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GIS (Geographic Information Systems): Home

Overview of this Guide

The purpose of this guide is to provide information and resources for GIS that are available to affiliates of FAU and South Florida. 

FAU offers many GIS courses and GIS certificate programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. FAU students, faculty, and staff also have FREE access to licensed GIS software both online and on campus.

If you need more information or have any questions regarding this guide, please contact FAU Libraries Government Information and Maps Department at or 561-297-3788. The office is located at LY109, on First Floor West at S.E. Wimberly Library on the Boca Raton Campus.

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday 8 AM - 5 PM
Saturday - Sunday Closed


What Does GIS look like

What It Is and What It Can Do

GIS (or geographic information systems) are software that is built to store, analyze, and display geographic data. It operates on a system built on 5 pillars: Users, Hardware, Software, Data, and Analysis. A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface. GIS can show many different kinds of data on one map, such as streets, buildings, and vegetation. This enables people to more easily see, analyze, and understand patterns and relationships.


With GIS, users can solve a plurality of problems where the location is a factor. Where should city planners put a new hospital or clinic? Where will we draw election districts after a decennial census? Where will a hurricane make landfall, and how will that area respond to a major storm? What routes will make transportation companies more efficient? All of these questions and many more can be answered with the right data, the right analysis, and the right user.