Skip to Main Content

GU-Q: How-to Use Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Includes how to find GIS data, how to use GIS software including ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, and Google Maps, and how to use data with GIS.

What is GIS?

A Geographic Information System (GIS) lets us visualize, question, analyze, and interpret data to understand relationships, patterns, and trends in a geographic context.

There are several tools that will allow you to create and modify GIS data. These include:

  • Desktop:

    • arcGIS 10.2

  • Online:

    • ESRI Online

    • Google Maps

ArcGIS is a subscription based-software. Georgetown University has a subscription to the desktop software arcGIS, which is located in the library on PCs. You can also download the software on your PC. Please see the directions to install ArcGIS on your computer

GIS Layers
Conceptualization of GIS data and layering