GIS, Cartographic and Spatial Analysis Tools: Home

This guide provides an overview of geographic software, libraries and tools supported by or recommended by RDS staff.

GIS, Cartographic and Spatial Analysis Tools

This guide provides an annotated list of particularly valuable tools, platforms and other resources for geographic methods, GIS research and design and production.

By necessity, this guide only scratches the surface of what is available to you.  Typically, researchers beginning engage with geospatial technologies and applied geographic techniques will look towards the larger GIS desktop platforms, especially ArcGIS (windows-only) or QGIS (cross-platform, open source).  These packages have widespread utility and are useful for spatial data management and manipulation, spatial analysis and cartographic production.  However, these packages are heavy and have a relatively high learning curve.  There is a diverse and dynamic landscape of geospatial technologies and we will try to give an abbreviated overview of tools available for you.  You are strongly encouraged to reach out directly to Research Data Services for discuss the needs for your own work or for help with any of these resources. 

If you are looking for spatial data, you may want to see our GIS and Spatial Data research guide and the GeoData@Columbia catalog. 

GIS/Metadata Librarian

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Eric Glass
212 Lehman Library
420 W 118th St.
New York, NY 10027