Contact Information
last updated: 2/7/2012

GIS Services

What is GIS? | GIS Services GIS DataReference Materials and Articles | Sample GIS Maps | GIS Training | More Information


The Indiana University Libraries' partners with University Information Technology Services to provide library users with GIS software on almost all public workstations. Library staff can assist GIS uses to locate and acquire data, identify and sign up for instruction on the use of GIS.  Our objectives are to:

  • Help users identify and locate data for use with GIS.
  • Provide access to computers, GIS software, software and other desktop mapping applications.
  • Work with faculty and instructors to integrate geospatial and statistical data into relevant classes and coursework. Identify, acquire and provide access to geospatial and statistical data.

What is a Geographic Information System?

A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system that is used to collect, store, analyze, and display data that relates to a geographic area. Additional information on GIS is available from the U.S. Geological Survey or ESRI, a GIS software producer.

GIS Services

The Geographic Information System (GIS) software and hardware is available in the Geosciences Library, Government Information, Maps and Microform Services and the Information Commons. GIS software in the IU Libraries is available for research and instructional use only. Non-educational (i.e. commercial) use is prohibited by our site license. The Geosciences Librarian can provide assistance with GIS use, including making maps and locating and formatting data for use with GIS. Call the Geosciences Library (812-855-1494) for more information on GIS assistance.  A GIS consultation service is also being provided in Government Information, Maps and Microform Services during the semester to help students format data and create maps for projects and papers. To find out the times for this service or to schedule an appointment call  (812) 855-6924 or e-mail


GIS Data

A geographic information system uses data about the World to display information. A GIS can display almost any geographic feature that appears on a map. A wide variety of data is available in the IU Libraries and other units on campus.

  • Geosciences Library - Collects geologic and environmental data about Indiana, the United States, and the World. 

  • Government Information, Maps and Microform Services (ET2 Wells Library) - Acquires and provides access to statistical resources from local, state, federal and international sources with emphasis on data produced by governmental bodies, including the World Bank, the US Census Bureau, and the EPA, as examples. 

  • Indiana Geological Survey - A wide variety of Indiana data is available from the GIS Atlas for Indiana. See their web site for information on available data. 
  • Indiana Spatial Data Portal - Over 400 gigabytes of GIS data for Indiana, such as Digital Raster Graphics (scanned topographic maps), Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quadrangles (digital aerial photographs), Digital Elevation Models and other base data is available from the ISDP.
  • UITS Knowledge Base - A list of sources for local, state and national spatial data resources.


Reference Material & Articles

The Geosciences Library collects both electronic and print books to help with GIS analysis.  Go to IUCAT to find these materials. Some fundamental books include:

  • GIS fundamentals : a first text on geographic information systems by Paul Bolstad - available in the Geosciences Library call number G70.212 .B64 2008
  • Spatial Analysis and Modeling in Geographical Transformation Process : GIS-based Applications by Yuji Murayama - available electronically through the library
  • Also do an advanced search -- use the Subject Heading field and type "Geographic Information Systems"


IU Libraries also offers access to the top journals for GIS development and application. To see a full listing all of the journals available in the Geosciences Library, check out the Geosciences Library Serials page. Some examples of GIS journals online include:


Sample GIS Maps

  • Indiana Ancestry, Ethnicity and Race - Maps and a poster showing the ancestry, ethnicity and race of people in Indiana. Maps show the percent of people in a civil township (Census County subdivision) in a given ancestry, racial or ethnic group.
  • Thanksgiving Maps and Posters - Maps and a poster showing where the foods eaten for Thanksgiving Dinner are grown in the United States.

GIS Training

  • Online Training - ESRI's Virtual Campus provides GIS education and training on the Web, including classes on GIS science, applications, and technology.  Through the ESRI site license with Indiana University, IU faculty, staff and students can take ESRI-authored online courses and workshops at no cost. Courses developed by academic and industry specialists are available at a 40% discount. For information on courses available through ESRI see the Course Catalog.

  • Departmental Classes - Formal GIS coursework is offered in several departments on campus, including Geography, Geology, Anthropology, SPEA and the Kelley School of Business. Consult the individual departmental class listings or the Registrar's schedule of classes for more information.

  • STEPS Classes - UITS usually offers one or two GIS workshops each semester through its STEPS program.


More Information on GIS at IU and in Indiana is available at:

last updated: 2/7/2012