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GIS software and mapping tools

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


ArcGIS is GIS software for visualizing, managing, creating, and analyzing geographic data. 

ArcGIS is currently available on Library computers at Bennett Library, in the Library and labs at SFU Vancouver.

SFU students, staff, and faculty may download Esri's ArcGIS software suite for use on their own computer through our university-wide Education Site License. ArcGIS only runs in a Windows operating system. Mac users, please read this page, which details some options for running Windows on your machine.


QGIS is a popular open-source GIS software package that works on PCs and Macs alike. QGIS is currently available on Library computers in Bennett Library in room 2105 and the Research Commons. It is also available at SFU Vancouver in Harbour Centre's Lab 1330. 

For more information visit the QGIS website.​

Google Earth Pro

Google Earth Pro is a powerful (and free!) geovisualization program that has the ability to import geospatial data files. Available on computers at Bennett Library at SFU Burnaby in labs 2105 and 4009, as well as in the Research Commons. 

SimplyAnalytics Canada

SimplyAnalytics Canada (formerly SimplyMap Canada) is a web mapping tool used for creating thematic maps and reports using Canadian demographic, business, and consumer data sourced from publishers such as Statistics Canada, Environics Analytics, and Dun & Bradstreet. Quick Reference Guide.

LandScan Global Population - Data

LandScan Global Population For use with GIS Software. This dataset includes country-level demographic data, 1st level admin demographic data, pixel (1km²) level data, and a layer with area calculations for population density.