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Summer 2011 Edition
This article as a PDF.
ArcGIS 10 is now available in French, German, neutral Spanish, Japanese, and simplified Chinese as well as English. Although Esri international distributors have done a good job of localizing software in several languages, Esri became more directly involved in improving the quality of products. The demand for localized Esri software continues increasing. For example, the number of Chinese-language Internet users has grown by 1,277 percent in the past decade according to Internet World Stats (www.internetworldstats.com). At that pace, the Chinese users will soon outnumber English users.
As the focus has shifted from individuals working on desktop machines to many users collaborating over intranets or the Internet, there is much greater need for a multilingual GIS product. With localization, users can simply toggle between the six available languages.
ArcGIS Explorer Desktop was the first multilingual product released by Esri. ArcGIS Desktop can also be installed in a multilingual fashion. Users logging on to one machine from different remote login sessions can choose a language. Alternatively, users can work on ArcGIS Desktop in one language user interface (UI) and share data with other users who can consume that data and work with it using a UI in another language.
Esri's Resource Center and Customer Care Portal websites are multilingual. The language displayed is based on the language of the country domain of the incoming request. From both hardware and management overhead perspectives, this is a more efficient strategy for maintaining different languages in a decentralized fashion. Esri chose German, French, neutral Spanish, Japanese, and simplified Chinese for initial localization efforts because these are the most commonly used languages on the Internet. With the release of ArcGIS 10.1, three more languages are slated to be added. Customers in the United States can learn more about localized versions of ArcGIS 10 by visiting the Customer Care Portal. Outside the United States, users should contact their local Esri distributor.