Map of Devastating 2003 Heat Wave in the Netherlands Observed from MODIS Satellite. Mehdi Aminipouri (PhD Candidate in Geography at SFU)

SFU Library provides services and support to researchers using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and maps across all disciplines

For assistance with GIS, geospatial data, and maps contact: Sarah (Tong) ZhangLibrarian for Geography, GIS, & Maps, at

For data and statistics assistance and information, please see Data and statistics information resources.

Curious about what GIS is? See an Intro to GIS by National Geographic Society. 

Thematic guides

Critical GIS and participatory mapping 

Using mapping/GIS for community-based research, participatory projects, and equity/diversity/social justice 
If you don't identify yourself as a "GIS researcher", but you are interested in using GIS/mapping for community-based research, participatory projects, and equity/diversity topics, this guide is a good resource to get you started. 


How to map Canadian Census data
Why and how to map Canadian Census data, using a GIS program or SimplyAnalytics Canada.

How to make images(or old maps) useful for mapping: Georeferencing
Learn how to use QGIS to georeference a historical map, and connect your images with their spatial locations on a reference dataset.

Geocoding: turning addresses into geographic features for mapping 
Learn how to convert location descriptions, such as addresses, into geographic coordinates that can be displayed on a map. 

Mapping tools 

Communicating your research with ArcGIS StoryMaps
Learn how to use ArcGIS StoryMaps, a web-based storytelling tool, to communicate your research. 

Introducing ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online: working with remote sensing data in the cloud 
Learn how to use this a web-based platform to access and work with remote sensing data.

Spatial data resources

ICI Society's Cadastral data and ParcelMap data New
SFU Library, as a member of BC’s Integrated Cadastral Information Society (ICI Society), has access to its unique holdings of datasets.This guide will focus on helping you understand the cadastral map data and ParcelMap data it provides.

News & awards 

GIS Day 2023 materials and recordings available

If you missed GIS Day 2023, you can download the slides of the presentations or watch recordings! 

Easier Access to ArcGIS Online to SFU users 

As of December 2022, SFU faculty, current students, and staff are able to create ArcGIS Online accounts by SFU computing ID. Please refer to the instructions on the ArcGIS Download page

Blog posts 

Blog posts on how GIS intersects with knowledge mobilization and citizen science, published on SFU Library's Radical Access blog. 

Using OpenStreetMap for your research: leveraging a massive global geographic database that emphasizes local knowledge

How Community Science opens a new way of knowledge creation: the BC Parks iNaturalist Project

Leveraging Web Mapping Technologies to Communicate Your Research: Introducing our new Web GIS Workshop Series

More Canadian research data findable by map-based searching: Explore Geodisy in FRDR

Map image: Devastating 2003 heat wave in the Netherlands mapped using MODIS satellite data, by Mehdi Aminipouri, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, SFU