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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Services: Learning GIS @ Texas State

This guide gives a basic overview of Geographic Information Systems and the resources available to Texas State University library patrons.

Learning options

There are several avenues for current members of the Texas State community to learn GIS. The sections below outline some of the options available at Texas State University campus.

1.  Workshops

  • Periodic workshops on GIS and related topics are organized by the GIS Services Unit for all members of the Texas State University. Please check the University’s Signup Reservation System for further information.

2.  One-On-One Research Consultations

  • The GIS Services Specialist is also available by appointment for consultations regarding GIS related issues.

3.  Self-Tutored Online Courses (Esri Academy; formerly called Esri E-Learning or Virtual Campus courses)

  • These are online-based courses provided by ESRI. They comprise courses ranging from basic GIS skills to advanced GIS skills.
  • To access these courses:

  1. Go to this site:

  2. Next,  choose Texas State University. Go ahead to log in with your Texas State credentials.  If you have or use the 2-step authentication system, you will be required to 2-step authenticate here as well.  If not,  you will automatically be logged in.

  3. If you are a new user, the system will automatically generate a username for your account in the form of “netid_TxSt”, e.g. n_d115_TxSt. Once your account is created, you may edit your profile with other details such as your last name. This account would/could serve as your Esri Global Account as long as you are attached to Texas State University as a student, faculty or staff. With it, you can access ESRI Academy coursesArcGIS Online portals, register for  Esri User Conferences etc. However, remember to download or back up your datasets, certificates and other files you may have in the account so you can access them in the event that you leave Texas State University.

  4. Remember to login to Esri with it by selecting Enterprise login, then enter txst to complete the organization url (i.e.,

  5. Click Continue >> Texas State University. When prompted,  log in with your Texas State credentials. Also, if necessary, authenticate your login with your 2-step authentication system.

  • For further information, contact the GIS Services Specialist at email: or phone: (512) 245-3216.

4.  Learn ArcGIS / Intro to ArcGIS Pro

  • Free ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Pro tutorials provided by Esri.


  • Access several video tutorials and transcripts about ArcGIS and QGIS. All faculty, staff, and students have free, unlimited access to online training.

6.  QGIS Training Material

  • Free training material providing a step by step guide on QGIS.

7.  Courses for Credit

  • The majority of GIS and related courses taught at Texas State University (both at the Undergraduate and Graduate level) are in the Geography Department. The Criminal Justice Department also offers some limited GIS-related courses.  These courses are patronized by students from various fields of study including Anthropology, Biology, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Engineering, Geography, Health Administration, Marketing, Wildlife etc. Below are some of the major courses taught at Texas State:


GEO 2426 Fundamentals of GIS

GEO 3411 Maps and Map Making

GEO 3416 Principles of Remote Sensing

GEO 3426 Advanced GIS

GEO 4324 GPS and GIS

GEO 4411 Advanced Cartographic Design

GEO 4412 Digital Remote Sensing

GEO 4422 Web Mapping

GEO 4427 GIS Design and Implementation

For details about these courses, please visit the links below:

Graduate Programs


GEO5408 Web Mapping

GEO5415 Geographic Applications of Remote Sensing

GEO 5417 Advanced Cartographic Design

GEO5418 Geographic Information Systems

GEO 5419 Geographic Information Systems II


GEO 7415 Geographic Applications of Remote Sensing

GEO 7417 Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

GEO 7316 Remote Sensing and the Environment

GEO 7318 GIS in Environmental Geography

GEO 7319 Environmental Digital Terrain Modeling

GEO 7347 Spatial Graphics and Geographic Education

GEO 7361 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

GEO 7362 Geographic Visualization

GEO 7364 Geocomputation

GEO 7366 Advanced Topics in Remote Sensing

GEO 7367 Geographic Information Science and Society

GEO 7372 Seminar in Geographic Information Science

GEO 7418 Technical Foundations and Methods in Geographic Information Science

For details about these courses, please visit the links below:

Accessing ArcGIS Software/Products

Texas State University has campus-wide access (site license) to major ESRI software and products such as ArcMap (Advanced), ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online (including Story Maps, Survey 123 etc.). This means that any member of the university community (Student, Faculty, and Staff) has unrestricted access to these products for academic (research/teaching) purposes only. At Alkek Library, you have access to ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro in the Geospatial Lab on the 5th floor and the open lab on the 6th floor. ArcGIS Online, on the other hand, can be run on any computer that is connected to the internet. Follow the steps below for directions on how to access or obtain copies of these software at Texas State University.

How to access ArcGIS Online

Every member of Texas State University can access the Esri cloud-based service. If you are a new user, read the steps outlined under option 3 of Learning options (Self-Tutored Online Courses) in the column to the right for account set up directions. If you have already created your account, you can login by following these steps:

  1. Go to and click on the Sign In button.
  2. Click on the 'Sign in with ENTERPRISE LOGIN' button.
  3. Type txst in the box and click CONTINUE.
  4. Click on TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY among the two options.
  5. In the new window or tab opened, enter your Texas State NetID and password and click Login. Dependent on your status at Texas State University, you will either be required to verify your account using the 2-step authentication system not.


  1. Simply go to this site:

  2. Click on "TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY" and log in with your Texas State account credentials.  If you have or use the 2-step authentication system, you will be required to 2-step authenticate here as well. If not, you will automatically be logged in.

How to obtain ArcMap for your personal computer


  1. Request a 1-year free student trial code from your course instructor or the GIS Services Specialist at Instructors could generate the codes from this weblink.
  2. Before using the code, you will need to first, activate it at this weblink
  3. Log in with an existing ESRI Global Account if you have one, or create a new account if you are a new user. For new users, we recommend you sign up via the Enterprise login system by clicking on the "I have an Esri Account" >> Sign in with ENTERPRISE LOGIN. See the steps outlined under option 3 of Learning options (Self-Tutored Online Courses) in the column to the right for account set up assistance.
  4. Under 'Activate your ArcGIS for Desktop Trial', enter your authorization code and click the 'Activate ArcGIS' button. 
  5. The activation process then requests that you make a choice for the ArcGIS software and version you would like to download: ArcGIS 10.x or ArcGIS Pro 2.x.
  6. After your selection, you will be directed to a page where you can download the installers. You may download multiple products from the options presented such as both ArcGIS for Desktop (ArcMap) and ArcGIS Pro.
  7. After the download, proceed to install ArcMap on your personal computer. If you have ArcGIS 10.0 or an earlier version installed already on your computer, please uninstall it before proceeding.
  8. FOR ARCGIS DESKTOP (ARCMAP) ONLY: After installation, authorize the software using your activated ArcMap code in step 2 above via the ArcGIS Administrator app (also installed on your computer along with ArcMap. Go to Start Menu >> ArcGIS >> ArcGIS Administrator. In the opened window, click Desktop and then select Advanced (ArcInfo) Single Use among the radio buttons.
  9. Next, click 'Authorize' to begin the process. Make sure you are connected to the Internet when you select the 'Authorize with Esri now using the Internet' option.

Faculty/Staff/Student Employee:

  1. Interested persons can have them installed on only Texas State devices (including office computers) or Open Computer Lab devices.
  2. To request for software installation, contact ITAC through this link. You may also visit this webpage for more information.

How to obtain ArcGIS Pro for personal computer


  1. Follow the same steps outlined under ArcMap above till step 7.
  2. Request for an ArcGIS Pro Named User license by emailing ITAC ( or Matthew Taylor ( Include your Texas State ArcGIS Account ID (e.g. n_d115_TxSt).  If you do not have an account yet, you will need to create one by following the steps outlined under option 3 of Learning options (Self-Tutored Online Courses) in the column to the right.  After sending your request, please allow some time for it to be processed.
  3. After receiving approval for your request, start ArcGIS Pro.
  4. In the top-right corner of ArcGIS Pro, click on Sign in.
  5. In the opened window, click on "Sign in with ENTERPRISE ACCOUNT". Enter "txst" as the prefix to the ArcGIS organization's URL and then click 'CONTINUE'.
  6. Click on 'TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY' and log in with your Texas State account credentials. If you have or use the 2-step authentication system, you will be required to 2-step authenticate here as well.  If not,  you will automatically be logged in.
  7. Enjoy your ArcGIS Pro.

Faculty/Staff/Student Employee:

  1. Same as the steps for Faculty/Staff/Student Employee outlined under ArcMap above.

For further information with any of the above steps or actions, contact the GIS Services Specialist at


Nathaniel Dede-Bamfo, Ph.D., GISP
Alkek 5th Floor (right side of the restrooms)
Alkek Library │Texas State University
601 University Drive │San Marcos, TX, 78666

Phone:  512-245-3216

To make an appointment, click here.


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