GIS: Geographic Information System: Home

Northwestern University Library's GIS guide.

GIS Help at NU Library

If you are in need of GIS assistance with a project or have need for assistance, please fill out the GIS Help Request Form. We look forward to helping you!

GIS at Northwestern University Library

 A unit of the Research Information Services (RIS) department, Data,Geospatial & Government & Business Services provides access and support for both licensed, and open source GIS software including ArcGIS 10.2 and ArcGIS Online. 

Evanston Campus:

  • University Library,  Main Library, Level 1: 50 workstations (hours) & Deering, Level 1: 10 public PCs (hours) ,  
  • Mudd Library, Evanston Campus - all public PCs
  • Technological Institute, Tech PC Classroom (Tech MG51): 18 PCs (available when not reserved)

Chicago Campus:

Online Resources:

Via our LibGuide you can access information on how to:

Northwestern University Library has provided GIS reference and instruction services to the campus since 1997. Licensed GIS software is available on all public PC workstations

Northwestern University presently does not have an ArcGIS campus-wide license. You may want to check your school/department labs to see ArcGIS is installed on their computers. Otherwise, you can always come to the University Library to use the latest ArcGIS software.

What is GIS?

A Geographic Information System (GIS) "integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. (ESRI)"

What is GIS used for? There are many applications, spanning a wide variety of disciplines. Some examples include:

  • Biological Sciences: migration patterns, species diversity, fisheries management
  • Health Sciences: epidemiology, noise pollution
  • Historic Geographic Analysis
  • Digital Humanities
  • Emergency Services: wildfire spread, missing person location, least-cost paths to accident sites
  • Environmental Sciences: soil/groundwater contamination, drainage networks, erosion
  • Social Sciences: crime rates, food deserts, population dynamics
Northwestern University

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