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ArcGIS Pro

ArcGIS Pro, the powerful desktop GIS application, is feature-packed software developed with enhancements and ideas from the ArcGIS Pro user community. ArcGIS Pro supports data visualization; advanced analysis; and authoritative data maintenance in 2D, 3D, and 4D. It supports data sharing across a suite of ArcGIS products such as ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise and enables users to work across the ArcGIS system through Web GIS.

ArcGIS Pro is designed to help you work efficiently. The ribbon along the top of the ArcGIS Pro interface is contextual so it gives you the tools you need when you need them. This eliminates turning toolbars off and on and hunting for tools and provides a workflow-driven user experience.

You can create projects with specific data and share them online, or you can save them as templates for a particular editing scenario and share them within your organization. You can add and remove connections to local and online data, and create feature classes, maps, scenes and other project items.

ESRI, the developers of ArcGIS, have announced that ArcGIS Desktop (also known as ArcMAP) will shortly be retired and is no longer being developed.  In preparation for this, from Summer 2023 ArcGIS Desktop will no longer be available on University computers and only ArcGIS Pro will be available.  Teaching materials and ArcGIS projects will need to be updated and migrated from the older application into ArcGIS Pro.

Migrating your work to ArcGIS Pro

You can take existing maps from ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMAP) directly into ArcGIS Pro. There is no need to re-create maps and layouts—simply import your map documents (.mxd), scenes (.sxd), and globes (.3DD) into ArcGIS Pro and save them as projects (.aprx). They will look just as they did in ArcMap with the same layouts and symbology. Actually, maps created in ArcMap may look even better after being imported because ArcGIS Pro uses anti-aliasing so lines and text are more crisp and clean.
For a more detailed guide on migrating to ArcGIS please see the Esri migrate from ArcMap

  ArcGIS Pro ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMAP)

64 bit Application

Can use larger file sizes (over 4Gb)

32 bit application 

Maximum file size 4Gb

Project file .apx (ArcGIS Pro Project) but can import .mxd files from ArcMAP .mxd files only and cannot import .apx files
Licence Named user subscriptions which includes full access to ArcGIS Online Cloud service Desktop Application only licence
3D 3D integrated into the programe ArcScene and ArcGloube are stand-alone programs
Catalog Incorporates catalog functions Standalone ArcCatalog program
Interface Contextual Ribbons similar to MS Office applications Toolbars need to be manually turned on and off
Cloud Integrated with ArcGIS online Generally not integrated with ArcGIS Online
Layouts Multiple Layouts for single projects Only 1 map per project
Geodatabase Created a project folder that includes a new default gdb for that project, along with the aprx. file and toolbox for tools you create Default gdb in your Windows profile directory, same as all Map Documents

QGIS 3 is a free and Open Source Geographic Information System which allows you to create, edit, visualise, analyse and publish geospatial information on Windows, MacOS, Linux, FreeBSD and mobile devices

  ArcGIS Pro QGIS 3
User Interface Modern and streamlined user interface More traditional interface
Analysis Tools Advanced geoprocessing and analysis tools A simpler set of tools
3D visualization Advanced 3D visualization capabilities 3D visualization capabilities
Integration Works seamlessly with other Esri products Better integration with open-source tools including GRASS GIS, SAGA GIS and GDAL
Licensing Commercially Licenced Software Open Source
Mobile Compatibilty Allows users to work on projects on their mobile devices Various third-party touch optimized apps allow you to take QGIS into the field including QFIELD
Compatible Platforms Windows exclusive application Available on Windows, MacOS and Linux systems
Support and Community Technical Support directly from ESRI, the developer Online user Community
Learning Curve May be more difficult to learn for users new to GIS due to it's advanced interface Simpler user interface and a smoother learning curve
Online work compatibilites ArcGIS Pro is designed to work seamlessly with ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise allowing users to work on projects online Does not have built-in capability for working online, although there are some plugins available to enable online work
Compatbilities with databases Wide variety of databases including Oracle, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL More limited compatibility
Scalability Scalable and can handle larger and complex spatial data Less scalable than ArcGIS Pro.
Language support Full support for several languages Support for a wide variety of languages but some aspects may not be fully translated
Software updates Regular software updates and feature enhancements Less frequent software updates and feature enhancements

A more detailed comparison between ArcGIS Pro & QGIS 3 can be found on GIS Geography.