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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.

Yale Esri ArcGIS 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 Marx Library GIS team at

Lab Managers: The software is already deployed to all public and library computers in the Software Center. This video (no audio) shows the steps. If you have any questions, please send your inquiry to

  • ArcGIS Pro: Keep in mind that ArcGIS Pro does not require a license server, Yale users authorize their access with their Yale ArcGIS Online login.
  • ArcGIS Desktop: Lab machines with ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcMap) should connect to the Library license server. Please send your inquiry to in order to obtain the latest license server information.

Yale users with personal computers: 

GIS Software for Mac OS

Before you decide to install a virtual machine on your Mac, please consider using MyApps Yale GIS  instead. It has had great success, and Yale GIS users have provided excellent feedback. 

Installing in your own computer: Before you decide to install a virtual machine on your Mac, please consider using MyApps Yale GIS instead. It has had great success, and Yale GIS users have provided excellent feedback. 

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 a rapid and targeted response, identify your local support contact at or attend a walk-in help session 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 installation guides provided above on this guide.

Alternatively, web-based mapping can be performed on a Mac environment using Yale ArcGIS Online

Planning to use the Esri software off the internet grid?

The standard installation of the ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcMap) in portable machines is single-use license and does not require to connect to any Yale license server.

If you plan to use ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcMap) off the internet grid, please test before going to conduct your fieldwork and make sure the software is opening without any issues. 

If you plan to use ArcGIS Pro off the internet grid, please contact to discuss the additional steps you should take and request the travel ArcGIS Pro package. 

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

Public Computer Labs with GIS Software

Yale University offers hundreds of public computers that are located throughout campus and are intended for use by members of the Yale community. These computers have a common software image to provide ample access to academic programs and software needed for classes.

Regarding GIS software, this is not a complete list but includes locations where the GIS software has been installed. You may find one or a combination of the Esri ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) and ArcGIS Pro, Google Earth Pro, and/or QGIS:



  • Dunham Laboratory, Room 120 | 10 Hillhouse Avenue | Map
  • 17 Hillhouse, Room 07 and room 111 | Map
  • Rosenkranz, Room 01 | 115 Prospect Street | Map




  • Residential Colleges Citrix Computers


MyApps Yale GIS: Remote Access to GIS Desktop

June 01, 2020
The ITS Public Computing group has worked tirelessly, and now Yale students and faculty can access GIS software, via MyApps Yale GIS, including Esri ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcMap), ArcGIS Pro, QGIS, Google Earth Pro, and GeoDa.

  • MyApps Yale GIS is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service that provides access to a Windows-based environment containing Yale licensed software from both personal and Yale-owned devices.
  • Access to MyApps Yale GIS service will use multi-factor authentication (MFA) via DUO. 
  • Starting June 01, 2020, the MyApps at Yale Citrix environment is no longer be available. This change does not apply to MyApps at YNHHS.
  • It offers a full Windows 10 desktop. The desktop includes Yale licensed software that is currently available in the Public Clusters (for students) or software specific to departmental needs. 

Note: All students with an active Yale email address are licensed to access the MyApps Yale GIS service via their personal devices.


Will I be able to save personal files on the virtual desktop?
The virtual desktop allows access to software available on the Public Clusters (students), or for specific use by teams or departments at Yale. Personal files should only be saved to a cloud drive, such as OneDrive, or to a network share.

Will I be able to add software to the virtual desktop?
You can customize your view of the virtual desktop, but software downloads/additions are not permitted. If you or your group have a specific need for software on the virtual desktop, please reach out to your professor, proctor, or manager.

Need help?

For additional assistance, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 203-432-9000 or visit our website to view answers to trending questions, search how-to articles, start a chat, or report a problem. You may also contact your local IT support provider.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Esri/ArcGIS License Renewal 2022-2023

E-mail sent to GIS-L mailing list on August 30, 2022

The Esri license is renewed every year before the end of August. This year, our colleagues at ITS are taking additional steps to review important aspects of the license. To allow the ITS teams to conduct their work, we requested that Esri extend the license expiration date for 30 days. The extension was executed yesterday by Esri. The current expiration date is set for September 30, 2022, for all Esri products, except for single-use licenses.

The expiration date extension is a "behind-the-scenes" work for Esri users, including lab managers who installed ArcMap using the concurrent license managed by Yale University Library. The only users affected by the August 31, 2022, expiration date are the following:

  • users who authorized single-use license for ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro.

Esri ArcGIS Pro Named Users (i.e., those who access ArcGIS Pro using their Yale NetID credentials)

No action is necessary on your end. Before September 30, 2022, we will complete the Esri license renewal. The September 2022 renewal will be seamless.

Esri Web-Based (SaaS) Users (e.g.,  ArcGIS Online/ArcGIS StoryMaps, Dashboard, etc.)

No action is necessary on your end. Before September 30, 2022, we will complete the Esri license renewal. The September 2022 renewal will be seamless.

Esri single-Use ArcGIS Pro Users

Please email and request the “30-day extension provisioning file.” Before September 30, 2022, please request the new PRVC file.

Esri Single-Use ArcMap Users

We have several matters to discuss with you:

  1. ArcMap will be deprecated in 2026. Esri will not release a new version anymore. We highly recommend you start migrating to ArcGIS Pro. Read more at
  2. If you are interested in learning how to use ArcGIS Pro,
    1. You can enroll in a GIS course with Professor Dana Tomlin or Dr. Jill Kelly.
    2. Apply to participate in the Yale GIS Accelerator—applications will open soon for the next one scheduled on December 12-16, 2022.
    3. Esri offers the virtual training “Migrating to ArcGIS Pro from ArcMap” at no cost.
    4. We will soon schedule the ArcGIS Pro workshops. Keep checking our GIS workshops calendar.
  3. You need a new provisioning (PRVC) file to reauthorize the single-use license.
    1. Please download the 30-day extension provisioning file at
    2. Go to the “PROVISIONING FILE” section and download the “latest PRVC.”
    3. Authorize ArcMap by opening the ArcGIS Administrator and following the steps under the “AUTHORIZING ACCESS” section in the “ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) 10.8 Installation Guide.”
  4. Before September 30, 2022, we will send an email notification to announce when the new PRVC is available.

Public computing managers using concurrent ArcMap license managed by the Library IT:

Library IT will update the provisioning file tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31. Please check some of your desktops to ensure ArcMap is opening properly and the expiration date is set to September 30, 2022.