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Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) : Online Spatial & Mapping Tools/Tutorials

Information on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), maps and mapping tools/software & digital map/geospatial data resrouces

Georeferencing Tools

What is Georeferencing?
Many GIS projects require georeferencing some raster data. Georeferencing is the process of assigning real-world coordinates to each pixel of the raster. Many times these coordinates are obtained by doing field surveys - collecting coordinates with a GPS device for few easily identifiable features in the image or map. In some cases, where you are looking to digitize scanned maps, you can obtain the coordinates from the markings on the map image itself. Using these sample coordinates or GCPs ( Ground Control Points ), the image is warped and made to fit within the chosen coordinate system


ArcGIS Pro Georeferencing Guide (ESRI)

ArcMap Desktop Georeferencing Guide (ESRI)

David Rumsey Map Collection - Georeferencer
Georeferencer v4 is an improved and updated version of our prior Georeferencer v3.  It allows you to overlay historic maps on modern maps or other historic maps. The overlaid maps reveal changes over time and enable map analysis and discovery.|

NYPL Map Warper
The NYPL Map Warper is a tool for digitally aligning ("rectifying") historical maps from the NYPL's collections to match today's precise maps. Visitors can browse already rectified maps or assist the NYPL by aligning a map. Play the video above to tour the site and learn how to rectify a map yourself.|


QGIS 3 Georeferencing Tutorial (QuantumGIS)

Online Tutorials

Online Tutorials from the B1G Geoportal Project: "The BTAA Geospatial Data Project has created a series of tutorials to showcase the practicality of the BTAA Geoportal for teaching and learning about maps, geospatial data, and GIS techniques. These tutorials cover a wide range of activities designed to meet the needs of instructors and students in a wide range of disciplines and levels of competency in geospatial data retrieval, use, and analysis."

Highlighted Tutorials:

Free Online Mapping Tools

Google My Maps: Design and publish customized maps using Google services

Google Earth: This free downloadable software is a virtual globe program for viewing satellite images of the Earth. Use it to create maps as .kmz or .kml files, which can be posted online or imported into Google Maps or Esri's ArcGIS

Harvard WorldMap: Open source software for creating and publishing maps. The system attempts to address the gap between desktop GIS which is generally light on collaboration, and web-based mapping systems which often don't support the inclusion of large datasets.

Historypin: A user-generated digital archive of historical photos, videos and more, that can be displayed interactively in multiple formats, including a gallery, timeline, or map

OpenStreetMap: This is a community-driven, open-source map of the world that includes open data for use in creating maps.

Neatline: This add-on tool to Omeka allows you to tell stories with maps and timelines. Note: Contact Digital Scholarship Services at UCI Libraries if you are interested in building a project on our institutional Omeka site.

Palladio: Data-visualization tool developed by Stanford's Humanities + Design Lab that can produce maps and network graphs

StoryMapJS: Developed by Northwestern University’s Knight Lab, this tool allows users to stories on the web that highlight the locations of a series of events by pulling in media from a variety of web sources, such as Google Maps, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Wikipedia, DropBox, and more

Geocoding Tools

What is Geocoding?
Geocoding is the process of transforming a description of a location—such as a pair of coordinates, an address, or a name of a place—to a location on the earth's surface. You can geocode by entering one location description at a time or by providing many of them at once in a table. The resulting locations are output as geographic features with attributes, which can be used for mapping or spatial analysis.


Batch Geocoder for Journalists
Developed by LocalFocus, this online geocoder will generate lat/long coordinates for a list of addresses for free.  Listed as a “Batch geocoder for journalists” this online geocoder can be used by anyone needing to convert a list of locations to latitude and longitude coordinates.  The online geocoder is built using open GIS data from OpenStreetMapOpenAdressess, and Who’s on first. Pelias, an open-source geocoder, is used to generate the lat/long coordinates from addresses.


Geocode up to 100 addresses for free with csv2geo


Geocoding in QGIS:
The MMQGIS plugin is a Python plugin for QGIS that contains geocoding tools, which can draw on the Google Geocoding API data, the OpenStreetMap Nominatim service, or a local street address layer, such as the US Census Bureau's TIGER/Line data.

StreetMap USA (ESRI)
For use with geocoding/address matching in ArcGIS Desktop. Can be accessed in the Robinson Map Library.

Texas A&M Online Geocoder
U.S. addresses only

UW Licensed Online Mapping Tools

ArcGIS Online  - UW-Madison Organizational Account
Use the enterprise login to use your NetID

ArcGIS Online Tutorial - Learn how to create maps, analyze data and share stories

ArcGIS Online: Sharing maps and data - Build web apps to share your maps with anyone, anywhere. Collaboratively build maps and apps.

ArcGIS Story Maps
Choose Enterprise Login to use your UW NetID.  ArcGIS Organization URL is:

ArcGIS StoryMaps helps you tell remarkable stories with custom maps that inform and inspire. A story can effect change, influence opinion, and create awareness—and maps are an integral part of storytelling. ArcGIS StoryMaps can give your narrative a stronger sense of place, illustrate spatial relationships, and add visual appeal and credibility to your ideas. Use our simple map maker to create custom maps to enhance your digital storytelling. Or add text, photos, and videos to your existing ArcGIS web maps and web scenes to create an interactive narrative that's easy to publish and share.

Create | StoryMaps: Instruction for Creating Dynamic Digital Narratives
(by: Andria Olson, Stanford University)

Story Maps Tutorial
Getting started with ArcGIS Story Maps, one step at a time.