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GIS and Geospatial Data

This guide provides information on GIS software and training/classes available at the University of Arizona, where to find geospatial data, and interactive and static maps.     

For assistance with GIS software or finding geospatial data, contact data curation librarian Chris Kollen.


GIS Software and Services -- Download Spatial Data -- View Online Maps


ESRI Software -- Training -- GIS Lite -- GIS Utilities -- Other Campus Resources 


ESRI Software

The University of Arizona has a site license to ESRI software, such as ArcGIS. The site license is available to UA faculty and staff only. Contact Andrew Honaman at to register for the ESRI software. 

ESRI offers a one-year trial for ArcGIS Desktop for students at colleges and universities that are part of an educational site license. Contact Andrew Honaman,, or Tawny Lochner,, for a student license.

ArcGIS is available in the library in the following locations:

  • Main Library Information Commons Classroom, ILC 112A
  • GIS workstation in the Information Commons with ArcGIS, various datasets, loaded on the hard drive and on CD-ROM (see Download Spatial Datasets).
  • Science-Engineering Library Information Commons
  • Fine Arts Library

Computers in the Information Commons are networked to the black/white and laser color printers. There is also a plotter and large-format scanner available at the Express Document Center.

Training and Classes

The UA's ESRI site license also gives us free access to the ESRI Virtual Campus self-paced learning modules. If you're a UA student, faculty, or staff member, you have access to all of the learning modules. Contact Andy Honnaman at for login and password.

Take a class! Classes that use GIS software and data are available at the University of Arizona (mainly through the School of Geography and Development or the School of Natural Resources and the Environment) or at Pima Community College.

The University of Arizona offers a GIS Certificate Program for graduate students who really want to delve into GIS.  


The UA also offers a Masters in Geographic Information Systems Technology through the Outreach College. It's designed to meet the needs of working professionals seeking to improve their career standing as well as recent graduates seeking employment in the high-growth geospatial industries. 


GIS Lite


ArcGIS Explorer is a free, easy-to-use GIS program from ESRI. You can choose a basemap and add local data such as KMLs, shapefiles, geodatabases, rasters, or locations from a spreadsheet. Users can also access mapping services such as ArcIMS or WMS.


ArcGIS Online: You can share, find and use GIS content across the web; access free maps and reference layers; and find, purchase, and download imagery into ArcGIS.


GeoCommons: You can make a map to visualize and explore data and upload data to organize, share, and map. 

Quantum GIS (QGIS): This open-source GIS software is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). It supports a wide range of vector, raster, database formats and functionalities; runs on Windows, UNIX, Linux, and Mac OSX.

Scribble Maps: Free products where you can create customized online maps. You can import KMLs, shapefiles, tabular files; mark up maps, measure distances, add text, images, and shapes. Maps can be embedded in a webpage or exported.


GIS Utilities An easy way to input geographic locations and create a Google map. Can also geocode addresses. 

FFIEC Geocoding System: Enter a street address to identify census tract/BNA, MSA and other codes, and obtain basic population, housing, and income data.

Importing Data from Excel Spreadsheets: How to import data from Excel spreadsheets and CSV files updated for ArcGIS 10 and Microsoft Office 2007/2010.


Zonums Geospatial Data Utilities: Convert KML files to shapefiles, shapefiles to KML, Excel to KML, Color your map, etc.


Other Campus Resources

Advanced Resources Technology Group (ART): Provides leadership in GIS institutional development, GIS environmental database design and development, and application of cartographic and spatial analysis for agriculture, natural resources, and rural development. The ART lab is for students taking classes in the School of Natural Resources.

Arizona Remote Sensing Center (ARSC): Includes descriptions of projects, computer hardware/software available in the lab, and personnel.

Center for Applied Spatial Analysis (CASA): A GIS research facility within the School of Geography and Development (SGD). CASA supports and develops research projects and encourages the wider use of GIS and related techniques in the social sciences through collaboration on grants, demonstration, training, teaching, and internships.

The CASA Lab is for SGD students, faculty, and staff in the SGD.

Spatial Analysis Lab: Located in the School of Geography and Development, mainly for SGD classes.


Last modified: June 26, 2015