Digital History

GIS Activities


First published on February 15, 2020. Last updated on June 13, 2024.


Participants will need access to a computer either with GIS software already installed or the ability to install software. The computer should not be too slow and a good internet connection is recommended.

GIS Software and Information

QGIS and TNT MIPS are free GIS software. ArcGIS is expensive, but many schools have it available for free use for students.

  • QGIS open source GIS software. This is a relatively easy and free GIS software: downloads
  • Datum (formerly TNT MIPS) free GIS software with hyperspectral analysis capabilities: downloads
  • ArcGIS is proprietary, but sophisticated industry standard GIS software that many universities make available to students.


Students will get as far as they can through a standard GIS tutorial in the time available. Be warned that GIS software is not really easy to use and may run slowly on older or inexpensive hardware.

Suggested tasks:

  1. Create an empty project in the GIS software and save it.
  2. Create a raster layer. (Either use maps or images provided by software, or import a satellite image from Google Maps or a similar resource).
  3. Create one of more vector layers to annotate the raster layer.
  4. Save your project again and export the project as a single image.


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