GIS Analysis

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Geospatial data, often called Spatial Analysis, is the application of analytic techniques to a research problem when location is a significant or interesting aspect  of the research question. This is useful for researchers who are trying to understand the location of things, if and how they relate, what that relationship means, and if actions can be taken.

The Library provides support for the popular geographic information system (GIS) software package ArcGIS by ESRI. For information on acquiring and installing the software, please visit the ESRI ArcGIS page on the Computing and Communication Services (CCS) website.

Help Guides

Getting Started

Data Access and Management


To determine which version of ArcGIS you are using, open any ArcGIS application (e.g. ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcScene, etc.). The version number will appear on the splash screen (i.e. the image that appears while the application is loading.)

Open Source Software and Tools



The Library offers workshops on a number of GIS and geospatial data-related topics every semester. Samples of workshop topics are listed below. To see the current semester's availability, please visit our list of upcoming workshops and events.

  • Finding and managing your geospatial data
  • Introduction to ArcGIS
  • Geoprocessing in ArcGIS
  • Introduction to Spatial Analyst
  • Introduction to 3D Analyst
  • Introduction to Spatial Statistics
  • Using Free Web-Based Mapping Tools for Research

ESRI Virtual Campus Courses

ESRI, the makers of ArcGIS, offer online courses through their website. These courses are available free of charge to all University of Guelph students, faculty, and staff.

To see a partial listing of courses available, visit the CCS Software Distribution Site.

Click on Search by Publishers and choose ESRI Virtual Campus.

To see a complete listing of all courses, visit the ESRI Virtual Campus Course Catalog.

Recommended Foundational Courses

  • Learning ArcGIS Desktop
  • Geoprocessing with ArcGIS Desktop
  • Learning ArcGIS Spatial Analyst