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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) + Mapping

A set of tools to explore GIS and Mapping spacial data for research

What is GIS? What can it do for me?

A geographic information system (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and present data related to positions on Earth's surface. GIS interprets spatial data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts.

Software Available on UAlbany Library Computers


ArcGIS Desktop includes a suite of integrated applications, including ArcMap, ArcCatalog, and ArcScene. By using these applications and interfaces in unison, you can perform any GIS task, simple to advanced, including mapping, geographic analysis, data editing and compilation, data management, visualization, and geoprocessing. ArcGIS Software is installed in Information Commons of the three UAlbany Libraries.

ESRI ArcGIS software  to students, faculty, and staff is available for office and personal computers:

UAlbany Students, Faculty, and Staff: Installing ESRI ArcGIS Desktop Standard

Getting started with ArcGIS : Esri Training Catalog

Google Earth

Google Earth is a computer program that renders a 3D representation of Earth based primarily on satellite imagery. The program maps the Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS data onto a 3D globe, allowing users to see cities and landscapes from various angles.

Access Google Earth: Available in the UAlbany Library Computing Sites and Online: Google Earth

GIS Databases @ UAlbany Libraries

Access Policy Map: UAlbany Databases > Geography and Planning > Policy Map

Getting started with Policy Map: Support Tutorial

Access Social Explorer UAlbany Databases > Geography and Planning >  Social Explorer

Getting started with Social Explorer : Support Tutorial

Other Software

Tool Description Access/Download
QGIS A free,comprehensive (analyzing and visualizing) open desktop GIS software.  Click here to Download
GRASS GIS Geospatial data management, image processing, spatial modeling and visualization. Click here to Download
CARTO Online platform for analyzing and visualizing geodata including 3D mapping and harvesting twitter data (semi free). Click here to Download

World Map

Open source system from Harvard for creating maps, uploading and downloading shapefiles and KMLs.

Click here to Download