Welcome to the Maps and GIS Research Guide. Use the navigation menu on the left to find maps, geographic data, and links to GIS software. If you have any questions about this guide or geographic research, please email me at email@example.com.
Image: Map of Boston in 1835, digitized by the Boston Public Library
Some common geographic terms include:
Cartography, the making of maps, including print, digital, and 3-dimensional maps
Coordinates, a reference system that communicates location using longitude and latitude
Geodata or geographic data, used for any data that reference a location on Earth
GIS (Geographic Information System), used for databases that house geographic data (like terrain, population, political borders, etc.) and tools to visualize and analyze that data; examples include ArcGIS and QGIS
Raster data, data that are displayed on a map as pixels; images from satellites are usually stored as raster data
Topography, land surfaces, forms, and features, and the study of these phenomena
Vector data, data that are displayed on a map as points, lines, and shapes; political boundaries are usually stored as vector data.
For any research help regarding spatial information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to one of our subject librarians.
Boston University librarians can help you with: