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FCOR 599 : Project Proposal Development and Proof of Concept

Abacus Data Repository

Find open and licensed data from the Library's collections with Abacus

GIS and Data Services at UBC Library

The UBC Library provides access to GIS resources, including data, software, online courses and support.

We can assist you with locating and acquiring geospatial data; subsetting data and converting it into different formats; recommending GIS and mapping tools, and learning more about using GIS software.

We can also assist faculty and instructors by creating and facilitating workshops and other learning materials on finding geospatial data for your students.

Please let us know how we can partner with you:

If you have questions about GIS and data or need assistance with Abacus contact:

If you have questions about maps, GIS, geospatial data, or a related workshop or class session contact:

If you have questions about maps or geospatial data contact:

Labs and Software

UBC Library Labs with GIS Software

UBC Library offers GIS software, including ArcGIS, QGIS, GRASS, and Google Earth Pro. Software is available in computer labs at these locations:

  • Koerner Library Digital Scholarship Lab – Room 497
  • Koerner Library Instructional Lab – Room 217

Remote Labs

Six Digital Scholarship Lab computers are accessible through Remote Labs ( Simply log in using your CWL, select one of the appropriate labs, and choose a machine. These remote lab machines are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Available Software

See this page for a full list of software and UBC-V Library labs where each is available.

Library Guides for Maps, GIS, and Data

UBC Geospatial Resources Website

The UBC Geospatial Resources website serves as a campus-wide resource for useful information related to maps and GIS, including news, events, scholarships, etc.

Tips for Finding Spatial Data

Before starting your search for data, it's good to consider:

  1. Search terms
  2. Time.  
  3. Format.  
  4. Cost.  
  5. Integrity.

UBC's research and licensed data can be found in Abacus.

  • After selecting a dataset, use the tabs to navigate between technical metadata, download options, and versions.
  • For GIS datasets in Abacus, look for a spatial finding aid or index if data is divided into geographic units.

Another great starting point for research using spatial data is the GIS Research Guide.

  • The Data Sources tab near the top of the page provides you with an organized list of sources of GIS data.
  • Information about how to cite GIS data is located under the Citing Data tab.
  • If you are interested in using the GIS facilities in Koerner Library, you can find information under the Labs and Software tab.

When searching the internet for GIS data, try the smallest administration that covers your entire geographic area, such as the City of Vancouver's Open Data Portal.

  • This can be especially helpful when looking for detailed data for small / rural areas.