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GIS, Maps and Spatial Thinking


Geographic Information Systems and other mapping tools will help you locate, present, analyze, and interact with data that is geographically referenced. These tools are used in many fields such as environmental studies, geography, geology, natural resources management, demographics, public health, economics, history, and much, much more.

MAPS

Need a map for a class or project?  Browse through some of these great online map collections to see what's available. Supplement your class with one of these map-related teaching resources. Read what inspires map enthusiasts in these GIS and mapping blogs.

teaching

What would your students gain from working with GIS and mapping tools? Find out something about spatial thinking and analysis and data visualization.  Take a look at these suggestions for using GIS and maps in class. See examples of simple student and class mapping projects at other colleges. You can also look through Complex Projects in the Liberal Arts for examples of more time-intensive projects.  Scroll through this amazing list of GIS projects in the Digital Humanities.

applications

We have a site license for all ESRI products, including ArcGIS Online, our preferred entry-level application. This web-based GIS is accessible via Mac or Windows, includes various base maps, data layers, spatial analysis tools, and creates beautiful interactive multimedia apps.  We offer in-class instruction for course projects using ArcGIS Online and Story Maps.

Take a look at these specialized online mapping tools, mostly for outer space.

If you have a list of locations and would like to create points with pop-ups, then one easy option is to use Google Maps (which can be shared just like any other Google file). Here's a page of Google resources, including links to very informative tutorials. In order to use your Hamilton Gmail account for Google Maps, please see Accessing Google Maps at Hamilton.

data

You can find spatial data via many Internet Mapping Services, where government and other agencies to provide access to maps and data  through a web site. This information can be viewed online, added to a map as a service, or often downloaded as data layers for other maps.  For a few examples, check out a page of New York City Mapping Resources or Disaster Response Resources. In addition, you can look through this compendium of sources for geospatial data from many different sources.

Last updated: June 16, 2020

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