ArcNews Online

Fall 2009

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Free Tools and Interactive Resources Promote More Effective Collaboration and Information Sharing

  example of a high-quality imagery basemap
Add high-quality imagery basemaps to your GIS projects at no cost (source: World IKONOS Cities, GeoEye).

ArcGIS users now have an easy way to access and share maps, layers, services, and tools for their GIS work. Through ArcGIS Online, users can connect to basemap and task services, create Web maps without any programming through the built-in Web map application, and upload and share their own maps with other users. ArcGIS Online provides an online platform where users can leverage free cloud-based content for their GIS work and share and collaborate with others who have a common interest.

To quickly create attractive maps and high-performance Web mapping applications, ArcGIS Desktop (including ArcGIS Explorer) users, as well as ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Web mapping API users, can connect to ArcGIS Online map and task services. These ready-to-use, precached maps and advanced GIS tasks are hosted and maintained by Esri and require no additional investment in infrastructure or technology. ArcGIS Online map services include high-quality imagery, street, shaded relief, and topographic basemaps. ArcGIS Online map services are available as standard or premium services. Standard map services can be used at no cost for internal and external noncommercial use. To use ArcGIS Online standard map services in a commercial environment, or to use ArcGIS Online premium map services, requires an annual subscription fee.

Bing Maps Integrated with ArcGIS

Bing Maps, available through ArcGIS Online, are seamlessly integrated with ArcGIS. ArcGIS Desktop users current on maintenance have free access during their maintenance year. ArcGIS Explorer users who have an ArcGIS Desktop license on the same machine can share Bing Maps access. ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Web mapping API users can evaluate Bing Maps for 90 days at no cost. Access also includes Bing Maps geocoding. After the evaluation period, an annual, transaction-based subscription can be purchased.

ArcGIS Online task services include world geocoding and routing, as well as drive-time and demographic analysis. Again, these services, with the exception of drive-time and demographic analysis, are available at no cost for internal and external noncommercial use but require an annual subscription fee if they are added to applications used for commercial purposes.

Additional content that is freely available can be found through ArcGIS Online Sharing, a Web-based repository that includes content such as maps, layers, layer packages, and services uploaded and shared by Esri, ArcGIS users, and other authoritative data providers.

More Information

For more details about ArcGIS Online and how to access content, visit

See also "Free Web Mapping APIs."

Please see the ArcGIS Is Bringing Mapping to Everyone poster [PDF].

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