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Research Guides

GIS - Geographic Information Systems Services

The Claremont Colleges Library offers GIS support services online and in person, along with a configured Digital Tool Shed. Contact for access.

New to GIS?

Are you a new GIS user or do you just want to know more about it? 

Your library has many resources that will support your motivation to learn about how GIS technology can help you work and research more effectively.  The campus has an Esri site license for which reason we have access to many Esri related resources for you below.

  1. Attend a library sponsored GIS Library Workshops (sessions will be posted on library calendar)
  2. Select an Esri Virtual Course
    There are 50+ Esri online selfpaced virtual courses. Many have fee requirements however Claremont Colleges students, staff and faculty can request access code to waive fee.  Here are a list of the courses.  Overwhelmed? Feel free to inquire from us on which virtual classes are best suited for your needs.
  3. Request an Esri account here You can access ArcGIS Online through web browsers, mobile devices, and desktop map viewers, as well as directly through other components of the ArcGIS system, for example, the ArcGIS apps and ArcGIS for Desktop.  There are two types of ArcGIS Online accounts:  public and organizational.  Library can provide you an Esri organizational account providing you access to more resources.
  4. ‚ÄčMeet with the Library GIS Specialist
    Coordinate a time to meet with Claremont Library GIS Specialist, Warren Roberts, for advanced GIS support.
  5. Join the student led Claremont Colleges GIS Club.  Learn about resources for you across the campus and find a GIS student mentor.  Attend the Claremont Colleges Student GIS Conference on Friday April 10th.  More information can be found here 
  6. Make a map on ArcGIS Online.
    Make a map you can access anywhere—desktop, phone, or tablet—without purchasing either software or data. Use the map viewer and layers that have been shared on ArcGIS Online. Even if you don't know a thing about GIS, in a matter of minutes you can make a map that you can share on a blog, embed in a website, or email to someone.
  7. Get social
    Follow #ClaremontGIS on Twitter for GIS related trends and resources.
  8. Subscribe to Esri publications for free (in mail or online).
    • ArcUser: Learn how to use Esri software to more effectively solve problems and improve processes; start, manage, and grow a GIS program; extend existing software functionality, or create custom solutions using Esri developer tools. Subscribe to the print version or read the digital magazine, PDF, or HTML versions of current and past issues online.
    • ArcNews: Learn where the GIS industry is headed and the latest developments in Esri's software. Subscribe and read the current issue or selected past issues online in digital magazine, PDF, or HTML versions.
    • ArcWatch: Get announcements, tips, articles, and links to resources in this monthly e-mail-only newsletter that keeps you up-to-date with what is going on in GIS. Subscribetoday and read previous issues online.
  9. There are various blogs you can follow online.
    Esri has blogs that focus on the specific interests of developers, educators, managers, and job seekers. Two blogs that have more general appeal are the Esri Insider, which discusses strategic initiatives and trending topics and the ArcGIS blog, which discusses the latest developments in ArcGIS software.
  10. Visit ArcGIS Resource at the Esri website.
    Find maps and applications, blog posts, forum threads, videos, documentation, and tweets related to specific areas of interest
  11. Read an introductory book.
    In the GIS Lab you can find the Understanding GIS: An ArcGIS Project Workbook explains the methods, tools, and processes needed to apply full-scale GIS analysis to a spatially based problem. It contains self-paced tutorials with step-by-step instructions, access to a 90-day software trial to perform the analysis, and a DVD with the data needed for the project.  Please do not remove the text from the GIS Lab.
  12. Listen to a webinar.
    Look thru past recorded training seminars for practical, specific, and current information in an hour long session. Topics can includes GIS tasks, tips, concepts, or new technologies. Attendees can log in remotely to the seminar and can pose questions or chat with other attendees. Live seminars are frequently announced and can be attended for free.
  13. Take a class at the Claremont Colleges
    There are GIS related courses at Pomona College, Pitzer College (EA082), JSD (Advanced Chemistry, Soils) and several at the Claremont Graduate University SISAT.  For more information and specific courses please contact
  14. Read help files and work the tutorials.
    In addition to supplying step-by-step instructions for using Esri software, online help includes information on related concepts that will give you a better understanding of the technology. Most programs come with tutorials and sample data.
  15. Attend one day at the worlds largest GIS Conference for free
    Each year the largest GIS software developer, Esri, hosts the Esri International User Conference, the largest GIS conference in the world, in San Diego, California. At this conference, you can attend hundreds of technical workshops by Esri staff; listen to paper sessions presented by GIS users from all over the world, network with thousands of GIS professionals, attend special interest meetings, and listen to industry leaders. Esri also hosts events specifically for GIS practitioners involved in education, homeland security, health, business, and other fields. In addition, many regional and state GIS organizations hold their own conferences. All these conferences provide new users with great opportunities to network with other professionals, see demonstrations, ask questions, and get hands-on experience with a variety of GIS software.  Claremont Colleges students, faculty and staff can attend one day for free.  Contact us if you are interested in attending and perhaps find a carpool.

Highly Recommended

If you are exploring the ArcGIS, you are highly encouraged to use the Esri Arcgis Online tools to both obtain and share GIS layers,

Local GIS Industry Events

You are highly encouraged to network with industry while you are attending college for several reasons.  Networking increases your employment prospects ... it is often true: its who you know.  Furthermore, networking provides you contacts for obtaining data from industry, finiding support on projects and learning of trends in your field.

Typical GIS support includes

GIS service is intended to be instructional; our goal is to help users learn how to work through these tasks on their own, GIS staff will not complete project work for you.

GIS support is available for reference consultations by appointment only. References are typically 45 minutes to an hour maximum. Please give us at least 24 hours’ notice before requesting an appointment and include some information about your project or GIS task when requesting a new appointment.

Consultation appointments are for those with familiarity with GIS. You can scheduled by emailing Warren Roberts at warrenr @  

Typical GIS support includes

  • GIS installation (we can provide you the software)
  • GIS project workflow & management
  • GIS software instruction
  • Data collection and creation (including GPS)
  • Data management (shapefiles, geodatabase, tables, imagery)
  • Analysis design (including model builder)
  • Spatial statistics
  • Map design and export
  • GIS & GPS workshops

Library Provided GIS Related Resources

These are online services the library subscribed to provide both GIS and non-GIS users access to valuable datasets, reports and spatial analysis.

Content Attribution

Some of the content of this guide was originally created in another format by Robert Sathrum, HSU Librarian, retired 06/2013 and Katia G. Karadjova, HSU Librarian.  Thanks Katia!

Library GIS Specialist

Warren Roberts's picture
Warren Roberts
(909)921-9329 (SMS)