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Maps & Geospatial Data

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GeoLytics is an industry leader, providing demographic data, census demographics, market research data, and geocoding for social researchers and business marketing since 1996. GeoLytics database software comes with built-in mapping capabilities that create thematic maps for instant display of demographic information.

Access to GeoLytics is available by appointment on a limited number of computers in the Gardner Family Map Room (Thompson Library, Room 205), which is open on weekdays 10am - 6pm.

To schedule an appointment to use GeoLytics, contact Jan Wagner at

Esri Software at Ohio State

ArcGIS Desktop is available for free to all Ohio State faculty, staff, and students through an Esri site license managed by OCIO.

To request a download of the ArcGIS Desktop software, use the Order Services link of the OCIO Self Service catalog.

To access the license server following your download, follow the instructions provided in this Knowledge Base Article: KB04502.

If you experience difficulties or require assistance with downloading ArcGIS Desktop and accessing the license server, you can email for help.

Web-Based GIS/Mapping Tools

ArcGIS Online is an online, collaborative web GIS that allows you to use, create, and share maps, scenes, apps, layers, analytics, and data. Users get access to ready-to-use maps, ready-to-use apps, and Esri's cloud storage, where you can add items and publish web layers.

ArcGIS Online organizational accounts are available to all OSU faculty, staff, and students. To sign up for an account with your OSU name.#, follow the instructions provided here by CURA: Sign up for ArcGIS Online.

Once you've created your ArcGIS Online organizational account, you'll also be able to sign up to gain access to many other resources available through the Esri Training Catalog. To gain access to these valuable online tutorials, exercises, and other training materials, following the instructions provided here: Training and Resources.

Google Earth

Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, terrain, 3D buildings, and much more. You can explore rich geographic content, save your toured places, and share with others in this free desktop and mobile application. Google Earth Pro provides additional capabilities such as Movie Maker and GIS data import capability and is also available for free download.

Learn more about the features included in each of these two products and download your copy today.

Google My Maps

Google My Maps allows you to create stylish custom maps to share and publish online. You can add lines, shapes, or places on the map, or import data from Google Drive spreadsheets, as well as Excel, CSV, and KML files.

More information about Google Earth and Google My Maps tutorials can be found here.

Scribble Maps basic service is free and allows users to create custom maps, widgets, and images. Custom maps can be saved, shared with friends, or published to a website or blog.

Features of Scribble Maps include:

  • Adding custom images/overlays
  • Adding place text and place markers
  • Drawing shapes
  • Calculating area and distance
  • Creating PDF, KML, GPX, SHP, and DXF files
  • Sharing maps with friends
  • Embedding map widgets on websites

ZeeMaps is an online mapping service that allows you to easily create, publish, and share interactive maps. You can construct dynamic visualizations of geographic information, producing maps from lists of people or places. All maps are stored on the ZeeMaps servers, and can be instantly accessed any time, anywhere, from any standard web browser on a computer or mobile device.

ZeeMaps allows for three-level access control for each map - Viewer, Member, and Admin - a feature that facilitates collaborative, team-based mapping.

ZeeMaps also enables you to get location information from other users, e.g., members of an online discussion forum, students from a class, or researchers from around the world, to create crowd-sourced online maps.

You can learn more about ZeeMaps and create a free basic account here.

Databases with Interactive Mapping Tools

Geospatial Information Librarian

Joshua Sadvari's picture
Joshua Sadvari
490F 18th Avenue Library
175 W. 18th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210

Library Associate for Maps