Welcome to the subject guide for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This guide will help you with understanding what GIS is and where to find geographic data, GIS software, training, consultations, textbooks, news, blogs, jobs, and other cartography and spatial analysis resources.

What is GIS?

A geographic information system (GIS) is a conceptual framework for gathering, managing, displaying, and analyzing geographic data. GIS software applications are computer-based tools, that allow users to analyze spatial relationships, patterns, and trends. An interdisciplinary field of study, GIS brings together researchers from all backgrounds embarking on projects that require geospatial technologies to tell stories and answer research questions.


Michele Gandy, GIS Laboratory Manager is available to answer any of your GIS-related questions. She currently manages the GIS Lab in the Mendel Science Center and teaches GIS courses for the Department of Geography and the Environment.  Villanova University currently subscribes to an Enterprise site license for Esri's ArcGIS software products and services. This includes access to Esri Academy, a suite of online GIS seminars and tutorials. If you would like to get access to Villanova's campus site license, please contact Michele to set you up with an account.

Erica Hayes, Digital Scholarship Librarian has worked on a number of digital projects featuring GIS maps. She has created GIS maps using ArcGIS Online, Esri Story Maps, StoryMap JS, Leaflet JS, Mapbox, Neatline, and QGIS. She teaches workshops on GIS mapping and is available for consultations and training at Falvey Library's Digital Scholarship Lab.

Merill Stein is the Subject Liaison Librarian for the Department of Geography and the Environment. He is available for consultations on GIS research and can connect you to GIS data and other geography resources. Check out the Geography and the Environment subject guide for more information.  

GIS Resources

 Local Data (cities and counties)

 Regional Data (Delaware Valley and adjacent states)

 State Data (PA)

 US Data

 International Data

  GIS Books



 GIS Software & Tools

 Georeferenced Maps

 Community Resources

 GIS Job Boards