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GIS Resources at Ball State University Libraries: Obtaining Software

List of GIS Resources including data, software, training and news.

Obtaining Software

Ball State University maintains an education site license with both ESRI and Hexagon (ERDAS Imagine), and allows access to all Ball State faculty, staff and students free of charge.  All available GIS software installation files can be downloaded from Microsoft OneDrive.

ArcGIS Pro is licensed through an Enterprise Login, for other software licenses please contact the GIS Specialist.

An important consideration about versions of software in general- while files can typically be opened in a newer version of software than it was created/saved in, files generally can not be opened in an older version of that software. 


ArcGIS Online

  • ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based, collaborative web GIS that allows you to use, create, and share maps, scenes, apps, layers, analytics, and data.  You get access to ready-to-use maps, ready-to-use apps, and Esri's secure cloud, where you can add items and publish web layers.
  • See the ArcGIS Online tab to get step-by-step instructions on logging in use the BSU Enterprise account. 

ArcGIS Pro

  • This 64-bit desktop application lets you render and process your data faster than ever.  Design and edit in 2D and 3D, work with multiple displays and layouts, and publish finished web maps directly to ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS
  • Runs on a concurrent, single-use or named users license.  

ArcGIS Desktop

  • ArcGIS Desktop is a powerful commercial GIS platform and contains a suite of programs.  With this software, you can perform any GIS task, including mapping, data visualization, spatial analysis, data management, geoprocessing, and data creation and editing.  This software bundle includes ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcScene, ArcGlobe, and ArcToolbox.
  • The ArcGIS software platform is available to you for instruction and research through the Ball State University site license.  Our license allows you to install the software on Ball State desktop computers on the BSU Domain and/or on a personal laptop computer, though a specific license is needed for each case. 


  • Esri’s CityEngine transforms 2D GIS data into 3D models.  Use its visualization power to see the relationships of projects, assess their feasibility, and plan their implementation, and is a great tool for urban planning, architecture, and design.

ERDAS Imagine

Open Source Software

(We suggests installing the Long-Term Release (LTR) version)

A Free and Open Source Geographic Information System. Create, edit, visualize, analyze and publish geospatial information on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.  QGIS has matured into a full-featured desktop GIS platform over the past few years and is a perfect alternative to ArcGIS for those not using Windows, or interested in using Free&Open Source software.

GIS Contact

BL 224