Licensed GIS Software and Apps

Carleton College is licensed with a suite of Esri software and apps via the Educational Site License. For the complete list of available software and apps and special notes on permitted uses, see Esri Education Institution Agreement. Use the Rubric from Esri to determine if you may use a particular software/app for teaching, research, service or administration.

Some of the software and apps Carleton has access to are:

  • Professional GIS desktop software ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap with extensions. Run only on Windows operating system.
  • Cloud mapping software ArcGIS Online.
  • Apps for creating webpages with interactive maps, including ArcGIS Web AppBuilder, ArcGIS StoryMaps and ArcGIS InstantApps (known as StoryMaps templates in the past).
  • Field data collection app ArcGIS Field Maps.
  • 3D modeling software CityEngine. Runs on both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Free Application-specific Software

ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap are Professional GIS software that serve a wide range of GIS needs. They can be intimidatingly complex for new users. If you are looking for specific geospatial analysis functionalities (e.g. computing landscape metrics, computing Moran’s I), there may be simpler software better suited to your needs.

Desktop Software
  • CrimeStat: Crime incident data analysis
  • FRAGSTATS: Landscape metrics computation. The developer Dr. Kevin McGarigal at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst has retired. The software download page in the UM Amherst website is no longer available.
  • Geoda: Exploratory spatial data analysis such as spatial autocorrelation statistics, and spatial regressions
  • R: spatial statistics, landscape metrics computation
  • SAGA GIS: Geoscience analyses
Cloud Mapping Software
  • Neatline: An add-on of Omeka.
  • StoryMap JS:
    • Highlights locations of a series of events.
  • WorldMap:
    • From the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University.
    • Great open source mapping platform.
    • Web mapping capabilities using layers from WorldMap, a GIS server, or a local drive.
    • Large collection of datasets (including historical data) and maps.
    • Addresses the functional gap between desktop and web-based mapping systems.
    • Below are maps created using WorldMap:
      • AfricaMap
        • Initially funded by the Harvard Provosts Fund for Innovative Computing. Receives ongoing support from the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute, the Department of African and African American Studies and the Committee for African Studies at Harvard University. AfricaMap grew out of a project, called Baobab, funded by the Seaver Institute. 
      • Boston Research Map
      • ChinaMap
        • Developed in partnership with Social Explorer and China Data Center. It is sponsored by the Lee and Juliet Folger Fund with support from Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and Fairbank center for Chinese Studies.

GPS/GNSS Handheld and Post Processing Software

Recreational grade GPS/GNSS handhelds (e.g. the Garmin GPS handhelds) offer an accuracy of 1-3 meters. If you require more accurate position measurements, contact Wei-Hsin Fu (x5733) about using the Trimble Geo 7x CM handheld with the optional external antenna. In optimal conditions, the Trimble Geo 7x system provides a location accuracy of < 1cm with real-time or post-processing correction.

The Trimble Geo 7x handheld runs the Trimble TerraSync field software. License for the post-processing software Pathfinder Office is limited.


  • Texas A&M Geoservices
    • Includes Geocoding, Reverse Geocoding and Address Parsing & Standardization services.

Free Desktop GIS and Remote Sensing Software