There are many software packages and tools available that allows to manage geographic data, create maps and perform spatial analysis. At the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam we mostly make use of the ESRI software packages ArcMap and ArcGIS pro. The university has a campus license which allows all students and employees to use this software for educational and research purposes.
Besides the ESRI software packages, there are various researchers and university teachers that use the open source GIS software QGIS, formerly known as Quantum GIS.

ESRI software (ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro): In order to install ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro and obtain a license for your home computer or laptop please create a ESRI Global account at the ESRI website . Once you created a ESRI global account, fill in the contact form. Once you activated your license it will be valid for one year.

In order to get to know the basic functionality of these GIS-software packages you can take courses at ESRI’s Virtual Campus, an on-line self-study platform available at . For this you will need to use your ESRI global account.

Basic courses are available for free. Access for paid courses can be gained by filling in the following contact form.

Note: In principle, ArcGIS does not run on Apple computers

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor qgis

QGIS: QGIS is developed by a team of volunteers and organisations. It is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) licensed under the GNU General Public License. The latest version of the software and documentation is available from: If you wish to know more about QGIS please go to where a range of free tutorial are available.


Note: QGIS does run on Apple computers