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Summer 2009
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Deploy Fast, Modern Web Maps

ArcGIS 9.3.1 Unlocks the Potential of GIS


  • New optimized map service makes Web mapping significantly faster.
  • ArcGIS 9.3.1 includes new tools for tuning map documents.
  • ArcGIS Online makes it easier to find and share geographic content.

ArcGIS 9.3.1 helps users deploy modern Web maps that are relevant to their entire organization. ArcGIS 9.3.1, which began shipping in April 2009, focuses on improving the performance of dynamic map publishing and increasing the sharing of geographic information.

Also see the Web Maps poster [PDF].

High-Performance Dynamic Map Publishing

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Seamless data integration using Web maps promotes quicker understanding of complex issues, such as in this blending of a cumulative crime density analysis with a basemap service from ArcGIS Online.

ArcGIS 9.3.1 includes an optimized map service that allows users to produce high-performance dynamic maps. Users will notice improved map quality in optimized map services, including sharper edges to features, clearer labels, and better color transparency.

ArcGIS Desktop users can fine-tune their maps for faster performance using the new Map Service Publishing toolbar. The toolbar allows the map to be analyzed and makes recommendations for tuning. Users can then preview the results and see estimated draw times. They can also directly publish the map from the ArcGIS Desktop ArcMap application to ArcGIS Server.

Optimized map services also improve map caching performance, as faster rendering speeds reduce the time it takes to create map caches for basemaps. Map quality is noticeably improved, and storage is more efficient.

These new map services outperform equivalent ArcIMS services and provide significantly better-looking maps, benefiting those who use dynamic Web mapping or combine dynamic and cached maps on the Web.

Better Sharing of Geographic Information

At the 9.3.1 release, ArcGIS Online includes new functionality to allow users to easily share geographic content, such as maps, data, and layers.

With the new ArcGIS Online application, users can type in keywords to search and find content; preview it; and, with a simple click, add it to ArcMap, for example.

To facilitate the sharing of layers in ArcGIS Online, at the 9.3.1 release ArcGIS Desktop users can create layer packages that encapsulate ArcMap cartography and data, including a thumbnail, the extent, and spatial reference, in an easy-to-share package. Layer packages can also be shared via e-mail or DVD or placed on network drives.

Seamless Integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth

ArcGIS Desktop (ArcInfo, ArcEditor, and ArcView), ArcGIS Server, and ArcGIS Explorer users will be able to directly connect to Microsoft Virtual Earth services and quickly start their GIS projects with ready-to-use content.

ArcGIS Desktop users who are current on maintenance have access to a free, limited annual transaction allotment of Virtual Earth services that includes aerial imagery, roads, and hybrid (aerial with labels) imagery. An annual subscription with unlimited transactions is available for purchase as well. ArcGIS Server users have a built-in 90-day free evaluation, after which they can purchase blocks of transactions. ArcGIS Explorer users can access Virtual Earth services and share transactions as part of an existing ArcGIS Desktop license. ArcGIS Explorer users who don't have an existing ArcGIS Desktop license can evaluate Virtual Earth at no cost for 90 days, then purchase an annual unlimited use subscription.

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New optimized map service produces maps of superior quality.

With a familiar look, Virtual Earth imagery appears as just another data layer in GIS. The imagery provides excellent background maps on which users can overlay their operational data. Without needing to spend time creating background maps, users can focus more on their business data.

Developers building Web applications have access to a complete GIS platform that supports geospatial services through ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs, including JavaScript, Flex, and Microsoft Silverlight. This means that clients can access Microsoft Virtual Earth content from any ArcGIS Web application.

ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight

End users of Web maps now have a more intuitive, fast, and modern experience via the ArcGIS APIs. These APIs can be used to build rich user experiences on top of ArcGIS Server services. They are lightweight for quick development and very fast and scalable.

In addition to the ArcGIS APIs for JavaScript and Flex that Esri recently introduced, users can now leverage the new ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight. This API allows developers to use any .NET Framework-supported language (e.g., C#, Visual Basic) to add GIS capabilities and consume services from ArcGIS Server and Microsoft Virtual Earth in a Silverlight application.

The API takes full advantage of the mapping, geocoding geometry, image, and geoprocessing capabilities of ArcGIS Server. End users can display their data in an interactive map, search for and display GIS data features and attributes, locate addresses, identify features, access raster imagery, and perform complex spatial analysis by simply clicking a button or feature on the map. To download the ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight, visit

Enhanced Support for Java Developers

Java developers who want to extend the ArcGIS framework on the ArcGIS Desktop/ArcGIS Engine (Java SE) and ArcGIS Server (Java EE) platforms will be able to create custom geoprocessing tools, server object extensions (SOEs) for ArcGIS Server, class extensions for custom behavior, custom renderers for customized rendering of data, plug-in data sources, and custom layers.

Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) support is also provided in the form of wizards to generate boilerplate code based on the developer's specification. This will facilitate quick and easy development of the extensions. ArcGIS 9.3.1 also includes an autodeploy feature that allows Java developers and their end users to automatically deploy their Java extensions.

Easy to Install

Users who have ArcGIS 9.3 installed are able to upgrade to ArcGIS 9.3.1 without having to uninstall ArcGIS 9.3. In addition, ArcGIS 9.3.1 is completely compatible with ArcGIS 9.3 for all aspects of ArcGIS, including geodatabases, maps, and APIs, so users will be able to easily migrate or work in mixed environments of ArcGIS 9.3 and ArcGIS 9.3.1 on different computers within the same organization.

Licensing Changes for ArcGIS Server

With the release of ArcGIS 9.3.1, there are some licensing changes to ArcGIS Server. ArcGIS Server Standard (Workgroup or Enterprise) users can use the editing capabilities of ArcGIS Server. Also, ArcGIS Server Advanced (Workgroup or Enterprise) includes the Spatial, 3D, Network, and Geostatistical extensions for no additional fee. Furthermore, ArcGIS Server Enterprise users can deploy the following components without incurring an additional deployment license fee: Web ADF—SDK or Runtime, Web Service Handlers, and Server Object Manager.

More Information

To learn more about ArcGIS 9.3.1, visit

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