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GIS Resources

Spatial and Numeric Data Services guide to GIS data available at the University of Calgary.

GIS Data for Instruction

Spatial and Numeric Data Services is happy to assemble GIS data packages for instructors to use in their courses.

Important information:

  • SANDS staff require at least three weeks notice to put a course package together. The start of term is a very busy time for us. Our small team is often assembling multiple large data packages, while providing SANDS orientations and in-class instruction sessions during this time. If you require data for your course with less than three weeks notice, you should still reach out, but we cannot guarantee it will be ready on time.
  • When licensed data is being used in the classroom, every person who will have access to this data must individually complete an Data Release Agreement. It is the responsibility of the instructor to ensure that every person completes the agreement. We encourage instructors to remind students to read the terms of the agreement carefully as they are entering into a legal agreement by signing the form.
  • When licensed data is being used, instructors cannot reuse data they have used before without completing new Data Release Agreements. To provide data to students who have not signed a new Data Release Agreement will violate your license agreement. We want to make sure we can continue to provide data to students. Following the terms of those agreements is crucial to maintain the trust we have built with the governments and organizations providing the UCalgary community with this valuable data.

The Four Steps of Requesting a Data Package

  1. Get in touch with SANDS: Email: maps@libanswers.ucalgary.ca to request data. This email is monitored by both GIS staff members in SANDS, so even if someone is out of office, your request will be received.
  2. Discussion: When we respond to your email, we will clarify what data you need. We will need to know the area(s) of interest, date(s), features you are looking at, and file formats required. Our discussion can happen over email, over the phone or Zoom, or in person by making an appointment.
  3. Complete Data Release Agreements: If licensed data is being used, before we provide the data it is the instructor's responsibility to ensure that all of the instructors and students who will have access to the data have completed the Data Release Agreement. A new Data Release Agreement must be signed for every course or data package the students receive. Therefore, even if students (or instructors) signed an agreement last semester, they need to complete it again.
  4. Providing the data: Once you have confirmed that everyone in the course has completed the Data Release Agreement, let SANDS know via email and we will provide a link with the data. Instructors should review the data package to make sure that everything is correct.
  5. Share with us! (optional step): We love to see the innovative ways that folks are using data around campus. If it makes sense to do so, feel free to share your research or class projects with us, so we can see SANDS data in action!

We look forward to working with you to provide a great learning experience for your students!