GIS, Cartographic and Spatial Analysis Tools: ESRI (ArcGIS)

This guide provides an overview of geographic software, libraries and tools supported by or recommended by RDS staff.

ESRI provides the ArcGIS platforms.  Their are currently two supported versions of ArcGIS, the emergent ArcGIS Pro and the legacy ArcGIS 10.x (which includes ArcMap). 

New GIS users are generally advised to opt to use ArcGIS Pro as support for ArcGIS 10.x and earlier versions will be phased out over time beginning in 2022.  However use of ArcGIS Pro will generally require an active internet connection and an ArcGIS Online account.  RDS recommends that you request your own Columbia ArcGIS Online Organization account through this form from the GIS Service Center at CIESIN

Access: Both versions are available in the RDS lab as well as in CUIT administered labs throughout Columbia. Current students and faculty may request an educational license through the GIS Service center at CIESIN.  Choose the "Request Software Authorization" from the GIS service center website:   RDS recommends that you indicate a request for ArcGIS Pro and an ArcGIS Online account on the license form.  Note that all versions of ArcGIS are Windows only and resource intensive.  See the system requirements for the latest version of ArcGIS Pro.

Training Resources:  ESRI provides a number of online training materials. Columbia has a site license form many of their asynchronous courses. Current affiliates may request access to them through this link. 

There are also several online courses available through Linkedin Learning.

ArcGIS Online is the ESRI online mapping platform.  Affiliates can request a personal account through the Columbia Institutional subscription through the CIESIN GIS service center (under "request software authorization").  ArcGIS Online accounts can be used for data storage and sharing, web mapping and some spatial analysis.  Accounts may be necessary for use of other ESRI platforms including ArcGIS Pro and StoryMaps. 

ArcGIS StoryMaps is ESRI's platform for creating interactive, map-based, multi-media, narrative "scrollytelling" web projects.