GEOG 865
Cloud and Server GIS



In the previous lesson, you learned the basics about servers and clouds, and you got some experience setting up an EC2 instance. In this lesson, you’ll learn a little bit more about how a server can augment your GIS. You will also set up a new instance running Esri ArcGIS Server, which you will use in Lessons 2 through 4.

ArcGIS Server is just one part of Esri's ArcGIS Enterprise product suite that they market for sharing GIS across the web and internal organizational environments. We'll discuss ArcGIS Enterprise and Portal from time to time in later lessons; however, we are going to focus on ArcGIS Server here. Fortunately, the ArcGIS Server piece is relatively easy to get running in the cloud, and we'll concentrate on ArcGIS Server to understand how maps and GIS datasets you make on your desktop are exposed across the web.

Although you could potentially install ArcGIS Server on your own home or work computer, in this course, you will run ArcGIS Server on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Basically, you pay Amazon an hourly fee to run ArcGIS Server on their machines. This is an easy way to practice with a real server without compromising or adjusting your own machine. Running ArcGIS Server on Amazon EC2 also helps you learn about the cloud by using it.

Lesson Objectives

At the successful completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • understand cloud computing architectures in an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model;
  • set up an ArcGIS EC2 instance;
  • understand the methods of moving data to the cloud;
  • create a simple map service on that instance accessible via the Internet.


  • Complete L02: Assignment
  • Participate L02: Discussion