Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Managing your ArcGIS Online Account


ArcGIS Online is a Web GIS platform that allows you to use, create, and share maps, scenes, apps, layers, analytics, and data. Users can create maps that can be viewed in a browser, desktop or mobile device and leverages cloud computing. This platform has been growing throughout the years with added functionality and improvements to its interface and Esri now recommends it as the starting point over Pro for new GIS learners.​ For more information, see this overview of ArcGIS Online by Esri. 

Accessing your ArcGIS Online account is easy and can be done in 2 minutes by following the steps outlined in this document: ArcGIS Online: Login Instructions (uOttawa).


Account Types

What's the difference between using the ArcGIS login vs. Named User account? Here's a table that compares both types of accounts and which is recommended for you. 

ArcGIS login

The ArcGIS login method is only recommended for public accounts or administrators.

Public accounts

Anyone can create a public account in ArcGIS Online. However, most uOttawa users are recommended to use a Named User account as this is tied to their ArcGIS Organization (University of Ottawa) and comes with many more default permissions, including access to Esri's online training courses

For more information on the difference between an ArcGIS public account and an ArcGIS organizational account, please see A User's Guide to ArcGIS Accounts.

Account administrators

If you think you should be an account administrator (usually selected professors or library/IT staff), please contact us at

Named User account

The Named User account is the recommended login method for the most uOttawa ArcGIS users. When launching ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Pro, click on the "Your ArcGIS organization's URL" at the bottom to sign in. You will need to enter "gsguo" in the URL field. This then connects to the University's single-sign-on login system and automatically authenticates members of the uOttawa community (i.e., registered students and staff). The first time you use this login will generate your new ArcGIS Online account, afterwards you can save your login information.


Account Defaults 

Once you have successfully logged in using your Named User account, your account will be automatically generated with the default permissions, including:

  • User type: GIS Professional Advanced

  • Role: Publisher 

  • Add-on licenses: ArcGIS Pro Extensions

  • Credits: 1,000

  • Esri access: Enabled



  • 3D Analyst

  • Aviation Airports

  • Aviation Charting

  • Bathymetry

  • Data Interoperability

  • Data Reviewer

  • Defense Mapping

  • Geostatistical Analyst

  • Image Analyst

  • Locate XT

  • Location Referencing

  • Maritime

  • Network Analyst

  • Production Mapping

  • Publisher

  • Spatial Analyst

  • Workflow Manager



ArcGIS Online users a credit system to run many analyses. Users have a default of 1,000 credits when generating their accounts. Although this should be sufficient for most users, some might require additional credits (e.g., to run advanced analyses). If you might require additional credits, please contact us at with your request.


Account Expiration

Users only have access to their ArcGIS Online accounts while they are registered students or staff members and may therefore lose access to their accounts, including their content, after leaving the institution. Users who want to have access to their content after leaving uOttawa can create a public account (see the ArcGIS login section above) and transfer their content to this account using the free ArcGIS Online Assistant. However, this is a third-party tool and therefore should be used at your own risk. Any content remaining in inactive accounts (i.e., account inactivity for one year or more) may be subject to deletion as part of regular institutional account maintenance and cleanup.


Content last updated: March 29, 2023