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GIS Frequently Asked Questions

This page compiles answers to questions we see on a regular basis. These solutions to common problems will help you get the most out of ArcGIS.

That's a good question!

Working with ArcGIS software can be a frustrating experience.  Over time we have encountered a few errors and this page has been created to compile answers to some of the questions we regularly see.  This is a work in progress and we hope to build a resource for the Washington University GIS community, check back as this list will grow.  If you find yourself unable to solve a GIS problem or encounter an error that you cannot resolve, please contact us for assistance:

  • Bill Winston - GIS Analyst -
  • Mollie Webb - GIS Programmer -
  • Jennifer Moore - GIS Data & Projects Manager -

Common problems with ArcGIS installations

You've just downloaded and installed ArcGIS and now when you try to open the program you see this error...

ArcGIS Host Not Set Error

This error will occur if ArcGIS Desktop is not able to connect to a valid authentication server.  If you are installing the ArcGIS Student Evaluation Edition, you may have selected the wrong product during setup.  Open the ArcGIS Administrator program, the window below will appear...

  • Click on "Desktop" in the left pane.
  • Click the Advanced (ArcInfo) Single Use radio button
  • Click "Authorize Now"
  • Fill in the required information
  • When prompted, enter the EVA code you received
  • Complete the process and do not specify any other products for evaluation, you will have access to the extensions.
  • Once this is complete, the software should function.



Logging into ArcGIS Online

Access to ArcGIS Online (AGOL) requires that you submit an account request to Bill Winston ( or Mollie Webb ( Please include your name, department or school, WU email address, phone number, and the reason you are asking for access.  Requests will be processed within 2 business days and you will receive a response.

Once your account has been setup you will receive an invitation email with a link to the AGOL login page:

ArcGIS Online Login screen



Click on the link to access the Enterprise Login page.



Enter "wustl" as your Organization...Organization URL

and click on the option to sign in "Using your WU Account"...


Finally...login with your WUSTL Key credentials.  WUSTL Key Login

and please remember to fill out your AGOL Profile page to include your first AND last name.