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GIS Subject Guide: Library GIS Projects

This Subject Guide provides you with many of the GIS resources you need to get started as well as continue using GIS in your coursework.

Library GIS Projects

Digital projects


A Historical Hike through the Forests of Waterloo Region: 1843 Vegetation Survey of Waterloo Region

This Story Map is the result of unpublished Masters (MES) research by Karrow, Thomas (2013), a published article by Thomas Karrow and Roger Suffling (2015) along with expertise from the staff at the University of Waterloo, Geospatial Centre.


Historical Census Project

The historical census project used tabular census data from 1901-1951 (intervals of 10 years), transforming it into spatial data. Some of the census data used was ethnicity, employment, and population. A story map was created to display ethnicity over the 50-year period. 


Waterloo: Population change from 1867 - 2017

In celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary, the Geospatial Centre has created a graphic visualizing of population growth for Waterloo from mid 1800's to present day.  


Kitchener-Waterloo: 1955 to present

Story Map "Swipe" and "Spyglass" is an ArcGIS online application that enables users to interact with two web maps or two layers. The Geospatial Centre uses this application to give a visual comparison between historical airphotos and maps with the present.


Air photos digitization project

In October 2007, the University map library launched the Air photos digitization project, where approximately 2000 historical air photos for the years 1930, 1945-47, 1955, 1963 and 1966 of Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas were scanned and saved electronically.


Air photo interactive map index

This interactive map index provides the library's complete paper aerial photography and photomap coverages. To access photos, please visit the Geospatial Centre.


Waterloo County historical street project

In 2017, the staff in the Geospatial Centre re-constructed the 1955 street network for Waterloo County. The street maps from the Waterloo County historical street project are made freely available in digital map format, Geographic Information System (GIS) Shapefiles and Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files, allowing scholars, historians and community residents to study and analyze past and present street patterns.


Pre-settlement vegetation mapping project (Karrow, T. and Suffling, R.)

This website provides a database of known pre-settlement vegetation maps, created from early survey data. Three distinct 'metamaps' represent cartographic endeavours from different sources.


University of Waterloo Special Collections and Archives: Story Map

This Story Map was created by the Geospatial Centre as part of a digital display for the trips, tours, and voyages exhibit for Special Collections & Archives at the University of Waterloo.