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Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Get GIS Software


ArcGIS Pro: commercial GIS software available with MIT's site license


QGIS: free and open source GIS software

OpenGeoDa: free software for running spatial statistics

CrimeStat: free software for analyzing crime data

Running ArcGIS on a Mac

ArcGIS only runs on Windows, however there are ways to run it on a Mac:

Run it inside a Windows OS installation on the MAC.

Use a GIS & Data Lab computer.

Lab computers are available during Rotch library's operating hours. Can't make it to the lab? Contact us to request to use a computer remotely.

ArcGIS Pro

ArcGIS Pro is ESRI's newest GIS software, with a new interface design, tools, and 2D and 3D integration. Like ArcMap, it only runs on Windows. Currently an ArcMap user? See what's new in ArcGIS Pro.

There are 2 options for downloading and licensing the software:

Option 1: Access a Pro license through ArcGIS Online (AGOL)​. This is a good option for your personal computer.

  1. Create an ArcGIS Online (AGOL) account.
  2. If you have not already downloaded Pro, log into your AGOL account. From your account page, click your name in the upper right and select My settings > Licenses and click download next to ArcGIS Pro.
  3. After installing Pro, you'll be prompted to sign in the first time you open it. The Sign in box will match the ArcGIS Online login.
    • If you have a username and password (not your kerberos login), enter you information into the ArcGIS login box.
    • If you created your account with your MIT Kerberos, choose "Your ArcGIS organization's URL" and enter 'mit' in the box and click Continue. You'll then be able to login with your MIT Kerberos.

Option 2Download ArcGIS Pro from IS&T and configure the license server. You must be on the MIT network to access the license. This is a good option for lab or shared computers.

If you are currently running Pro from the license server (Concurrent Use license) and want to switch to a personal license through ArcGIS Online, follow these steps:

  1. Create an ArcGIS Online account if you have not already.
  2. Open Pro and click on Settings > Licensing > Configure your licensing options.
  3. Choose Named User License in the dropdown menu and select ArcGIS Online. You can then sign in with your account as described above.

ArcGIS Pro Extensions

Having trouble with Pro extensions (spatial analyst, network analyst, etc.)?

IS&T has not yet installed all the extension licenses on the MIT server so if you are accessing Pro using the license server (Concurrent Use license type), you will not be able to use all the extensions. Until this is resolved, you can license Pro through ArcGIS Online by following the steps above for switching to a Named User License.

The following extensions are automatically included with your Named User License through ArcGIS Online:

  • 3D Analyst
  • Geostatistical Analyst
  • Image Analyst
  • Network Analyst
  • Spatial Analyst

Need to use another extension? Email us and we'll activate it for your account.

ESRI ArcGIS Desktop

In 2024 ArcGIS Desktop will no longer be included with the education license and in 2026 it will no longer be supported by ESRI. If you need help switching to ArcGIS Pro, contact GIS Services.


Quantum GIS (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.


GeoDa is a free software program that serves as an introduction to spatial data analysis. OpenGeoDa is the cross-platform, open source version that runs on different versions of Windows (including XP, Vista and 7), Mac OS, and Linux.


CrimeStat is a spatial statistics program for the analysis of crime incident locations. CrimeStat is Windows-based and interfaces with most desktop GIS programs. The program includes more than 100 statistical routines for the spatial analysis of crime and other incidents. CrimeStat inputs incident locations (e.g., robbery locations) in dbf, point shp or ASCII formats using either spherical or projected coordinates. It calculates various spatial statistics and writes graphical objects to ArcGIS, MapInfo, Surfer for Windows and other GIS packages.