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Geospatial Mapping Services at Virginia Tech: What Geospatial Data Services Offers

This is a guide to help Virginia Tech community members discover geospatial data and Geographic Information System (GIS) resources and services available for their research.

Geospatial applications are powerful tools that allow us to understand and analyze the world around us in innovative ways. To equip students, researchers, and the broader community with essential geospatial skills we offer a comprehensive wide range of geospatial services. This encompasses a diverse range of offerings designed to meet the geospatial needs of learners at all levels of experience, from beginners to advanced users. The following are the services offered by the Geospatial Data Services team at the University Libraries to cater to students, faculty, and researchers across various disciplines.

GIS Educational Services

We provide introductory geospatial education and mapping services that empower individuals to learn the basics of geospatial data and analysis so they have a great start in applying it to their own educational and research initiatives and later harness its full potential. We offer foundational workshops that introduce participants to the fundamental concepts of geospatial technology, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing. These workshops provide hands-on experience with popular GIS software such as ArcGIS (and other Esri tools) and QGIS.

For upcoming geospatial training, workshops and/or events offered by the Geospatial Data Services team, please visit the following links:

Our team delivers expert instruction for professors as part of their class curriculum. Our offerings include teaching spatial tools and techniques or introducing customized lectures tailored to specific groups and classes. We value the opportunity to collaborate with instructors to expand students' understanding of spatial analysis. For additional details, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

Esri offers a wide range of learning options, from in-person training to online courses. As part of our Esri Enterprise site license, Virginia Tech affiliates can take advantage of numerous complimentary online courses. You can explore the available online offerings here.

To access Esri resources, please log in to your ArcGIS Online account. If you do not have an ArcGIS Online account yet, visit this page and use the Virginia Tech login option to create an account..

LinkedIn Learning provides Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students with just-in-time, 24/7 access to a wide variety of self-paced learning resources that can be accessed via a user’s desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. 

To access educational resources on geospatial topics, type "GIS" or “ESRI” in the search bar, and you will find a wealth of training materials, information, introductions, and much more related to GIS and geospatial data.

*Access is free to current Virginia Tech students and employees when you log in at using your VT username and passphrase. Users that are logged in to LinkedIn using a personal email address need to log out and log back in using their email address to access this free service.

Mapping Services

Our team offers consultative assistance with creating maps for research projects, course assignments, and presentations. We offer guidance on data collection, map design, and spatial analysis, ensuring that individuals can effectively visualize and communicate their findings. All Virginia Tech affiliates have access to Esri Enterprise tools; you can find more information from Esri here. We also help Virginia Tech community members find other GIS software including free and open source software, 3D, and remote sensing.

Spatial Data Access

We help geospatial data users find and access a wide range of geospatial data sources, including local, national, and international datasets. We will assist users in locating and acquiring the appropriate data for their projects, ensuring data accuracy and relevance. Check out the Geospatial Data Services resources LibGuide to find and access Virginia Tech, state, national, international GIS resources, etc. If you need assistance finding a dataset, let us know!

GIS Consultation Services

We provide consultative assistance for VT students, faculty and staff as well as community members. We help answer how-to questions using our lab computers. Whether you have research inquiries, require expert collaborators, or simply need guidance on which button to press, please reach out to us for assistance. We make every effort to be accessible for walk-in service or to jump on a call during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM). However, we strongly recommend utilizing email as the preferred means to seek assistance or schedule appointments.

Geospatial Data Curator

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Imma Mwanja
Newman Library Room 3010
560 Drillfield Dr
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Geospatial Data Consultant

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Ed Brooks
Room 3020 Newman Library

Virginia Tech
560 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, Va. 24061
(540) 231-9225