ESRI software is a Geographic Information System (GIS). A GIS is a computer-based mapping tool that takes information from a database about location and turns it into visual layers. ArcGIS includes a suite of integrated applications: ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox. These three applications allow users to perform any GIS task, simple to advanced, including mapping, data management, geographic analysis, data editing and geoprocessing.


U of G has a site license for ESRI GIS software, which allows faculty and staff to install and use ESRI software on their own computers or in on-campus teaching labs. This site license also allows the U of G community free access to online courses at ESRI Virtual Campus.  Please see available offerings on the CCS Software Distribution Site.

Acquiring Software

Faculty, staff and students at the University of Guelph may access ArcGIS in three different ways: via library, departmental computer labs or on-campus computers:

  1. Library

    ArcGIS is available on all Library workstations.
    The Data Resource Centre (DRC) on the main floor of the Library has computers which are dedicated to GIS software and data use. Logins and passwords for these computers must be acquired in the DRC.

  2. Departmental computer lab

    Several departmental computer labs have ESRI software installed. Ask your Computer Coordinator if the lab in your college or department has ESRI software installed.

  3. On your computer

    If you are a faculty, staff or graduate student at the University of Guelph, you may obtain a site-licensed copy of ESRI software for use in learning, teaching and research. However, it may only be used while you are employed, or a registered graduate student, at the University of Guelph. For general licensing information or to obtain a copy, go to the CCS Software Distribution Site.

    Our campus agreement with ESRI allows students to acquire a one year license for ArcGIS Desktop. Students can access the Student Timeout Edition offering on the Software Distribution Site to obtain their activation code. Once the activation code is obtained, follow the ArcGIS Desktop Student Timeout Edition Instructions.

Installation Procedure

Installation instructions for ArcGIS 9.2 (ArcView/ArcEditor Standalone version)
Installation Instruction for ArcGIS 9.2 (ArcINFO concurrent version)
Installation Instruction for ArcGIS 10.0 & 10.1 (ArcINFO concurrent version)

Installation Instruction for ArcGIS 10.3.1 (ArcINFO concurrent version)
Installation Instruction for ArcGIS Student Timeout Edition



CCS and McLaughlin Library offer a GIS Service based out of the Data Resource Centre in the Library. The GIS Service includes access to and support for ESRI GIS software, GIS data analysis support, and a growing geospatial data collection.

Additional Information

ESRI Products Available at U of G:

  • ArcGIS 9.3 with main Extensions;
  • ArcGIS 10 Desktop
  • ArcGIS Server
  • ArcGIS Engine
  • ArcIMS 9.3
  • ArcSDE 9.3
  • ArcPress for ArcView
  • ArcView StreetMap
  • ArcPad 7
  • ArcPad Application Builder 7
  • MapObjects Professional Edition
  • ArcLogistics

ESRI Online Tutorials

Free online courses are included in the University of Guelph's site license from ESRI. These courses are offered from ESRI Virtual Campus. Each course consists of several lessons made up of a combination of background reading and hands-on exercises. Participants have the opportunity to write exams at the end of each lesson to acquire a course completion certificate.

To access a course you will need to acquire a course access code from the CCS Software Distribution Site and then take your code to ESRI Virtual Campus. You will then be required to register with ESRI Virtual Campus and input your course access code before you can start your online course.

ESRI online courses are only available to current staff, faculty and students at U of G. Once you have registered for a course, the course will remain available for one year from the activation date.

Virtual Campus courses offered for ArcGIS:

A free trial copy of ArcGIS is available through ESRI Virtual Campus for use with the ArcGIS courses. You must be registered for a course to apply for the software. This is 60 day trial software provided and supported by ESRI.

Virtual Campus courses offered for ArcInfo and Extensions:

Tutorials offered for programming and customization in ArcGIS and ArcView:

GIS Day Events

The McLaughlin Library and Computing and Communication Services together organize an annual GIS Day. GIS Day is an opportunity for Faculty, Staff and Students to present research using GIS and discuss the use of GIS in teaching and research at the University of Guelph and in the local community.

GIS Day 2003: Mapping the Potential of GIS
GIS Day 2004: GIS... not only for the Geographer
GIS Day 2005: Mapping Your Future 

Other Resources

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