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Spring 2006
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Highlights of What's to Come in ArcGIS 9.2—Esri's Next Enhanced Release

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ArcGIS 9.2 Server users can author and publish ArcGIS Explorer maps and tasks. In this image, soil types are draped onto a 3D image in ArcGIS.

ArcGIS 9.2, the next major release of ArcGIS, is being readied for release at the end of this summer. It represents a full release of ArcGIS Desktop (ArcReader, ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo), ArcGIS Engine, ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, and ArcSDE. ArcGIS 9.2 focuses on improved usability, stability, and performance. It includes user-requested quality improvements and enhancements across all the products.

ArcGIS 9.2 includes numerous general usability enhancements. Navigation has been made easier with the addition of mouse wheel support and new shortcuts. The help system is now based on GIS concepts and includes improved index and search capabilities. Users will be able to rename folder connections and customize the appearance of the ArcCatalog tree.

Cartographic Representations

ArcGIS 9.2 Desktop introduces a new way to symbolize features using representations. With representations, users can store symbology with their features in the geodatabase and edit the appearance of these symbols on their maps without having to modify the geometry of the actual features being represented. Multiple representations can be stored for a feature class, enabling users to draw the same features with completely different symbology, including edits they have made to individual symbols on different maps.

A new layer symbology option to symbolize layers with a representation is available, as well as a new interface for configuring individual symbols within a representation and a new set of editing tools to modify the appearance of features symbolized with representations.

At ArcGIS 9.2, ArcReader and ArcView users will be able to view and print cartographic representations. ArcEditor will be required for more advanced functionality such as overriding representations, defining representation rules, and creating or deleting feature class representations. The representation geoprocessing tools will be available at the ArcInfo license level.

Geodatabase Improvements

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Record and display changes over time with geodatabase archiving.

All geodatabase data created with ArcGIS 9.2 is now stored in double precision. This eliminates inconsistencies in precision, unifies geometry processing in the product, and simplifies the geoprocessing of large overlays. This enhancement also makes it easier to define data because it eliminates the need to define spatial domains.

ArcGIS 9.2 introduces terrains—a new way to store massive datasets containing elevation or other surface data in the geodatabase. Elevation and surface measurements, such as lidar (a remote sensing system used to collect topographic data) and side-scan sonar (used to collect ocean floor data) can contain several hundred thousand to many billions of points. Until now, integrating these huge datasets into GIS and generating 3D surfaces from them have been difficult. Terrains let users store very large point-based datasets in the geodatabase and produce high-quality, accurate surfaces on the fly for display and analysis at varying resolutions as demanded by their application.

ArcGIS 9.2 introduces a new type of single-user geodatabase referred to as the file geodatabase. A file geodatabase stores datasets as a folder of files on the user's file system, much like a folder of shapefiles would be stored. Individual datasets can be as large as one terabyte, and there is no overall database size limit. Compared to personal geodatabases, file geodatabases improve performance, store vector data more efficiently, and improve concurrency and multiuser access over a network. They also provide an alternative read-only format for large vector feature classes and tables that provide additional performance improvements.

ArcSDE 9.2 will support procedures that allow geodatabases to be maintained in a distributed, replicated environment. This allows GIS users to perform distributed transactional updates and have the software auto update other replicated copies living on another server, anywhere on a network.

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ArcGIS 9.2 Engine provides improved integration with Eclipse for Java application development.

The Esri Spatial Type for Oracle is an OGC-compliant extension to the Oracle database that can add a column to a relational table that can be used to store spatial data. The SQL API allows users to access, create, update, and delete spatial data via standard SQL.

ArcGIS 9.2 includes several raster management improvements, including additional format support, faster and more accurate projection, improved loading and display performance, and on-the-fly orthorectification and pan-sharpening.

Improved transaction management in ArcGIS 9.2 includes nonversioned editing support using DBMS short transactions, geodatabase replication between systems, and geodatabase history to record and display changes over time.

ArcGIS Server

With ArcGIS 9.2 Server, users can improve the drawing speed of a map service by creating a cache for it beforehand. ArcGIS Server can publish 3D globe documents (.3dd) as globe services. Once published to ArcGIS Server, clients can access the entire globe document or individual layers from it. ArcGIS 9.2 Server can also dynamically serve 3D data using KML/KMZ Google, as well as serve maps as Web Map Services (WMS).

ArcGIS 9.2 Server allows users to integrate multiple GIS services (e.g., ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, WMS, ArcWeb Services) in one Web application using the new multiservice architecture. The new Site Builder makes it easier for even nondevelopers to create Web applications. Also, with ArcGIS 9.2 Server, users can extend server objects with custom functionality with Server Object extensions. ArcGIS Server allows for the seamless integration with Visual Studio 2005, Eclipse, and Sun Creator. The new high-performance Web map viewer provides enhanced tools, including seamless pan, dynamic zoom, and MapTips.

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ArcGIS 9.2 Engine includes several developer components for creating 2D and 3D applications.

ArcGIS Server gives users the ability to author and publish maps and tasks for ArcGIS Explorer. ArcGIS Explorer is a new lightweight GIS data viewer that will be available as a free download. It provides a quick and easy way for users to access geospatial data. ArcGIS Explorer enables 2D and 3D browsing and query from a variety of server-based and local data sources. Data from different sources, such as publicly available Web services and data from the users' organizations' own secure servers, can be fused and viewed at the same time.

ArcIMS

ArcIMS 9.2 includes a new Site Builder to help users easily create Web applications. It also includes a high-performance .NET and Java Web map viewer (offering seamless pan, dynamic zoom, MapTips, and keyboard shortcuts) and a new Web Application Development Framework (ADF) for the Microsoft .NET Framework and a Web ADF for the Java platform. These are the same ADFs that will be delivered with ArcGIS 9.2 Server. ArcIMS 9.2 lets users integrate multiple GIS services (e.g., ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, WMS, ArcWeb Services) in one Web application using the new multiservice architecture.

Developer Improvements

ArcGIS 9.2 will enhance the productivity tools available to ArcGIS developers. There are new commands and controls, such as Add Data, Identify, and a symbology control, as well as editing tools to help create custom desktop applications with ArcGIS Engine. The ArcGIS Engine Developer Kit will include tighter integration in Eclipse for Java development and Visual Studio 2005 for .NET users. The functionality of Data Interoperability, Tracking Analyst, Maplex, and Schematics will be offered as optional extensions to ArcGIS Engine.

At the time of the ArcGIS 9.2 release, customers whose maintenance is current will automatically receive the update. For more information, visit www.esri.com/arcgis.

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