- Jack Dangermond, president of geographic information systems software supplier Esri, announced Tuesday a grant to make the company's advanced mapping software free to over 100,000 U.S. K-12 schools.
- The free ArcGIS accounts are each worth more than $10,000, making the grant potentially worth over $1 billion.
- The accounts would run on Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure, and AWS is making a three-year commitment to provide that support for free.
Esri's move is part of a nationwide effort to promote education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects, which President Barack Obama called for with his ConnectED Initiative.In all, ConnectED is focused on providing high-speed Internet in all schools, as well as access to affordable mobile devices, quality software, and the necessary teacher training for instruction in these subjects. The Esri deal makes considerable progress in these efforts by facilitating cloud infrastructure, as well as advanced mapping technology useful in a number of courses.