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June 2nd, 2020
Esri Donates Free Software to GEO BON Grant Recipients

REDLANDS, Calif.- Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, today announced that it will be making its software available to recipients of EBVs on the Cloud, a grant program from Microsoft and the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON).

Grant recipients will receive complimentary access to Esri’s ArcGIS platform. The program will support projects that strengthen efforts to monitor Earth’s biodiversity and create data referred to as Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) and relevant indicators of change derived from this data.

“The planet’s ecosystems are becoming increasingly threatened,” said Dawn Wright, Esri chief scientist. “It is critical to develop sustained and integrated solutions that can accurately assess our planet’s biodiversity and the challenges it faces so decision-makers can engage in more informed global conservation efforts.”

Compelled by the role technology can play in this effort, Microsoft has announced it is building a Planetary Computer that will provide access to the world’s critical environmental datasets, and a computing platform to analyze those datasets on. As one part of this initiative, Microsoft’s AI for Earth program and the GEO BON Secretariat are launching a new $1 million grant program to support projects that strengthen monitoring of Earth’s biodiversity.

To support this effort, Esri will provide grant recipient projects with the following, for three years:

  • Licenses of ArcGIS Pro Advanced, Image Analyst, Spatial Analyst, and ten other data processing and analysis extensions to assist with modeling and data development.
  • Named user accounts for ArcGIS Online providing access to data, as well as capabilities to share project work as open web services and develop hosted web applications and Esri StoryMaps.
  • Unlimited access to Esri’s online training resources, plus custom webinars on using ArcGIS Pro in the Microsoft Geo AI Data Science Virtual Machine.

Grantees will retain all intellectual property for the products developed over the course of the projects they complete. To kick off their projects, grant recipients will be invited to attend the GEO BON Open Science Conference 2020, as well as present their results at GEO BON All Hands meetings, workshops, and other events.

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is an intergovernmental organization working to improve the availability, access, and use of open Earth observations to impact policy and decision making. It connects government, academic, and research institutions, as well as non-governmental, civil society, and commercial groups.

The grant application period is open through June 5, 2020, and grant recipients will be notified June 30, 2020. Learn more about Esri and GEO BON here.

About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, offers the most powerful geospatial cloud available, to help customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations including 90 of the Fortune 100 companies, all 50 state governments, more than half of all counties (large and small), and 87 of the Forbes Top 100 Colleges in the US, as well as all 15 Executive Departments of the US Government and dozens of independent agencies. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most advanced solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics. Visit us at

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