Audience of More Than 9,000 Witnesses the Power of ArcIMS Live!

Esri Unveils ArcIMS in San Diego

Esri unveiled ArcIMS 3, its latest Internet mapping and distributed GIS software solution, in July 1999 at the Nineteenth Annual Esri International User Conference in San Diego. In a live demonstration, ArcIMS software accessed multiple Internet sites and combined these sites with local data.

ArcIMS architectureDuring a presentation on performing site suitability analysis, local data was integrated "on the fly" with data accessed from Internet servers in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and California. This demonstration involved combining three different ArcSDE data sets--displaying demographic information (Washington, D.C.), flood information (California), and hazardous materials (North Carolina)--in one Web browser.

This ability to access data that is distributed from multiple locations throughout the world is an integral feature to ArcIMS. The sharing of data no longer requires copying or sending data to another site for viewing. ArcIMS can access and exchange this information directly via the Internet.

According to Jack Dangermond, Esri president, "This unique capability of ArcIMS promises to transform the way the Internet is used with current GIS systems. ArcIMS removes the geographic boundaries of distributing GIS."

On a smaller scale, an ArcIMS prototype of a public input system for local governments was used to demonstrate community input and service response capabilities. This application allowed citizens to enter information based on infrastructure problems such as potholes and leaking hydrants. This data was then sent to the city's work order database. By serving a complementary application for use by city personnel, ArcIMS allowed the reported incidents to be reviewed and then dispatched to work crews.

Key components of ArcIMS software, including ArcIMS Manager, ArcIMS Applications Server, Streaming Vector Data, MapNotes, and Simple Feature Editing, were also demonstrated at the User Conference.

ArcIMS Manager

This wizard-driven framework for handling Web site setup and administration is an easy-to-use yet powerful tool that lets users author Web services and optimize the Web site.

ArcIMS Manager is a suite of Web pages that provides access to all ArcIMS functions. ArcIMS Manager leads the user through the process of creating and publishing maps. It is divided into three functional areas:

  • Authoring MapServices
  • Designing Web pages
  • Publishing MapServices and administering ArcIMS servers

ArcIMS Manager provides the tools to configure the clients as well as set up and administer Internet services. With ArcIMS you can create HTML and Java client versions to customize clientside capabilities.

ArcIMS Applications Server

The ArcIMS Applications Server delivers services on the Internet. These services can include those unique to ArcIMS or can include services based on ArcView Internet Map Server (IMS) or extension applications.

Streaming Vector Data

Internet feature streaming allows data to be served to clients in an optimized compressed format. With the ArcIMS architecture new, more powerful clients can work locally against this "smart data" to perform many tasks locally without further interaction with the server. This greatly optimizes the performance of many operations. Only when additional data is required will the server need to be contacted. For example, the server will be accessed when the user zooms in and views more detailed data or when the user pans to a completely new extent.


MapNotes provides the ability for users to create and share ad hoc notation via the Internet. Access to these notations can be controlled at the user level or may be shared by all who access a particular site.

ArcIMS Markup

ArcIMS Markup allows for dynamic editing of map features. Users can create, modify, and delete features including attributes. This capability is especially useful for digitizing crops or building footprints from services that publish aerial photographs, etc.

ArcIMS 3, which supports Windows NT and UNIX platforms, is nearing release. Esri users who have purchased ArcView IMS or solutions after March 15, 1999, will receive a free migration offer giving them the opportunity to upgrade to ArcIMS 3. For more information on ArcIMS 3, please visit Esri online at, or contact Esri at 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, please contact your local Esri distributor.

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