University of Alberta

Web Resources

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Web Resources


Free GIS Data & Resources

General Utilities

GIS Programming

GPS and Telemetry

Remote Sensing Resources

Software in the GIS Lab

Statistical & Spatial Software

Tutorials & Online References

University of Alberta Resources

Email Charlene if you know of any other links that should be included here.




ABMI Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute conducts world-class monitoring of more than 2000 species and habitats to support decision making about provincial biodiversity
ACA Alberta Conservation Association is a non profit, non government association working collaboratively to conserve, protect and enhance Alberta’s wildlife, fisheries and habitat
BiologyBrowser Search for "GIS"
CanSIS Canadian Soil Information System characterizes the land resources of Canada with emphasis on the agricultural regions
Environment Canada - Nature Sometimes the federal government posts maps of wildlife, etc.
ESRI's Conservation Program Resources ESRI's web page of interest for conservation mapping/GIS, papers and proceedings, and links to public conservation and GIS data for downloading
GFW Canada Global Forest Watch Data Warehouse for Canada; visit for other countries
IALE International Association of Landscape Ecology
NatureServe Canada Canadian network of Conservation Data Centres, Natural Heritage Information Centres and Natural Heritage Programs in the mission of collecting, interpreting, and disseminating ecological information critical to the conservation of the world's biological diversity, links to NatureServe
PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories
SCGIS Society for Conservation GIS is a non-profit organization that builds community, provides knowledge, and supports individuals using GIS and science for the conservation of natural resources and cultural heritage
The Wildlife Society - Spatial Ecology and Telemetry Working Group

The TWS Spatial Ecology and Telemetry Working Group provides an opportunity for TWS members to address issues of concern to the GIS community and to advance their own skills and understanding of GIS, remote sensing, and telemetry technologies 

UNEP-WCMC United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre provides information for policy and action to conserve the living world; link to main UNEP website to search for "GIS"
USFWS GIS US Fish & Wildlife Service GIS home page with emphasis on spatial data
WWF WildFinder the World Wildlife Fund's map-driven, searchable database of more than 30,000 species worldwide (click here to access downloadable GIS data)

Free GIS Data & Resources

Alberta & Canada

a variety of vector and raster digital data from online Canadian and Alberta sources

Conservation Online a no cost public repository of tools, techniques and experiences available to conservation practitioners created and maintained by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with other conservation organizations
GeoDiscover Alberta Alberta's main access point for easily integrated, authoritative and usable geospatial data and services
ARCUS Arctic Research Consortium of the United States hosts GIS data and metadata relevant to arctic research



original gateway to provincial geographic information and services for British Columbia

British Columbia's province-wide Open Data Portal, includes data catalog, applications and developer tools

Canadian Climate national climate data from Environment Canada - and links to other climate information and surface water (hydrometric and sediment) data archives
CIS access to daily and regional ice charts from the canadian Ice Service
Canadian Topographic Data Canada's digital topographic data and maps
ColorBrewer an online tool designed to help people select good color schemes for maps and other graphics
ESRI Free Data free GIS-ready data from Environmental Systems Research Institute
GeoCommunity THE gathering place for GIS, CAD, Mapping, and location-based industry professionals, enthusiasts, and students
Online Geodetic Tools web-based Canadian software for transforming between datums, coordinate systems, along with GPS utilities
GEOGRATIS download FREE Canadian spatial data... everything from base maps to CLI to satellite imagery
Geomatics Yukon access the Government of Yukon's spatial data and services; the Yukon Spatial Data Clearinghouse has a variety of free data for download
GIS Lounge a one-stop source for everything GIS
GeoSask Saskatchewan digital data and map products
MLI Manitoba Land Intiative provides access to geo-spatial information from the Government of Manitoba
NWT Northwest Territories Centre for Geomatics provides remote sensing and GIS services
Spatial Hydrology contains published research, free software downloads, access to a data warehouse, and other GIS and hydrological information
TOPORAMA free raster maps and orthophotos for portions of Canada
UBC Geography GIS/Cartography Links searchable database - an excellent resource well worth bookmarking on your browser!!!
World Climate

set of global climate layers with a spatial resolution of a square kilometer

General Utilities

Adobe Acrobat Reader program for reading *.pdf documents
AFS FTP programs for transferring files to your IST account or another computer


excellent free program for FTP

IrfanView graphic viewer/converter freeware
MegaConvertor web-based utility of weights, measures and units conversion/calculation modules
7-Zip excellent free program for compressing/decompressing archives (i.e. those .zip files)

GIS Programming


ArcGIS Desktop Customizing


AML scripts in the ArcGIS 9.x Desktop environment


Geoprocessing Resource Center - models and scripts


Programming in ArcGIS Desktop - online courses


A quick tour of ArcPy


A quick tour of ModelBuilder


Comparison programming languages - string functions


Python - THE Python site


Python for Windows Extensions


Dive Into Python


Instant Python


Learn to Program using Python: Lesson 1


The Python Tutorial


Leanr Python the Hard Way


VBA functions in the field calculator


VBA Developer's Handbook


VBScript Language Reference

Hands-on VBScript

GPS & Telemetry

BioTelemetry web service for researchers using biotelemetry as a means for collecting data; has links to Software and Data Analysis, Conferences and Meetings, Methods, Directories and other online resources
DNR Garmin extension for use with ESRI software that allows direct transfer of data between Garmin GPS handheld receivers and various GIS software packages
GARMIN GARMIN International is the industry leader in Global Positioning System (GPS) technology
Global Positioning Systems all the resources you need for GPS from the USGS

GPS Central

Canadian GPS retailer

GPS City

Calgary-based GPS retailer that specializes in receivers and related accessories - inquire about possible education pricing

GPS Receiver Information, Software, and Hardware Reviews Joe, Jack, and Dale's site on everything GPS (Garmin, Lowrance, and Magellan GPS) at
GPSy links to info on GPS for primarily Macintosh computers
GPS World first and only international monthly journal that features news and applications of the Global Positioning System
International GNSS International Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Service provides orbits, tracking data, and other high-quality data products online in near real time
OziExplorer official web site for the OziExplorer GPS mapping software that works with Magellan, Garmin, Lowrance, Eagle and MLR GPS receivers
Trimble leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and advanced GPS components

Remote Sensing Resources

Air Photo Distribution Alberta Sustainable Resource Development's collection of over 1.3 million aerial photographs covering the entire province of Alberta dating back to 1949
ASTER high spatial resolution imaging instrument on the Terra satellite
Digital Globe high-resolution earth imaging satellites and a comprehensive geo-information product store (QuickBird)
Geomatics Canada THE home page for GIS/RS in the federal government

Earth Explorer

satellite images, aerial photographs, and cartographic products from the U.S. Geological Survey

GLCF largest free source of Landsat data made available by the University of Maryland's Global Landcover Facility
Landsat 7 everything you need to know about Landsat 7
LP DAAC Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center's download site for free 1 km GTOPO30 digital elevation models and AVHRR imagery (other products for cost)
ORNL DAAC Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center's source for biogeochemical and ecological data useful for studying environmental processes
Remote Sensing Tutorial tutorial from NASA on remote sensing, satellite imagery, ground truthing, classification, etc.

Software in the GIS Lab

ESRI THE ArcGIS, ArcView, and ArcInfo, site for Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.
ESRI ArcScripts download various scripts and sample codes contributed by ESRI's user community
ESRI Canada Canadian content for ESRI
ESRI Online Support online support center for ESRI software products, downloads, ArcObjects and extensions, samples, data models, discussion forums, etc.

ESRI Resource Centers

access to web-based help, online data, and key support services for ArcGIS, including spcific sites on geoprocessing, image management, tips on making great looking maps with GIS, and many more resources from the ESRI community

FRAGSTATS computer software program designed by University of Massachusetts to compute a wide variety of landscape metrics for categorical map patterns
ENVI image processing software, product literature, webinars
R free and open source software package for statistical analyses - has useful spatial add-ons

Statistical & Spatial Software

AI-GEOSTATS THE central information server for geostatistics and spatial statistics
CSU Software ecology-related software developed by Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology and Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit, Colorado State University
DIVA-GIS free GIS software that was developed for use with biological distribution data such as available from natural history museums and genebanks
Easy Calculate a set of expressions (from for the ArcGIS field calculator
ESRI ArcExplorer free GIS data viewer offers an easy way to perform a variety of basic GIS functions, including display, query, and data retrieval applications; use it on its own with local data sets or as a client to Internet data and map servers
FreeGIS software overview, communications on development of free software and data
GeoDa software tools developed by Anselin and co-workers designed to implement techniques for exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) on lattice data (points and polygons); has descriptive spatial data analysis, such as spatial autocorrelation statistics and indicators of spatial outliers
GeoVista Studio an open software development environment from Pennsylvania State University designed for geospatial data that allows users to quickly build applications for geocomputation and geographic visualization, with no programming required
GISCafe Downloads freeware/shareware GIS or general utility software
GIS Development free data, tools, and utilities from
GRASS GIS the official site of the Geographic Resources Analysis Support System - an open source, Free Software Geographical Information System (GIS) with raster, topological vector, image processing, and graphics production functionality
Home Range Tools extension by Dr. Art Rodgers and Angus Carr of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources that extends ArcGIS to analyse the home range of animals
Jenness Enterprises ArcGIS extensions of ecologically applicable applications with excellent documentation
Patch Analyst ArcGIS 9.x extension that facilitates the spatial analysis of landscape patches, and modeling of attributes associated with patches
SaTScan a free program to analyze spatial, temporal and space-time count data using the spatial, temporal, or space-time scan statistics
Spatial Ecology GME and Hawth's Tools extensions for ArcGIS
R free and open source software package for statistical analyses - has useful spatial add-ons

Tutorials & Online References

AVI Alberta Vegetation Inventory Standards Manual - chapter 3 describes all those codes/abbreviations
BASIS Berry & Associates/Spatial Information Systems provides full online manuals ("Map Analysis" and "The GIS Primer") and other resources
CCRS Tutorials Canada Centre for Remote Sensing tutorials, digital analysis techniques, terminology, and educational fun
Geospatial Analysis THE most up-to-date reference on the science and technology of GIS
ESRI Online Training online courses using ESRI GIS software (some modules are free!) free online courses on a variety of subjects including Computer Information Systems (database and spreadsheets)
Fundamentals of Physical Geography very good reference created by Michael J. Pidwirny, Ph.D., Department of Geography, Okanagan University College
Grime's GIS Formats and Tools Grime's list of file formats in GIS, 3D & imagery and what to treat them with...
Spreadsheet Exercises in... Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit's quantitative methods for analyzing wildlife population dynamics, spreadsheet exercises on a variety of ecological and evolutionary topics, including quantitative estimation of population parameters, ecology and evolution, conservation biology and landscape ecology
Microsoft Tutorials not GIS, but related techniques of database and spreadsheet courses are available here
NCGIA Core Curricula National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, includes GIS Core Curriculum for Technical Programs (CCTP)
Geomorphology from Space an out of print 1986 NASA publication edited by Nicholas M. Short, Sr. and Robert W. Blair, Jr. designed for use by the remote sensing science and educational communities to study landforms and landscapes
Quantitative Decisions Class Notes a concise class on how to use ArcView GIS from
The Geographer's Craft an experimental course designed to provide you with the best possible introduction to modern geographical research techniques
USGS Map Projections handy summaries of map projection properties, suitable areas, and general uses from U.S. Geological Survey

University of Alberta Resources

ACCRU Alberta Cooperative Conservation Research Unit... a consortium of wildlife and fisheries programs at: University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and University of Lethbridge
DiTRL development of research communication and instruction material for biology
BSCS BioSci Computing Services
IST information Services and Technology (formerly AICT)
UofA's ESRI Site Licence direct access to ESRI site licensed software and product sales through AICT
EAS Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
EOSL Earth Systems Observation Laboratory - Earth and Atmospheric Science research in GIS and remote sensing
Library Spatial Data information on campus access to digital spatial data through the University of Alberta Libraries
RenR Department of Renewable Resources
SISLAB Spatial Information Systems Laboratory for GIS, image analysis, ecosystem modeling, and pattern recognition
SunSITE Alberta summary of the GIS and other projects that SunSITE Alberta is currently hosting
Last Modified: 2014-03-06