Useful Links

This page provides links to external sites that we at GIS In Ecology find useful.   We will be adding to these links over time as and when we find new links to useful things.  Links to data sources are not provided on this page.  These, instead, are provided on our GIS Data Sources page. Links to GIS software packages can be found on our GIS Software page.

These links are provided for information purposes only and GIS In Ecology does not take any responsibility for the accuracy or security of these sites.  Therefore, it is your responsibility to look after the security of your own computer.  In addition, we take no responsibility if access to a specific external website is restricted or removed. – A working knowledge of Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet software makes using GIS in ecological research much easier as it allows you to quickly process and manage your data in a non-GIS environment whenever you need to. If you are not already familiar with Excel, then is a good place to start.

Spatial – Spatial provides some very useful tools specifically developed to help ecologists to use and analyse spatial data. This includes Hawths Tools (, an essential extension for ArcView/ArcGIS 9 GIS software for ecologists, and its equivalent for ArcView/ArcGIS 10 (Geospatial Modelling Environment (GME) –

DNR GPS – DNR GPS (like its predecessor DNR Garmin) represents a really useful tool to integrating data collected on GPS receivers with GIS projects.  It is one of the easiest ways to transfer GPS-derived data into a GIS-compatible format, and indeed to upload and download data to and from a GPS receiver.

Excel Geometry Functions Software – The GEOFUNC add-in for Excel is an extremely useful tool that allows you to calculate the distances between points based on latitude and longitude values, the bearings between positions, and can calculate the latitude and longitude of a new position based on a starting point, a bearing and a distance, and to carry out other geometry functions.  This can be particularly useful tool for estimating the positions of animals or objects based on bearing and distance measurements. We use this add-in in a number of our own Useful Tools.

Map Projections And Coordinate Systems – Understanding projections and coordinate systems is essential for creating good GIS projects.  You can find more information about them through wikipedia ( This site ( also provides some additional information on what map projections and coordinate systems are, including information about a number of key projections that you might want to use in your GIS projects.  More useful information can also be found at

Information about specific projections, including details of the limitations, their suitability for specific purposes, the levels and types of distortions that they create and the size of the areas that they can be applied to, can be found by going to and clicking on the name of the projection you are interested in.  It is essential that you check such information before applying an unfamiliar projection or coordinate system to a GIS project to ensure that it is appropriate for the purposes you wish to use it for.

Geospatial Analysis – A Comprehensive Guide – This is a detailed, and free, guide to analysing data in a spatial context. Although it is not specifically aimed at ecologists, it contains much useful information that ecologists could apply to their research. However, while comprehensive, it is probably most useful for those who already have at least a basic grounding in how to GIS in ecological research. In addition, a good knowledge of GIS is required to successfully implement the types of geospatial analysis considered in this volume.