Geographic Information Systems

D.C. Land Use Map

What Is GIS?

GIS software, which combines location information with data about a range of other attributes, has become an indispensable tool for mapping and spatial analysis in urban planning and dozens of other fields.

July 31, 2022 - Diana Ionescu

Screenshot of Charleston Affordable Housing Dashboard

Charleston Launches Affordable Housing Dashboard

The city’s new online tool shares information about affordable housing projects to help stakeholders understand where and how affordable housing is being built and distributed.

April 24, 2022 - WCSC

National Parks

How the National Park Service Uses GIS

A new book demonstrates how the National Park Service uses GIS technology to meet its mission and showcases a selection of maps used for effectively managing national parks.

July 13, 2021 - ESRI

Lebanon Valley Rail Trail

Growing Use of Trails Highlights the Work of Trail Planners

Trails have become very popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more about how trail planners in L.A. County plan for multi-use trails and promote the safe use of trails.

July 28, 2020 - Parks & Rec Business

Orange County Great Park Rendering

How GIS Helps Plan Parks

With constrained budgets, a geographic information system (GIS) may seem like a luxury for parks agencies. But to perform data-driven planning and advance park equity, GIS is an indispensable tool.

July 21, 2020 - Apolitical


GIS Community Brings Maps to the Coronavirus Fight

Data-Smart City Solutions at the Harvard Kennedy School is monitoring the use of GIS technology to inform the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic.

July 1, 2020 - Data-Smart City Solutions

Coronavirus Map

Visualizing the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mapping of the crisis is producing a fascinating and important trove of cartographic records.

May 18, 2020 - CityLab

Public Transit

Esri Sets Up COVID-19 GIS Hub

The planning profession can contribute to the worldwide fight to control the spread of COVID-19. GIS technology, for instance, allows real-time monitoring of the pandemic.

March 13, 2020 - ESRI

Urban Grid Logic

Chart Your City's Street Network to Understand its Logic

The roads in your city might conform to a grid, or they might divert around natural resources or landmarks. A new tool aims to help you visualize the "hidden logic" behind urban growth.

August 14, 2018 - CityLab

Demographics map

Three Ways to Make GIS as Powerful as Possible

These days, cities are expected to make the most of open data and spatial visualization technologies.

June 25, 2018 - Smart Cities Dive


A Land-Management Plan for Catholic Properties Around the World

One of the largest landowners in the world—historically known for creating maps of the Earth—the Church doesn't yet have a cohesive understanding of its global footprint.

November 1, 2017 - Curbed

India Encourages Monster Master Planning Effort

Planners in search of work might want to consider looking in India. As Nate Berg reports, the Indian government is hoping a new technology initiative will catalyze master planning efforts in 7,935 cities and towns across the country.

August 6, 2012 - The Atlantic Cities

Leading Thinkers in Urban Planning & Technology

Planetizen founding Editor Chris Steins offers his evaluation of the top 25 thinkers at the intersection of planning and technology.

April 26, 2011 - Chris Steins

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.