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SMU Libraries

Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Resources on GIS

A guide on GIS and mapping-related resources


Plenty of self-learning resources for GIS are freely available. These cover both basic GIS concepts as well as user guides for specific GIS tools.  

GIS Help

Need help with GIS? 

If you have a query on how you can apply GIS in your projects, a librarian may be able to help. Contact or your Research Librarian for your school. 


Library Resources on GIS

Software & Tools

There are many different types of GIS desktop software available, some proprietary and some open source. Depending on your need, open source tools are usually sufficient and can be donwloaded for free. 

Open Source GIS Software

  • QGIS - A user-friendly and free GIS software supported by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. Works on Mac OSX, Windows, Linux and Unix. *Recommended Software*
  • GRASS GIS - GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) GIS is another powerful and free software for geospatial analysis and visualisation. 
  • OpenJUMP - A GIS software based on Java, maintained by a group of volunteers.
  • uDig - An open source desktop GIS that aims to be user-friendly and internet-oriented. Compatible with Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. 
  • ArcGIS OnlineA free version of software from ESRI. Free public accounts are available with limited mapping features for non-commercial personal use, although sign-up is required. Sign-up for a free account here
  • gvSIGAn open source desktop GIS software. A gvSIG mobile app is also available to download from Google Play.
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