Remote access is available! The seven Library GIS workstations are prioritized for GIS software usage and there is a 3-hour time limit per day. They operate on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The workstations are available for use by Carleton students, allowing you to view, collect and organize your data. They are available through the cuDesktop service, also known as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). CuDesktop provides an alternative to physical computer labs for software and allows students access to applications without needing to install them on their own laptop or PC.

Please note: If you do have a home computer with the system requirements to run GIS software, you can download ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) for free here.

    Remote access instructions

    1. Sign the user agreement
    2. Email us at to let us know you signed the agreement.
      • There is an administrative process we need to do so you should receive an email from us by the end of the next working day (e.g. by 5pm Wednesday if you sign on Tuesday; by 5pm Monday if you sign on Friday). That email will let you know that you are able to access the Library GIS workstations.
    3. Download and install the cuDesktop software (VMWare Horizon Client) by following these instructions. **If you're using Windows and want to be able to save files to/from your computer, make sure to choose the Download Windows Client option.
    4. Once your download and installation are complete click on Add Server.
    5. Enter as the connection server and click Connect.
      • The host name of the Connection Server is
    6. Enter your MyCarletonOne credentials to connect to the cuDesktop server.
      • For Server Login, use your MyCarletonOne username (not full email) and password to login
    7. You're ready to go! Just wait for an email from us confirming you've been added to the access list.
      • How to access your Windows folders while using VMWare:
        • Make sure you downloaded and installed the Download Windows Client option from the CUDesktop site. If so, you should be able to access USBs and your computer drives.
      • How to access your Mac folders while using VMWare:
        • In the VMWare menu, go to VMWare Horizon Client > Preferences... > Sharing. Check off the boxes to allow access to your home drive and removable storage.
        • Then go to your Mac's System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy and scroll down to either Full Disk Access (all files and folders) or Files and Folders (just Downloads and Desktop). In the application list, find and click on VMWare so that you can access files on your own computer. After changing this setting, you can access your Mac folders under This PC > Network Drive (Z:) when you’re logged into VMWare and browsing for a file or folder.
        • In Mac System Preferences, under Files and Folders, there should be a VMWare Horizon Client section.
    8. Once you receive an email from us, the next time you log into VMWareHorizon client you will see the Library GIS option. Click on Library GIS and follow the prompt to sign in with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
      • A Library GIS option in VMWare Horizon should be visible once you are registered.
    9. Remember: there is a 3-hour time limit per day. There will be a notification a few moments before your two hours are up so make sure you save your work. Before you log off, any work you want to save must be saved to a USB drive, your remote laptop/workstation, or your P: drive (note that the P: drive is only 500mb). When logging off, choose Logoff Utility from the shortcuts on the desktop.
      • The Logoff Utility button is on the desktop

    Please email us at with any questions.


    • ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) 10.8.1
    • ArcGIS Pro 2.8.1
    • DWG TrueView 2018
    • FME Desktop 2021 (data translation software program)
    • Global Mapper 23
    • Google Earth Pro
    • QGIS 3.16

    Data access

    All of our datasets are available online via our online downloading system (Carleton and Ottawa-Gatineau datasets) and Scholars GeoPortal (Ontario and Canada-wide datasets).

    Content last reviewed: