If you have address-based data that you wish to map in GIS, you'll need to assign latitude and longitude coordinates to your data so you can plot them as points. Baruch affiliates can contact the geospatial librarian for assistance.
Vector: discrete coordinates and surfaces represented as points, lines, or polygons (areas). Shapefiles, geopacakges, geoJSON
Raster: continuous surface divided into grid cells of equal size. Geotiff, tif, JPG
Tables: data tables that contain records for places that can be converted by plotting coordinates or joining identifiers to a vector file. Delimited text files, spreadsheets, database tables
Geodatabase: collection of vectors, rasters, and tables in a database file. ArcGIS gdb / mdb, SQLite, PostGIS
Compressed files: containers that hold several data files. ZIP files
In order to use GIS software, you'll have to download and add some GIS data. This page shows you the different GIS file formats and types and provides you with a number of online sources for accessing data. Some general places to start:
This is Baruch's GIS data repository. Includes a mix of public and Baruch-only datasets: