ArcNews Online

Fall 2009

E-mail to a Friend
Create and Deploy Mashups and Web Applications

Free Web Mapping APIs

  example of Auckland Region Viewer
New downloadable samples are published in the Web Mapping APIs Code Gallery weekly.

ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs are now available for free for all noncommercial use, allowing mapping and GIS capabilities to be more easily embedded, consumed, and deployed in Web or desktop applications. ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs help organizations deliver rich maps and GIS capabilities that are comparable with desktop mapping applications, but with all the benefits of the Web. The APIs provide the tools to generate fast, cross-browser and cross-platform dynamic maps. End users can interact not only with the map itself but also with its attributes and features. Web Mapping APIs offer developers several platforms for creating Internet and desktop applications, including Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flex, and JavaScript. With Web Mapping APIs, users can add mapping and GIS to their environment.

Going Beyond Simple Map Display

Often, GIS Web applications need to include geospatial functionality that goes beyond simple map display and interaction. Web Mapping APIs can easily accommodate the need for added functionality. For example, a parcel viewer application could use a draw toolbar to capture what a user draws on the map to allow more interaction and analysis. Or, an appliance repair company could use a geoprocessing task to generate drive-time polygons to estimate the total length of service calls, then use a routing task to calculate the routes and directions before dispatching a vehicle. With Web Mapping APIs, developers can include a variety of tasks in their applications, including query, identify, find, address locator, routing, geometry, and geoprocessing. Web Mapping APIs also provide components that support multiple map projections, as well as both dynamic and cached (tiled) map services.

Resources Available

Web Mapping APIs are free and can be used by anyone who is interested in adding fast, modern Web mapping applications to their environment. Additionally, to save time and resources while learning how to use these APIs, Esri offers the following:

  • Live samples—Developers can simply copy and paste the source code from various samples from the Web Mapping APIs Resource Center.
  • Recorded training seminars—Anyone interested in using the APIs can listen to demonstrations and view code samples from Esri experts on how to use the APIs.
  • ArcGIS Online—With a single URL, developers can leverage maps and tasks published and hosted by Esri.
  • User community—Download and share code samples through code galleries and exchange ideas with users on discussion forums.
  • Sample viewer applications—Users can quickly deploy these sample viewers with a simple modification to the application's configuration file, and developers can use the source code to extend the application.

More Information

For details about the licensing of Web Mapping APIs, contact your local Esri regional office, reseller, or distributor. To use Web Mapping APIs for free, visit

See also "Free Tools and Interactive Resources Promote More Effective Collaboration and Information Sharing."

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

Contact Us | Privacy | Legal | Site Map