As Nova Scotia schools move from ArcView 3.2 to ArcGIS, it is suggested that by following a standard practice, teacher/student instruction and solutions to common problems can be easier to accomplish later on.

It is recommended that the following practices be followed:

Installing ArcGIS

  1. Install your ArcGIS program on the hard drive of the local workstations (only recommended option). 

      NOTE: ArcGIS is NOT available for the Apple environment, but does seem in testing to work properly on an Apple core dual machine with dual        boot using the Windows XP SP2 installed. NO suggestion of this option on Apple machines is recommended at this time however.

      NOTE: If installing on a machine that has had an evaluation copy installed previous, you MUST follow these directions prior to installing ArcGIS to avoid any complications.

      If using ZenWorks, then have your technician following the existing protocols for your board/school to distribute the program to each workstation.

2.    You will need to register the software and receive an activation licence code file before operating the software. This process is outlined here for help and your information in the install process.

Installing ArcVoyager Special Edition, if requested

  1. Once ArcView is installed on the local drive of the workstations, then ArcVoyager Special Edition may be installed as well.  Go to the folder GIS/Voyager/Special to run the Canadian version of ArcVoyager with the Canadian datasets. A link should be added to the desktop for students using the following sample code:  C:\ESRI\program\BIN32\arcview.exe u:\ESRI\data\voyager.apr   where C:\ is replaced by the drive letter where you installed ArcView such as C if on your local drive. 


  1.  Now you are ready to add the GIS datasets needed to support curriculum in addition to the built in datasets already in ArcView and ArcVoyager directories. 

    To do this work with your local network administrator or technician to create a new directory on the server's data volume labeled GISDATA with 1.5 to 2 gigs allocated, if possible.  Create the same directory on the local hard drive data area where data files can be transferred for student work.

  2. Then switch to NWAdmin or your network administration software.

    First create a GISAdmin user with full rights (other than supervisor) to the GISDATA directory. You may also want to create a group if in a large school with several teachers using the program.  These users will be the teachers who will add/delete GIS datasets as needed to support the school curriculum. Also as they are responsible for data security, they may want to limit this group to two or three individuals, a primary and backup administrators. Use your group login script to map the GISDATA directory directly to a drive letter ( letter G is suggested, if possible) for this group.

    Next create a GISuser and GISuser group with file scan, modify, and read rights to the GISDATA directory. Add only those students who need to access the GISDATA directory to the group. This will increase data security as only those students needing access to this GISDATA directory should be included. In your GISUser group login script, map the GISDATA directory to a drive letter ( letter G is suggested if possible) for easy location and use by students.

  3.  The previously created GISDATA directory on the server will be where all datasets get placed by the GISAdmin as students and classes need them. As such, the data CD-ROMs that come with the ArcView K-12 bundle need NOT be installed as theses datasets can be added as needed by the school's GISAdmin.  Teachers will have to plan ahead for data use, just as they do other school resources. If several classes are doing major projects, ensure that the drive space allocated is at least 1.5 to 2 gigs for GIS data. This will allow temporary copying of data CDs such as the ArcCanada  CDs to the GISDATA directory to allow full project work. 

    Create a new sub directory (folder) under GISDATA for your class's lesson/topic that has been given a name that reflects the curriculum lesson. Examples are acidrain or icestorm or tarponds as these reflect the focus of the lesson. If copying from already prepared sources such as CD's, always use the same folder name as the existing folder (sub directory) name. Then select the files needed from your data source. The sources of datasets available are as follows:

    If building your own class datasets for a specific lesson, then using your file manager program, copy all selected theme (layer) datasets into a new folder (sub directory)  ensuring that each layer (theme) has the all the associated files with the same filename.

    If copying from a CD (or any source) be sure to check that the read only property is not activated on the file. If it is, then deselect Read-Only under the properties option on all files on the server GISDATA folder BEFORE students commence copying to their local hard drive from the server GISDATA directory.

    All this is better shown in the two tutorials:

    1. Using the LRT Support CD Lessons

    2. Using the ArcCanada Data for Lessons


  1. All student project files should be saved on their home directory on the server or in a folder created on the local hard drive in their name which is NOT overwritten if DeepFreeze is active.

  2. If you must use local hard drives, then first create a class folder, then the student folders. To ensure that all edits, projects get saved to the correct student folder, ALWAYS have students set up the WORKING DIRECTORY as soon as they begin any project. This will ensure that the file paths always point to the location of all data files in the GISDATA directory allowing teachers to run the projects as well without need to modify the project file data location paths.

  3. Students if expected to edit data in their lesson or in their project, will need to copy these data files to their home folder. It is highly recommend that they create two directories on their home directory. One called GISDATA, the same as the network or hard drive folder name for storing the GIS data sets. Then data would be copied as required from the server GISDATA folder to the local workstation GISDATA.  The second folder called GISProjects would be their working directory and where they would save all their personal ArcView files.  This would then be the place any edits to files get saved as well. 

  4. ENJOY and have FUN mapping !