Geographical Information Systems Laboratory

The GIS Laboratory at McMaster University was established in 1992 with a mission to support the undergraduate curriculum of the Department of Geography. The increased awareness of GIS technology within and outside McMaster has increased demand for the laboratory's teaching and research services, so much so that a second laboratory was established in 2008. A systems administrator/lab manager, a project manager and a cartographer have been added to the permanent staff of the lab. In 2009, the GIS Laboratory along with the Centre for Spatial Analysis and TransLab became an ESRI Development Centre (EDC) based on their expertise in developing GIS tools and software. In 2014, SGES was nominated as an ESRI Canada Centre of Excellence.

The current objectives of the lab are to:

  • Maintain highly competent personnel in the state-of-the-art in GIS technology.
  • Providing quality teaching within the undergraduate program of the School of
    Geography and Earth Sciences.
  • Provide quality short courses to groups from the McMaster community as well as the public and private sector.
  • Undertake research projects from a variety of disciplines that are in need of GIS analysis.
  • Assist in the development of GIS-related curricula for secondary education in Hamilton and vicinity


Congratulations to Karl Chastko and Spencer Elford for coming in second place in the International Year of Global Understanding Story Map Challenge.  To see their winning entries, click here.

Congratulations to Karl Chastko, Michael Kirchin, Kevin Yang, Kayla Wong and Spencer Elford for placing in the top 3 in their respective categories in the Esri Global Content Challenge. Also congratulations to Christopher Koido-Bunt for receiving Honourable Mention.  To see their winning story map journals, click here.

Congratulations to Karl Chastko, Tasos Dardas and Spencer Elford for coming in 3rd place in the 2016 Esri Canada Centre of Excellence App Challenge. Video

Congratulations to Spencer Elford on being awarded with the 2015-16 EDC Student of the Year award

Congratulations to Iwona Widurska on being awarded with the 2016 ESRI GIS Scholarship.

Information concerning GISP Certification is now online. Click here for more information.