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| University Libraries
See Updates and FAQs for the latest library services updates. Subject Librarians are available for online appointments, and Virtual Reference has extended hours.

Geospatial Data & GIS

A guide to help you discover geospatial data and GIS resources and services available for your research

Access ArcGIS Software

GMU has a site license for ESRI ArcGIS software, a powerful mapping software that enables analyzing and visualizing geospatial data.  Mason owned computers on campus can have ArcGIS desktop software installed. Mason students can get a student copy of ArcGIS on their own computers. See the various ways to access the software below: 

  • ArcMap (ArcGIS) Desktop: A most comprehensive ArcGIS analysis tool. This runs only on Window platform. Users of Macs or other operating systems must install virtual machine software (i.e. Window Parallels on Mac) to install the desktop version on your computer.   Currently, a free one-year student edition (ArcGIS 10.x) is available for Mason students. 

Access the software:

Access the software: 

  • ArcGIS Online: Online (Cloud-based) GIS mapping and analysis program

Access the software:

  • Go to:  and click on "George Mason University", then log in with Mason NetID (with 2 Factor Authorization). Then you can access ArcGIS Online ( with extended functionalities as default since July 2020.  If you don't see the "Analysis' option when you open the Map tab with the Online, please contact Na Liu ( in COS or Joy Suh ( in Digital Scholarship Center, the University Libraries.   See the tutorial for ArcGIS Pro

Open Source GIS Tools