Maps & GIS

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

GIS & Geospatial Data
GIS, commonly known as "mapping software", refers to either "Geographic Information System" (software) or "Geographic Information Science" (discipline).

Since 1997, Gov Info has acted as the main provider of GIS equipment and services on campus, including management of site licenses of the popular GIS software, ESRI ArcGIS. Northwestern University affiliated members are welcome to use our facilities during the opening hours.

For more help, see the GIS guide and Scanning Guide.

Map Collection
The Maps Collection is composed of over 200,000 maps. Our collection also includes atlases, gazetteers, other reference materials, and digital mapping products. The scope of the collection is worldwide but its holdings are primarily U.S. Federal Government products. We also collect selected map publications from state and international governments and commerical publishers. Most maps are not in the library catalog yet. To find maps, please ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.

For more help, see the Maps guide and Scanning Guide.

World
Although our holdings are primarily U.S. Federal Government products, we also collect the following types of global and international maps. Major items collected are:

  • World Coverage of Topographic Maps
  • Selected Thematic Maps for Countries and Regions
  • Street and Tourist Maps for Major Cities
  • Navigational Charts (from NIMA)
  • Historical Maps (Primarily Africa and Europe)

United States
The Maps Collection holdings are primarily U.S. Federal Government products. We also collect selected map publications from state & international governments and commerical publishers. Major items collected are:

  • All Topographic Maps Series from the U.S. Geological Survey
  • Navigational Charts (from NOAA)
  • Geological Maps and Studies
  • City Street and State Highway Maps
  • Emphasis on Illinois, Chicago & Evanston, particularly historical maps

Atlases
The Maps Collection seeks to complement the Main Library's general collection of domestic and international atlases and gazetteers. We also have a large collection of historical and specialized atlases. Most of our atlases can be found in NUcat: the library catalog.