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GIS = 'geographic information system'

It's a type of software that marries maps & spreadsheets. ('I now pronounce you....') As long as the spreadsheet has records that include a spatial reference (e.g., lat-lon coordinates or addresses), the GIS can plot the data. Once plotted, you can analyze the data with built-in tools.

Sounds like fun, right? Well, here is how you can get your hands on these things: 

Client-side options

  • Cross-platform
    • My World GIS 5.0: ...this is an evolutionary dead end (the software is no longer supported), so no guarantees. 
      • I also have an install file for My World 4.1 (whose interface I infinitely prefer), but it's PC-only. 
    • QGIS: an an open-source project, plus it's not dead. I've only used it once, way back in the day, so I'm not as familiar with it as the others. 
  • PC-only: ArcGIS (requires Lehigh log-in, only for install on Lehigh-owned computers): ...Scroll down (or search down) to 'Esri ArcGIS Desktop Suite'. Note that once you install, you'll also need the license from Scott Rutzmoser

Web-based option: ArcGIS Online is pretty much the only game in town. There are two levels of accounts:


List of bookmarks about GIS:,GIS


Set of pages intro'ing client-side GIS. It's built with My World GIS in mind.



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