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Finding Spatial Data for Mapping (GIS)



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


Locating and Using Data for Secondary Research at Boston College

Boston College offers many sources and repositories of data for secondary research in the social sciences, education, nursing, economics, business and other disciplines.  This workshop is particularly geared to researchers who need to access, analyze and manipulate data from BC's subscription data repositories.  This tutorial will help you: find the data you need for your research or class project; learn about the Boston College collection of data  resources in the Statistical Data Catalog; and how to download the data onto your desktop, including how to import  into quantitative analytical tools such as SPSS.  Get a tour of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, a data archive that includes over 5,000 datasets. We will also discuss the library’s guides to key Business, Economics, Education, Health, and General U.S. and cross-national data sources. We will also discuss best practices for curation of both primary and secondary research data. Topics may be customized based on attendees’ research interests. Please contact Data Services for more information.

Jiebei Luo, Data Services Librarian and Rani Dalgin, ITS Research Services. 

Locating and Using Data for Secondary Research at Boston College June 11, 2019  O'Neill 307


Introduction to GIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used for visualizing, managing, creating, and analyzing geographic data. Such applications are widely used in academia, private industry and government agencies. Available GIS technologies are used to perform various tasks, from simple to advanced, including:  mapping, geographic analysis, geostatistics, data editing, compilation, management and visualization.

This session will introduce users to: 1) GIS data and technical support at Boston College; 2) Examples and demos using Census and Environmental data; 3). Options to get data and training will be also discussed. No prior knowledge of GIS is required.

Jiebei Luo, Data Services Librarian and Constantin Andronoache, ITS Research Services. 

Introduction to GIS Fall  O'Neill 307

GIS Support

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

Jiebei Luo                                   Constantin Andronache
Email:   or

ESRI,  which produces the main GIS software supported by B.C. such as ArcGIS, offers many  Free ESRI courses . ESRI offers over 50 courses with free modules from basic introductions courses to specialize applications in health care and urban planning.

Desktop 10 Help -Great online library of how to use ArcGIS. 


Boston College GIS Courses

Check the latest scheduled tutorial at:

Other Courses:

The department of  Earth and Environmental Sciences also offers a Spring course:

Applications of Geographical Information Systems (EESC448001)

College of Arts and Sciences    Spring

HON, RUDOLPH    Credits: 04

Monday,  Wednesday

5:00 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. O'NEILL LIBRARY 245


The course covers fundamental concepts and practical applications of GIS in the geosciences, environmental sciences, land use, and other related fields. Students will learn the basics and principles of spatial database management, database query, and preparation of printed maps. Formal presentations and practical assignments in the two-hour lab will use ArcView and ArcGIS software packages, with spatial data sets taken from across the disciplines including geosciences, environmental studies and land use/city planning, marketing, and other fields. 

Students will gain working experience of applying GIS to their studies and research and achieve practical skills for the marketplace.