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Geographic Information Systems at Yale: Getting Started with GIS

Geographic Information Systems at Yale University encompasses a range of spatial applications and services. GIS is used by many disciplines at Yale University.

GIS Support at Yale University

GIS is used for many purposes that range from calculating space, analyzing spatial relationships, patterns or trends, to cartography, visualization, and site management. At Yale, researchers from all disciplines embark in projects that require geospatial technologies to answer important questions and support learning and collaborative research initiatives. 

The Marx Science and Social Science Library (Marx Library) GIS Services at Yale offer a suite of services and support for all geospatial endeavors on campus and while conducting fieldwork.

Virtual GIS Training

Yale members have the option to join the Esri e-Learning platform to access hundreds of GIS virtual training at no cost.

If you were familiar with access codes for virtual courses, starting August 15, 2016 those codes are no longer necessary. Instead, you just need to:

  1. Access and setup, if you have not done so, your Yale University ArcGIS Online Account.
  2. Once you login, please look for your name on the top right corner. 
  3. Click the drop-down menu, you should be able to find "Training"
  4. Once you get access to the Esri e-Learning platform, you may browse their course catalog

Be aware that many instructor-led training are not included as a no-cost option with the site license. However, you may review hundreds of virtual training that are available at no cost for Yale members.

Sign up for the Yale GIS-L Mailing List!

Stay informed about GIS related events, announcements and issues.  We use this list to keep the Yale GIS User Community informed about everything from GIS Workshops to License Server maintenance events.

GIS Consultations

Our GIS Team includes a group of enthusiastic consultants who can work with you to integrate GIS into your various projects and learning activities. Some of the aspects that you can discuss during your consultation are:

  • GIS Support Services for all disciplines, assisting from individual research to long-term team project planning
  • Strategies to plan your spatiotemporal work ahead
  • An overview of the tools and techniques used to map raster and vector datasets, using both open source and Esri software
  • Complex spatiotemporal data analyses and modeling

Virtual Consultations by Appointment - Reserve an appointment

Due to current teaching plans at Yale, all our GIS consultations are offered as virtual meetings (screen sharing, no video necessary.) You may join the consultation by phone.‚Äč

  • Miriam Olivares, GIS Librarian
  • TC Chakraborty, FES Ph.D. Candidate

Virtual Drop-In Consultations

  • Henry Glick, FES Ph.D. Candidate
    Henry will be available virtually for statistical and GIS support on a drop-in basis. To connect with Henry, please review his work schedule and follow these steps to connect with Henry on Microsoft Teams. 
    • Visit in your web browser; you may also follow the instructions to download the desktop app
    • Log in using your Yale email and password
    • On the landing page, type a message to alert Henry on duty that you have arrived and would like help
    • The consultant will start a video chat session with you, and will likely ask that you share your screen. Be prepared that you may have to wait if the consultant is currently assisting another patron.
    • If you have any issues, please call Sara Gottlieb-Cohen at (203) 432-3278.

Please keep in mind if you join at a different time than Henry's schedule, you may connect with one statistical consultant, but GIS support would need to wait until Henry is on call. 

Remote Access for Esri ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap & Pro)

June 01, 2020
The ITS Public Computing group has worked tirelessly, and now Yale members can access Esri ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcMap) and ArcGIS Pro via MyApps. 

  • MyApps at Yale is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service that provides access to a Windows-based environment containing Yale licensed software from both personal and Yale owned devices.
  • Access to MyApps at Yale service will use multi-factor authentication (MFA) via DUO. 
  • Starting June 01, 2020, the MyApps at Yale Citrix environment is no longer be available. This change does not apply to MyApps at YNHHS.
  • It offers a full Windows 10 desktop. The desktop includes Yale licensed software that is currently available in the Public Clusters (for students) or software specific to departmental needs. 
  • To access the new environment, please download the remote desktop software and follow the Getting Started Guide
  • Access the new MyApps at Yale environment is also available through the web.
  • Your existing Yale email address and NetID password will provide access to the system.

Note: All students with an active Yale email address are licensed to access the MyApps at Yale service via their personal devices.


Will I be able to save personal files on the virtual desktop?
The virtual desktop allows access to software available on the Public Clusters (students), or for specific use by teams or departments at Yale. Personal files should only be saved to a cloud drive, such as OneDrive, or to a network share.

Will I be able to add software to the virtual desktop?
You can customize your view of the virtual desktop, but software downloads/additions are not permitted. If you or your group have a specific need for software on the virtual desktop, please reach out to your professor, proctor, or manager.

Need help?

For additional assistance, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 203-432-9000 or visit our website to view answers to trending questions, search how-to articles, start a chat, or report a problem. You may also contact your local IT support provider.

Public Computer Labs with GIS Software

Yale University offers hundreds of public computers that are located throughout campus and are intended for use by members of the Yale community. These computers have a common software image to provide ample access to academic programs and software needed for classes.

Regarding GIS software, this is not a complete list but includes locations where the GIS software has been installed. You may find one or a combination of the Esri ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) and ArcGIS Pro, Google Earth Pro, and/or QGIS:



  • Dunham Laboratory, Room 120 | 10 Hillhouse Avenue | Map
  • 17 Hillhouse, Room 07 and room 111 | Map
  • Rosenkranz, Room 01 | 115 Prospect Street | Map




  • Residential Colleges Citrix Computers


GIS and Maps Contacts

For assistance with GIS data or software, please contact the GIS team at the Marx Library at

For assistance with scanned or paper maps from the Map Collection, please contact

GIS Consultations by Appointment