Academic Licensing

Blue Marble offers institutes of higher education in the U.S. and Canada free access to their renowned GIS and geodetic software: Global Mapper and the Geographic Calculator. Colleges and universities can deploy both applications for classroom teaching, hands-on lab instruction, and personal student use, at no cost.

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Schools and colleges face a constant battle between providing the highest possible level of instruction and meeting inevitable budgetary constraints. With technology having become an integral part of virtually every field of study and the cost of purchasing and maintaining the requisite systems continually spiraling upward, many academic programs have had to be removed from the syllabus due insufficient funds.

Blue Marble recognizes the important role played by academia in preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s workplace. As the geospatial sector continues its rapid evolution, it is critical that graduates have the skills and knowhow to maintain this momentum. Blue Marble’s investment in GIS programs through this generous licensing policy is motivated by a desire to ensure that instruction on the fundamentals of GIS is not curtailed for budgetary reasons and that GIS technology is accessible for all students.

Blue Marble’s academic licensing program allows the use of Global Mapper and the Geographic Calculator for instructional use only. The software can be freely installed in a classroom or lab as well as on students’ personal computers. Under the academic license, the use of the software for commercial or research purposes is strictly prohibited. For more information on other licensing options, please contact the Blue Marble sales team.

Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible to participate in the free academic licensing program? Angle right
All accredited secondary universities and colleges in the United States and Canada are eligible to apply for free academic licensing.
What criteria does an academic institution need to meet to be eligible? Angle right
The academic institution must be an accredited university or college that provides classroom or lab-based instruction to students. Blue Marble reserves the right to refuse any institution’s eligibility for any reason.
Are there limitations on how the software can be used at a university or college? Angle right
The software provided under the free academic license program can only be used for instruction or hands-on lab educational use. This includes installation on a student's personal computer when authorized by a faculty member. The use of the software for a grant or commercially funded research purposes is strictly prohibited under the academic license. Any violation of this policy will result in the immediate revocation of the institution's academic license and may result in commercial license fees.
Which software titles are available under the program? Angle right
The free academic license is available for the current release versions of Global Mapper, the Global Mapper LiDAR Module, and Geographic Calculator.
Are there any technical differences between the academic and commercial versions of the software? Angle right
No. Both academic and commercial versions of the software offer the same functionality.
How do I request a license for my college or university? Angle right
You can apply for free academic licensing by filling out the request form. Upon review, a representative from Blue Marble will contact you to finalize the details.
How do I activate the software in my classroom or lab? Angle right
The academic license is either activated using a network license server or through a distribution order for single-user licenses for remote students. For more information contact
How do I activate the software on a student's computer? Angle right
A student can either "borrow" a license from the network server for independent study or install their own local copy based on the terms of the academic license. Note that after activating the software, the student's computer does not need to be perpetually connected to the network.
Can an individual student request a license? Angle right
No. Only a member of the staff or faculty at the academic institution can apply for free academic licensing. Subsequently, the activation of the software on the student's computer must be authorized and overseen by a faculty member. The overseeing academic institution is responsible for any violation of the academic license agreement by a student.
How many concurrent users does the program support? Angle right
During the application process, the academic institution can request licenses for the required number of concurrent users. Blue Marble representatives will evaluate and make a final decision on this request.
Is free academic licensing available for high school students? Angle right
No. Currently, the free academic license program is only available for institutions of higher education.
What licensing options are available for colleges and universities outside of the U.S. and Canada? Angle right
For non-U.S. and Canadian universities, Blue Mable offers a highly discounted lab licensing program. Contact the Blue Marble Sales Team at for more information.
Is the program available to an overseas campus of a U.S. or Canadian-based university? Angle right
Blue Marble will review these requests on a case by case basis.
Does the license expire and what is the process for renewal? Angle right
The academic license will expire at the end of the designated course and a request for renewal must be submitted prior to the expiration date to ensure the software's uninterrupted operation.
Does Blue Marble offer technical support as part of the program? Angle right
Blue Marble offers technical support for the duration of the license period. The primary function of this support service is to ensure the smooth operation of the software. For assistance with workflow or procedural questions, refer to the included help documentation or online resources.
Are there instructional resources available to facilitate the use of the software in an academic lab? Angle right
Blue Marble provides a series of free curriculum materials, which include step-by-step instructions along with the required data files. These are made available exclusively to participating academic institutions. Fee-based, in-classroom instruction can also be arranged if needed. Email for more information.

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