Welcome to the UMass GIS Hub, your go-to source of information about GIS, GIST, and mapping resources at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We hope that this guide will be the first step in your journey toward learning GIS, using it in class projects, and engaging in geospatial research.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Email us and we’ll help you on your way.

What is GIS / GIST?

GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. GIS is a tool that enables users to store and manage spatial data, analyze patterns over space and time, and visualize data in the form of maps and 3D models. It is a framework for organizing and analyzing spatial data, from simple map coordinates to more complex information about the landscape and the people who inhabit it.

GIST stands for Geographic Information Science & Technology. GIST refers to the field rather than the tool, encompassing all the ways that researchers can implement GIS to ask spatial questions. For example, it focuses on the ways that geospatial data is collected, how it is managed, and even how students learn different spatial tools and concepts.

GIST is a rapidly growing field with employment opportunities in different areas of expertise, like navigational tools, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones), remote sensing applications, spatial analysis, and data visualization.

Where to Find Computers with GIS Software in the UMass Libraries

W.E.B. Du Bois Library

All computers in the Learning Commons on the Lower Level of the Library are equipped with ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap 10.5.1). Anyone with a UMass NetID can login to access this software.

Science & Engineering Library

All computers on the 2nd floor of the Library are equipped with ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap 10.5.1 and ArcGIS Pro 2.4). Anyone with a UMass NetID can login to access this software.