GIS Laboratories at McMaster

GIS computer lab

Our original GIS Laboratory was established in 1992, with a mission to support the undergraduate curriculum in geography. Increased awareness of GIS technology within and outside McMaster increased demand for the laboratory's teaching and research services, and a second laboratory was established in 2008. Both labs were upgraded in 2013, and a managed by a GIS Specialist. In 2009, SGES became an Esri Development Centre (EDC) based on their expertise in developing GIS tools and software. In 2014, SGES was nominated as an Esri Canada Centre of Excellence for GIS, focusing on new and innovative aspects of GIS technology, including Web, mobile, and 3D components of the Esri platform.

The current objectives of the lab are to:

  • Maintain highly competent personnel in the state-of-the-art in GIS technology.
  • Providing quality teaching within the undergraduate program of the School of Geography and Earth Sciences.
  • Provide quality short courses to groups from the McMaster community as well as the public and private sector.
  • Undertake research projects from a variety of disciplines that are in need of GIS analysis.
  • Assist in the development of GIS-related curricula for secondary education in Hamilton and vicinity.

About the GIS Laboratory

GIS Laboratory Schedule (Coming Soon)

The GIS Labs are located in the Burke Science Building, Rooms 331 and 332. The labs were upgraded in 2013, making the facility one of the newest, and one of the best in Canada. We have the following hardware and software available:


Currently each lab consists of:

  • 50 Windows clients with upgraded video cards for 3D Visualization
  • Storage space is available on our server for students and researchers using the facility on a cost- recovery basis
  • Digitizing table
  • 24 eTrex Legend GPS Units
  • 12 SXPad Mobile Mapping devices
  • 4 SXBLUE GNSS units with submeter accuracy
  • 5 Thales MobileMapper CE units
  • HP DesignJet plotter


  • GIS:
    • Full ArcGIS Suite of Software including: ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, ArcPad, AppStudio for ArcGIS, WebApp Builder and ArcGIS Online.
  • Statistical Analysis:
    • R, S+, GeoDA
  • Geophysical Software:
    • Oasis Montaj, Kingdom Suite
  • Productivity Software:
    • OpenOffice
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