The Mississippi Automated Resource Information System (MARIS) Technical Center website provides access to the geospatial data clearinghouse for Mississippi's statewide geographic information system (GIS). Through this site we offer you access to a range of resources, including:

search and retrieval of data descriptions (metadata)
retrieval of Mississippi data sets
posting of news related to GIS developments
announcements of upcoming meetings and events
mapping of data sets
access and retrieval to aerial photography covering Mississippi

Serving Mississippi's GIS needs by providing Mapping, Geo-data, Education, and Service since 1982.


Serve as the legislative mechanism within Mississippi state government to provide for the systematic arrangement, availability, and use of digital natural and cultural resource information Encourage compatibility of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and data distribution within state government.

What is MARIS?

In 1982 MARIS was initially set up under an executive order by Governor William Winter. The executive order status continued year-to-year until MARIS was established by the state legislature in 1986. MARIS is proving the power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to manage and apply geographic information to a wide range of natural and cultural resource programs in Mississippi.


What we do...

  • Providing technical assistance to state agencies in GIS development.
  • Cooperating with long range efforts of federal and state agencies in the use and expansion of spatial data in Mississippi.
  • Building, maintaining, and distributing the State Geographic Data Base.
  • Developing and implementing forums and workshops attuned to geographic information technology.
Find out more

MS IHL Site License Program

Since 2004, MARIS has administered the IHL Software Licensing Program. It has been instituted and maintained to economically provide Geographic Information System (GIS) / Remote Sensing (RS) software resources that are critical to the research, development, and training mission of higher education in Mississippi.

The IHL site license agreement is with three (3) software vendors which are the leading companies in the GIS/remote sensing field:

  • Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI): Webpage
  • Hexagon Geospatial Solutions ERDAS Imagine and GeoMedia: Webpage
  • Harris ENVI/IDL: Webpage

The site license allows for full use of the three companies' software at all 8 universities and all 15 community and junior colleges. Use of the software is limited to purely educational and research purposes.

IHL Geospatial Council

The Remote Sensing Council was established in the late 1990's by IHL as an effort to ensure communication among all Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning that participate in remote sensing or GIS research and/or training. The Council meets on a regular basis to discuss technical issues along with and policies that apply applying to all entities.

MS Educational Geospatial Successes Hub Site Webpage

Current Membership

  • Dr. George Raber - University of Southern Mississippi - Council Chairman
  • Mr. Jim Steil - MARIS - Council Vice-Chairman
  • Dr. Greg Easson - University of Mississippi
  • Dr. Bill Cooke and Mr. Louis Wasson - Mississippi State University
  • Mr. Albert Williams - Jackson State University
  • Mr. Talbot Brooks - Delta State University
  • Dr. Fazlay Faruque - University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Dr. Raymond Williams - Mississippi Valley State University
  • Dr. Lixin Yu - Alcorn State University
  • Mr. Chad Garick - Jones Jr. College - CC/JC Representative
  • Mr. Steve Walker - MARIS - Site License Administrator

As part of the administration, MARIS, in coordination of the IHL Geospatial Council, generates an annual Site License Report describing activities and uses of the software along with cost-benefit analysis.

Who we are...

The MARIS technical center's staff is a unique resource that brings many years of experience to the Mississippi GIS Community through collaboration, expertise, cost-sharing initiatives, and service.

Jim Steil


Neal Smith

SR GIS Project Manager

Steve Walker

GIS Operations Manager

Craig Johnson

GIS Applications Specialist