GIS Software at the LSE: An introduction to ArcView

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software is used to analyse and display spatial data about the world through a series of maps, tables and charts. These data come from a huge variety of sources, including census data, aerial photos and conventional topographic maps. At the LSE, we have a number of industry-standard GIS applications, the main one we recommend is ESRI's ArcGIS outlined here. Others include OpenGeoDA, GeoDA and Google Earth.

ArcGIS Desktop software products allow you to author, analyse, map, manage, share and publish geographic information. ArcGIS Desktop is a collection of software products that runs on standard desktop computers. It is used to create, import, edit, query, map, analyse and publish geographic information.

ArcGIS 9.3 is available on all LSE desktops. We also have ArcGIS 10 but this is only available on request. You will need to make a business case for it's use before it can be installed. There are compatibility issues between version 9 and 10 and maps cannot be shared. ArcGIS 10 should be available for wider use over the summer 2012.

ArcGIS can also be installed on laptops and the software is available for use on personaly owned computers. Please note there are restrictions on use outside of the UK. I recommend using ArcGIS 10 on laptops.

ArcGIS for Desktop is available in three license levels—Basic, Standard, and Advanced (formerly ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo, respectively). These license levels share the same core applications, user interface, and development environment. Each license level provides additional GIS functionality as you move from Basic to Standard to Advanced. LSE is licensed for the advanced level.

  • Basic—Provides data visualization, query, analysis, and integration capabilities along with the ability to create and edit simple geographic features.
  • Standard—Includes all the functionality of Basic and adds a comprehensive set of tools to create, edit, and ensure the quality of your data.
  • Advanced—Includes all the functionality of Standard and adds advanced spatial analysis, data manipulation, and high-end cartography tools.

Optional ArcGIS for Desktop extensions offer specialized tools and additional capabilities to enhance your system.

The following extensions are included in the LSE licence (desktop and laptop):

  • 3D Analyst
  • Geostatistical Analyst
  • Spatial AnalystNetwork Analyst
  • ArcGIS Publisher
  • ArcGIS Schematics
  • ArcScan for ArcGIS
  • Maplex for ArcGIS
  • Tracking Analyst
  • ArcGIS Workflow Manager
  • ArcGIS Data Reviewer

 ArcGIS, along with all other GIS software, can be found in the "GIS & mapping" program folder on the start menu, look under Specialist and teaching software.

If you have any questions regarding GIS software please contact you IT Support team in the first instance. They can refer questions to the GIS IT support specialist.

Help with using the software

Within the software: see ‘ArcGIS Desktop Help’ and ‘ArcDoc’ (the help for ArcInfo Workstation).

Digital documentation: look in the ‘Documentation’ folder of the ArcGIS Desktop installation on your computer.

Online: see the ‘ESRI Support Center’ – |

In person: contact your Academic Support Team|

ESRI Training and Education online training

ESRI Training and Education provides online training in the use of ESRI software and GIS concepts. Online training consists of courses, workshops and training seminars.

A number of free training options are provided for everyone. These can be accessed at |or|

Charged training options are also available for which there is an educational discount (|).

For a full list of all training options, please see|

Members of licensed Chest sites can also obtain free access codes to a number of charged training options. To obtain an access code for a specific training option please contact your Academic Support Team.

Useful Links

GIS Data is available at the LSE Data Library|

EDINA UKBORDERS| Boundary datasets and geographic look up tables of the United Kingdom.