GIS requires training to use it to its potential. In 1996, ESRI began exploring ways to expand its successful educational programmes to a worldwide audience via the Web. The ESRI Virtual Campus (VC) opened in July 1997. The paper discusses a few of the many lessons learned during the operation of VC, related to content, community and collaboration, and considers future prospects. The VC continues to evolve in the areas of component-based design, database publishing, community and collaborations. As new technologies become available and bandwidth increases, features that could not be imagined at its conception can now be developed.