Geographic Information System (GIS)

Using the Geographic Information System, you can analyze, visualize and manipulate spatially referenced data. This allows you to make detailed maps, explore spatial relationships, study trends and track the movement of everything from storms to diseases.

Getting Started

At the U of S, you can access a variety of Geographic Information System (GIS) services offered primarily through The Spatial Initiative.

To use GIS services, you’ll need:

  1. ESRI (arcGIS) Software

You can also access Cartographica Macintosh GIS software in the Arts 140 Computer Lab.

PCI Geomatics is also licensed on campus. Geomatica is a program that permits the user to manipulate remote sensing data spatially. This software can be installed on university computers on campus. Please contact for installation details.

Learn More

The Spatial Initiative

The Spatal Initiative is a unit within the Office of the Vice-President Research (OVPR) designed to support your use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It operates in partnership with ICT Research Computing.

For more information, visit The Spatial Initiative or review The Spatial Initiative brochure (PDF) 

GIS Services at the U of S Library

GIS Library Services provides you with access to local, national and international maps and geospatial data. The GIS Library is also a partner in The Spatial Initiative.


Training Courses

Training - The Spatial Initiative

You can also obtain customized training from The Spatial Initiative. Discipline-specific training is currently available in areas such as Health and Epidemiology, Agriculture, Hydrology, Commerce, Archaeology and Engineering.

For more information, please visit The Spatial Initiative - Training.

giMap Help Desk

You can get help with spatial and GIS-related services at The Spatial Initiative’s giMap Help Desk.


Software Issues

If you experience difficulty installing the ArcGIS software, trying to print with it or any other issue, information on how to deal with some common problems and known issues can be found on The Spatial Initiative – Software page. If this does not resolve the issue you are experiencing, please contact

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