Skip to main content

MIT Libraries logo MIT Libraries

Search Account

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

GIS Help

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


Stop by any of the times listed below for GIS help - no appointment necessary!

September 17th - December 12th

Monday - Thursday: 1-5pm 

Friday: 2-4pm

Email to set up an appointment outside of these times.


Updates to help hours:

10/4: GIS help will be 3-5pm due to a class. Computers will be available from 1-3pm for independent 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