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Maps and Geographic Information Systems

Basic information about Maps and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


This guide is intended to serve as a basic starting point for finding maps and exploring spatially arranged data (GIS).  It provides access to a variety of print and online resources, including free available digital map collections, GIS tools, and tutorials. 

Use the tabs above to find information on

  • Reference Sources
  • Finding Books
  • Finding Articles
  • Online Maps
  • GIS
  • U.S. Maps, GIS, & Data
  • Googls Maps/Earth
  • ArcGIS
  • Across the Curriculum



"A book of maps, charts, or tables."

Citation:  "atlas." The Penguin English Dictionary. London: Penguin, 2007. Credo Reference. Web. 09 April 2012.


"Cartography is the art, the skill, and the science of making maps."

Citation:  "Cartography." Encyclopedia of Geography Terms, Themes, and Concepts. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2010. Credo Reference. Web. 09 April 2012.


"A software product, acquired to perform a set of well-defined functions (GIS software); digital representations of aspects of the world (GIS data); a community of people who use these tools for various purposes (the GIS community); and the activity of using GIS to solve problems or advance science (geographic information science)."

Citation:  Longley, Paul A. "Geographic Information Systems (GIS)." Encyclopedia of Geographic Information Science. Ed. . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2007. 191-95. SAGE Reference Online. Web. 9 Apr. 2012.


"Conventionalized representation of spatial phenomena on a plane surface."

Citation:  "map." The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Credo Reference. Web. 09 April 2012.

Mercator projection: map of the world, 1569

Credit:  Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Citation:  Mercator projection:  map of the world, 1569.  Photograph.  Encyclopedia Britannica Online.  Web.  9 Apr. 2012.