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GIS and Data Visualization: Home

Data Analytics and Visualization Specialist

Questions about data visualization?

Please contact Steven Braun, the Data Analytics and Visualization Specialist, for further assistance. 

Follow us on Twitter!

Follow @SnellDataVis on Twitter!

Get tips and resources for using data visualization in your own work.

Data Visualization Quick Links


A blog with data visualization examples as well as tutorials and guides for designing effective visualizations


Visualising Data

A curated collection of information design examples and resources from Andy Kirk, a UK-based freelance data visualization specialist


Information Is Beautiful

A blog by David McCandless featuring examples of interesting applications in data visualization


Information Aesthetics

A blog discussing topics at the intersection of creative design and data


Questions about data visualization or GIS?
Come to our walk-in office hours, open to students, faculty, and staff!

Data Visualization on Wednesdays, 10 AM - 12 PM
GIS on Thursdays, 1 - 3 PM
Snell Library, Room 243

Office hour for GIS is starting at 2pm on 11/8/2018. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please email Bahare if you need additional assistance.

Note: the office hours schedule has changed this semester. Please refer to the new schedule above.

Can't make our office hours? Email us to schedule an appointment.

GIS and Data Visualization - Welcome!

Northeastern University Libraries offer resources and services to support student, faculty, and staff with research needs involving data visualization and GIS.

What is data visualization? The research process often produces a great variety of data - some quantitative, some qualitative, and often a mixture of both. Data visualization (also termed information visualization or information design) refers to the methodologies, tools, and modes of representation (i.e., products) involved in the process of visually communicating data to others. Data can be visually communicated in many ways, ranging from a simple table of numbers to complex and highly sophisticated charts and interactive graphics. This subject guide provides references to tools and other resources that are available at Northeastern and beyond for anyone interested in incorporating a visual component into their research data.

What is GIS? A GIS (Geographic Information System) is a computer-based means of storing, analyzing, displaying, and otherwise managing geospatial data - that is, any data that has a plottable or mappable geographic component. More than just a means of creating maps, GIS is a powerful tool for revealing and examining how geographic relationships affect the world around us, and for solving real-world problems where location and proximity come into play. This subject guide contains information on GIS capabilities on campus, where to obtain GIS data, and resources for those who wish to further explore GIS on their own.

GIS in the News

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GIS Specialist

Questions about GIS, spatial analysis, or digital mapping?

Please contact Bahare Sanaie-Movahed, the GIS Specialist, for further assistance. 

Social Explorer

You now have full access to the Social Explorer data and tools:

Access current and historical demographic data through Social Explorer, Create thematic and interactive maps, Create multi-map presentations, Create data reports at all geographic levels






Northeastern's site license to ArcGIS includes access to the ESRI Virtual Campus.  

Three ways to browse ESRI Data:

Datasets provided with ArcGIS --list by country and type, expandable folders in the left column

List of ESRI datalayers --easy to browse with most recently modified layers listed at the top

ESRI Data and Maps 10 -- an ESRI White Paper, PDF summary list/description


The Northeastern SimplyMap account was migrated to SimplyAnalytics on August 2nd, 2017. If you had a SimplyMap account we migrated all of your SimplyMap work to SimplyAnalytics. You can use your SimplyMap username and password to log into SimplyAnalytics.

SimplyAnalytics (licensed resource) This mapping application enables users to develop interactive thematic maps and reports using thousands of demographic, business, health, crime, and marketing data variables including Mediamark and Simmons Consumer Data. Data from 2000 onwards.

You can export data from SimplyMap into ArcGIS.