ArcNews Online

Summer 2010
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Online Content, Applications, and Sharing Are a Seamless Part of the User Experience

ArcGIS Is Now Online


  • ArcGIS online capabilities are now built into the user experience.
  • Users can access online content from a browser, desktop application, mobile device, or custom app.
  • Users can share their maps and apps across different clients.
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Users can add their own data on top of detailed, ready-to-use global basemaps.

Quick and easy access to geographic content, including maps, apps, and developer tools, is critical to any GIS project and can save valuable time and money. ArcGIS online capabilities provide a framework for delivering cloud-based GIS that supports collaboration between different groups or communities, regardless of the client application that is being used.

Access from a Browser

Esri recently released, a central Web gateway into the ArcGIS system and ArcGIS online content. Users can find, share, organize, and use maps, apps, and other resources published by Esri and the user community. Users can also build communities around common interests by creating specific groups and organize and share their content through these groups to facilitate collaboration. Users can post comments and rate their favorite maps and apps so that others can search by most viewed, highest rated, and favorite content.

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ArcGIS Desktop users can find, share, and use ArcGIS online content from within the ArcMap application.

In addition, ArcGIS Explorer now has an online version that can be accessed from a Web browser. ArcGIS Explorer Online is the same application that has been available on the desktop, but it is now available as a browser-based application that doesn't require a download. ArcGIS online content can be accessed directly from within ArcGIS Explorer Online to create maps that can then be shared and consumed by the broad community.

The JavaScript Web mapping application is another new browser-based application. It provides a quick and easy way to create maps online. It uses Esri's basemaps as a starting point, and users can then search ArcGIS online content or other GIS servers and the Web to find additional layers and create mashups. These mashups can also be shared and consumed by others, including users of the ArcGIS for iPhone mapping application.

Access from ArcGIS Desktop

click to enlargeWith the release of ArcGIS 10, ArcGIS Desktop is tightly coupled with ArcGIS online content and capabilities. Users can browse, use, and share content directly from the ArcGIS Desktop ArcMap application. This includes content that is publicly available (e.g., basemaps published by Esri) and user content that has been published through groups. Once an ArcGIS Desktop user has authored a map that includes ArcGIS online content, the map can be uploaded by creating a layer package. By uploading that layer package, other users can then find and use the authored map.

Access for Mobile Users

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ArcGIS Online basemaps can be accessed and added directly from within ArcGIS Explorer Online (Copyright © Harris Corp., Earthstar Geographics LLC, Copyright © AND, Copyright © 2010 Microsoft Corporation/Bing).

Mobile users will also be able to browse and consume ArcGIS online content. They can do this through the ArcGIS for iPhone application built with the ArcGIS API for iPhone. The application provides instant access to ArcGIS online maps and allows users to search content, select maps, and add them to their favorites. Using native iPhone gestures, users can browse ArcGIS online maps, perform queries, search, identify, and perform GIS analyses based on the information that was authored as part of the map. Field-workers can also use the iPhone application to collect and update features, then post their updates to an on-premises server. An application and API for Android are planned for a later release (see related article about "ArcGIS for iPhone").

Access for Developers

In addition to the mobile software development kits (SDK), developers can use ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs for JavaScript, Flex, and Silverlight/WFP to leverage ArcGIS online content for quickly building Web mapping applications.

More Information

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