The GIS Facility

The GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Facility carries out and supports research involving the capture, management and analysis of geographical data.

The Museum holds vast amounts of relevant data, from basic level locality data on herbarium sheets to more complex spatially geo-rectified research data. 

We hope to establish a huge spatial resource in conjunction with GIS techniques, to help educate, train and push forward the boundaries of scientific knowledge.  

GIS allows us to map and model a range of present-day events:

  • distributions of organisms
  • mineral resources
  • presence or absence of data
  • recent and future species extinctions
  • biodiversity and conservation projects
  • Kriged model of organic carbon in Belize.

    The GIS Facility has expertise in a number of areas and our staff regularly publish research in a range of journals.

  • Cadmium variation across a tooth.
    GIS software

    The GIS Facility is licensed in the use of ArcGIS and Erdas Imagine.


We support research projects within the Natural History Museum and with external collaborators, working on a priority system when dealing with requests.

For more information about the Facility contact Dr Malcolm Penn (GIS Manager) by email or on +44 (0)20 7942 5523.


GIS (Geographical Information Systems)
Software used for the storage, analysis, transformation, modelling and display of spatially-distributed data.

Spatially geo-rectified data
Calculating and recording of specific locational data about an object. For example latitude or longitude calculations for a specific locality place name.