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GIS Software Guide: GIS Software

This guide provides information on how to access and use GIS and Statistics software. Much of this information is about licensed products, therefore it is geared towards current affiliates of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

ArcGIS Online

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a site license with Esri for ArcGIS Online, which includes access to the online mapping platform and a suite of specialized applications.  

To create an organizational account, follow these steps:

  1. "Sign In" ⇒ "Your ArcGIS organization's URL" (option under "ArcGIS login") ⇒ unc.maps.arcgis.com ⇒ UNC Chapel Hill SSO
  2. Sign in with your Onyen and Onyen pasword
  3. Thereafter, you'll always login this way.   

 For further assistance, please contact our GIS Librarian. 

Licensed GIS Software

GIS Software may be accessed via the ITS Virtual Lab and on the Virtual Computing Lab (VCL). Instructions on connecting to a VCL image are provided in the "Using GIS Software on the Virtual Computing Lab (VCL)" box on this page.

If you want to install GIS software on your machine, UNC has a site license for Esri software. A copy of ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Pro can be obtained from Software Acquisition. Please note that ***Esri does not officially support ArcGIS software installed on Macs***. Please see below for open source alternatives.

  • ArcGIS Desktop:
  1. Request and install (1) ArcGIS Desktop (2) ArcInfo Workstation from Software Acquisitions (ArcGIS Desktop 10.6.x System Requirements).
  2. Request an ArcInfo Authorization File (see How to request an ArcGIS 10.x Authorization File).
  3. Important: During installation, install at the Advanced (ArcInfo) Licensing level, and do a complete installation with all of the extensions. After installing you may want to install the latest service pack(s) from the Esri support website.
  • ArcGIS Pro (follow both steps): 
    1. Request the software from Software Acquisitions, and install ArcGIS Pro (ArcGIS Pro2.x System Requirements).
    2. Important: An ArcGIS Online Account is required to run the software. To create an organizational account, follow these steps:
      1. "Sign In" ⇒ "Your ArcGIS organization's URL" (option under "ArcGIS login") ⇒ unc.maps.arcgis.com ⇒ UNC Chapel Hill SSO
      2. Sign in with your Onyen and Onyen pasword
      3. Thereafter, you'll always login this way.   
    If you have problems running ArcGIS Pro, please contact our GIS Librarian.

Open Source GIS

Open Source tools are a great place to start, particularly for Mac users. There are several popular open source GIS applications for the desktop that include: 

Advanced users may wish to explore using a programming language, such as R or Python, for GIS analysis.

Using GIS Software on the Virtual Computing Lab (VCL)

Access ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, and the Microsoft suite using the VCL image “DAVIS LIBRARY RESEARCH HUB Esri Microsoft (Full Blade)”.

Instructions:

Schedule a reservation

  1. Go to the following link and log in using your onyen: https://vcl.unc.edu/
  2. After you log in, select the “Reservations” option on the left-hand panel.
  3. Select “New Reservation”, then select “DAVIS LIBRARY RESEARCH HUB Esri Microsoft (Full Blade)” in the drop-down menu. The description should say “Full blade Windows 10 with Microsoft Office, ArcMap, and ArcGIS Pro”.
  4. Schedule a reservation for the time needed.
  5. Click “Create Reservation”.
  6. The “Current Reservations” screen will display.
  7. In order to connect to the VCL, you must first connect to UNC’s VPN (Virtual Private Network). While you are waiting on your reservation, connect to UNC’s VPN (instructions).

After connecting to the VPN and your VCL reservation is available, you are ready to start using the VCL.

Connecting to the VCL Using a PC (for Mac, see below)

  1. When the reservation is available, click “Connect!” A screen will display that provides the IP address of the Remote Computer, the UserID (your onyen), and a Password, specific to the VCL reservation. The screen has a Get RDP File button. Note that the password for the VCL reservation is not the same as your onyen password. Copy the password provided and click “Get RDP File”.
  2. The Remote Desktop Connection will launch. Click Connect.
  3. Paste the password you copied in step 1 then click "OK".
  4. A message will display warning that the identity of the remote computer cannot be verified, asking if you want to connect anyway. Click Yes.
  5. You will be connected to the VCL Image. Access the start window as you normally would to access Microsoft and Esri applications.

Please note: The VCL is a remote computer, so whatever work you create on the computer will need to be saved elsewhere. You can email files, or save them to google drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.  Kumo is installed on the computer, so you can save your files to OneDrive. Instructions at the bottom of this box explain how to Connect to OneDrive.

Connecting to the VCL Using a Mac

  1. Go to the Apple App Store and type in “microsoft desktop”
  2. Download the “Microsoft Remote Desktop 10” application.
  3. Once the app is downloaded, open it and click “Add PC”
  4. When the VCL reservation is available, click “Connect!” A Connect window will display that provides the IP address of the Remote Computer, the UserID (your onyen), and a Password specific to the VCL reservation. The screen has a Get RDP File button. Note that the password for the VCL reservation is not the same as your onyen password. Make a note of the “Remote Computer” IP address (beginning with 152.) and the reservation password from the “Connect” window.  Copy and paste the IP address in the “PC Name” row of your Microsoft Remote Desktop application. Then click “Add”.
  5. Double click the new PC in the Microsoft Remote Desktop application. You will be prompted to enter your login information. This is your onyen and the password for the VCL reservation.
  6. Click continue, then continue again. Now a new window should open up with a Microsoft Desktop. Congratulations! You are now connected to the VCL.

Please note: The VCL is a remote computer, so whatever work you create on the computer will need to be saved elsewhere. You can email files, or save them to google drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.  Kumo is installed on the computer, so you can save your files to OneDrive. Instructions at the bottom of this box explain how to Connect to OneDrive.

Connecting to OneDrive on the DAVIS LIBRARY RESEARCH HUB Esri Microsoft Virtual Computer

  1. Click the ^ icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. You will see the OneDrive icon with a slash through it.
  2. Click the Onedrive icon. A OneDrive window will open, prompting you to enter your email address and sign in.
  3. Enter your email address (usually “onyen@ad.unc.edu”) and finish signing in using Microsoft. You will need to approve the sign-in using 2-Step Verification.
  4. You will see a series of information pages that you are free to read, but after clicking “Next” multiple times, a window will display that says, Your OneDrive is ready for you. 

Ending your session

  1. Be sure to save your work to OneDrive or a personal drive.
  2. Close all programs.
  3. Click the start button in the bottom left corner of the screen, then the power icon. Finally, click “Disconnect”, at which point your page will close.
  • Last Updated: Aug 26, 2020 10:37 AM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.unc.edu/software