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GIS (Geographic Information Systems): Home

A guide to getting started with GIS


Welcome to this introductory guide on geographic information systems (GIS)! Use the tabs across the top or the menu below to navigate through the guide.

1938 aerial image of CU Boulder campus (USFS) with 2014 overlay of campus structures and sidewalks.



Starting Out & Getting Help 

Terms & Concepts

GIS Websites & Books

Apps & Software

Finding Data

Questions? Need help? Contact Phil for a GIS consultation! We can search for data and help you get started with your project! Use the Email or Appointment buttons at the right.

Quick Links

ArcGIS Online Account request form
If you would like access to CU Boulder's version of ArcGIS Online, please request an account using the above link. Using CU's version of ArcGIS Online will grant you access to more data and analysis tools that are not available using a free ArcGIS Online account. Phil White will respond to you ASAP.

Geospatial Data Request Form 
Use this form if you need help finding data or if you have a particular data set that you would like the Earth Sciences & Map Library to consider for purchase.

ArcGIS Online
Use this link to access CU Boulder's ArcGIS online instance.

What is GIS?

GIS is a system for storing, analyzing, manipulating, and visualizating data that is geographic or locational. GIS has a wide array of uses ranging from environmental science, to managing municipal data, to analyzing social, political, or economic data. The sky is the limit!

Related Guides

Ask An Earth Sciences & Map Librarian

Your Helpful Librarian

Philip White's picture
Philip White
Earth Sciences & Map Library
Benson Earth Sciences Building
Rm: 165G
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Workshop Data

Spring 2018

Basics of GIS

Intro to ArcMap


Fall 2017

Beginner ArcGIS

ArcGIS Pro

QGIS Intro 


Spring 2016

Excel 2/23/17

ArcGIS for NonGIS Users 2/28/17

QGIS Intro 3/14/17

QGIS Part 2 3/21/17

OpenRefine 4/4/17

ArcGIS Pro 4/18/17


Fall 2016

Tableau 9/28/16

ArcGIS Online 10/12/16

Data Viz 11/9/16

QGIS Intro 11/30/16