Esri Software


ArcGIS is an industry-standard GIS software suite developed by Esri. It includes:

  • ArcGIS Pro (version 3.1/3.2)
  • ArcGIS Online (through a web browser)
  • ArcGIS Field Maps, Survey123, ArcGIS Enterprise, and dozens of geo-enabled apps

Through CSU’s license agreement with Esri, CSU students, staff, and faculty can access ArcGIS at a low or no cost.

Login and Licensing for ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online

If you have been provisioned with an ArcGIS Online/ ArcGIS Pro license and need to install ArcGIS Pro on your computer, you can find instructions here.

To request provisioning (meaning, to gain access to the Arc licenses using your CSU eID), contact IT support in your college or RamTech at the Lory Student Center.


ArcGIS Online

A browser-based platform for web mapping, data storage and sharing, and spatial analysis. Create and share web maps, StoryMaps, publish and share data, utilize others’ online data.

Access is through an Esri account, which can be created for members of the CSU community through RamTech or your GIS course instructor.

Having an ArcGIS Online account through CSU (as opposed to a public account you create yourself) gives you greater access to data and analysis services, Collector, Survey 123, and other geo-enabled apps, and allows you to participate in groups with other CSU members.


ArcGIS Pro

ArcGIS Pro is Esri’s newest addition to the ArcGIS suite with an updated interface, faster processing, and improved geoprocessing functionality.

Pro is the best choice is you are just learning GIS in the Esri platform, and it will soon fully replace ArcGIS Desktop.

The newest version as of winter 2020 is version 2.5.



ArcGIS Desktop

ArcGIS Desktop 10.x includes ArcMap, ArcCatalog, and ArcScene. ArcMap is meant for display, editing, and analysis. ArcCatalog is for data management, like File Explorer, for spatial data. ArcScene is for 3D visualization.  This software has been the primary Esri desktop GIS for years, but is being phased out in favor of ArcGIS Pro.

It is still widely used here on the CSU campus, however, and licenses and software updates are available from RamTech.

The current version of ArcGIS Desktop as of winter 2020 is 10.7.


View the complete list of Esri’s products here.
How do I get ArcGIS software?

CSU students:

Undergrads enrolled in a course using ArcGIS should first talk to their instructor to get access to the software, they may have a process already in place.

ArcGIS Desktop: One-year trial licenses are available for students. Contact your instructor, RamTech, or the Geospatial Centroid.

ArcGIS Online: Students enrolled in GIS courses typically get an account created for them, check with your instructor.  You can also contact RamTech or the Geospatial Centroid. Do not create your own account, as it will be a “public” account and it won’t have access to the analysis tools, premium datasets, or Esri’s online training.

ArcGIS Pro: Available to undergrads through your ArcGIS Online account. Contact your instructor or RamTech to enable your account.


Staff / Faculty:

ArcGIS Desktop and Pro are available at the low cost of $29.99 / year, renewing each year on July 1st. Fill out the form through RamTech’s website for personal purchases or departmental purchases. When completing the form, indicate if you also want an ArcGIS Online account and access to Esri’s online training.


Instructors/Professors requesting accounts or software for their classes:

If you teach a class and want to request ArcGIS Online accounts for your students, or let students to install ArcGIS on their own computers, you’ll need to send a request to RamTech with your roster, including name, ID number, eID, email address, and course number, along with what type of access they need (AGO only, Pro, access to Esri training, etc…). Contact RamTech or the Geospatial Centroid if you need help determining your needs.


Can ArcGIS Desktop / Pro be installed on Windows or a Mac?

ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro are WINDOWS ONLY. They cannot be installed on a Mac.


How do I access Esri’s online training?

Esri’s online training is an invaluable resource, offering instruction in GIS basics and all of their products using web courses, tutorials, MOOCs, and videos.

All of Esri’s online training is available to the CSU community through your ArcGIS Online account.  The account must be enabled for this, so if you log in and have trouble, contact RamTech or the Geospatial Centroid to get your account “enabled for Esri access”.



What are ArcGIS Online credits?

CSU’s subscription to ArcGIS Online is regulated by “credits.” Credits are consumed whenever subscribers utilize certain functions of the ArcGIS Online service (such as publishing and hosting new datasets, running analyses, or geocoding addresses.)

CSU receives an initial number of credits each year, and we are still determining how best to manage those credits across campus. Currently, we have far more credits than we use, so don’t hesitate to play around in ArcGIS Online (We’ll be able to find you if you start using up too many!).

Subscribers can purchase additional credits as needed; if you need more, contact the Centroid. For your reference, 1,000 credits cost $100. To determine how many credits you are likely to consume, Esri provides a credit estimator for reference.