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Starting Point for Data/Statistics/GIS Research


Many U.S. and international agencies offer free access to data. Use databases to identify key data sources for your topic. Use the primary source of the data to get more detailed or historical data.

Can find what you need? Contact Barbara Mento, Data/GIS Librarian

GIS Day and 8th Boston College GIS Contest

It is with great pleasure that the Boston College Libraries announce the winners of the Eighth Annual Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping Contest at Boston College:


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

Samantha Dow, Geology/MCAS, graduate prize: “Mapping channel changes in glacial and legacy sediment reaches of the South River”.

Mary Stack, Geology/MCAS, undergraduate prize: “Farmer's Markets in Massachusetts”.


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

Shan Shan, Sociology/MCAS, graduate prize: “Inquiring and Visualizing Large-Scale Space: Placing China’s Changing Urban Hierarchy from 1985 to 2010 Into Spatial System”.

Theresa L Rager, Biology/MCAS, undergraduate prize:”Failing Provisions and Failing Hearts: The association between grocery store access and cardiovascular disease”.


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

Rachel Piccolino, Psychology/MCAS, co-winner undergraduate  prize: “Impact of Sexual Education on HPV Vaccination Rates”.

Lesley Lopez, Sociology/MCAS, co-winner undergraduate prize: “Smoking and Stroke Prevalence across the 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 were presented Wednesday, April 26th, 2017  at 3:00 p.m. in the O’Neill Lobby.  


Past winning posters can be found in the university Institutional Repository,  eScholarship@BC at, under the category Juried Student Work. The entries of our newest winners will join this distinguished group.  


For more information about GIS data and services at Boston College please contact: Barbara Mento, Data/GIS Librarian or visit our research guide: Finding Spatial Data for Mapping (GIS) at:



Special thanks to the contest judges:


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



What's New

The World Bank eLibrary combines easy search options with comprehensive content from the World Bank including both publications and data.


New: Sanburn Maps and GIS in Social Work

Sanborn Maps from Library of Congress. The  Library of Congress has begun making the maps accessible on its website in a sheet-by-sheet format that will allow printing. By year’s end, more than 100,000 maps published prior to 1900 will be available online. They will join more than 1,200 pre- and post- 1900 maps that were previously scanned and made available online. Read more in the LC Magazine  p. 20


COSA Emerging Scholar

School of Social Work Assistant Professor Samantha Teixeira, whose use of Geographic Information Systems technology exemplifies new directions in community-based research, has received the 2016 Emerging Scholar Award from the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration. BC News

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