The information below will help you install ArcGIS and QGIS. ArcGIS for Desktop is proprietary software that allows you to analyze your data and author geographic knowledge to examine relationships, test predictions, and ultimately make better decisions. It is available in three license levels—Basic, Standard, or Advanced. These license levels share the same core applications, user interface, and development environment. Each license level provides additional GIS functionality as you move from Basic to Standard to Advanced. For more information please visit the following link:  QGIS is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) licensed under the GNU General Public License. QGIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). It runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, Windows and Android and supports numerous vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities. For more information please visit the following link:


Since ArcGIS is proprietary software you will need a license key to use their software beyond the limited trial. If you are one of my students I will email you your license key, otherwise you will have to purchase the software through esri. To install the software follow the instructions below.

Please note, I have emphasized several steps that are always a hang up for most students. Please pay particular attention to these steps. If you have issues please schedule an office hours appointment or contact esri, per the help links below.

Download Link:

**Just be aware the download file sizes are 3.76 Gb for ArcGIS for Desktop 10 and 1.87 Gb for the optional tutorial data.

Before you install ArcGIS for Desktop

  • Check our system requirements to make sure your computer has the hardware and software required for the trial.
  • If you will be installing the software from an ISO image, install an image (ISO) extractor program such as7-Zip.  If you will be installing the software from a network server, you can skip this step.
  • If necessary, install the Microsoft .NET Framework (version 3.5 Service Pack 1 or higher).
  • The software cannot be installed on a computer that has a previous version of ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Server installed; if necessary, uninstall previous versions of ArcGIS Desktop or Server.  It’s OK if the computer has ArcGIS Explorer installed.
  • Activate your authorization code
  • Visit and choose “I have an ArcGIS Education Edition authorization code”
  • Log in using your Esri Global Account, or create a new account, if necessary.
  • Enter the authorization code and click submit
  • Determine the location of the ArcGIS for Desktop ISO or network server for installation
  • If you received the ArcGIS for Desktop ISO from your instructor or license administrator, or will be installing from a network server, click “Ready to install” for further installation instructions.
  • If you need to download the ArcGIS for Desktop ISO, click “Proceed to download” for access to the download site and further installation instructions.

Install and authorize the ArcGIS for Desktop software

  • If you are installing from an ISO image, unzip the ArcGIS for Desktop ISO using 7-Zip.  (If you are installing from a network server, you can skip this step.)
  • Run Setup.exe to install ArcGIS for Desktop
  • The Authorization Wizard will prompt you for a product to authorize; select “ArcGIS Desktop – ArcInfo (Single Use)”
  • The Authorization Wizard will prompt you for an authorization code; enter your activated code.

Support for the ArcGIS Desktop Education Edition is available at


The videos below  will help you install QGIS on your computers. QGIS can be used on an Apple or Windows computer. You will find tutorial videos below to help you install whichever version of QGIS you prefer to use. Please follow the instructions very carefully, as this program, due to its open-source nature, can be tricky to install properly, particularly on an Apple computer. However, please note software is constantly evolving. The install files below and tutorial videos are for QGIS 2.8.2. If you would like to install a current version of QGIS, please visit the following link: The videos and instructions below can still provide installation guidance.

Windows installation

In order to install QGIS on Windows, you first need to determine which version of Windows you are using (i.e. 32 bit or 64 bit). Once you determine this, download the appropriate version and install it. The video below will walk you through all of the necessary install steps. This video shows the 64 bit version; however, the steps are the same for the 32 bit version.

Mac Installation

For the version you must be running one of the following: OS X Yosemite (10.10), OS X Mavericks (10.9), Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7).

Download, unzip, and install these in order, from the following links: