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GIS (Geographic Information Systems): Software & Training


Need to access GIS software or recommendations on learning and training resources?  

UNR supports a number of GIS software across campus. Select which software you need for detailed information on how to access and or download. 

Free ONLINE GIS Courses

Additional Free Online Courses

COURSERA - Learn a variety of skills from top Universities. Currently, there are 49 courses that included learning GIS skills: COURSERA - GIS  

ROAM (Repository for Open and Affordable Materials) - PennState 

  • Launched in 2007 by the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and formerly known as OPEN.ED@PSU.EDU, Penn State's OER initiative enables departments and individual faculty to provide educational resources free of charge under a Creative Commons license. As long as they adhere to the license, teachers and learners around the world are free to download, remix, translate, localize, and adapt these materials for their own purposes.  For full details, please see our official policies governing the ROAM site.

  • Suggested courses: 
    • GIS Analysis and Design
    • Open Web Mapping
    • Energy Industry Applications of GIS
    • Environmental Applications in GIS
    • Exploring Imagery and Elevation Data in GIS Applications
    • Advanced Analytic Methods in Geospatial Intelligence
    • Advanced Python Programming for GIS 
    • Cloud and Server GIS
    • Making Maps that Matter with GIS 
    • AND MORE! 



Thinking about incorporating cool maps with data to analyze patterns, relationships, or situations for your class, project, research, or thesis/dissertation? Contact the Earth Science, GIS and Maps Librarian to discuss options for your research,  schedule a workshop for your class, or one-on-one assistance. 

Training, Guides, and Documentation:

ESRI's ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) & More

Esri’s Academy Training Courses - Training modules produced by ESRI, including self-paced courses, seminars, videos, and other resources covering a variety of ArcGIS topics and tools.  

  • Suggested Courses to “Get Started:” 
    • Get Started with ArcMap (3 hours) 
    • ArcGIS Online (AGOL) Basics (1.5 hours) 
    • Getting Started with ArcGIS Pro (5.5 hours) 

Documentation on ArcGIS - Documentation on ArcGIS applications such as ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcMap, and more.  

ArcGIS Lesson Gallery - Quick lessons that approach GIS learning from a variety of topical applications on different platforms such as environment, health, humanities, public safety, etc. 

QGIS (Open Source GIS Software)

Download GIS for your Platform - Binary packages (installers) are available from this page

Documentation Manual for QGIS 3.10 - Manual for using QGIS software.

QGIS Tutorials and Tips - QGIS tutorials and tips on the overview, basic GIS operations, intermediate GIS operations, advanced GIS operations, network analysis, python scripting (PyQGIS), and web mapping. 

Google Earth and Google Earth Pro

Introduction – Google Earth User Guide - A PDF user’s guide that includes a variety of topics to learn Google Earth basics.

Google Earth Outreach - Training tutorials on Google Earth platform that include: 

  • Creating a map or Story in Google Earth Web 
  • Annotating Google Earth Desktop 
  • Importing Geography Information Systems (GIS) data in Google Earth Desktop 
  • Mapping from a Google Spreadsheet 
  • Adding Legends, logos, and banners to Google Earth Desktop with Screen Overlays 



There is an independent UNR Geographic Information Systems Help and Chat on Discord. "This is a place where you can come to find help or talk to fellow spatial data enthusiasts. It was started by Tom Dilts on April 27, 2021." If you would like to join the chat group please email Tom Dilts (NRES) or Chrissy Klenke (Libraries) for the invite.


For 3D Contour, Topographic, and Terrain model downloads:

  • Terrain2STL: create STL models of the surface of the Earth.
  • TouchTerrain: Easily create 3D-printable terrain models.
  • Contour Map Creator - download contour map lines as .SVG or .KLM files
  • Contours: download contour map lines as .GeoJSON, .PNG or .SVG files