Friday, May 23, 2008

Academic access to ESRI - GIS software in UK

ESRI has renewed and expanded its agreement to supply software to universities, in the UK and Ireland, through the Chest scheme developed by Eduserv
The new three-year agreement adds to ESRI (UK)'s existing 16 year participation in Chest, through which over 75 per cent of UK universities and other educational institutions purchase GIS from ESRI (UK).

Geographic information is central to all walks of life and this is reflected in its use in the higher and further education arena. The use of GIS allows students and teachers to engage in studies that promote critical thinking, integrated learning, and multiple intelligences. As well as being taught at undergraduate and post graduate level, GIS is a vital tool for researchers in many disciplines, ranging from biology and zoology, to environmental development and earth sciences.
Institutions participating in the scheme benefit from heavily discounted software as well as a 50 per cent discount on ESRI (UK) training courses and access to ESRI Inc's online training courses. The new agreement gives students and staff an increased selection of geographically based software tools from the ESRI portfolio including extensions to the core software not previously available to UK educational institutions and the option to join the EDN (ESRI Developer Network). Administration staff can also use the software in all aspects of university administration.

Angela Baker, Community Programmes Manager, ESRI (UK), said: "We recognise the important role GIS has within education and are committed to supporting the academic community in the UK and Ireland. Our long-standing relationship with educational bodies gives us insight into their GIS needs and how we can best meet those. We are pleased to be able to support them in their pioneering work by making available a wider offering of ESRI products than ever before at an affordable price."

Kamie Kimmitto, Geomatics Specialist and Senior Geodata Services Development Officer, Manchester InforMation and Associated Services (MIMAS), said: "MIMAS, as a national resource centre for the academic community, bought ESRI software via the Chest agreement and uses it to create and manipulate mapping data, allowing students and academics to extract, reformat and download image maps and digital elevation models.

"It is reassuring to have a stable and mutually beneficial relationship with a company whose solutions enable academics to be at the forefront of research and work with industry standard GIS".

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