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Learning GIS

GIS Software

Proprietary Software

UH has a site license for Esri ArcGIS Desktop. UH ITS administers this license. For information about obtaining an Esri ArcGIS Desktop user license contact Make sure your computer hardware meets the minimum requirements for installing and running ArcGIS Desktop.

Open Source Software

The following programs are open source, freeware, or shareware programs that provide varying levels of GIS processing.

  • Diva-GIS (user-friendly, includes spatial analysis functions)
  • QGIS (formerly "Quantum GIS", popular alternative to ArcGIS Desktop)
  • Christine GI (lightweight, simple and basic GIS software)
  • SAGA GIS (open source, powerful application)
  • The History of Open Source GIS (from makepath, a cool infographic highlighting the rise of open source GIS from 1982 to the present)

Miscellaneous Tools

  • Community Health Maps
    Information on low cost mapping tools for community-based organizations by the National Library of Medicine.