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GIS (Geographic Information Systems) & Remote Sensing: Campus Resources

This guide covers resources and tools helpful for people interested in GIS & remote sensing.

Stay informed & get connected!

♦ Check out the GIS & Mapping Community of Practice campus meetup! ♦

There are many ways to hear about GIS and mapping related news on and around campus:

The following lists are not GIS/mapping focused, but often have relevant items:

Campus Centers for GIS Support

Earth Sciences & Map Library

Serves all disciplines across campus through consultations, workshops, and support locating spatial data. Purchases and curates spatial data for use in research and teaching.

Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF)

Offers training and consultations across a broad array of integrated mapping technologies. Located in the College of Natural Resources, the GIF also develops engaging applications that leverage and build upon state-of-the-art geospatial and web technologies, and provide opportunities for researchers to learn how they can use spatial data to answer critical questions. Sign up for the GIF (Geospatial Innovation Facility) community listserv for news from the GIF about their workshops, classes, and events.


Provides consulting services and training in GIS in the QGIS, Tableau, Python, and R environments, with a focus on data-intensive social science.

GIS Software & Hardware on Campus

Various departments and centers across campus have GIS software and additional specialized programs installed in the computer labs they manage.

The Library

The latest versions of ArcGIS (ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap) and a recent version of QGIS are installed on all library computers across campus (requires Calnet login).

The Earth Sciences & Map Library also has two dedicated GIS workstations available for UC Berkeley student, staff, and faculty use (they are also available to the public). These workstations have fully licensed versions of ArcGIS for Desktop installed including both ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap, as well as a complement of other GIS products and supporting software. Library patrons can use these machines for GIS work whenever the library is open.

Specialized display: Digital globe with 30" projection sphere (the Magic Planet produced by Global Imagination). Available for faculty and student use, for classroom demonstrations, data visualization projects, and more. Please complete the Digital Globe Interest Survey if you are interested in using the digital globe in a course or for research.

Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF)

Software: QGIS, Esri software, Erdas Imagine, ENVI, Matlab, eCognition, & Lidar 360

Specialized hardware: See list of GPS units available for rent at 

Access: UC students, faculty, and staff are eligible for a GIF user account at no charge.

College of Environmental Design (CED)

Software: QGIS, Esri software, Autocad 2019, 123 Catch, 3DS Max, Civil, V-Ray Render Farm, Stata, Rhino 6 + VRay, Rhino Terrain, & Maptek Checkpoint (formerly iSite)

Specialized hardware: 3d scanner

Access: Requires purchase of CED computer account ($98/semester for students; $150/semester for faculty, staff, researchers, etc.)

Archaeological Research Facility (ARF)

Software: QGIS, Esri software, Photogrammetry software, Checkpoint (formerly iSite), AGISoft Metashape, Adobe Premiere, & Olympus Cellsens microscopy software

Specialized hardware: Wide range of field, laboratory, and computing equipment. Berkeley faculty associated with the ARF have priority access to these instruments, but this equipment may also be used by students and researchers at U.C. Berkeley under the auspices of a particular ARF-associated faculty member. See details at: 

Specialized display: "CAVE Kiosk," a 7.5 x 8 foot visualization display composed of 6 connected display panels. Good for large visualizations. Unity engine installed on Windows 10 with sufficient GPU power for data-intensive visualizations and photogrammetry. Available for use by researchers across campus.

Access: Contact for information about the ARF.

GIST Minor & Graduate Certificate

UC Berkeley offers options for students who want to receive official recognition of their GIS studies.

Other Campus Resources

Buildings, utilities, floorplans, and other infrastructure data: contact 

GeoData@UC Berkeley: The Library’s geoportal for GIS data collected by the library and partnering universities.

UC Berkeley Esri Consortium: A group of campus departments and units that support academic and research use of Esri products. The College of Environmental Design (CED) represents the campus on the Office of the President (UCOP) annually negotiated license contract between all of the University and Esri. CED maintains the campus license server and provides Esri support.