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ArcGIS for Desktop

What is ArcGIS?

ArcGIS is the industry-leading geospatial software application used in most every industry to take spatial data and use that data to manage, ask questions, provide analysis, and assist in interpretation of information. In other words, ArcGIS is a GIS platform implemented to help improve decision-making. It's not only about making pretty maps.

Spatial data refers to any information tied to a location. Census data is spatial data; road centerlines is spatial data. Any information that can be tied to a location, a geographic latitude-longitude coordinate, or a physical address, is spatial data.

ArcGIS provides an enormous collection of spatial analysis tools. These tools can do such things as calculate density and distance, interpolation, cost analysis, and proximity analysis. Address Geocoding, one of the most popular tasks associated with geographic data, is a relatively easy capability within ArcGIS.

ArcGIS supports over 70 different data formats, SHP, E00, DWG, DXF, DGN, KML, and many more. The ArcGIS Geodatabase helps users management the variety of difference data sets used in analysis. ArcGIS allows users to add, modify, browse, and query using standard SQL geographic information.

ArcGIS can produce some nice mapping products and supports exporting those mapping files to PDF or Adobe Illustrator. ArcGIS contains a number of data visualization functions for assisting users in the analysis of complex data sets.

For more details about ArcGIS for Desktop, please visit ArcGIS for Desktop at

Note to Mac/Apple folks: ArcGIS for Desktop is not natively supported for any Mac OS. To install on a Mac, the computer must be running some form of Windows emulation.

ArcGIS for Desktop at Murray State University

  • Murray State Computer Labs

ArcGIS for Desktop can be installed on any Murray State University lab computer, as long as the computers meet the minimum system requirements. Currently, MARC, the Department of Geosciences, the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, and the Hutson School of Agriculture support computer labs with ArcGIS for Desktop.

  • Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff interested in using ArcGIS for Desktop for academic and research purposes can use the Faculty/Staff form below to request software download instructions.

ArcGIS for Desktop is a large application and requires a robust computer system in order to function well. Interested faculty and staff should consult the ESRI ArcGIS for Desktop System Requirements to ensure their computer is capable of running ArcGIS for Desktop.  

Please complete the information below to request download and licensing details for ArcGIS for Desktop. Please allow 24-48 hours for code generation.
  • Students

Currently enrolled Murray State University students can request an ESRI Authorization Code for ArcGIS for Desktop. 

ArcGIS for Desktop is a large application and requires a robust computer system in order to function well. Students should be familiar with their laptop or desktop; then consult the ESRI ArcGIS for Desktop System Requirements to ensure their computer is capable of running ArcGIS for Desktop 10+.

ESRI will require students to create an "ESRI Global Account" as the first step in accessing the Student Edition. Next, the student will need to provide an ESRI software authorization code (EVA).

Please fill out and submit this form to receive an ESRI Authorization Code (EVA). An Authorization Code is necessary before ArcGIS for Desktop Student Edition. ESRI will require you to create an ESRI Global Account in order to download and license the software.

ESRI Authorization Codes will be distributed only to currently enrolled students using a valid Murray State University email account. Email addresses from non-Murray State University email domains will be ignored.

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