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The ArcGIS License

"A Geographical Information System (GIS) is a collection of computer hardware, software, and geographic data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information" (from and it is "...a framework for understanding our world and applying geographic knowledge to solve problems and guide human behavior" (from ).

UMass Medical School participates in a site license arrangement for ArcGIS administered by the Earth Science Information Office at the UMass Amherst Campus. This license permits unlimited installation of the software on UMass Medical School owned computers.

ArcGIS is available in two versions:

  1. ArcView, a stand-alone version that can be installed on a University owned desktop or laptop computer.  This version will work on laptops even when not on campus. ArcView is full-featured geographic information system (GIS) software for visualizing, managing, creating, and analyzing geographic data. Using ArcView, you can understand the geographic context of your data, allowing you to see relationships and identify patterns in new ways. (from ESRI website).   To arrange to have ArcView installed on your computer call the Information Services HelpDesk at 6-8643 (6-UMHD).
  2. ArcGIS Desktop, a full featured version that can be installed on a University owned desktop or laptop computer that will always be used on-campus. ArcGIS is "an integrated collection of GIS software products for building a complete GIS for your organization. ArcGIS enables users to deploy GIS functionality wherever it is needed—in desktops, servers, or custom applications; over the Web; or in the field"(from ESRI website). Installation Instructions listed under Resources above left.

ArcGIS Documentation

There is extensive documentation available through the ArcGIS Desktop Help facility including extensive step by step video tutorials.  The Help facility is installed along with the software at time of installation.

In addition ESRI provides an extensive bibliography collection on its website.  This bibliography covers the literature of geographic information systems, science, and technology. It indexes journals, conference proceedings, books, and reports from the origins of GIS to the present. There are currently 1,000,000 entries in the bibliography.

The official ArcGIS documentation set as well as many other GIS related books are available from ESRI Press. ESRI Press publishes books on GIS, cartography, and the application of spatial analysis to many areas of public and private endeavor including land-use planning, health care, education, business, government, science, and many others.

ArcGIS Listserv

An electronic discussion group (listserv) is available for ArcGIS users here at UMass Medical School to be able to ask questions of other users and to disseminate information and announcements about ArcGIS.  It is: