GIS - Geographic Information System Statewide License Overview

About the statewide educational GIS site license

Through a state partnership with Esri, all public and private K-12 schools and afterschool programs now have a suite of geospatial information systems (GIS) teaching and learning software, ArcGIS, a product of Esri, Inc. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) manages the state license account, distributes the software and license codes, and helps school staff to find resources, training, data, and links to teaching communities and professional development. The Statewide Educational GIS Site License is part of a statewide effort to foster geospatial literacy in Wisconsin, and to offer students a powerful learning tool on the path to college and career readiness.

See other free educational software licenses available to educators >

Here's how to get started with the Wisconsin statewide GIS education site license for your site:


Learn about Geographic Information Science (GIS).

  1. What is GIS?  Explore this rich website on "What is GIS?" from Esri on careers, uses, and the ASK-INQUIRE-EXAMINE method.
  2. Why are geospatial skills great for education and for careers?
  3. Read two case studies from Wisconsin K-12 teachers using GIS in the classroom.

Learn about the statewide GIS educational site license.

  1. Read the FAQ about the statewide GIS educational site license
  2. Review the roles and responsibilities of participation
  3. Already have ArcGIS? Your current software can be "rolled-in" to the statewide license. Learn more.
  4. See the list of available software and apps in the statewide site license.



ArcGIS Desktop 10.3

Key points of
this option

Best for users with some GIS or technology background
Requires desktop software installation (step-by-step instructions included)
Superior flexibility and features for creating maps
Industry-standard program for student career options
Easy integration with  ArcGIS Online 
Only option for school administrative uses

Computer requirement

Desktop software download and authorization codes
   See technical specs

Teaching uses
and benefits

Agriculture and business courses and school clubs
Career and technical education (CTE) classes
Social studies and science courses
Service learning
Student clubs (FFA, 4H, FBLA)

What roles can
use this option?
Administrative staff employed at school

Video: Using one map as an example, an overview of the capabilities of ArcGIS Desktop. [Runtime 4 minutes]

How do I request
this software? >>
Start an ArcGIS Desktop software request form
Software bundle

ArcGIS Desktop 10.3 Advanced (software)
ArcGIS extension bundle
Virtual Campus online training
Maps for Office 2010
Statewide education Google group
List of Geomentors

What are these items?


For questions about this information, contact