Boston College University Libraries

Finding Spatial Data for Mapping (GIS): Home

Includes spatial data sources and mapping tools and support persons. Boston College supports several Geographic Information Systems software packages on campus.

Current Articles about GIS

Full text links for the BC Community.


Boston College supports the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in teaching, research and administrative projects. GIS is a database management system for capture, storage, retrieval, analysis, and display of spatial data and related information.

To request a GIS class presentation or GIS consultation for a research project contact:

Barbara Mento


Constantin Andronache

The GIS Team will work with faculty members to customize GIS integration into courses and support research projects. Support includes identifying GIS data, assistance in developing maps for course material, overview and demonstration of  ArcGIS software and hands on workshops for smaller groups of students.

5th Annual GIS Contest 2014

First prize undergraduate winner Elisssa Knight

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014  Library Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping Contest at Boston College

It is with great pleasure that the Boston College Libraries announce the winners of the Fifth Annual Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping Contest at Boston College.   The response this year was impressive in the relevance, variety of topics and the attention to social justice and environmental issues.

The first place award of a $100 Amazon Gift Card goes to:

Aakash Ahamed, Graduate student in  Geology/Geophysics , graduate prize: "Know Your Air". 

Elissa Knight, A&S 2015 in Environmental Geoscience, undergraduate prize: “The Effect of Educational Attainment on Health Insurance Coverage “.

The second place award of a $50 Amazon Gift Card, goes to:

Christopher P. Soeller, Graduate student in Geology, graduate prize: "Environmental Justice in MA: An Analysis of Income Levels and Hazardous Waste Sites".

Christine Pang , A&S 2015 in Environmental Geoscience, undergraduate prize:  “Comparing two heating fuel types in Massachusetts counties”. 

The third place award of a $25 Amazon Gift Card goes to:

Oluwaseun Fadugba, Graduate student in Geophysics, graduate prize: ”Propagation of P- and S- Waves and the Variation of Peak Amplitude from Earthquake’s Epicenter Using the Mississippi 2012 Earthquake as a Case Study”.

Stephen Hilfiker, Graduate student in Geophysics/Earth and Environmental Sciences, graduate prize: “Tsunami Risk Assessment for the Pacific-Northwest United States”

Awards were based on map quality, use of GIS as a research tool and originality.  Special consideration was given to topics depicting social implications of the research such as environmental issues. The awards will be presented Wednesday, April 16th at 3:00 p.m. in the O’Neill Lobby by University Librarian, Tom Wall. Please join us in congratulating the winners.

Special thanks to the contest judges:

Rudolph Hon, Associate Professor, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences ; Constantin Andronache, Research Associate, Research Services, ITS; Sally Wyman, Science Librarian, Enid Karr,  Science Librarian and Barbara Mento, Data/GIS Librarian

News and New Books

Free Online Tutorials

Sign up for a free online tutorial from ESRI, producer of the ArcGIS software:

Getting Started with GIS (for ArcGIS 10)

Just create a free online account and go to this free 9 hour course.

Course description from website: This course provides a foundation for understanding what a geographic information system is and the possibilities it offers for discovering patterns, relationships, and trends. You will learn how GIS maps are different from other types of paper and digital maps, what makes the data used in a GIS unique, and how to use GIS software to obtain information and create meaningful maps. In interactive exercises and activities throughout the course, you will work with ArcGIS software and see how a GIS supports problem solving in many different contexts.

For  a full list of free ESRI courses go to the ESRI Training Catalog

Subject Guide

Barbara Mento
O'Neill 313