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Online Tools

Online tools allow users to build maps, run basic spatial analyses, georefrence images (and much more!) without needing to download and install software. All of these tools can be accessed through a web browser with a basic internet connection.

Esri Online Tools

Members of the UMass community have access to Esri products through the Department of Geosciences. For all questions related to licensing, please contact the ESRI / GIS Software and License Coordinator, Joe Kopera (jkopera[at]geo.umass.edu).

ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based, collaborative workspace for making interactive maps, sharing data that you create, and performing spatial analyses. Users can create maps, scenes, and web apps, analyze data, and share their creations with other members of UMass or the wider public. Users also have access to ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World (a wide ranging source of maps, apps, and data layers that users can bring into their own projects).

Follow these steps to sign into ArcGIS Online using your UMass credentials:

  1. Go to https://www.arcgis.com
  2. Click Sign in in the top right corner of the window.
  3. At the login page, click: Sign in with Your ArcGIS organization’s URL.
  4. Type umass-amherst into the text box.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Enter your UMass credentials to login.
ArcGIS Online login screen, highlighting the correct login option to sign in with "Your ArcGIS organization's URL."

ArcGIS StoryMaps

ArcGIS StoryMaps is an online story-telling app that allows users to craft visually enticing narratives with images, text, and custom-designed maps. StoryMaps are saved to a user’s ArcGIS Online account (under “Content”) and can be shared with other members of the UMass organization or with the wider public.

To get started, visit the ArcGIS StoryMaps website and then follow the login instructions for ArcGIS Online.

Find Inspiration (StoryMap Examples)
ArcGIS StoryMaps Resources

Free Online Tools

Address and Geocoding Tools

BatchGeo
Generate a map from a list of addresses.

GeoNames
Look up coordinates for almost any place on Earth.

Texas A&M Geocoder
Free geocoding service for US addresses (max 2,500 addresses).

US Census Geocoder
Free geocoder that uses the U.S. Census’ Geocoding Services API (max 10,000 records per batch file)

USgeocoder
Geocoding service with an online lookup tool and an API (free to use for academic research – contact the company directly). Also provides jurisdiction maps, legislative officeholders, and census geography.

what3words
Platform that has assigned a unique 3-word code to every 3m grid cell on Earth.

Coordinate System Tools

EPSG.io Coordinate Systems Worldwide
Look up information about over 6,000 coordinate systems.

FCC Degrees Minutes Seconds / Decimal Degrees Converter
Convert coordinates from DMS to/from decimal degrees.

BoundingBox by Klokan
Simple tool for retrieving bounding box coordinates around an area of interest. Can also retrieve coordinates of complex polygons. Searches addresses using OpenStreetMap.

Extent Helper by the USGS
More advanced tool for retrieving bounding box coordinates around an area of interest. Exports in multiple formats. Searches addresses using Esri.

Latitude and Longitude Finder
Search by place name to retrieve a location’s coordinates.

State Plane Coordinate Systems
Look up the State Plane and UTM Zones for each county in the U.S.

Data Cleanup Tools

OpenRefine
Clean, transform, and explore large datasets.

Data Editing Tools

Mapshaper
Easy-to-use web interface for editing geospatial data (shapefile, GeoJSON, TopoJSON, CSV). Built-in console allows for command-line editing.

Georeferencing Tools

Map Warper
Search for georectified maps or upload and georeference your own.

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection Georeferencer
Georeference a historical map from the Rumsey collection.

Imagery Analysis Tools

Picterra
User-friendly platform for training an AI to detect objects in remotely sensed imagery.

Storymapping Tools

Leaflet Storymaps with Google Sheets
A do-it-yourself approach to storytelling using GitHub and Google Drive. Step-by-step instructions are available on the project’s GitHub page.

Scrollama
JavaScript library that responds to scroll events. (JavaScript experience recommended)

ScrollMagic
JavaScript library that helps you react to user’s current scroll position. (JavaScript experience recommended)

Storymap.js
JavaScript library that includes a suite of templates and tutorials for semi-assisted storymap configuration. (JavaScript experience recommended)


Hosting Platforms

Cesium Stories
Templates for creating hosted 3D geospatial presentations. Tutorials are available. Requires creating a Cesium Ion account. Free tier can be used for non-commercial projects only.

GeoTales
Map visualization tool with free and premium tiers. Focuses on the map and moving animated objects around it; stories are formatted as slides. 

Mapbox Interactive Storytelling
For users with some knowledge of HTML and CSS, this is a configurable storytelling option that produces simple, chapter-based scrollable stories. Requires registering for a free Mapbox account. Generous free tier allows 50,000 map loads per month before charges begin accruing.

MapStory
Free story-telling app built by the nonprofit MapStory Foundation.

StoryMapJS
Free story-telling app. One of several online tools by Northwestern University Knight Lab designed for telling compelling stories with multimedia, VR, numerical data, and timelines.

StoryMaps
Not to be confused with ArcGIS StoryMaps, this is Esri’s public version of their popular storymapping platform, intended for users who do not have an Esri subscription. If you have a UMass NetID, you should use ArcGIS StoryMaps instead.

Web Mapping Tools

ColorBrewer 2.0
Get help picking out colors for your map.

Google Earth for Chrome
Only works in Chrome browser. Explore global satellite imagery from your browser.

Google Maps JavaScript API
Series of JavaScript tutorials for building a custom map in Google Maps. A demo API is provided for the tutorials, but an API must be purchased before sharing maps with the public.

Leaflet
JavaScript library for designing interactive mobile-friendly maps.

MapLibre GL JS
Open-source TypeScript library for designing and publishing maps on the web.

MaskMy.XYZ
Client-side JavaScript tool that masks sensitive location information.

OpenLayers
Open-source JavaScript library for designing and publishing maps on the web.

Recogito
Annotate texts and images and link to digital gazetteers.

uMap
Collaborative open-source tool for creating web maps with markers and pop-ups. Users can use OpenStreetMap layers or import their own geospatial data. 


Hosting Platforms

Datawrapper
Easy-to-use interface for generating web-based maps, charts, and tables – no coding experience necessary. Generous free tier allows unlimited map creation.

Felt
Collaborative platform for building hosted web maps. Free to use until 2024. 

Mapbox
Suite of tools and libraries for designing eye-catching, interactive maps. Generous free tier allows 50,000 map loads per month before charges begin accruing.

Last Updated on March 27, 2024