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Spring 2006
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Public Beta of ArcGIS Explorer

Note change: ArcGIS Explorer will be available with the release of ArcGIS 9.2.

ArcGIS Explorer is a free, lightweight application that can supply access to and visualize GIS information served by ArcGIS servers. Initially, ArcGIS Explorer will be powered by free mapping services provided by Esri, including global imagery, terrain, street data, and other layers of information common to a GIS basemap.

  click to enlarge
ArcGIS Explorer can access ArcGIS Globe Services. Above: High-resolution imagery and 3D building footprints for downtown Boston, MA.

The focus of ArcGIS Explorer is on providing a Web client application that works effectively with ArcGIS servers (i.e., visualization, analysis, modeling, etc.). For GIS users, ArcGIS Explorer represents a unique and effective platform for integrating and delivering GIS services. With ArcGIS Explorer, users can view 2D and 3D maps published using ArcGIS Server and connect to multiple services, including ArcIMS, Open Geospatial Consortium Web Map Service, and ArcWeb Services. While the focus of ArcGIS Explorer is on accessing server-based content and capabilities, it can also be used to add local data, such as shapefiles, file geodatabases, KML, JPEG 2000, GeoTIFF, and IMG.

More than a visualization application for maps and globes, ArcGIS Explorer takes advantage of the full geoprocessing and modeling capabilities of ArcGIS Server through tasks. These tasks leverage the full functionality of ArcGIS in a server-based environment, offering fast performance and centralized service management and the ability to deliver sophisticated GIS capabilities in an easy-to-use framework. Since the server does all the "heavy lifting," ArcGIS Explorer is a lightweight application with a download size of less than 20 MB. Users can use it within their organizations or to deliver ArcGIS services to the public.

ArcGIS Explorer includes a suite of commonly used tasks (e.g., Identify, Find Place, Find Address, Driving Directions, among others), and users can create their own custom tasks that work directly with ArcGIS Server. ArcGIS Explorer can be further customized by creating custom "skins." Navigation tools enable users to fly over the map or globe and enable rotating, tilting, and continuous panning and zooming. Layer transparency can also be changed, and a swipe tool allows for rapid comparison of data. ArcGIS Explorer users can save maps and results and e-mail them to others to share information.

For more information about ArcGIS Explorer, visit

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