Skip to main content

MIT Libraries logo MIT Libraries

Search Account

Geographic Information Systems (GIS): GIS lab computers & software

GIS Help

The GIS & Data lab, housed on the 1st floor of Rotch Library (7-238), is available for use during Rotch's operating hours. Software and one-on-one help is for use by the MIT Community only.


Drop-in help hours

February 5th - May 16th:

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 1-4pm

Wednesday: 1-5pm

Friday: 2-4pm

For help outside these hours email:


Updates to hours:

3/25/19-3/29/19: Help by appointment during spring break. Email

4/15/19: No help due to the holiday.

During workshops a limited number of computers may be available for individual work.

Computer Policies

Computer Use:

  • Computers can be used by members of the MIT community only.
  • Use of installed software on the computers takes priority over other uses of the machines.
  • Upon logging off, the Documents, Downloads and Desktop will be cleared of files. The shared drives can be used for temporary data storage. Create a folder using your kerberos name. For help with data management or storage, contact Data Management Services.
  • Per the Libraries' Food and Beverage Policy, food and uncovered drinks are not allowed near computer terminals.

Extended Use / Processing Tasks:

The GIS lab computers are primarily for use by MIT community members who are actively working with GIS or statistics software. Computers #13-#16 can be used to run processing tasks for an extended amount of time in certain circumstances. Follow these procedures:

  • Processing jobs using software already installed on the computers take priority. If you would like software installed on a computer, email and we will discuss it with you.
  • Processing jobs cannot exceed 1 week and you may be asked by GIS staff to end a job prior to 1 week if the machines are need for other users or classes.
  • After starting your processing task: 
    • Lock the computer.
    • Leave a note at the computer indicating that you are processing data. It should include your email address and the date you began processing.
  • When you are finished processing:
    • Unlock the computer as soon as your job is finished so others can use it.
    • Transfer all data off the computer and delete it.
  • If you do not return after 1 week to end your job, the computer may be re-started so that others may use it.

GIS staff are not responsible for monitoring the processes. The GIS lab is open to all MIT community members and is not staffed most of the time.


The software listed below is installed on all GIS & Data lab computers unless otherwise noted. Software is for use by the MIT Community only.

GIS & Mapping Software

Imagery & Visualization Software

Data Analysis Software

Software Use Terms:

Use of licensed software is restricted to members of the MIT community for the purposes of research, education, and scholarship. Under MIT's licenses, users generally may not:

  • redistribute the software or materials or permit anyone other than a member of the MIT community to use them
  • remove, obscure or modify any copyright or other notices included in the software or materials
  • use the software or materials for commercial purposes

When a member of the organization terminates affiliation with the organization or member's affiliation with the organization is terminated by the organization or a person not affiliated with the organization leaves campus, the member or person must destroy all personal copies of the software or derived data. Users are individually responsible for compliance with these terms.