Geographic information systems (GIS) tools are used to capture, analyse and present spatial or geographical data.

GIS software is available on Centre for Digital Scholarship computers, via web-based portals or to download from Software at UQ.

See our Geographical information systems (GIS) guide for a more comprehensive overview of GIS resources for researchers.

Contact the Centre for Digital Scholarship for help with GIS tools, installation advice and information on training sessions.

1. Google Earth

Google Earth maps the Earth by using superimposed images obtained from satellite imagery and aerial photography.

Use Google Earth to:

  • create layers, shapes and paths to display data and other information on Google Earth maps
  • explore past satellite imagery
  • create tours

Access Google Earth

  • on Centre for Digital Scholarship computers access Google Earth via ZenWorks. This will open the free desktop version.
  • download the free version to your own computer 

Training and guides


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2. Carto

Carto is a cloud-based GIS platform built on open source software. 

Use Carto to:

  • create maps
  • load data
  • customise visualisations
  • share, and collaborate with colleagues

Access Carto

Students can sign up for a free plan. Paid plans are also offered.

Training and guides

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3. Other GIS software

QGIS is a very advanced, free desktop application for creating, editing and analysing geospatial information. View:

ESRI ArcGIS is a tool for building and analysing geographical information:

  1. Open the ZENworks window
  2. In the Centre for Digital Scholarship folder choose Download for educational use at home
  3. Double click on GPEM data portal

Mapbox is available as a free mapping platform for developers to integrate location into mobile or online applications.

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