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Political Science & GIS: What is GIS?

Intro to GIS Using ArcGIS 10.3 Handouts

Other ArcGIS 10.3 Workbooks

These workbooks were developed by librarians at the University of Maryland, College Park. Using the ArcGIS 10.3 software available on all of the computers in the Library, you can work through the exercises on your own. If you need assistance or have questions, contact Eileen Harrington, Health & Life Sciences Librarian,

What is GIS?

GIS stands for Geographic Information System. A GIS is a computer system for the management, analysis, and display of geographic data.

Benefits of an Online Map

Online maps are dynamic!  What makes them so great?

  • You can ask it questions—can’t do that with paper maps
  • You can do analysis and comparisons, either spatial or temporal
  • Easy layering
  • Easy projection and changes of projection
  • Change scale, features, colors, symbols and the way data is classified

Six Steps to Creating a Story Map

The following steps are form Esri's Story Map website. For more details visit this website:

  1. Decide what story you want to tell.
  2. Assemble your content.
  3. Create your map(s).
  4. Configure your storytelling app.
  5. Refine your story.
  6. Publish your story.

Subject Guide

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Eileen Harrington
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