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GIS (Geographic Information Systems): Intro to ArcGIS

An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, with ArcGIS Tutorials and Resources


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide powerful software tools for the manipulation and analysis of spatial data, making maps into dynamic objects.  While services like Google Earth (requires software download) and Google Maps are bringing GIS capabilities to the masses,  having complete control of the software and data helps researchers precisely study their subjects and produce the exact outputs and displays needed.

ArcGIS, one of the leading GIS software packages, is available in most general Rutgers computing labs.  The university software portal has further information on the ArcGIS site license for individual or departmental installations.   Additional information on GIS is available through the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis at Rutgers. 


This guide was created by Maeve Pinto.

ArcGIS Tutorials

These links will help you get started with ArcGIS.   The Libraries do not offer instruction in GIS, but courses are available through the Office of Continuing Education of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (for a fee).

Official Arc Tutorial Guides
The most thorough collection of ArcGIS guides on the web.  ESRI provides both video and traditional tutorial guides.  The topics range in complexity, from tutorials designed for beginners like "Getting Started" and "The Quickstart Tutorial" to more advanced subjects like "Geoprocessing" and "Interoperability".

GIS Dictionary
Translates all the acronyms and terminology used in the ArcGIS system.  It is good to keep open to learn the terminology.

University of California at San Diego Libguide
Includes many useful tutorials and other resources.

Harvard University's GIS Videos
These are recordings of previous workshops at Harvard's Center for Geographic Analysis. 

iSchool@Syracuse Article
This article offers information about some of the basic concepts of GIS and how librarians can help with your GIS data.

Chemistry & Physics Librarian / Science Data Specialist

Laura Palumbo's picture
Laura Palumbo
Library of Science and Medicine
Piscataway, NJ 08854

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