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Geographic Information System (GIS) Services

Library GIS support includes providing access to Esri ArcGIS software, in-course instruction and support, and individual consultations with faculty and students. We support beginning and advanced GIS topics including GPS-enabled field collection of data, the use of drones, and discovery of existing data sources for geospatial analysis.

What are Geographic Information Systems / GIS?

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of spatial related data.  Most data is spatial therefore can be in some way referenced to locations on the earth and related to other information. GIS falls within the Geospatial umbrella that also encompasses Remote Sensing and field data collection methods such as GPS, the use of drones and satellite imagery. Most industries and areas of research benefit with the use of GIS.

GIS Research Guide

Find a self-guided GIS course or tutorial, get instructions for downloading ArcGIS software, find links to useful data portals, and more.

Get an ArcGIS Account

You can access ArcGIS Online directly with your Single Sign-On (SSO) credentials when you click “Sign In” from the Claremont Colleges Library ArcGIS Portal.

Claremont ArcGIS Online portal showing Sign In link in top right corner
The Claremont Colleges Library Portal, sign in link is in the top right

If you have existing credentials from ArcGIS Online, you can continue to log in with those.

Screenshot with explanation of new single sign on
ArcGIS sign on screen. Two ways to log in to ArcGIS: 1. Login with your Claremont ID (CAS) information (for creating a brand new account or if you’ve already used this option). OR 2. Log in with your existing ArcGIS ID and password (if you have an existing account).
Leaving Claremont

If your ArcGIS Online credentials are managed through the Claremont Colleges central authentication services (CAS/SSO), you will no longer be able to access ArcGIS Online when those credentials expire.

We do not regularly delete content, but to ensure you have access to your content when you leave Claremont, you may want to investigate one of the following options.

If you are working on a collaborative project shared to a group or with other users via ArcGIS Online, you may transfer ownership to one of your fellow group members or another user in our organization. Contact for help with this.
You can create a personal ArcGIS Online account through Esri. There are limited free personal accounts, and more fully-featured personal accounts that have an annual fee. The ArcGIS Online Assistant app can help you move content between accounts.
If you plan to use the geospatial data in another format (such as QGIS for open-source mapping or a statistical app for working with the table data) there are several export options available within ArcGIS Online.

Any questions? Please contact the Library GIS administrators at

Getting Started With GIS (video)

Drone Flights

The Digital Scholarship Unit at the Claremont Colleges Library offers consultation and support for faculty and students working with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or drone applications in GIS for research, teaching, and learning.

The library owns a DJI Phantom 4 Advanced and a Mavic 3E UAVs which we can use in support of research and teaching at the colleges (we do not loan the drones, but will set up a meeting with our drone pilot and the drone for your project).

Please get in touch with us if you need:

Check Out GIS Tools

The library circulates four Bad Elf GPS PRO+ GPS units for use in course fieldwork, research projects, and for experimentation.

Use Library Search to check availability.


Join us for our Map Monday meetups to talk about GIS and get help with your projects!

Ask a Question

Request a consultation, a course-integrated introduction to ArcGIS, instructional support for your geospatial projects on campus and while conducting field work.