ArcGIS Software

gis-studio ArcGIS Student trial software license and installation

Dear UvA student or UvA staff member,

the main GIS software program at UvA-FNWI is ArcGIS Pro, version 2.x  which you can install  on your Windows tablet, laptop or home computer. The program is imited to educational purposes (no commercial use allowed). Apple \ Mac devices are NOT recommended and are NOT supported by the staff of the GIS-studio. If you nevertheless still want to try, see below (without warranty and without recent updates).

Other software is used too. See below for list of software and their user manuals. 

  The ArcGIS Pro 2.x software (64 bit)
can be downloaded via a  link on the Canvas webpage of the UvA GIS course you are enrolled in. Student Licensing is established by issuing usernames and passwords by the Manager of the GIS-studio - Dr. W.M. (Thijs) de Boer. (e-mail address: w dot m dot deboer at uva dot nl).  There is no time limit  or other constraint on the usernames, except for being enrolled in a GIS course at the UvA.

Authorization of ArcGIS Pro 2.x
After you downloaded and installed ArcGIS Pro on your Windows laptop, tablet or computer, you must have an authorized license to begin using the application. If you have an ArcGIS Online account, sent to you by Thijs de Boer via ESRI inc., and looking like firstname_UvAGIS, or firstname_familyname_UvAGIS, you can start ArcGIS Pro with a Named User license. If your credentials do not work, contact Thijs de Boer (w.m.deboer [at] uva dot nl) because you may not have a license assigned to your username, or you may be using a different type of license than the default Named User license. You can login with this login name and password on any computer or laptop with ArcGIS Pro 2.x installed, at home or in the GIS-studio at Science Park, as long as there is a (stable) internet connection.

INSTALLATION of ArcGIS  (both Pro 2.x and Desktop 10.x) on a APPLE MACINTOSH computer: follow the steps below and choose the option VirtualBox, VMware Fusion or Boot Camp (VirtualBox is advised, but not supported by staff of the GIS-studio).

The courses of the GIS-Studio require the use of the Geographical Information System ArcGIS by ESRI. However, this is a Windows-only compatible program and it requires A LOT OF EXTRA EFFORT to run on Mac. This is a short guide explaining the two main options for people with Mac computers. It also includes a step-by-step guide of the installation process. The two options consists of a virtualization software (VMware Fusion) and the Apple-provided dual operating system program Boot Camp.

VMware allows the user to install Windows like a regular program and run it in a window while using the Mac OS. This allows easy file transfer back and forth from Mac to Windows. Furthermore, any calculations are still done in the Mac OS environment.

Boot Camp allows you to install windows and after booting your computer lets you choose which OS you want to run. This means you actually run the full windows operating system, just using your mac hardware.

Which option you choose is up to you. However, one could prefer VMware as it is fairly user-friendly and takes slightly less of your computers processing power.

Please note that for each option you need a copy of windows OS but they are provided by the University of Amsterdam (see below).


Disk space

Before using any virtual machine be sure to have enough free space on your hard disk (roughly 32

gb). The installation of the virtual machine itself does not consume a lot of space, however the

installation of Windows (11 gb) and Arcgis (3 gb) within this virtual machine does. If you have issues

cleaning your MacBook (air in particular) make use of the OmniDiskSweeper or Disk Inventory X

software or any other cleaning software such as Ccleaner (for cleaning temporary files),

CleanMyMac3 (easy to use), Gemini 2 (for duplicate files). All these programs are either open source

or provide a free trial on the link provided.

VMware Fusion Download and Installation

i) Go to and find Windows on Mac.

ii) Follow the steps to go to the Dreamspark store and download a Windows .iso file and product key.

iii) Once you have the downloaded .iso file and product key on your computer, go to and find VMware.

iv) Go to the store and search for VMware, add to cart and checkout.

v) Download and install VMware.

vi) Once the installation is completed, start the software and choose ‘Install from

disc or image’ ➔ Select the .iso file ➔ Enter the product key ➔ Follow the instructions to install and configure Windows.

vii) Use VMware to use Windows and follow the regular guidelines (see above on this website) to download and install ArcGIS.

viii) To allow you to use microsoft office format files, download the ‘Access database engine’ at .

Download this programme inside your Virtual Machine environment.

Boot Camp

This program is provided on all macs with operating systems from Leopard on (2007 and up)

i) Follow the steps i‐iii above to get the Microsoft .iso file and product key.

ii) Download Boot Camp assistant from the utilities folder in applications.

iii) Follow all the steps required by the assistant.

iv) Restart your computer and you can choose between Mac and Windows.

v) Run Windows and download ArcGIS as usual (see this website above under Windows).

vi) To allow you to use microsoft office format files, download the 'Access database engine' at

Download this programme while running the microsoft OS.


Oracle VirtualBox

i) Go to and find Windows on Mac.

ii) Follow the steps to go to the Dreamspark store and download a Windows .iso file and product key.

iii) Go to and click and download the OS X hosts

install the VirtualBox software.

iv) Open and install VirtualBox-5.1.10- 112026-OSX.dmg (176.5 MB required)

v) Open VirtualBox and select New in the top left.

vi) For Name you can type anything but its best to use a name such as “Windows 10”. For Type

select “Microsoft Windows”. For Version select “Windows 10 (64-bit)” (unless you downloaded the

32-bit version in which case choose “Windows 10 (32-bit)”). Click continue.

vii) For Memory size always use at least the recommended size of 2048 mb. If possible, use more

depending on your ram. For 8 gb ram MacBook’s we suggest using 4096 mb. However, the amount

of ram you decide to allocate for the virtual machine is up to you. Click continue.

viii) For Hard disk select create a virtual hard disk now and click create. Select VDI (VirtualBox Disk

Image) for hard disk file type and click continue.

ix) For Storage on physical hard disk it is up to you to choose which option you want to use, read

carefully! However, we advise to use fixed size considering this is often faster in use which is very

useful for Arcgis. When you’ve made a choice click continue.

x) For File location and size again check the name and select the amount of hard disk space. We

recommend to use at least 30 gb considering the size of the Windows and Arcgis installation.

Furthermore, you might need to install other software on Windows in the future. Click create.

xi) Now that the virtual machine has been created you can click on the “Windows 10” virtual

machine and then Start in the top left.

xii) Select the windows 10 .iso file as the start-up disk and click start and install Windows 10!



Other Software used in GIS-studio and their user manuals


Agisoft is used for processing drone images. In Agisoft one can georeference and orthomosaic drone images and make pointclouds (.las files) from them.



eMotion for senseFly eBeeX drone


LAStools (Rapidlasso)

QGIS Version: QGIS 3.4

R and R Studio

Good luck ! Thijs de Boer

Dr. W.M. de Boer
Manager GIS-studio
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Faculty of Science (FNWI)
University of Amsterdam
P.O. Box 94248 | 1090 GE Amsterdam
Science Park 904 | Room C4.204 | 1098 XH Amsterdam
T +31 20 525 7665 | F +31 20 525 7832


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