Modern GIS in Higher Education

From desktop GIS to Web GIS

Curriculum and lecture resources for educators and researchers

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Students need a curriculum that reflects GIS today

From Mylar to microservices, geographic information system (GIS) technology has changed a lot over its 50-year history, yet GIS education has not kept pace. There is a clear mismatch between the desktop-focused GIS curriculum, which is still the foundation of many GIS courses, and the Web GIS that students will encounter when looking for internships or jobs. Students who understand modern GIS concepts and can apply modern GIS technologies will be more competitive and have the skills they need to succeed in their careers.

Download the modern GIS ebook
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Modern GIS is Web GIS

Thousands of cities, agencies, nonprofits, and businesses depend on Web GIS. Moving the locus of GIS from the desktop to the web makes it mobile, automated, responsive, interconnected, cloud based, and configurable—these themes are an integral part of a modern GIS curriculum.


Esri Blog

Using maps and data to solve common challenges

Ten Across seeks increased resilience across US Interstate 10, as Arizona State University prepares the next generation to address future challenges.

Read the blog

Getting started

Moving from a desktop-focused to a modern web-based GIS curriculum can seem daunting. It involves not only moving labs from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro but also understanding the workflows and software that students will use when they enter the workforce. These resources can help.


Video resources



Looking for ideas? Want to connect with other educators from across the globe? Curious to hear about the latest in GIS technology? Esri staff focused on GIS in higher education as well as your peers would love to hear your questions and insights.

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Esri Community

Join the conversation in the Esri Community space devoted to GIS in education. Post your questions, read blogs, and hear from your peers.

Explore Esri Community

GIS in Higher Education Chat

Join colleagues and the Esri education team on the first Tuesday of each month to learn about tools, data, materials, and teaching approaches.

Register for the next chat

GeoTech Center

The GeoTech Center hosts curricula, model courses, and a large community of educators in the geospatial field.

Explore GeoTech Center

American Association of Geographers

The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is a nonprofit scientific and educational society founded in 1904. It provides professional development, publications, and opportunities for collaborating with your peers.

Explore AAG

Help is available

Request to have an Esri Education team member reach out to assist in modernizing your program or curriculum.

Connect with the Esri education team