ArcNews Online

Fall 2006

A New Vision for Authoring, Serving, and Using Geographic Knowledge

ArcGIS 9.2 Now Available

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ArcGIS Server offers server-based analysis and geoprocessing, which can be accessed via ArcGIS Explorer.

ArcGIS 9.2 introduces a new way of sharing and accessing the rich geographic knowledge maintained in a traditional GIS. ArcGIS has been designed as an integrated system that allows desktop users to continue authoring geographic knowledge (e.g., data, maps, models, visualizations, and metadata) and have the capability to easily publish this knowledge as Web services using one GIS server. By including all of the ArcGIS technology in a server environment and providing a family of new, easy-to-deploy applications and clients (Web, desktop, and mobile), major growth is anticipated in GIS deployment and use. Together, the desktop, server, and new thin client tools provide a complete system for authoring, serving, and using geographic knowledge by all types of users.

Usability and Quality Enhancements

ArcGIS 9.2 features hundreds of quality and usability enhancements. An entirely new help system featuring intelligent search and an improved tables experience, in addition to new navigation tools and keyboard shortcuts, is among the many improvements designed to make users more efficient and productive in their GIS work.

Easier to Create Geodatabase Data

Storing spatial data in a geodatabase unlocks many of the most advanced and useful capabilities of the ArcGIS system—topology visualization, overlay analysis, network routing, multiple representations, temporal analysis, data integrity automation, object modeling, and much more. In ArcGIS 9.2, spatial domains and indexes are created and managed automatically, while new tools and wizards streamline the work of loading data so that setting up a geodatabase and working with features are now as easy as working with shapefiles. Users can start simply, then add new capabilities as needed.

Server-Based GIS with ArcGIS Server

With ArcGIS Server, it's easy to publish geographic information and user-focused geospatial applications. Models and applications from ArcGIS Desktop can be served as GIS services. These services can be consumed by browser-based, desktop, and mobile clients. Out-of-the-box capabilities and templates let users get started creating services with no programming involved, while a rich development platform and full scalability make it a system capable of delivering high-performance GIS. ArcGIS Server also comes with the new ArcGIS Explorer client, which supports a wide variety of 3D mapping services, as well as geoprocessing services for spatial analysis.

Advanced Cartography

A new method for storing cartographic representations in the geodatabase, in addition to a suite of advanced drawing and symbolization tools, lets users create professional-looking finished maps from their GIS. Representations allow users to fully control the appearance of features (how things are drawn) separately from the underlying geometry of the data. The refinements made to the shape, complexity, position, or color used to symbolize individual features are stored as overrides, preserving the underlying geometry of the source GIS data. Because these representations are stored in the geodatabase, users can also set up rules for drawing features certain ways based on key attributes in the data, so they can consistently apply and repurpose their cartographic designs.

Comprehensive and Secure Spatial Data Management

ArcGIS 9.2 gives users improved security and greater flexibility in distributing their enterprise GIS data. They can create and share complete or partial database replicates (copies), synchronize and reconcile edits and changes, and create archives of transaction histories. Spatial data is managed as a continuous centralized database that is secure but accessible to the entire organization and easily published to individual users' computers or over the Web.

Geographic Modeling and Analysis

New modeling and analysis tools in ArcGIS 9.2 give users the ability to uncover deeper meaning and understanding otherwise hidden in their spatial data. Already recognized as the world's most advanced system for true topological and raster analysis, ArcGIS 9.2 makes it easy, for example, to script one's own simple routines or complex analyses in ModelBuilder; model solar radiation over time; integrate scientific data sources, such as netCDF; or solve network routing problems. Users can intuitively program their own geographic models; simulate real-world behavior in their GIS features; automate routine processes; and even publish them on the Web as self-contained, user-focused tools.

High-Accuracy GIS

Users can store all their GIS data, including high-accuracy surveyor and GPS data, submeter imagery, lidar, digital photogrammetry, CAD, and other forms of rich location and sensor data, in the new high-precision data framework that is now incorporated in ArcGIS 9.2. This new wave of rich information products is increasingly delivered in higher resolution, in greater volumes, and with more collection frequency than ever before. Consequently, the geographic framework underpinning ArcGIS has been reengineered to handle the load.

Mobile GIS

ArcGIS Mobile lets users create centrally managed, high-performance, and focused GIS applications on the server that can be accessed using mobile clients. These applications work in various states of connectivity (i.e., connected, periodically connected, not connected). Whether running on Pocket PCs, Tablet PCs, or smartphone devices, applications developed with ArcGIS Mobile can stay connected with the users' central geodatabase wirelessly, either on the fly during field use or on a regular schedule according to the users' needs.

When mobile projects call for a full-featured user interface, custom user forms, or more robust computing power, ArcPad offers the most advanced on-board GIS capabilities for mobile devices. The latest release, ArcPad 7, adds new features that dramatically improve productivity, ease of use, performance, and synchronization with the user's GIS.

Integrating Time into GIS

New capabilities in ArcGIS 9.2 let users fully incorporate the dimension of time in their GIS analyses and visualizations. Working directly in ArcMap, users can create time-based animations of how things or processes evolve over time and implement analytical models of various processes—such as the spread of disease, urban growth, forest fire modeling, and population or demographic changes—to reveal patterns and answer questions. Users can simulate weather patterns with data in the netCDF format, monitor traffic conditions in real time, or animate how information changes over time. They can also animate charts and maps in the ArcMap window or export them as stand-alone video files.

Data Visualization and Animation

New graphing and animation capabilities in ArcGIS 9.2 unlock sophisticated techniques for interactive visualization of spatial data and its underlying attributes. ArcGIS 9.2 enables users to synchronize colors between elements of the graph and the map's features, dynamically link map elements to the corresponding graph feature (or vice versa), create time-series animations of geographically distributed phenomena, and craft 3D fly-throughs of their data. They can explore their data; consider alternative presentations; and communicate results, ideas, and solutions.

Open GIS and Interoperability

ArcGIS 9.2 supports a growing array of open data standards including Open Geospatial Consortium GML Simple Features data and the ISO 19139 metadata standard. In addition, there is enhanced support for reading, exporting, and working with CAD drawings from AutoCAD and MicroStation.

More Information

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