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last updated: 6/6/2013

GIS at the Library!

This webpage is intended as a starting place for learning about GIS and the resources available to you at the Indiana University libraries. We have compiled some useful sources, but this site is in no way meant to be a comprehensive guide to GIS.

What is GIS?

GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. It is a way to organize, analyze, store, manage, and view spatial data. GIS generally refers to a system comprised of data, a person doing analysis, hardware, and specialized software.

Data | GIS Applications | Training Resources | Reference Materials | Sample Maps | Contact & Consultations


Finding the right data can be challenging. Here are some sources that may help.

GIS Applications

  • The most common GIS software at IU is ESRI's ArcDesktop. This software is available on all STC computers on the IU Bloomington campus. Here is a map of STC locations on the IU Bloomington campus.
  • Simply Map is free for IU Bloomington users. It allows you to map Census data, consumer information, and quality of life indexes. You may export data as well as completed maps.
  • Google Maps allows you to create custom maps. Here is a tutorial on how to do this.
  • BatchGeo is a very easy-to-use online geocoding program.

Training Resources

  • ESRI offers a very good online training suite. These training sessions are available free of charge for IU students. However, you must email a GIS Department Specialist for an access code. Click Here for information on how to do this.
  • GIS at Indiana University has a helpful page of training options, including instructor-led classes here at IU.
  • The Harvard Graduate School of Design has a very handy GIS manual, complete with tutorials. It is oriented towards Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, but would be useful for anyone starting out with GIS.
  • Yale University has a great tutorial on finding data and importing it into ArcMap. Finding data is often one of the most challenging aspects of a GIS project. This tutorial covers how to export data from SimplyMap, ESRI, and USGS.

Reference Materials

A small selection of physical materials for learning about GIS, located in the IU Bloomington Library.

Sample Maps

Map of Indiana showing battle sites in the war of 18122008 election map of indiana by county

Contact & Consultations

Email for more information on GIS at the libraries, or to schedule a GIS consultation.

Consultations are available primarily for people with little to no GIS experience. We can help you create a map, learn basic GIS functions for your specific project, or direct you to a subject GIS specialist.

Last updated Feb 1, 2013

last updated: 6/6/2013