Mapping for the Masses: GIS Lite & Online Mapping Tools in Academic Libraries

Kathleen W. Weessies, Daniel S. Dotson


Customized colorful maps depicting complex social data are much more prevalent today than in the past. Not only in formal published outlets, interactive map sites make it easy to create and publish custom maps in more casual outlets such as social media. This article defines GIS Lite, describes three licensed products currently licensed by institutions, and discusses issues that arise from their varied functionality and license restrictions.

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Works Cited:

National Research Council. Division on Earth and Life Studies. Board on Earth Sciences and Resources. Geographical Sciences Committee, Learning to Think Spatially (Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2006), 9.

Fu, Pinde and Jiulin Sun, Web GIS: Principles and Applications (Redlands, CA: ESRI Press, 2011), 15.

Haklay, Muki, Alex Singleton and Chris Parker, “Web mapping 2.0: The Neogeography of the GeoWeb,” Geography Compass 2, no. 6 (2008): 2011-2039.

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Elwood, Sarah, “Geographic Information Science: Visualization, Visual Methods, and the GeoWeb,” Progress in Human Geography 35, no. 3 (2010): 401-408.

Li, Songnian; Suzana Dragićević, and Bert Veenendaal (eds), Advances in Web-based GIS, Mapping Services and Applications (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2011).

Hogenboom, Karen, Carissa Phillips, and Merinda Hensley, "Show Me the Data! Partnering with Instructors to Teach Data Literacy," in Declaration of Interdependence: The Proceedings of the ACRL 2011 Conference, March 30-April 2, 2011, Philadelphia, PA, ed. Dawn M. Mueller. (Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2011), 410-417.

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U. S. Bureau of Census. County and City Data Book,

Census Tracts and Block Numbering Areas.

Resources Referenced:

Google Maps.

Map Quest.

National Hazards Support System.

National Pipeline Mapping System.

The Broadband Map.

ArcGIS Online.

Scribble Maps.

Open Street Map.

Did You Feel It?


Social Explorer.

National Historical GIS.



Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.



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