Esri is rolling out a number of significant, free upgrades to its popular Educational Site License Program. The additional software applications and data enhance an already comprehensive GIS suite and provide new solutions for educators who wish to share the power of spatial thinking across their curricula.

Already added to the site license program this year are the mapping and charting solutions that improve cartographic production including Esri Nautical Solution, Esri Aeronautical Solution, Esri Defense Solution, and Esri Production Mapping. Also added are the ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension, which facilitates data sharing, and Esri Community Analyst, a web-based solution for domestic planning and policy analysis.

Future additions will include subscriptions to ArcGIS Online, a cloud-based system for creating and sharing geospatial content; new workflow-oriented Virtual Campus courses; Esri CityEngine, used for advanced 3D modeling and urban planning; and Esri demographic and Tapestry data for the United States.

"This is the most substantial upgrade in the 20-year history of our Educational Site License Program," says David DiBiase, Esri's director of education for industry solutions. "It reflects Esri's commitment to the success of educators at all levels in their efforts to cultivate the next generation of GIS users and a geospatially literate citizenry."

Staff members from Esri's Education Program team will be on hand to discuss this upgrade at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers. Some additions to the Educational Site License Program may be available only to U.S. institutions.