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GIS & Data Lab

The GIS & Data Lab, housed on the 1st floor of Rotch Library (7-238), is available for use during Rotch’s operating hours. Computers and in-person help is available for the MIT Community only. See Data Services for more info on how to get help.

Using the lab

A valid MIT ID is required for access to the lab. The lab may occasionally be reserved in part or full for workshops. Information on closures for workshops will be posted on this website.

COVID-19 updates: Temporary remote access to computers

Due to COVID-19, there is no in-person computer use available at this time. The GIS & Data Lab staff are temporarily allowing all computers to be available via remote access, pending approval, and primarily for those actively working with installed software. Follow these procedures for access:

  1. Email to request to reserve a computer before use and include the following:
    • Your name
    • The dates you would like to use the computer (cannot exceed 1 week)
    • A sentence about the MIT-related work you will be doing
  2. GIS & Data Lab staff will review the request. If approved, staff will tell you which computer to use and send you further instructions on how to access the machine.
  3. On the first day of your reservation, and once your analysis is running, lock the computer so as to avoid disruption of processing. Never shut down a computer.
  4. As soon as your analysis is finished, transfer all data off the computer and delete it. Unlock the computer and email staff to let them know you have finished. If you need to use the computer after your reservation has ended, email to request an extension.


The GIS & Data Lab is open to all MIT community members. A reservation is required if you will be using a computer remotely.


The following software is installed on all computers unless otherwise indicated. Use of licensed software is restricted to members of the MIT community for the purposes of research, education, and scholarship. Additional software may be requested pending relevance, cost, and licensing terms by emailing