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GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS: Research Tools

What's on this page?

To search and analyze effectively, you may find the following tools helpful.

GIS Utilities

Map Making Tools

To use the tools below you'll need to provide your own data.

GIS

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, & Handbooks

Use dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks to gather basic and background information.

Dictionary: Provides the meaning of words in a language or field of knowledge.

Encyclopedia: A single or multi-volume reference work that provides general background articles on either a wide range of topics or a more specialized discipline.

Handbook: A compact reference book giving the essential information in a given field of study.

Gazetteers

Gazetteers are tools that help researchers develop search strategies to find resources for a given area by

  • providing basic information for an area (e.g., population)
  • providing identifiers (e.g., census code: 59962)
  • standardizing place names (e.g., California is sometimes referred to as the "golden" state)
  • identifying variant place names (e.g., Mill Creek Zanja, Sankee, Sankey, Zahn-ha, Zieca, Zanka, Sanka, Sanja, Zanke)
  • identifying standard categories (feature classes) (e.g., battlefield, grassland, pipeline)
  • identifying broader and narrower place names (e.g., North American > United States > California > San Bernardino County > Redlands)
  • georeferencing locations (e.g., latitude and longitude coordinates)

To find information, you can run text-based searches or select a location or area on a map. 

Digital Gazetteers

Gazetteers at Your Library

To find additional gazetteers, try these strategies using Primo's advanced search.

  • For a shorter list of results:  Run a subject search for gazetteers
  • For a longer list of results:  Run a subject search for names geographical
  • For a long list of results:  (1) Run a search for gazetteer* (with the asterisk to find gazetteer and gazetteers), (2) in the left column, click on Resource Type and (3) exclude articles, reviews, and newspaper articles.

Geography

According to the Royal Geographical Society, geography is "the study of Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments."

Spatial Analysis

Census

Cartography