Can I just use all the GIS data I want, anyway I want?

No! Like all the other information in the UCSD Libraries, the GIS data is subject to copyright laws and limitations on usage.

Our GIS data comes from a variety of sources. Specific restrictions can be found in each layer’s metadata. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to read the metadata for each data layer so that you can respect the license restrictions on the data, understand its unique spatial and attribute characteristics, and give proper attribution to the data provider.

In no case shall any of this data be used by anyone not a part of the UCSD community, nor shall any of this data be used for a commercial purpose. There may be additional restrictions on data as noted in the metadata for each data layer, and you can read the ‘Important Notes re UCSD Data Server’ document on the X drive for further details.

If you have any questions, please contact Tracey Hughes, GIS Coordinator, at

Can I save my project/data/map in the Lab?

You may save your work in progress on the “D:/” drive, but don’t expect it to stay there long! We erase data and files on the D drive at least once every other week, and sometimes more frequently.

The best way to store your maps and data is on portable media, such as a flash drive or writable CD. We recommend that you have at least 2GB (though 4GB is better) of storage space for a typical GIS project.

Do the computers in the Lab connect to the school’s file network system?

The short answer is no. The computers in the Lab share an internal network, but do not connect to the ACS or other UCSD networks.

This means that you have to bring all the documents and data you need for your GIS work on some sort of media.

We suggest using a flash drive (2GB or larger), but other less than optimal options include CD/DVD-ROMs and emailing your files to yourself.

You’ll also want to have media to save your GIS work to as the Lab does not offer secure, long-term file space.

How do I use the computers in the Lab?

The Lab offers six GIS-equipped terminals.

Logging on: The first step is to turn on the computers and monitors. Lab computers are password-protected; please contact Lab Staff or the Social Sciences and Humanities Library Reference Desk or the Information Desk near the front of Geisel to get the username and password.

Logging off: To reduce energy costs, we ask that you shut down the computers and  monitors when you are finished with your work.