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Geographic Information Systems at Yale: GIS Software Installation

Geographic Information Systems at Yale University encompasses a range of spatial applications and services. GIS is used by many disciplines at Yale University.

ESRI Site License Information

Yale Map Department GIS Software Installation Guides

This guide is intended to help standardize GIS Software installations on managed and faculty/staff/student computers across campus.  If you have questions, or would like to see an application added to the suggested GIS software configuration, please send an e-mail to the CSSSI GIS team at

GIS Software for Mac OS

ArcGIS Desktop is not available for Mac OS. However, Esri has published these recommendationsQGIS is an open-source desktop GIS alternative that runs natively on Mac OS, as well as on Linux.

In order to install ArcGIS in a Mac, you need to establish a windows environment. Yale ITS provides student support. To get rapid and targeted response, identify your local support contact at

Running a complex software package in an emulated windows environment places heavy demands on your computer's memory.  For reliable ArcGIS processing, we recommend using a computer with at least 8 GB of RAM (preferably with an i5 processor and at least 256 GB storage) and allocating 4GB of that to your virtual windows machine.  ITS can help you to determine if your computer meets these specifications and to configure your virtual machine appropriately.  

Once you have windows installed in your Mac, please follow the ArcGIS Installation Instructions provided above on this guide.

Alternatively, web-based mapping can be performed on a Mac environment using ArcGIS Online. You may work with a free account with limited tools, or use the complete set of tools with a login with access to the Yale ArcGIS Online organizational account. To obtain an organizational account, please follow the instructions at

Planning to use GIS Abroad?

The standard installation of the Yale ArcGIS software requires that you are on campus to use the software. This is due to the fact that the default license is a concurrent use license that needs to connect to the on-campus license server. Our installation instructions outlines how to borrow a license, this step cancels the need for you to connect to the Yale license server every time you use ArcGIS.It is highly recommended to borrow the license as soon as you install ArcGIS

Please DO NOT borrow a license while connected to the Yale University Network using VPN. Your system IP address will change every time you connect via VPN, causing the licensing access to fail.

If you plan to use ArcGIS away from Yale and will not be able to visit campus and borrow the license before your departure, please contact for a consultation about alternative licensing options. 

If you are already out of the country, and are expericing issues to connect to ArcGIS, please refer to our  Yale GIS FAQs for the latest solution on this issue.

Suggested GIS (and related) Software Download Links (Under Construction)

ArcGIS Server Whitepapers

ESRI Patch & Service Pack Announcements


ESRI Samples & Utilities