On Tuesdays, we typically go out for pizza with my husband’s family and after dinner, sit and talk for a few hours. This past Tuesday, the discussion turned to their childhood home and the surrounding places they used to visit as children. They had grown up in Nairobi, Kenya, and vacationed often in Mombasa. As they were trying to describe the neighborhood they lived in and the beach they vacationed on, I suddenly had a thought…why not zoom to those locations on my smartphone instead. Sure enough, it was as easy as typing a location into my ArcGIS application, and I was able to share my screen with everyone at the table.
That is probably the most basic usage for imagery, visualizing information. However, it is still amazing that you can zoom all the way around the world and view high resolution imagery data, while you are away from the office, sitting anywhere (including pizza restaurants) through a mobile device. You can have the whole world right on your phone.
I used the World Imagery Basemap to do this, and today I learned this is the number one requested Basemap from ArcGIS Online. In fact, it received almost 2.4 million requests in the month of March alone! I’m sure some of those people are looking at their home, or using it to augment a story…but I know the majority of you are using it to provide context for your work and probably layering additional data on top of it.
In addition to the World Imagery Basemap, there are lots of other Basemap, Imagery and Data collections available online from Esri’s Living Atlas of the World for the ArcGIS application on your phone and the ArcGIS platform. So the next time you need a map, check out what is available from Esri and if it happens to be the World Imagery Basemap, you’re in good company.