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GIS: Geographic Information Systems

Northwestern University Library's GIS guide.

What is GIS?

Geospatial information science, or geographic information system (GIS), is a "framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing data (Esri, 2019)."  There are many applications of GIS, spanning a wide variety of disciplines.

Types of Support Offered

GIS Workshops

Workshops are scheduled quarterly. To view and register for current workshops, review the Library Event Calendar page.


GIS Consultations

Consultations are always welcomed. You can set up an appointment two ways:

1. Filling out a consult request through the Research Computing Services form here.

2. Send us an email at

Accessibility + Spaces

Remote Access

NUworkspace offers users a Windows virtual desktop with a suite of software applications for University work. Its purpose is to provide eligible faculty, students, and staff with access to programs that may not be readily available on their current desktop/laptop computers. To download and for more information, click here.



Additional information on GIS software can be found on the GIS software page.

ArcGIS and QGIS are installed on several computers throughout Evanston Campus including:

  • Main Library - all public PCs

  • Mudd Library - all public PCs

    • The Geospatial and Data Visualization Lab in Mudd Library 2122 is equipped with four high performance PCs for geospatial and data visualization work.

  • Tech, Room MG51 - all public PCs

ArcGIS and QGIS is also available on computers on the Chicago Campus including:

  • Galter Health Sciences Library - all public PCs