Toolbox > Web-Based Tools

Web-based 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 a site license administered by the Department of Geosciences. For all questions related to licensing, please contact the ESRI / GIS Software and License Coordinator, Joe Kopera (

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
  2. Click Sign in in the top right corner of the window.
  3. At the login page, click: Sign in with Enterprise Login.
  4. Type umass-amherst into the text box.
  5. Click Sign in to University of Massachusetts-Amherst using UMASS-AMHERST
  6. Enter your UMass credentials to login.

ArcGIS Online Documentation

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 StoryMaps website and then follow the login instructions for ArcGIS Online.

Find Inspiration (StoryMap Examples)
ArcGIS StoryMaps Resources

Free Online Tools

Address Tools

Generate a map from a list of addresses.

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
Match addresses to geographic locations.

Coordinate System Tools 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.

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

Data Cleanup Tools

Clean, transform, and explore large datasets.

Data Editing Tools

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

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

Storytelling 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. 

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.

Free story-telling app (alternative to ArcGIS StoryMaps) built by the nonprofit MapStory Foundation.

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

Web Mapping Tools

ColorBrewer 2.0
Get help picking out colors for your map.

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

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.

Python and JavaScript libraries for designing interactive online vector maps.

JavaScript library for designing interactive mobile-friendly maps.

Client-side JavaScript tool that masks sensitive location information.

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.

Annotate texts and images and link to digital gazetteers.

Last Updated on September 18, 2020