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Digital Scholarship Research Guide

Introduction to GIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications are computer or web-based tools that allow for the analysis of geospatial data through maps and visualization techniques. GIS applications allow for multiple layers of data with geospatial components to be displayed and analysed on top of one another to reveal connections among datasets linked by their geographic locations.

Geospatial humanities is the use of mapping and geospatial technologies for social, cultural, and historical inquiry.

ISU Resources for GIS

The Iowa State University GIS Support and Research Facility is an excellent resource for GIS information and assistance on campus. The ISU GIS Facility administers ISU's licenses for ESRI's ArcGIS software which is available by request to ISU faculty, staff, and students for academic research use. 

ISU Extension Technology Program also offers GIS support, courses, and documentation on ArcGIS and QGIS software.

ESRI ArcGIS and ArcGIS Online, a licensed desktop GIS application and freemium web GIS service respectively, are available to the ISU community through the ISU GIS Facility. ArcGIS Online can also be accessed for free with limited features from a non-ISU account.