FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can I attend a GIS Users Group meeting?

A: Anyone is welcome to attend a GIS Users Group meeting. We meet every six weeks to discuss GIS and how we are using it to create a better world. For more information contact Dan Meehan.

Q: Who uses GIS software on this campus?

A: GIS software can be used in many professions. There are several departments and colleges that uses GIS software on this campus.  The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the College of Agricultural Sciences uses GIS software. The Department of Geography and the Department of Landscape Architecture are just a few of the departments that uses GIS software.

Q: I am a faculty member and I want to use ArcGIS Desktop in my course, how do I acquire it?

A: If you are wanting to use ArcGIS Desktop in your course, you can acquire it by following the instructions listed.

Q: I am a student and I want to use ArcGIS Desktop in my undergraduate career, how do I acquire it?

A: If you are wanting to use ArcGIS Desktop in your undergraduate career, you can acquire it by following the instructions listed.

Q: I do not understand how to use this software. Where can I go to get help?

A: There is resources available to help you use the software. The Penn State University Libraries, Donald W. Hamer Center for Maps and Geospatial Information,  has resources, individualized consultation services, and events to assist you to further your geospatial activities and projects. There is also courses taught here at Penn State that can further home your skills with the software.  There is some free tutorials offered by Esri if you are Penn State faculty members, staff members, and students. To access those tutorials follow the instructions under Esri Training.

Q: Where can I learn more about Esri Products?

A: Esri has a lot of products. For information about the products Esri does have you can click the link shown here. For information about how to use some of these products there are some free  tutorials offered to Penn State. To access those tutorials follow the instructions under Esri Training.

Q: I want to start mapping data. Where can I go to acquire data?

A: There is many places that offer data. Here at Penn State we have places such as the Pennsylvania State Data Access (PASDA)Penn State Data Commons, and Penn State OPP Maps. These places all have data available for use. Also there is government agencies that have public data available for use. Agencies such as, United States Census Bureau, United States Geological Survey, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration all have data available for use. These are just some of the many data sources that are available. There is many more data sets out there.  Some of those data sets do require money to access the data. When you do decide what data set you are going to use just remember to look out for if there is a cost associated with them.

Q: I want to grow professionally with GIS software. Where can I find opportunities at Penn State to apply GIS to the real world?

A: Penn State is a great place to grow professionally. There are many opportunities to apply your knowledge of GIS and GIS software in the real world. Penn State is one of the greatest research schools in the world. There is many opportunities for GIS to be used in undergraduate research. There is also many opportunities to develop your GIS skills through the Student Engagement Network. Where students can develop how they want to expand their GIS knowledge outside of the classroom. If you want to expand beyond Penn State you can look at nittanyLionCAREERS. This resource is a recruitment tool for any employer for either jobs or internship positions. These positions can enhance your skills with GIS depending on what job or internship you are looking for.

Q: What OpenSource options are there for me?

A: There is several options that can be used to complete GIS tasks without ArcGIS desktop. You can use programming languages, such as R, Python, or JavaScript to complete GIS tasks. There is also GIS specific applications, such as QGIS and GRASS, that also can be used.