ArcWatch: Your e-Magazine for GIS News, Views, and Insights

May 2009

Deploy Fast, Modern Web Maps with ArcGIS 9.3.1

ArcGIS 9.3.1, which shipped in April, helps deploy modern Web maps that will make GIS more valuable and accessible to decision makers and other employees throughout your organization. This release of Esri's integrated collection of GIS software products improves the performance of dynamic map publishing and increases geographic information sharing.

High-Performance Dynamic Map Publishing

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ArcGIS 9.3.1 enables you to make intuitive, high-performing Web maps. This example shows a Web map created using the new ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight.

ArcGIS 9.3.1 includes optimized map services that give users the ability to produce high-performance dynamic maps. They will notice improved map quality, including sharper edges to features, clearer labels, and better color transparency. ArcGIS Desktop users can fine-tune their maps to perform faster by using the new Map Service Publishing toolbar.

The first tool on the toolbar automatically analyzes the map document for issues that will slow down Web performance. It provides a detailed report with tuning recommendations. A Preview tool offers a visual assessment of each adjustment along with an estimated draw time.

Users can also directly publish maps from the ArcGIS Desktop ArcMap application to ArcGIS Server. Optimized map services also improve map-caching performance, as faster rendering speeds reduce the time it takes to create map caches for basemaps. Map quality is noticeably improved, and storage is more efficient. These new map services outperform equivalent ArcIMS services and provide significantly better-looking maps, benefiting those who use dynamic Web mapping or combine dynamic and cached maps on the Web.

Better Geographic Information Sharing

ArcGIS now includes functionality that allows users to easily share and search for geographic content such as maps, data, layers, and services. ArcGIS Online includes a new application in which users can create an account and, through a keyword search, find content; preview it; and with a simple click, add it to ArcMap or ArcGIS Explorer. To expedite layer sharing in ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Desktop users can create layer packages that encapsulate ArcMap cartography and data, including a thumbnail, the extent, and spatial reference, in an easy-to-share package. Layer packages can be shared via ArcGIS Online as files attached to e-mails or included on DVDs. Joining the ArcGIS Online community is easy and free to all ArcGIS users.

Seamless Integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth

ArcGIS Desktop users are now able to directly connect to Microsoft Virtual Earth services and quickly start their GIS projects with ready-to-use content at no additional charge. Virtual Earth services, which include imagery, streets, and hybrid imagery with street labeling, appear as just another data layer in GIS. Virtual Earth imagery and street maps provide excellent background maps on which users can overlay their operational data. Also, ArcGIS Explorer users and ArcGIS Server developers who are using Microsoft Silverlight, Flex, JavaScript, Java, or .NET now have simple access to the same high-quality Microsoft Virtual Earth basemap data.

ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight

ArcGIS Server now supports Microsoft's Silverlight Web development platform for building fast, highly interactive Web applications. The new ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight lets developers use any .NET Framework-supported language to add GIS capabilities and consume services from ArcGIS Server and Microsoft Virtual Earth in a Silverlight application. The API takes full advantage of the mapping, geocoding geometry, image, and geoprocessing capabilities of ArcGIS Server. End users can display their data in an interactive map, search for and display GIS data features and attributes, locate addresses, identify features, access raster imagery, and perform complex spatial analysis by simply clicking a button or feature on the map.

Easy to Install

Users who have ArcGIS 9.3 installed can easily upgrade to ArcGIS 9.3.1 without having to uninstall ArcGIS 9.3. ArcGIS 9.3.1 also is completely compatible with ArcGIS 9.3 for all aspects of ArcGIS, so users within the same organization will be able to easily work in mixed environments of ArcGIS 9.3 and ArcGIS 9.3.1.

Changes to ArcGIS Server Licensing Provide More Flexibility

With the release of ArcGIS Server 9.3.1, users can perform editing with ArcGIS Server Standard Edition. Previously, editing was only available with advanced edition. Also, the Spatial, 3D, Network, and Geostatistical extensions can be used with ArcGIS Server Advanced Edition for no additional fee. To give users more flexibility in their configuration of ArcGIS Server, the Web Application Development Framework (ADF), Web Service Handlers, and Server Object Manager can be deployed without paying an additional deployment license fee.

Resources to Help You Get Started

New sample viewers for the ArcGIS Web APIs as well as templates—available on the Esri Resource Centers—will help users get their applications up and running more quickly. To learn more about ArcGIS 9.3.1, visit

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