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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Services: The Geospatial Lab

This guide gives a basic overview of Geographic Information Systems and the resources available to Texas State University library patrons.

Lab Information

The GIS Services manages a Geospatial Lab that houses 8 working computer workstations with various geospatial and related software packages installed on them. To use the lab:

  1. You must be a student, faculty, or a staff member of Texas State University with a valid NetID. A login is required to access all applications on the computers.
  1.  You must have a personal storage device eg. external hard drive, portable hard drive, flash drive etc. to save/store all projects. ALL PATRON’S DATA LEFT ON WORKSTATIONS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY DELETED AFTER A LOG OUT.
  1. No food or drink; covered or uncovered are allowed in the lab. NO EXCEPTIONS. Violators could have their food or drink ceased and in some cases, may be asked to leave the lab.

Lab Location:   The Geospatial Lab is located in the southern half of the fourth floor of the Alkek Library; behind Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC) and attached to the Government Information Collection. 

 NEW   Starting Summer II 2018, the GIS lab will be moving to the 5th floor (at the right side of the restrooms).

Lab Hours:  Access to the Lab shall follow the normal operating hours of the main Library. Lab assistance, however, can be accessed M-F 8:00 am – 5:00 pm except during public holidays.

Lab Policies:   The policies of the Geospatial Lab are the same as that of Alkek Library along with the three policies stated above.

Contact:   For assistance, please contact us via chat, email, or by telephone at 512-245-3216. You can also schedule an appointment with the GIS Services Specialist for your GIS needs.

Tools and Software


The GIS Services unit maintains 8 64-bit Windows 10 workstations which are open to members of the University community primarily for GIS and related work. Each system comes with Intel Core i5 processors, 3.3GHz Speed and 16GB RAM making them relatively faster for patrons’ geospatial analysis.


The workstations have various geospatial and related software packages installed on them. The following includes some of the software packages available at the lab:

Geospatial Software and Extensions

  • ArcGIS Desktop Version 10.6  - An integrated suite of GIS applications designed by ESRI for manipulating and displaying geographic data. Its associated extensions include:
    • 3D Analyst
    • Business Analyst Standard
    • Geostatistical Analyst
    • Maritime Bathymetry                                                  
    • Network Analyst
    • Publisher
    • Spatial Analyst
    • Tracking Analyst
    • Workflow Manager





  •  NEW   ArcGIS Pro Version 2.1.2 - It is the latest professional desktop GIS from Esri with the capabilities for viewing, exploring, analyzing, editing, and sharing (via the internet) maps and data. An ArcGIS Pro project can contain many maps and layouts as well as tables, charts, and other items. 3D capabilities are native to ArcGIS Pro; any 2D map can be converted to a 3D scene. 





  • DNRGPS -  A free utility to download data from major GPS units.

  • EasyGIS – A free software that allows the uploading, downloading, and display of data from GPS units.

  • Google Earth Pro – A 3D interactive globe that provides a platform for viewing and digitizing earth features. It is a product of Google originally designed as the business-oriented version of Google Earth.

  • Pyscripter - A free windows-based Python integrated development environment (IDE).

  •  NEW  PythonWin - A free windows-based Python integrated development environment (IDE) equipped with troubleshooting capabilities.
  • QGIS 3.2.0 Bonn – A free and open source GIS application with several functionalities for GIS analysis.

Statistical Software

Other Software

Online Survey Instrument

  • Qualtrics: An advanced, secure, professional survey tool. Members of Texas State University have access to this software. Visit this link for more details.

Please visit the Software & Tools page for other useful software.

Map Printing and Scanning Services

  • The Government Information unit provides printing of USGS Topographic Maps for Texas State University students, faculty, and staff. Map requests are filled usually within 24 hours. This service is offered Monday-Friday. Assistance is also available for locating maps in hard copy. Several series of maps are housed in the collection.An online map request form is now available.  For information about the map printing service, see the map printing policy.

  • We provide large format scanning services now using the large format scanner, Contex HD-Ultra.  For assistance, please contact us via email, or by telephone 512-245-3686 / 512-245-3216

GPS Units



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