Loading Library Hours...

GIS Software

Desktop GIS 

The Scholarly Commons computers have the following GIS software installed for researcher use. The University of Illinois maintains an enterprise license for many of the ArcGIS Platform products, which are available at WebStore for download. The other desktop GIS software is free and open source.

Software Version Documentation Download

ArcGIS Desktop  

10.8.1 Via WebStore  
Includes: ArcCatalog, ArcGlobe, ArcMap, ArcScene, Background Geoprocessing (64-bit), Data Interoperability, Python 2

ArcGIS Pro  

2.6 Via WebStore  
Includes: Python 3
Requires: ArcGIS Online Organization user account with license enabled (see “ArcGIS Online” in the “Web GIS” table below)

Guide to using ArcGIS Pro on a Mac


3.16.0 Free  
Includes: Grass GIS, SAGA GIS


1.16 Free  
Coming Soon!


Web GIS software only requires a web browser and typically requires an account to use the service. The University of Illinois has purchased subscriptions to some services, some may have a free option, while others will require a paid subscription.

ArcGIS Organization URL: UnivofIllinois

Software Subscription Types Documentation Sign Up

ArcGIS Online  

Public (Free), Organization (Paid) Via WebStore  
The University of Illinois has purchased ArcGIS Online for research and teaching use. Signup for an Organization account through WebStore. Instructors for some classes may setup an account for you. Public accounts are free, but do not offer the full suite of features and tools. Required for ArcGIS Pro.

ArcGIS Story Maps  

Public (Free), Organization (Paid)
To create Story Maps, an ArcGIS Online account is required (see above). Either a Public or Organization account will work for most features. You can use the University of Illinois Organization URL (UnivofIllinois) to sign-in with your NetID and password.


Library Subscription Must Sign In Via Library  
The Library has purchased a subscription to SimplyAnalytics. To create an account and sign in to SimplyAnalytics, you must be on a University computer or wi-fi network, or connected via VPN.


Starter (Free), Premium (Paid) Starter  
Getting started with MapBox is quick and easy and is designed with web developers in mind.

CARTO (formerly CartoDB)  

Free, Personal (Paid) Free  
CARTO also has discounted pricing for education and research use.


Professional (Paid) More Info  
Mango offers a 30 day free trial.

Geospatial Data Collection

Geospatial Data Collection software is used to capture geospatial data in the field with mobile devices, such as a smart phones or tablets enabled with GPS. Many times this software requires a mobile app and an account.

Software Cost Documentation Download

Collector for ArcGIS  

Included with ArcGIS Online Apple    |  Android  
|  Windows  
Collector for ArcGIS is a very powerful geographic data collection app that can capture point, line, and polygon shapes; capture photo and video attachments; supports off-line, disconnected environments; supports relational geodatabase design; can connect to Bluetooth-enabled, high-accuracy GPS units; and has many other features. To use Collector for ArcGIS, an ArcGIS Online account is required (see above).

Survey123 for ArcGIS  

Included with ArcGIS Online Apple    |  Android  
|  Windows  
Survey123 for ArcGIS is a simple and intuitive form-centric geospatial data collection solution that lets users collect point data along with survey data and photos. Simply design your form on the web, then collect data with the mobile app, which also supports off-line, disconnected environments. To use Survey123 for ArcGIS, an ArcGIS Online account is required (see above).

GIS Server

GIS server software may be required for high-level, advanced research applications and will require a high level of investment. Please contact the GIS experts at the Scholarly Commons to explore and learn more about whether your research will need a GIS server.

Software Cost Documentation Download

ArcGIS Enterprise  

Included with Esri License Via WebStore  
ArcGIS Enterprise includes ArcGIS server and Portal for ArcGIS. Users will need their own Windows or Linux server to deploy the software. The Library maintains an ArcGIS Enterprise server for providing data and services to the university and public here. Scholarly Commons GIS experts can help with installation and use of ArcGIS Enterprise, but on a limited basis.


Free and Open Sorce Free  
GeoServer is an open source server for sharing geospatial data. Designed for interoperability, it publishes data from any major spatial data source using open standards.


Free and Open Sorce Free  
MapServer is an Open Source platform for publishing spatial data and interactive mapping applications to the web. Originally developed in the mid-1990’s at the University of Minnesota, MapServer is released under an MIT-style license, and runs on all major platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X). MapServer is not a full-featured GIS system, nor does it aspire to be.