MACMAPP is a partnership program between GIS software vendor Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), MassGIS, and the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA). Through this program, conservation nonprofit organizations and municipal conservation commissions can obtain the latest ArcView GIS software from ESRI, along with training and documentation, to help build GIS capabilities. In addition, GIS data is available through the MassGIS. EEA provides overall coordination for the program, from reviewing applications to providing training in creating and using open space data.

MACMAPP offers a bundle of an ArcView 10 GIS software license with two years of maintenance, technical support and hardcopy and online training materials at a significant discount. MACMAPP recipients must commit to participating in the Open Space mapping initiative and sharing all GIS data with the state agency administering the program – the Massachusetts Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS).

To participate in this program, eligible recipients must complete the MACMAPP Application Form (see Application Process below) and partake in an initial application review. Once the application is accepted, a non-refundable fee of $400, plus shipping costs, will be paid by the recipient to ESRI and the ArcView 10 bundle will be sent to the recipient.


Recipients will receive ArcView 10 single use software, two years of maintenance and technical support, online Virtual Campus training and hardcopy training materials. The total value of the bundle is over $3,000.

  • ArcView 10 GIS software and two year of maintenance and technical support ($1,500 value) from ESRI (the second year of maintenance and support is contingent upon successful participation in the program)
  • ArcView 10 training is provided through ESRI’s Virtual Campus online site and ESRI Press books. Recipients will initially receive one Learning ArcGIS 10 Virtual Campus hands-on training course ($175 value) that must be accessed via the Internet on the organization’s or commission’s computer. A second Virtual Campus course ($75 - $225 value), of the recipients choosing, will be made available the following year if an interim assessment determines the recipient has complied with program requirements. The recipient’s primary GIS user should take the Virtual Campus courses. The principal benefit of online Virtual Campus courses is that recipients can take the courses at their convenience. (Instructor led courses are also available for a fee from ESRI or academic institutions).
  • Recipients will also receive Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop (2nd edition) ($60 value), an ESRI Press book that comes with a 180-day evaluation version of ArcView 10 software to be used for training purposes only. The evaluation software includes training exercises and tutorials, which can be loaded on any computer running Windows XP, Vista or 7 with sufficient processor speed, RAM and hard drive space. Any of the recipient’s GIS users can utilize these training exercises and tutorials.
  • Recipients will also receive training from MassGIS in creating and using Open Space GIS data and metadata through a series of hands-on workshops. (These workshops are open to GIS staff from any conservation organization regardless of their participation in MACMAPP). The two day course will include hands-on use of ArcView 10 software, an introduction to the MassGIS Open Space data standards and an introduction to creating metadata standards and development using ArcCatalog. Training resources:


Recipients must commit to specific performance requirements outlined in the application’s terms and conditions section. These performance requirements will be the focus of the interim assessment, which occurs after the first year of participation in the program. At this time, organizations that have not met the program requirements or are not compliant with the terms and conditions agreed upon in the application will be discontinued from the program. Organizations discontinued from the program will not be eligible for the second year of maintenance and technical support. Only organizations that are completely committed to fulfilling the program requirements should apply to MACMAPP.

The requirements are as follows:

  • The Executive Director or CEO equivalent of the nonprofit or the Chair of the Conservation Commission must execute the application and agree to the terms and conditions outlined therein.
  • ArcView 10 must be loaded on to a computer, which meets the minimum requirements to run ArcView 10, and is owned or controlled by the Conservation Commission or conservation organization. Please see for the minimum system requirements; exceeding these is highly recommended.
  • ArcView 10 use is restricted to staff or volunteers performing the work of the recipient organization.
  • Recipients must sign up for training workshops offered through MassGIS.
  • Recipients must participate in the annual assessment process.
  • Recipients must adhere to MassGIS standards for GIS data.
  • Recipients must participate in the Open Space mapping initiative and share all GIS data they develop with EEA GIS.
  • Conservation Commissions must develop a plan to use GIS in their work with the Wetlands Protection Act,
  • Project deliverables must be submitted to EEA GIS within two years of receiving the software.
  • Recipients must foster partnerships with appropriate government agencies, commissions and non-profit organizations for the purposes of data/metadata development and sharing, integration of standards, development of a user network, dissemination of information, funding, and any other beneficial purpose.

Application Process

The applicant will need to complete the MACMAPP application form  pdf format of MACMAPP application form
and send it via postal mail to Dominique Pahlavan (contact info is in the application). The application will be verified to confirm program eligibility. If eligible, an application review will be conducted as described below. Once an application is approved by MassGIS and confirmed by ESRI, a price quote for the non refundable fee of $400 plus shipping costs will be generated by ESRI and sent to the recipient. The price quote will include a license for ArcView 10 software with two years of maintenance and support, one Introduction to ArcGIS 9 Virtual Campus hands-on training course, and one Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop book from ESRI Press. Once received, the recipient must follow the purchasing instructions on the quote to submit a purchase order, check or credit card payment directly to ESRI. Once the payment is received, ESRI customer service will release the order for shipment and notify MassGIS. In most cases, this process will take 2–3 weeks.

If an application is not accepted into MACMAPP, the applicant will be notified by email, with a review of the deficiencies, and how, if possible, they can be overcome. Applicants are welcome to submit a revised application at any time.

Application Review and Assessment Process

Application Review

An application review is conducted by MassGIS once eligibility is verified. The application review will be conducted as a phone interview, with the recipient responsible for writing a brief summary of the following topic results and forwarding them to MassGIS.

  • A discussion of the roles each staff person will play based on their training, experience and function within the organization.
  • An evaluation of the hardware and operating system of the computer on which ArcView 9.3 will be loaded.
  • A determination of how ArcView 10 will be used to support the mission of the organization through the identification of GIS projects and goals.
  • An evaluation of the organizations data needs and sources, including identifying external data sources.
  • A discussion of how the organization will participate in the Open Space mapping initiative and share all newly created and maintained GIS data with MassGIS.
  • For Conservation Commissions, a discussion of how they will use GIS to further the goals of the Wetlands Protection Act, e.g. recording NOI locations in GIS.
  • A discussion of how metadata will be created for GIS data developed by the organization.
  • An evaluation of potential regional and local partnership opportunities.

Further development of the identified GIS projects and goals can occur at MassGIS hosted conservation workshops.

Assessment Process

Ongoing assessment and support are an important component of MACMAPP. It provides recipients with substantial support over a two-year period. The assessments also provide a means for MassGIS to verify that recipients are fulfilling program requirements.

An interim assessment is scheduled at the one-year anniversary of acceptance into MACMAPP. This will include revisiting the topics and summary developed during the application review process and an evaluation of data, metadata, projects, partnerships and program requirements.

A final assessment is scheduled at the two-year anniversary of acceptance into MACMAPP. It includes a review of data, metadata, projects, partnerships, program requirements and ongoing support needs from MASSGIS. At the end of the two years, MACMAPP participants may continue maintenance by procuring it directly from ESRI. Participants who have provided OpenSpace data to EEA GIS are eligible to receive a 50% reduction in the cost of their third year of maintenance.


Developing networks of formal and informal partnerships is an essential component of building GIS capabilities. The benefits of partnerships are manifest through involvement within the larger GIS community and the ability to pursue collaborative projects, share data, implement standards and disseminate information.

Not only will recipients benefit from partnerships with those that share an interest or geography, but also with those that can help build their capabilities for effective use of GIS and related technologies. It is essential for nonprofit organizations and conservation commissions to leverage their expertise and local knowledge with state, regional and municipal government agencies in exchange for resources that they might not be able to access on their own.

Users groups provide an effective means to meet and communicate with other nonprofit organizations, conservation commissions, and government agencies. Meetings, workshops, conferences, email listserves, newsletters and other correspondence facilitate partnerships among the GIS community. MACMAPP members are automatically subscribed to the mailing list of the Massachusetts Geographic Information Council (MGIC). Members of MGIC represent various constituencies including academic, nonprofit, business, municipal and regional governments and state agencies.


In addition to the on-line training from ESRI and the tutorial Getting to Know ArcGIS, a one-day instructor-led class held in Boston (Salem), Fall River and Westfield is available for MACMAPP grantees. The last part of the day covers OpenSpace and Metadata; this part of the workshop is a MACMAPP requirement. Information about this training workshop, scheduled classes, and other training options are described on the MACMAPP Training Options page. You may also call or e-mail the OpenSpace staff at MassGIS with any questions you have about ArcVew: (617-626-1184) or (617-626-1076).

GIS Data Provided

GIS data is available for download at the MassGIS website.

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