There are many GIS software packages available, but by far the most widely used is a set of tools known collectively as ArcGIS Desktop by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). We will be using version 10.2.2 in our lab, but you should be able to use 10.0, 10.1 or 10.2. ArcGIS 10.3 is in the process of being released and we will not use it this semester as new releases are sometimes unstable with ESRI. Since the work of GIS can be quite complex, the suite of software tools are quite complex also, and require some explanation. ESRI uses all sorts of similar names to describe pretty distinctive things so the nomenclature can be really confusing.
ArcGIS Desktop is now comprised of five core modules: ArcCatalog, ArcMap, and ArcToolbox, ArcScene and ArcGlobe. These three programs form the basis of all GIS work we will do. To further confuse you, ArcGIS Desktop comes in four flavors (ArcReaderr, ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcInfo), that range from free (ArcReader) to quite expensive (ArcInfo). To complicate matters more, there are a number of optional extensions you can purchase. We will use ArcInfo in labs with all the extensions loaded and the free one-year student version we will provide you, features a fully functional version of ArcInfo with all the extensions. The extensions we will primarily use include ArcGIS 3D Analyst and ArcGIS Spatial Analyst.
dockable window within ArcGIS.
See our Working With ArcCatalog Introduction.
See our Working With ArcMap Introduction.
See our Accessing ArcToolbox Introduction
For reasons that defy common sense, ESRI consistently makes it hard for you to install and use the extensions you spend so much extra money on. Instead of making these available by default, you have to deliberately turn them on. Be careful when you install ArcGIS that you do a custom installation that includes the extensions! When using ArcGIS, for the first time in a Windows user profile, all extensions need to be enabled and you have do this separately in ArcMap and ArcCatalog.
Assignments > Labs (4930/6920/6915) > Lab 01 - ArcGIS Refresher & Intro to WebGIS > Getting Organized and Oriented > ArcGIS 10 Desktop Orientation >