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

July 2010

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ArcGIS for iOS

By Jennifer Jacob, Esri Product Marketing

Use ArcGIS services to access content directly from the Apple iPhone and iPad.

Esri has expanded its mobile GIS platform to support Apple iOS, the operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The new ArcGIS for iOS includes both a free downloadable application from Apple's App Store and an API for developers to build custom mapping solutions.

ArcGIS for iOS uses capabilities from ArcGIS Online to provide a seamless and easy user experience. Users can navigate maps and discover assets from Web services as well as capture new data from the field and send information back to the server. This allows ArcGIS Server customers to leverage their investment in GIS by using the device to access their corporate data. ArcGIS for iOS also promotes collaboration and information sharing between multiple users in the field. For example, workers in the field can create and share status updates with others to communicate and work more efficiently.

ArcGIS Application for iOS

ArcGIS for iOS, a native application, serves as a mobile gateway into the ArcGIS system. It provides access to services available through ArcGIS Online or on-site ArcGIS Server deployments hosting corporate authoritative data. The ArcGIS for iOS application consumes maps authored and hosted through ArcGIS Server. These maps contain not only data but also functionality such as query, find, and geoprocessing tasks.

The ArcGIS for iOS application will include

After the initial release, an update will be available that lets users collect and update features and attributes and perform GIS analysis by accessing geoprocessing tasks.

ArcGIS API for iOS

The ArcGIS API for iOS is built on Objective-C/Cocoa, the development framework for Apple's Mac technology. It provides developers and Esri partners with the opportunity to create custom, spatially enabled applications to address their end-user and business requirements. It also lets organizations extend their solution products to Apple's large user base and brand their applications with a custom logo and look and feel.

The API is designed to work with and use Web services available from ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS online, and its architecture is similar to Esri's ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs for JavaScript, Flex, and Silverlight. It will also follow the same ArcGIS API release and deployment pattern: easy online access/download with periodic updates.

Developers and Esri partners will use the API to create applications for both external and internal use. They can also easily build applications that work with their own published Web services.

The beta version of the API is available from the iPhone Resource Center and includes

To learn more, visit

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