Berkeley Campus ESRI Consortium FAQ
The UCB Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Consortium (aka Consortium) is a group of campus departments and units that are supporting academic and research use of ESRI products (sometimes casually referenced as GIS) through sharing costs, training, data, and other resources.
The College of Environmental Design (CED) represents the campus on the Office of the President (UCOP) annually negotiated license contract between all of the University and ESRI. CED is responsible for the initial payment and subsequent allocation of campus licenses, distributing training or conference materials as provided by ESRI, maintaining the campus license server, and providing systems administration back-end support to Consortium members.
What is included in the Consortium Membership?
Membership includes the following:
- Ability to connect to the campus ESRI License Server (housed in and maintained by CED)
- Ability to connect an unlimited number of your departmental/unit computer labs to that Server
- Ability to access unlimited licenses for members of your academic or research unit
- Ability to sign up for free passes to certain ESRI-sponsored events or conferences
- Ability to sign up and use online training
- Ability to join a UC Berkeley Campus mailing list of fellow Admin Consortium users
Who are and should be a Consortium Member?
Any academic or administrative department, research group or organized research unit, associated with: UCOP, UC Berkeley Campus, or LBNL are eligible for membership. Since 2012 the number of members has hovered between 12-15 each year.
2018 Consortium Members include: Archaeological Research Facility, BNHM, College of Environmental Design, D-Lab, EH&S, Energy & Resources Group, Facilities Services, Geography, Geospatial Innovation Facility, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, Haas Business School, LBNL, School of Law, the Library, School of Public Health, Safe Transportation Research & Education Center, and UCOP Institutional Research & Planning.
What is the annual subscription cost and how is it calculated?
Since 2014, the cost of Consortium membership has been at or below $1,500 per year, but the annual renewal fee depends upon actual costs and the number of Consortium members. The way the yearly cost is calculated is explained below.
- The cost of the campus license (negotiated by UCOP, and prepaid by CED)
- The cost of technical efforts by the System Administrator (with limited admin costs)
- The cost of technical server-based equipment maintenance and infrastructure (if required)
- Divided by the number of Consortium members
Each year, in the Dec-Jan timeframe, a subscription renewal notice is sent to all current members. Based on the number of units who indicate they will renew, the actual cost is calculated and an IOC is then sent with renewal instructions.
How can Consortium members participate in the (ESRI) GIS Admin Mailing List?
This mailing list is restricted to deparmental/unit representatives to the Consortium; this is not a public mailing list. Members go to the group page and request to join. The reason for joining is to keep current with the news, breaking developments in GIS on campus, and a place to go for help or recommendations.
Does the Consortium provide direct user help?
The Consortium exists to purchase the license and operate a campus ESRI server; we only loosly organize members, and are not responsbile for training people on how to use the ESRI software or to fix hardware problems. We provide backend support to members technical staff, but not to end-users, that is the responsibility of the unit who gave out access.
However, there are some units to seek help from—GIS classes offerred by the College of Environmental Design (CED), advising on GIS is given by the Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF), and other services by D-Lab (including consulting services).
What on-line ESRI training is available?
As training is available links will be provided, notes will be made if the access is for the general public or Consortium members only,
Public Use: ESRI Learn GIS Guided Lessions based on real world problems
Public Use: ESRI provides a training materials online, but what is available is for Version 9.2
Public Use: There is a tutorial for Full Motion Video (1.3.1) available for download.
Public Use: Several RS/GIS quick start guides by GIF
For UCB Students, Faculty, Staff: ESRI Online Training (create an account using your campus email)
Public Use: GIF's links to other training sources
How do we provide ESRI products to students?
If you are a member of the Consortium your students can get copies free. Contact the System Administrator for your unit, or if you are faculty go to the link below and order the software. If you are not a member of the Consortium your students can pay $100/year for a copy, go to ESRI Software for Students.
Related software available for free include Explorer for ArcGIS and an ArcReader. Additionally ESRI is providing ArcGIS for Personal Use but be sure to read the fine print. Finally, there is a free 21-day trial of ArcGIS.
How to sign up for membership in the Campus ESRI Consortium?
To join the Consortium, send an email to the CED Administration contact (below) and an IOC will be sent to cover the current's year subscription cost. For technical questions or help connecting to the server contact the CED System Administrator. If there are issues with processing your unit's IOC, contact the CED Finance person.