Esri Innovation Program at Purdue University

Esri Innovation Program

Purdue University is designated as Esri Innovation Program (EIP) (previously known as Esri Development Center), and Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies (PULSIS) is proud to house this program to offer special training and recognition opportunities to all students across campus.

PULSIS supports the GIS teaching and research efforts across disciplines at Purdue West Lafayette campus. The GIS team within the unit works with every department on campus where GIS is used to coordinate the teaching effort, share teaching resources, and collaborate on GIS education programs. The teaching efforts offered by the team have reached out students from freshmen to Ph.D. candidates, at different colleges including Agriculture, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Science, Health Science, Technology, Pharmacy, Management, and Veterinary Medicine. Collaborated with faculty members from seven different colleges and staff members from University IT and Center for Instruction Excellence, the team was funded to create a graduate certificate program that emphasizes teaching geospatial information and analytic skills to students at every discipline.

In addition, PULSIS provides research support around geospatial data sharing, curation, discovery, and analysis. Leveraged by the GIS cyberinfrastructure maintained at PULSIS, many projects have gained external funding supports to share the research data with the global research community. For example, the Soil Explorer (, also available from apple app store) has been a successful tool in soil science education. There are more than 2,000 GIS users at Purdue campus. The user community covers students from every college. PULSIS engages with the campus GIS community by providing various instruction opportunities, such as for-credit courses, workshops, independent studies, summer intensives, as well as numerous consultations. PULSIS organizes campus-wide GIS Day activities every year, which usually include an annual High School program and a college day Conference program. More information is available here

EIP Student of the Year

The EIP Student of the Year is an annual award open to all Purdue students, sponsored by Purdue Libraries Learning Council. The winner will be recognized as Student of the Year for outstanding achievements in development of innovative tools, applications or techniques using ArcGIS platform. Each year the winner will be awarded with a plaque, cash prize (currently $500) and one Esri Developer Summit registration.

Undergraduate and graduate students at Purdue University in any discipline are eligible for the award. Student must be enrolled in at least one Purdue credit course in the current academic year.

The work submitted will be reviewed by an award committee with faculty, professional staff and/or graduate students from related departments and centers on campus. It will be judged on its content, technology and usability. Esri technology is required. Eligible work includes:
  1. web map application using ArcGIS online, Story Map, Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, or ArcGIS API for JavaScript;
  2. mobile app using AppStudio for ArcGIS;
  3. mobile or desktop applications using ArcGIS Runtime SDKs
  4. automate geoprocessing using ArcPy or ArcGIS API for Python
  5. ArcGIS R tools using R-ArcGIS bridge
  6. extend ArcGIS Pro with Pro SDK for .NET
For eligibility of other development work using ArcGIS platform, please email

  1. zip files of final work product (tools, code, program, materials, media, etc)
  2. 1-2 page of description with data source, technology used, outcome or significance of your work

2018: Nikhil Sangwen, PhD student in civil engineering, validation of floodmaps at county resolution for the entire U.S. Check Esri's announcement
2019: Sayan Dey, PhD student in civil engineering, Watershed-scale River Channel Morphology Model -- an ArcMap tool for Automated Generation of River Channel Geometry. Check Esri's announcement 2020: Jessie Elliott, master student in Forestry and Natural Resources, Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer and Forest Structure on Understory Invasion. Check Esri's announcement
2021: Yujia Zhu, master student in Geodata Science for Professionals, Mapping COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown in Chicago. Check Esri's announcement, story map #2
2022: Dana Singh, master student in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science, Examining Visitation and Mobility Changes Due to Coronavirus. Check Esri's announcement, story map #15

  1. ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based mapping platform where you can use, create and share maps, apps, etc. Purdue has an ArcGIS Online organization and you can sign in using your Purdue Career Account at For more information, please check ITaP’s page
  2. the NEW ArcGIS StoryMaps allows you to create inspiring, immersive stories by combining text, interactive maps, and other multimedia content.
  3. Web AppBuilder lets you build web apps and configure fully featured HTML apps without writing code
  4. Build full-featured web app with ArcGIS API for JavaScript
  5. AppStudio for ArcGIS converts your map into mobile apps
  6. ArcGIS Runtime SDKs lets you build applications on various platforms
  7. ArcPy is a site package to run geographic data analysis, data conversion, data management and map automation with Python
  8. ArcGIS API for Python is a Python library to work with maps and geospatial data, powered by web GIS.
  9. Integrate R and ArcGIS
  10. Pro SDK for .NET extends ArcGIS Pro with custom tools and workflows

GIS Service at the Purdue University Libraries provides support for spatial research and training across disciplines. For learning opportunities, data sources, tools, and recent events, please visit Libraries' GIS page.

Purdue has an ArcGIS Online Organization and all students, faculty and staff can sign in using Purdue Career Account. Students can also access Esri training. For more information, please visit ITaP's Esri ArcGIS and Geospatial Tool page.

When submitting projects to this contest, Purdue University does not ask for the transfer of any copyrights or other intellectual property rights. Participants retain all rights to their work. The use of ESRI/ArcGIS platform/software does not constitute an express or implied endorsement of the product by Purdue University.