If you're a regular here at All That Geo, you might have noticed that most tutorials describe workflows in ArcGIS Online. Besides being my favourite geospatial platform to work with, it is gratifying for beginners, as you can create an app with no code and no pain. Still, the result can be as professional as if you had built it from nothing.
For beginners, though, the pain point can be the price.
Having that in mind, I'll share with you three different options available to take advantage of ArcGIS Online and its suite of apps for free:
- 21-day trial account
- Developer account
- Public account
🧨 21-day trial account
This is a time-limited type of account, but once the time is up, you can convert it to a paid subscription. There are two types of trials:
- For professionals: multiple user types + wide range of apps + 400 credits + Living Atlas of the World
- For students: one user type + wide range of apps + 200 credits + Living Atlas of the World + Learn ArcGIS organization
More information on the 21-day trial account here.
🛠 Developer account
Don't let the name scare you - it is not (only) for developers!
This account is ideal if you want to try things out without a paid commitment or time constraints. But, if needed, you can always boost the free tier with a pay-as-you-go system.
👥 Public account
This type of account is quite limited compared to the previous two types. For instance, you can only create Instant Apps, Configurable Apps and StoryMaps. Still, you have 400 credits to spend and access the Living Atlas of the World and Esri Academy.
More information on the Public account here.
🎓 If you're a tertiary student...
Many universities have a relationship with Esri. So, if you're a tertiary student, check with your university if you can access ArcGIS at no cost.
Be mindful that once you leave your education institution, you might lose access to your account and all the hard work in it (I've been there 😰).
🚀 Moving on from a free account
When you feel confident enough to take your geospatial work further and require more functionality, you can move on to an ArcGIS Online subscription.
P.S. Do you want to start applying your GIS, data visualisation and storytelling skills? Follow the beginner-friendly tutorials and build apps that will help you make a difference!
The Monthly with All That Geo
Want to learn how to use ArcGIS Online for spatial, data-driven storytelling? Sign up for The Monthly with All That Geo and I'll deliver a new example of an interactive web app straight to your inbox every month.
You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at how it was built—from the data collection process through the final app—so you can practice your own data visualisation skills and unlock your creativity as you go.
If you want to find inspiration to start a project that will make a difference in your study area or work, sign up for The Monthly with All That Geo!