GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Lab


DescriptionThe GIS lab is located in Kauffman, room 188. This houses our equipment, six widescreen computers all with ArcGIS 10 installed, and the office of Dickinson’s GIS specialist, Jim Ciarrocca. The lab is a great place for presentations and demonstrations, to work on labs, and to get advice and help with course work. The lab is a great place to hang out and learn about maps- so come in and explore, even if you’re not in a GIS class!.

Facility Location
Kaufman Hall

Department/Organization that oversees facility
Academic Technology

Coordinator(s) of facility
Jim Ciarrocca-GIS Specialist

Contact email

Training/Process needed to use space
GIS has applications in all of Dickinson’s departments and we are currently working in environmental studies, earth science, archeology, history, international business and biology. In addition, GIS is used several administrative offices, including admissions, facilities management and the office of college advancement.

People need to be trained to use the application so enrolling in a course that uses GIS is the best way to start. Independent projects are possible with consultation with Jim Ciarrocca.

What equipment is available in this space?
There are many types of equipment that can be used and checked out from the GPS lab. The details about each piece of equipment and the tutorials for how to use them can be found here ( To reserve or check out a piece of equipment, see the GIS lab staff for assistance.

  • The Trimble Juno is a mapping-grade GPS that can record data as well as attributes for that data in the field. These devices are accurate up to 3 meters. 16 Junos are available for check-out for research or lab purposes.
  • The GeoExplorer 6000 is a survey-grade GPS that can record data within a few centimeters of accuracy. One is available for check-out for research purposes.
  • The GeoExplorer 2008 Series is a survey-grade GPS that can record data within a few centimeters of accuracy. One is available for check-out for research purposes.
  • The Nikon Nivo 5.m Total Station is a highly accurate surveying instrument used to measure slope distances across a landscape. One is available for check-out for research purposes.
  • The GIS department has assembled toolboxes that can be used for surveying in the field. Each tool box includes:
  • Surveying tape
  • Flash light
  • Trowel
  • Pencils
  • Sharpie
  • Duct tape
  • Chaining Pins
  • Wood Tape
  • Tape Measure
  • Electric tape
  • Calculator
  • Ruler
  • Compass
  • Hammer
  • Whiskers
  • Nails
  • Spray paint
  • Gloves
  • Plumb- bob
  • Rebar Caps
  • Two toolboxes are available for checkout for research purposes. Additional supplies can be added to the toolbox as needed. Contact the GIS lab staff for assistance.

The HP DesignJet T770 plotter printer can be used to print large maps and posters. See Jim in the GIS lab for assistance.

What items aren't available that might be needed?
Datasets to import into systems. There are many sites to source free data sets although some datasets are copyright and require purchase.

Student Organizations associated with space

What types of majors have dedicated use of this space?
The sciences, specifically biology and environmental science, have been the major users so far.  Asian Studies has also conducted two workshops on Bonsai in the greenhouse classroom.  As this past year was our first full year in use, other departments are just now developing classes and programs to take advantage of this resource.

Specific courses students can take to get additional training/exposure to this area: 218 INTRODUCTION TO GIS
318 Advanced Applications in GIS

Other courses adopt GIS projects in their curriculum and these change one a semester by semester basis. Please contact Jim Ciarrocca to identify other curricular opportunities to use GIS



GIS lab