FAQ


1. What is GIS?

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is computer-based technology that has become the standard tool for capturing,manipulating, analyzing and visualizing geographically referenced information.


2. What can you do with GIS?

Did you know that GIS can touch your life everywhere? With a GIS, you can:

  • Map where things are:  publish store location, fire ban, health care information using maps on the Internet
  • Find what is nearby: locate bank branches or ABMs within 5 km with a postal code or address
  • Find what is inside: find ZIP codes with high purchasing power for your products
  • Map where and how things move: track the path of a hurricane to predict its speed and direction
  • Create a map to see a trend: forecast crop yields and determine fertilizer spread
  • Understand spatial relationships: does the location of the school influence where people live?
  • Make better decisions: determine the best location for a new school, restaurant, bank, factory, etc.
  • Ask questions and solve problems: a map showing clusters of a cholera outbreak in the London epidemic of 1854 led to the source of the  disease, a contaminated water pump.
  • More: visit us or www.gis.com

3. How do I learn more about GIS?

Check out Are You New to GIS? from the ESRI web site for some useful tips. And finally, consider taking an ITS Course Offering, or an ESRI virtual campus course. Course codes are available free to Students, Faculty and Staff at the University of Saskatchewan. You may obtain a course code by sending an email request to: spatial@usask.ca


4. How do I access the computers in the GIS Lab?

 Log on to the computers in the GIS Lab using your usual nsid and password. Anyone having difficulty logging on should consult the Arts and Science network administrators.


5. How do I using GIS software?
  • There are a multitude of resources available within the Arts and Science GIS Facilities and on the internet. As well as consulting a staff member of The Spatial Initiative, you may access help from:
  • The Help sections of the GIS Software
  • The ITS Course Offerings
  • The ESRI Online Support web page
  • Further information on Resource  and Data Acquisition is available on this website

6. How do I get ArcGIS for my computer?

The University of Saskatchewan has a site license for ArcGIS software. Should you require to use it, you may log in to the GISJane Server on the Usask network.

Detailed installation instructions can be found HERE 


7.  How do I convert a table of longitude/latitude values into a ESRI Shapefile?

See a video at YouTube.