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The Library's Geospatial Data Center



  • Research consultations: suggestions for finding and accessing datasets (particularly geospatial, census, socio-economic, environmental), advice on getting started with GIS or mapping, basic assistance with data processing and scripting, troubleshooting GIS software issues, geocoding, understanding and interpreting data, suggestions for geospatial research methods, project scoping.
  • Research support: based on the need, scope, and timeline for a given project, we may be able to provide assistance with data processing or geospatial analysis, partner with you as experts on a project, or refer you to our colleagues in the Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences. Schedule a consultation with the GIS and Data Librarian to discuss.
  • Workshops: we teach a day-long Intro to GIS with QGIS workshop a few times each semester, as well as shorter sessions on various topics. Visit the library's workshop calendar to register for sessions. We partner with S4 each winter and summer in offering the two-week GIS Institute. Instructors can also arrange course visits with the GIS and Data Librarian to present on specialized topics.
  • Tutorials: We produce a number of tutorials to support our workshops, as well as for independent study. These are freely available under Creative Commons licenses.


The software we support is subject to change, based on staffing.

Intermediate to advanced support:

  • QGIS, GRASS, PostGIS, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS StoryMaps, various web mapping tools
  • Python, SQL (PostgreSQL and SQLite), Excel, OpenRefine

Basic support:

  • R, STATA

Services we do NOT provide

  • Creating maps on-demand
  • Support for statistical analysis beyond the basics
  • Qualitative analysis & text mining
  • Printing services