and Visualization Services Department can advise you on the best approaches for visualizing and analyzing your spatial data, and on locating geospatial data.
Geographic Information System (GIS) software allows you to build maps or analyze data that has a spatial (locational) component. When data layers are spatially enabled, the software can overlay them to build a map or to analyze spatial relationships. The user can choose how to symbolize features in the layers.
Some data layers will consist of a set of features (e.g., streets, political divisions, address locations). Other layers will consist of gridded data such as remote sensing imagery (e.g., satellite data) or scanned images of paper maps. GIS software can also work with data files in some spreadsheet and database formats if they include locational elements such as addresses, geographic coordinates, or place names.
Choosing Software: Visualization or Analysis
You may primarily be interested in visualizing data as an effective way to communicate underlying relationships and patterns, or you may just be interested in using GIS software to analyze spatial relationships. Often, you need a little of both. Your visualization and analysis needs will help determine the most appropriate software to use.
Choosing Software: Client or Cloud
Traditionally, you need client software such as ArcGIS or Quantum GIS (QGIS) for complex data analysis tasks or customized visual output. While that’s still true to some extent, some of the web products now incorporate more analysis and visual customization options.