The dominant player in the world of geographic information systems is making free accounts to its advanced mapping software available to an estimated 100,000 U.S. schools. The donation, part of President Barack Obama’s ConnectED technology initiative, comes from Redlands, Calif.-based Esri. It has valued the contribution at $1 billion.
The goal is to grant every school in the country access to ArcGIS Online, geovisual software that allows users to reference, store, manage, and visualize information based on location—essentially merging maps and databases in order to see and analyze information in new ways. GIS is also a potentially valuable instructional tool.
A version of this article appeared in the June 04, 2014 edition of Education Week as Geographic Systems’ Player Donates Software to Schools