Skip to Main Content

Maps and GIS

How to find and use maps and other geospatial resources at Pratt and beyond.


The Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative (SAVI) is an interdisciplinary research, consulting, and education center focusing on spatial data and visual storytelling. SAVI also provides training through the Spatial Analysis and Design certificate program in the Center for Continuing and Professional Studies. More information can be found on SAVI's website.

ArcGIS Online


ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based platform designed for researchers and nonprofits. ArcGIS allows you to collaboratively create and share maps and data with partners. Apps allow you to layer data on base maps provided by the platform, including Open Street Maps, National Geographic maps, satellite imagery, and topographic maps.

ArcGIS is installed on PC computers in Higgins Hall, Machinery, and Engineering computer labs on the Brooklyn Campus. On the Manhattan Campus, ArcGIS is installed in labs 501 and 518. Students can access ArcGIS off-campus through Launchpad or by requesting a copy of ArcGIS from SAVI to install on their local computers. ArcGIS is not compatible with MacOS; Mac users will need to use Bootcamp or install a virtual machine like Parallels.


QGIS is a free, open-source GIS software that is compatible on many operating systems, including both Mac and PC. QGIS includes the desktop application, a spatial file browser, a server application, and web applications. Learn more about QGIS mapping applications here.

NYC Open Data

NYC Open Data offers over 1,100 machine-readable datasets created by city government agencies. By releasing this data, New York City government encourages residents and organizations to participate in and improve government by conducting research and analysis. The data is collected by various government agencies and then analyzed and shared by the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA), the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, and NYC Digital. The datasets are refreshed when new data becomes available. MODA amalgamates what had been disconnected pieces of information from various city organizations and combines it with other open data from state and federal agencies. NYC Open Data offers datasets on buildings, infrastructure, businesses, permits, crime, licenses, streets, 311 complaints, and more. Researchers, developers, citizens (anyone) can search by category or the creating city agency to find the dataset they are looking for. 

Social Explorer

Social Explorer provides current and historical demographic data and online tools to create custom maps and reports.

Social Explorer’s data library includes Census data from 1790-2010 and American Community Survey data from 2005-2012, and you can view the data in customizable and interactive maps to explore social change. You can search for demographic data and create reports and tables in a variety of file formats. Social Explorer’s Storyboard Tool can be used to make map presentations with multimedia elements. You can sign up for an account to save your projects within Social Explorer.

Access to Social Explorer is available through the link below. If you are off-campus, you'll need to enter your oneKey.


PolicyMap is a U.S. national data and mapping tool that combines a curated, comprehensive geographic data library with simple, robust mapping and analytics tools. University faculty, researchers, and students use it to create compelling maps of up to five layers; export trend charts with key benchmarks, download data for use in other tools, generate on-the-fly reports and upload your own data. 
Pratt has a subscription to PolicyMap. To log in with your Pratt OneKey, access the site through the library's databases.

US Geological Survey Data Portal

USGS Geo Data Portal is a catalog of the datasets from USGS, including climate and landscape data.  

National Historic GIS

The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) provides free online access to summary statistics and GIS boundary files for U.S. censuses and other nationwide surveys from 1790 through the present. Users can download for free tables and boundary files. 


BYTES of the BIG APPLE includes data and geographic base map files for New York City, including administrative and political boundaries, zoning related datasets, housing development information, land use data, and other city planning datasets. BYTES of the BIG APPLE also includes MapPLUTO, extensive land use and geographic data at the tax lot level.

New York State GIS Clearinghouse


Search and download a wide range of data for each county, assembled from state datasets and county and municipal governments. 

  Report a Problem with this Page