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Information Technology (IT) Information for the Geospatial Curriculum

Spatial Analysis Labs (SA Labs)


High-performance workstations with the geospatial software required for our curriculum are available at the following locations:

The teaching labs contain Windows workstations (over 20 student stations with dual monitors and one teaching station attached to LCD projection). Full color, duplexing laser printers (8.5" x 11") are available in Forestry 203 and Forestry 204a. The homework lab contains the same type of workstations and software with one monitor and without a teaching station.

Using the Lab Computers

The lab computers are available for large numbers of students to use. Since geospatial classes use large datasets, we recommend you store your work on the "D" drive while in the lab. As soon as you leave the computer, someone could log into the computer and delete your data, so please use the following process will keep your data safe:

NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you always have your data for assignments stored on the "U" drive and one other location. A thumb drive and/or your home computer are good options.

WARNING: Files on the "D" drive that have been on the computer for over 1 week old are erased.

Sharing Screen with the Instructor in Teaching Labs

To use the software that shares the teachers screen with other computers in labs FOR 203A and 204A:

  1. From the instructor computer, click on the double arrows ">>" next to the start menu button
  2. "Network & Internet" > "Connect to Student/Participant Stations"
  3. Click on the little circular icon with the top half of a person in it and choose to unlock the session
  4. Have students do steps 1 and 2, except they choose "Connect to Instructor Station"
  5. Students can drag the application over to their extra monitor and click on the tiny little window symbol next to the "x" in the upper right-hand corner. This will make their screen an exact replica of whatever you've got going on in your primary screen.
  6. There is also an option where you can invite other students to be the "presenters."

Lab Access and Rules

The ONLY means for students' to obtain access to an SA Lab is via class enrollment. Upon enrollment in a course scheduled to meet in the SA-Lab, individual accounts are automatically generated. Similarly, dropping scheduled courses results in account removal.

Students working on ongoing research projects involving geospatial analysis may obtain a "Project Account." Project accounts are established on a semester by semester basis (including summer) via registration in one unit of NRPI 471, Spatial Analysis Project. NRPI 471 is available ONLY to students enrolled in a degree program (bachelor's, masters or certificate program). You may enroll in NRPI 471 multiple times for projects requiring access for multiple semesters. Students may request a magic number via email to Jim Graham.Rules for Kosmos (FH106) may vary; please contact for non-enrollment access.

Students not enrolled in an appropriate course may not use the Spatial Analysis Teaching Labs and should use alternative campus computing facilities. Access to the lab may be suspended or revoked if a student is found to be in violation of the rules.

Logoff Times

All users will be logged off computers after one hour of no activity. Remember to SAVE YOUR WORK OFTEN!

Getting Help

Below are the resources available to help you with technical problems:


Please contact your instructor for information on using the plotters.

TA Schedules

NR 203

FR 203

Network Drives

HSU provides a number of shared network drives for different purposes. Learning to use these drives and the local drives in workstations is key to being successful with geospatial data.

Drive letters

The computers in the spatial analysis labs and for faculty are changing from previous years. The new configuration is:

Increasing U Drive Space

GSP students can request up to 10 Gigabytes of storage space on their "U" drive through the Account Center. After logging in, click on the "Account Tools" tab and then click on "Network Folders Quota and Usage". This page has additional information.

Computer recommendations for the Geospatial Sensing Program

Here is a short list of what is needed in a computer (laptop or workstation) to run geospatial software:

Instructions of how to find such a computer include:

Note: We have had issues with refurbished machines. Our best machines are consistently Dell, ASUS, and Leenovo.

Currently, the main GIS software that is used at HSU is ArcMap, part of the ArcGIS suite of GIS software. Unfortunately, ArcGIS is only supported on the MS-Windows platform. While it is possible to run MS-Windows on a Macintosh based computer, there are challenges and it is hard enough to run ArcMap on an IBM-PC based computer. We have a limited amount of time to help configure systems and help with compatibility problems. For this reason, we can only support GSP software on IBM-PC based computers (sorry - we know Macs are cool - we just can't support them!).

“The major graphics card manufacturers (NVIDIA and AMD [ATI]) categorize their graphics card solutions into desktop, workstation, and mobile. Experience has shown that the workstation class graphics cards have better performance and support for professional 3D applications, including the 3D Analyst.”

NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon HD models are desktop-class video chip sets not workstation-class video chip sets.

Examples of workstation-class dedicated graphics chip sets include NVIDIA-branded NVS or Quadro chip sets or AMD-branded FirePro chip sets.

Installing Student Versions of ArcMap

A. Before you install ArcGIS for Desktop

1. Check our system requirements to make sure your computer has the hardware and software required for the trial.

B. Install ArcGIS for Desktop Student Trial from Either a DVD or Downloading from the Web

  1. Go to 
  2. Log in using your Existing Esri Global Account, or Sign-up for a new Esri Global account, if necessary.
  3. Enter the authorization code and click Activate ArcGIS.
  4. If you have a DVD, follow the instructions on the Install Guide provided with the DVD.
  5. Otherwise,
    1. Click "ArcGIS 10.5.1 for Desktop" as the version to download.
    2. Then, download "ArcGIS for Desktop".
    3. Follow the instructions to install the student trail.

Support for the ArcGIS Desktop Student Trial is available at

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