Free GIS software and training to support people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic

Esri’s program aims to improve the skills of more people in times of crisis.

27 May 2020 - Esri, the world pioneer, and leader in the field of geospatial technologies provides free access to the leading software platform ArcGIS, as well as online courses in Geographic Information Systems for people from around the world, including in Bulgaria, whose work is affected by the spread of COVID-19.

Geographic Information Systems are considered one of the three fastest-growing technologies along with nano and biotechnologies, while at the same time they are easy to use and have been supporting the work of hundreds of organizations in Bulgaria for years. GIS is widely used in various fields such as cadastre, regional planning, environment, engineering infrastructure, municipal activities, disaster and emergency management, security, business information systems, and many others. That is why the program is suitable for unemployed people from various professional fields who want to increase their competitiveness in the labor market.

Everybody can request access to the resources on until 30 June. The registration on the website gives access to dozens of leading GIS software products, including the cloud GIS software ArcGIS Online, as well as over 20 light professional applications, including ArcGIS Pro - a desktop GIS product for collection, visualization, and analysis of spatial data.

Learn ArcGIS Esri

The program also offers a rich base of lessons and exercises, suitable for both beginners and advanced learners. The lessons, part of the Learn ArcGIS platform, promote project-based learning by solving real-world problems in a variety of areas such as business analysis, urban planning, disaster response, public health, and more.  Esri Academy is the other educational platform by Esri, where everyone can make their first steps in GIS and ArcGIS under the guidance of leading experts. It offers many training opportunities, including web courses, video tutorials, seminars, massive open online courses (MOOC). The two educational platforms enable everyone to create their own individual learning path, to consistently acquire the desired knowledge, and achieve their personal and professional development goals.

“This pandemic has created an unprecedented disruption, and nowhere has that been more evident than in the lives of the people who make the economy run,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “Right now it is important to us to provide all the resources we can to help, and that includes training for impacted professionals so that once they return, they have the added geospatial expertise that will make them an advantage to any workforce.”

Esri has already been providing free access to its software and learning resources to support college and university students who no longer have access to campus computer labs during the COVID-19 outbreak. The company is extending this offer for non-commercial use to working professionals who have been affected by changes to their employment.