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How to Run ArcGIS on Mac with Parallels Desktop for Mac

How to Run ArcGIS on Mac with Parallels Desktop for Mac

Meet an experienced manager with technical expertise in the areas of GIS, international development, and humanitarian aid, John Steed, the director of geospatial services for Tesla Government Inc. runs ArcGIS on Mac using Parallels Desktop for Mac.

ArcGIS is a powerful leader in the Windows software sphere for creating maps, web applications, 3D, and data-driven collection maps based on geographic information systems of the world. John has brought the Windows exclusive application ArcGIS to the Mac.



Tech Specs:
OS X: Yosemite 10.10.5
CPU: 15” MacBook Pro Retina 2.6GHz processor, 16 GB of RAM
Parallels Desktop for Mac running Windows 10 with two processors with 8192 MB of memory allocated as seen below:

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 3.45.31 PM

John has been using Parallels Desktop, solely for ArcGIS, since graduate school.  It has been absolutely necessary for his work. Once he switched to Mac, he realized how well the Mac operating systems works and the quality of the hardware.  Parallels Desktop has allowed John to continue to rely on Mac, while being able to use the most robust and longest-standing GIS software on the market.

In his own words:

“Since I started using Parallels, I have witnessed the improvements that the software has made and how it has kept up with changes in Apple’s hardware and operating systems.  I am now director of GIS services for a small company.  I encouraged the company to continue to use Mac for our GIS team and to use Parallels to bridge the Windows-Mac gap.”

Below is a screenshot example of how John uses Windows 10 as a virtual machine in Parallels Desktop to run ArcGIS on his Mac:ArcGIS John Steed

(Click to enlarge)
Disclaimer: The above is not a “final product” to John’s work standards and was used for educational purposes. “I generally use ArcGIS to make the maps and then export them to Adobe Illustrator to finish them. Therefore, the above is not a final product.” – John

Running Windows-only applications that allow you to complete the task at hand without owning multiple machines is one of the many benefits of running Windows on Mac with Parallels Desktop. Not only do you have powerful access to the best of both worlds, but you can do it all without restarting your machine, saving you both money and time.  

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