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Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Home

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What is GIS?

A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

GIS allows one to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.

A GIS helps one answer questions and solve problems by looking at your data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared.

Definition from

Bowdoin Support for GIS

The Geographic Analysis Lab, fondly known as the GALcove, is housed on the first floor of the Hatch Science Library. Please contact Jennifer Snow, Educational Research Consultant (; x3707) about any potential course or research projects that relate to geographic analysis. We welcome humanists, artists, social scientists, and scientists – anyone whose work would benefit from a geographic lens.

This new Geographic Analysis Lab is an experiment – to learn the value of a dedicated GIS lab to students and faculty. All of the public PC labs will still have ArcGIS software on them. The GALcove is specifically designed with geographic analysis in mind. The computers have tremendous processing power and the large monitors provide wide-screen viewing. The space includes a large map table, and most importantly, professional and student staff to provide technical assistance. The lab was funded with remaining funds from a 2006 Mellon grant and a Dell Computer gift.