UWRF GIS LabWelcome!

The UWRF GIS Lab is supported by the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science and serves as the primary center for GIS and Cartographic education. The department has had a minor in Cartography since 1981. The minor was revised in 1993 to include courses in Geographic Information Science. The GIS Lab was funded by NSF ILI and UWS Lab Modernization grants authored by Carol Barrett in 1993. The Lab has since been maintained through UWS Lab Modernization Grants, authored by Drs. Charles Rader and Mathew Dooley, and the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science.


The GIS Lab consists of 27 Dell OptiPlex 9010 workstations using Windows 7 and supporting ArcGIS 10.3.1, Idrisi TerrSet, Adobe CC 2015 (Adobe PhotoShop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and InDesign), MAPublisher 9.6, Microsoft Office 2013, Natural Scene Designer 5.0, IBM SPSS 23 statistical analysis, DNR GPS, GPSBabel, QGIS, Terrain Sculptor, and GeoDa (spatial statistics) applications. The lab has two Trimble GeoXT 3000 GPS units, four Garmin GPSMAP 62 units and 22 Garmin GPS 60 units for field mapping. The lab also includes an HP LaserJet CP4525, an HP Z5200 42-inch color plotter, and a Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Touch drawing tablet.

Student Use and Projects

Students from across campus take GIS courses, and many ultimately use skills developed in these courses to enhance their research and project work in many other disciplines including, geology, environmental science and management, conservation, and landuse planning. In addition, many students are involved in internships with local organizations through the GIS Lab.  These have included the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust, City of River Falls, the Great Rivers Confluence Project and many others.  

ESRI ArcGIS 10.3.1 – Software Support

Geography and Geographic Information Science faculty and staff serve as the contacts and campus technical support for ESRI ArcGIS 10.3.1 software. Individuals on campus may contact Dr. Charles Rader (ESRI Primary Contact) for questions regarding the use of this software on campus, via e-mail or phone at 715-425-4539.

Acceptable Usage Policy

In addition to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Acceptable Usage Policy, the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science enforces the following rules:

  • The GIS Lab is not an open-access lab for use by the general student population. Computers and printers in the GIS Lab are only for use by students currently enrolled in GIS courses or those using GIS software for coursework in other departments. Computers and printers may only be used for relevant GIS coursework. If a class is in session in the main lab, students enrolled in GIS courses may use one of the four workstations in the back room on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • GIS Lab users may not bring their own software into the lab without prior written approval of the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science. GIS Lab software must never be copied. This is a violation of copyright law.
  • Food, drink, alcohol, tobacco, and other consumable items are not allowed at any computer station in the lab in order to protect the equipment. Users are welcome, however, to leave drinks at a table near the back of the lab. Violation of these policies may result in the permanent banning of the violator from the GIS Lab.
  • Students currently enrolled in GIS courses or those using GIS software for coursework in other departments are welcome to use the lab during open-lab hours. Please sign in on the sign-in sheet at the back of the lab so we have an idea of who is using the lab.



301 Kleinpell Fine Arts building

Monday-Friday,  8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Monday-Thursday,  6 p.m.- 8 p.m.

(Sept. 7, 2016- May 12, 2017)

Please contact the Geography Department to arrange lab use during academic breaks.
Phone: 715-425-3264 or email