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GIS for Architecture: GIS software

Geographic information systems software

ESRI's ArcGIS Pro software is the industry standard for geographic information systems (GIS). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Waterloo has obtained an ESRI institutional license, which permits any student or employee of University of Waterloo to use ESRI software for teaching, learning, and research purposes. Learn more about accessing ESRI ArcGIS software.

There are also free tools available online for GIS; we recommend:

Working with ArcGIS

Working with QGIS


  • Often QGIS will not allow you to save a new layer unless you are specifying where the layer can be saved on your computer. It also needs to be saved in a place that you can access. 

Other GIS tools