Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

A guide to GIS resources at UTSA Libraries

UTSA Faculty, Students, and Researchers

UTSA Faculty and Researchers

UTSA Faculty and Researchers can request ArcGIS Pro Desktop for their work computers from UTSA at no charge. Please get in touch with Stuart Foote for the ArcGIS Pro desktop and all its programs. 

For the ArcGIS Online account, UTSA Faculty and Research can email your department ESRI administrator or me to help set up a profile on ArcGIS Online. ArcGIS Online also includes ArcGIS Pro Desktop, which only comes with its core programs. 

UTSA Engineering Students

ArcGIS software is available on all the Engineering Computers on the 2nd Floor of the John Peace Library.  A list of software loaded on these computers is found on the College of Engineering site. 

Engineering computers are available at the AET Library.

UTSA Students

GIS Software

There are 3 major desktop GIS software applications widely used:

  1.  ArcMap
  2.  ArcGIS Pro
  3.  QGIS

These are designed for individual users on desktop/laptop computers.

  1. ArcMap:
    •  Part of ArcGIS Desktop suite by Esri, released in 2000.
    •  Long dominant in the US but losing ground to newer options.
    • Proprietary software.
    • Support until March 1, 2026.
    • No new releases beyond ArcMap 10.8.1.
  2. ArcGIS Pro:
    • Released in 2015, the future of ArcGIS suite. 
    • Flagship desktop GIS software by Esri.Expanded functionality and tight integration with ArcGIS Online.
    • Gaining popularity due to exclusive capabilities.
  3. QGIS: Free and open-source GIS software.
    • An increasingly popular alternative to proprietary options.
    • Compatible with MacOS, unlike ArcGIS.
    • Not as common in the US industry, widely used in Europe and globally.

All three applications are powerful for: 

  • Managing geospatial data.
  • Performing geospatial analysis.
  • Producing maps.


Mapping Databases

Mapping Databases

These databases are good places to start searching for journals and articles about geography-related topics.

Free GIS Viewers