ArcNews Online

Fall 2006

ArcWeb Services JavaScript API Now Available

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ArcWeb Services Explorer shows the Diversity Index for Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area. The index shows the likelihood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to different race or ethnic groups. This functionality can be used for building Economic Development applications.

The ArcWeb Services JavaScript API is designed for rapid integration of desktoplike mapping functionality and GIS content into Web applications. Using the API, developers can embed interactive Adobe Flash-based vector maps into a Web application with just a few lines of code. Organizations that are building business continuity planning and economic development sites, for example, will benefit from the rich Internet application (RIA) capabilities of the ArcWeb Services JavaScript API.

For business continuity planning, ArcWeb Services offer the ability to significantly enhance applications that are intended to keep businesses functional through circumstances that may disrupt normal operations. With the ArcWeb Services JavaScript API, developers can display customer asset locations and other mission-critical data as layers to enhance real-time visual analysis capabilities. For example, if a company's primary data-hosting center was in the path of a major storm, an application using ArcWeb Services would be able to present real-time precipitation data overlaid on the basemap and allow the organization to assess the potential impact and plan for an emergency data backup. Continuously updated details on storm strength; amount of precipitation; and type of precipitation, such as rain, snow, or a mix of both, can also be included.

ArcWeb Services are well suited to complement information available on economic development Web sites with demographic data in the form of presentation-quality reports as well as basemaps that incorporate street, satellite, relief, and topographic layers. Through the ArcWeb Services Flash-based client, users can easily create hand-drawn polygons to define search area boundaries. They can also quickly create, view, and print drive-time or demographic reports and maps to assist with community planning initiatives for city and state governments or commercial organizations investigating moving into a specific area. Users are also able to modify drive-time rings and see the resulting changes in real time.

ArcWeb Services JavaScript API comes with a wide variety of sample applications source code and includes functionality for

  • Uploading custom data
  • Changing map data layers, such as satellite, street, hybrid, weather, and traffic data
  • Manipulating point, line, and polygon overlays
  • Adding rich media Flash markers containing audio and video
  • Integrating thematic mapping layers
  • Incorporating GeoRSS feeds
  • Controlling map markers using AJAX
  • Accessing prebuilt map widgets

The ArcWeb Services JavaScript API is a set of pure Web services interfaces hosted by Esri and built using Adobe Flex. It offers a client-side JavaScript library for application developers to embed an Adobe Flash mapping client into a Web-based application. The JavaScript library exposes high-level functionality, such as "find a location," and encapsulates various low-level API methods that would normally have to be integrated into the software development project one line of code at a time.

Developers use the ArcWeb Services JavaScript API to work with the vector data contained inside the map image, such as points, lines, and polygons. Developers can now control layers of information that contain features, such as turning flooded area layers on and off, toggling between city and county boundaries, or displaying real-time weather.

ArcWeb Services widgets provide prebuilt functionality for finding locations, navigating, routing, and selecting basic map types. An example of the Selecting Map Types widget is shown in the ArcWeb Explorer screen shot (above). ArcWeb Services Explorer is a publicly available application that demonstrates ArcWeb Services functionality. The JavaScript API also provides a migration path to the ArcWeb Services REST API and SOAP API.

More Information

For more information about ArcWeb Services, visit

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