Introducing ArcGIS Earth

Demand for 3D is growing. As more companies, governments, and nonprofits use 3D, it is becoming expected for communicating plans, analysis, and operational information, in fields as diverse as engineering, construction, and emergency response. Users benefit from the immersive and visually compelling experience only 3D can provide.

The ArcGIS platform’s 3D capabilities span a number of products that are built to meet the needs of our diverse user base. At one end of the spectrum, ArcGIS Pro enables users to do advanced 2D and 3D visualization, editing, analysis, and publishing. At the other end, the 3D Scene Viewer allows anyone with a web browser to easily view, create, and share location information in 3D.

Today, we’re excited to share that we’ve begun work on a new app, called ArcGIS Earth, which extends our 3D offerings. ArcGIS Earth provides a lightweight, easy-to-use interface for immersive 3D that complements the capabilities of ArcGIS Pro and the 3D Scene Viewer with a focused experience for working with geospatial data on the globe.

Currently our plan is to release this new app at the end of 2015. ArcGIS Earth allows anyone in the enterprise to easily and quickly view 3D maps over the Internet or behind a firewall. Knowledge workers who may not know GIS but who want to quickly view spatial information will be able to use ArcGIS Earth to access information that has been shared with them by file or URL. ArcGIS Earth is designed to enable rapid communication of spatial information, especially in large enterprises with many users who work collaboratively and need to share imagery, GIS features, and linked information.

Users who need rapid access to KML and other open standard and proprietary GIS data will be able to quickly launch the app, explore data, and share information using a familiar workflow. They can follow links to external information, and double check important features on the map. ArcGIS Earth can be used to view 2D and 3D data, imagery, and other information in KML, Shapefiles, or CSV files.

Users outside an enterprise firewall will have access to data served from ArcGIS Online, including basemaps, terrain, and data shared publicly by other users. Inside the firewall, users can create their own basemaps and services that can be viewed by anyone with ArcGIS Earth and other Esri client applications. Users can also share data privately with specific groups in their organization.

ArcGIS Earth is part of Esri’s offer for Google customers and partners looking to transition to Esri software. Along with other capabilities of the ArcGIS platform, ArcGIS Earth provides an alternative to the Google Earth Enterprise Client.

To learn more and be notified when it becomes available, visit the ArcGIS Earth web page.

This entry was posted in 3D GIS, Apps, ArcGIS Earth, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply


  1. alexroma says:

    If the aerial photos will be as good as Google’s (or better) it will be worth bothering.
    Then Google has the historical photos too…

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Thanks for the comment! We are considering several strategies to allow users access to great content, from partner-created premium content to curated data already shared out on ArcGIS Online. Enterprise customers will be able to provide their own content as well.

      • group5e says:

        At the end of the day, all the functionality in the world won’t make a difference if the imagery is not at least close to on-par with Google Earth. If you are planning to add this as a gated service through “Premium” content, then this will be a fast uninstall unfortunately.

        Also, the concept of “User Added” data isn’t exactly a good thing. There is no quality control with user data and as a business, we can’t use this data. Not really sure about licensing issues regarding users uploading satellite or orthophotography either.

        Anyhow, I’ve installed it at our office and will post any feedback after I’ve had a chance to use it.

        • Chris Andrews says:

          Thanks for the comments. We understand and regret that we won’t meet every Google Earth user’s, needs, especially users of the many free Google data services which we don’t have available. We have an open data platform and are enabling more of our government customers to share out data. We will continue to work on improving our content libraries.

          I agree that user-contributed data is inconsistent and problematic. We are also working on better search capability in ArcGIS Online to allow users to better distinguish between authoritative data sources and various publicly contributed data sets.

          Thanks for the comments.

  2. nmiller says:

    Will ArcGIS Earth have all the capabilities currently available in ArcGIS Explorer? If so, will performance be the key differentiator?

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Thanks for the question.

      ArcGIS Earth will be a different experience from ArcGIS Explorer. We are not setting out to replicate the features of ArcGIS Explorer, but as we hear of features from Explorer that users would like to see in the Earth experience, we’ll be happy to consider them.

      Feel free to post any suggestions here!

  3. hdcgis says:

    Why is Capital area is not updated for Maldives? The basemaps are useless for us here. Could you please consider updating them or allow us to use updated google earth imagery?

    • Chris Andrews says:

      We are sorry that the imagery in this area does not work for you. If you know of higher quality, publicly available data sets, please let us know. Users are also able to publish their own imagery to a local portal and then use that in web scenes and (eventually) ArcGIS Earth.

  4. igoldblatt says:

    Will Google street view be accessible from the app?

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Thanks for the comment. Google Streetview will not be accessible from ArcGIS Earth. We’re definitely interested in partners who want to provide this capability.

  5. rjb8556 says:

    Could this lead to “live” spatial analysis? What I mean by that is, will this allow users to conduct use spatial analysis tools that are included in ArcOnline?

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Thanks for the question!

      We are definitely considering connecting ArcGIS Earth to GP workflows in either a local Portal or ArcGIS Online. Ultimately, all clients, web, mobile, and desktop, should be able to connect to services that way.

  6. amitkokje says:

    Any Beta will be available in coming days to get hands on?

  7. That way we can differentiate products like ESRI CityEngine or 3D extension for ArcGIS Desktop with ArcGIS Earth ?

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Hi Francisco,

      Esri CityEngine is a 3D authoring tool for advanced users who want to create data-driven models from GIS data.

      ArcGIS Pro is a powerful 2D & 3D tool for desktop-based authoring and data management.

      3D Analyst offers rich analysis for advanced 3D workflows including terrain and point cloud data from within ArcGIS desktop products.

      ArcGIS Earth will be a free tool designed for easy-to-use exploration of geospatial data in 3D.

      I hope that helps.


  8. jsliwinski says:

    Will ArcGIS Earth require a modern graphics card to render properly in IE?

    • Chris Andrews says:

      We anticipate that Windows client machines will require DirectX 11 and we will publish additional specs as we get closer to release. Requirements for other platforms have not yet been determined.

      Regarding IE, customers who need to use web browser capability will be using our web scene viewer which is webGL and HTML5 based and works in IE 11.

      Thanks for your comment.

  9. olliegt says:

    Will we be able to easy work with 3d subsurface (geological) data within arcgis Earth?

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Yes, underground navigation and visualization is on the roadmap. We cannot commit at this time as to whether it will be in release 1.0 or a later release.

      Thanks for the question.

  10. jms1222 says:

    Will ArcGIS Earth have the ability to add features — such as points, lines, polygons, etc — and share easily with other products like ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro? Perhaps using a file format similar to KML?

    • Chris Andrews says:

      We do plan to have some kind of simple editing/markup ability, probably some time after release 1.0.

      ArcGIS Earth will be integrated into the ArcGIS platform and will be able to share files and data using Portal for ArcGIS as well as enabling users to directly send information using more traditional email workflows.

  11. billwie says:

    Can ArcGIS Earth read, create (vector data only) and write KML files? Please!

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Yes. ArcGIS Earth will be able to consume KML information. We are aiming to support OGC KML 2.2 to a high degree, though we will need to work with users and partners to understand gaps and specifically needed coverage. The initial release of ArcGIS Earth will likely NOT support time series and some other KML features, though we are planning to support some network linked information from the first release.

      In general, you will start to see greater handling of KML natively across the ArcGIS Platform, starting with the 10.2.6 ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET (Windows desktop).

      Thanks for the question.

      • says:

        Can ArcGis Earth will be capable to run KMZ/KML files WITHOUT ANY CHANGE, which are currently RUNNING on Google Earth Pro.

        • Chris Andrews says:

          In fact, yes. We will be handling KML natively without conversion.

          Take a look:

          Note that specific capability details may deviate from the KML 2.2 spec (though we are working hard to comply) and some capabilities may be released at different times after the V1.0 release.

          • says:

            Can we expect terrain images better that Google Earth for remote and unpopulated areas e.g. cross country, African Jungles, lands running along highways, rivers etc?

  12. matt wilkie says:

    Will we be able to use our own elevation terrain (DEMs)? The stuff from the usual sources (SRTM et al) for our region is not very good and we’ve built better ones. Aside from limited to no offline capability this has been one of our biggest complaints with Google Earth.

    • Chris Andrews says:

      The plan is for customers to be able to create an elevation service in their on premises Portal for ArcGIS, serve that out, then allow customers to incorporate those services in web scenes and scene services that would be consumable in ArcGIS Earth and other 3D clients including the web scene viewer and ArcGIS Pro.

      Exact timing of when this capability will appear in ArcGIS Earth is to-be-determined.

      Thank you.

  13. bluedreams says:

    There is only set up file for 64 bit. Will be able to set up for 32 bit computers?

  14. johnnytown23 says:

    Just downloaded and installed the Beta version 1.0. The installation seemed to work but there is no Earth visible when I open the program.

    • Chris Andrews says:

      We are seeing this when some users are behind a proxy. There are a couple of threads on this on the forums on the beta site that might help.

      • simpsonbd says:

        Can we use ArcGIS Earth to consume an ArcGIS Server Globe 3d service? We currenlty have Google Earth Enterprise Server and we use the Google Earth Enterprise Client. In the ESRI solution we assume our aerial imagery and vector layers would be served out from a globe we create in ArcGlobe and use ArcGIS Earth for our clients to consume. Is this model valid?

        • Chris Andrews says:

          Thanks for the question.

          Earth will not consume ArcGlobe services. Earth will consume 3D scene services, feature services, image services, and map services served by Portal and Online.

          Please take a look at these two blogs for examples:

          • simpsonbd says:

            How do we use our own aerial imagery to create a globe accessed by ArcGIS Earth on our premises? Can we build a globe locally in ArcGIS Portal? How do we create that globe and put our imagery layers on top of it? If we use the Globe you provide in ArcGIS online, we will be internet dependent and we want this globe and all of our data layers inside our LAN. Can we cache our imagery so the globe performance will be better. I am not understanding your method.

          • Chris Andrews says:

            Hi. You should be able to use Portal to host basemaps behind a firewall. When the Earth user logs into the Portal (and you can start them up pointing at the Portal by editing the ArcGISEarth.exe.config file in the install root and updating the appSettings section) then Earth will pick up the Portal basemaps and the user can choose amongst them. The beta is limited to Web Mercator basemaps, but we are planning to add WGS84 for 1.0. Something else that you might be looking for is the ability to cook a whole bunch of layers into a globe at once. We are also looking at some mechanisms for that for 1.0 and for the future.

            Please contact me and give me your customer information (location, industry, etc.) at candrews ( at ) esri ( . ) com if you would like someone to reach out to you.

  15. vadimgis says:

    How to search places by coordinates in ArcGIS Earth? I tried to paste decimal degrees with both point and comma separators and letters determing lat/long (N,S, E,W), but it seems to me the programme does not recognize it well.

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Hello. Right now, the search bar accepts text addresses or decimal degree coordinates in the format “longitude, latitude”. We are looking at other options for the future.

  16. gaboyarleque says:


    How do you add csv files to the current ArcGIS Earth beta version?


    • Chris Andrews says:

      Thanks for the question. At the moment, you would need to convert them to either shapefiles, a web service, or KML through another product. We are planning to incorporate CSV support in Earth but it is currently planned in an update soon after the 1st release.

  17. says:

    Hi Chris

    I am facing problems in running KMZ files in ArcGIS Earth.
    The pop-ups are distorted.
    Flight of a plane is stuck.
    These files were developed for Google Earth and are running smoothly in Google Earth.

    Please let me know what information do need to help me rectify the problems.


    • says:

      Please let me know what information do you need to help me rectify the problems.

      • Chris Andrews says:

        Hello Tarique. We are working on OGC 2.2 equivalency for ArcGIS Earth and we acknowledge that we have plenty of work to do. Can you submit an example with the errors in the forums or the feedback area in the beta site so that we can take a look?


  18. wthughes says:

    What about Mac users? Also any plans to create a mobile app that supports iOS, Android, etc.?

  19. rajesha says:

    I am having problem with installation “A service pack is required on this operating system” but couldn’t find what service pack its asking?

  20. uzayrabdullah says:

    Will there be an offline access capability to this to download aerial photo’s and use this platform to view it?

  21. Kipper says:

    I do not see any way to save out anything I draw, point or linear features.

  22. Kipper says:

    I can load and see KMZ’s but when I load SHP’s, even though my view changes to the apparent extents of the SHP, I cannot see it. I tried changing the background maps but I can’t see the simple linear feartures. When I tried to change the Properties to a different linestyle, colour or weight, ArcGIS Earth crashed. BTW I’m running a fresh install of Win 7 64-bit.

  23. mx3core says:

    In my organization (Telecomunications) we use to work with kml files with a lot of points and polygons, and while working in Google Earth it’s easy to find any object by typing it’s name or description and this feature is not supported in ArcGis Earth.

    We also use the elevation profile from a line or a ruler measure and can’t find this feature also in AE.

    Are those features contemplated in a near future?

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Both of these features are in our (now pretty extensive) backlog. I hope we can deliver them in a time that meets your needs.

      Thanks for the comments.

  24. group5e says:

    My observations after using it for about 25 minutes and using all of its features.

    - Nice simplified interface and intuitive menu. Minimalistic approach gives the user more “map” and less “clutter”.
    - Imagery is disappointing and no different than I could get in other free products. It isn’t as current as Google’s imagery and this will be a deal-breaker to using this product.
    - No GPX support. Having to convert to KML from GPX should be unnecessary for the user. Data is collected in GPX format most times. Google Earth does this and does it well.
    - Although its nice you’ve added the ability to export a TIFF image, its rendered useless by the fact that its only a screenshot and nothing with higher quality. Google Earth Pro (which is free) allows for much higher resolutions to be exported.
    - I can’t save my drawings as a separate file and re-open them later. Yes, I realize they stay in the “My Drawings” folder until deleted, but this is also a problem. If I’m working on multiple projects, I cannot organize my graphics via sub-folders under the “My Drawings” folder. Again… I can do this in Google Earth.
    - Coordinates in the status bar do not accurately reflect what many users need. Many users need more localized coordinate systems such as UTM’s or MTM’s to be reflected. If I’m speaking on the phone with a client and need a quick coordinate, this will not help.

    I hate to nitpick here, but I bring up Google Earth Pro (which is free now) because to be honest, that’s your main competitor here. The functions of this viewer are nothing more than the basic functions of a HTML5 or Silverlight ArcGIS Viewer that is repackaged. This is very very disappointing.

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Thank you for the detailed feedback. If all frustrated users sent in such feedback, prioritization would be a lot easier, but in reality, studies show that only about 1 in 24 users will do so.

      ArcGIS Earth development started last year while Google Earth was launched around 2001 and had years of development with enterprise customer requirements that drove very specific and useful workflows. It will take us a while to catch up to what customers need.

      Regarding some of your specific requirements:
      - GPX is something we can consider for the future. TXT/CSV import will be in 1.1 when we release that (planned for April)
      - Imagery and other content is an area we are working on.
      - Large sized image export will come when we can move to the Quartz Runtime update, probably in early 2017
      - The drawing workflow, including Save As, is a WIP
      - We are definitely aware of the need to select between a range of coordinate displays and have that in our roadmap for mid year 2016.

      Thanks again for the feedback.


  25. ayodeleheyhem says:

    hi, i worked on a street map update by importing the file as KML in ArcGIS Earth, pretty nice and easy and it was saved under “My Data” but since i completed the task, I havent been able to export the updated work. Pls how can i address this.
    Feedback: Pls, the the software be worked on maybe for the next version such that tools like “Snap, Trim, Merge, Split, Explode” and other ad on that could help line and polygon edit. thanks.

    • Chris Andrews says:

      Hello and thanks for the feedback.

      Both of the items you mention, exporting work and drawing enhancements, are planned for future versions. Neither one is possible today in Earth 1.1.


  26. hollyvandriel says:

    What functionality does ArcGIS Explorer Online have which is not present in Google Earth?

  27. bkreyer32 says:

    When I import a KML file into Google Earth, there are check boxes that work properly and radio buttons that also work properly. However when I import the same KML file into ArcGIS Earth, all of the check buttons have been turned into radio buttons that cannot be toggled on/off. Is there a way this can be fixed? Does ArcGIS Earth interpret KML files as the industry standard version of KML? Thanks.

    • Chris Andrews says:

      We are making every attempt to be compliant with KML 2.2 and have added some flexibility to go beyond. Can you send us a sample of what is not working? You could try me at candrews ( at ) esri.


  28. jasunthomas says:

    I don’t know how much this will help, but I have some input/ feedback around Earth (or ArcGIS pro, or whatever) in regards to out-doing the competition. Take Google Earth, and their entire process for animations. In GE, you can set points and record a tour from those, or even use the record flight feature, then manually fly over the area, or entire globe; and it will record that exact movement. Speed, direction, everything you just did becomes the video. The trouble is; when flying closer to the ground it causes a nasty “turbulent” type of motion, which wasn’t the case when you did the original flight. Certainly a glitch, and one that I realize isn’t high on their list of priorities for a free software package.

    With Esri; it cost us to use it. Their animation tools should be superior to those in Google, or at least the same. You can simply set bookmarks or points, and generate a tour from that, and save it as a video. Pro does this, although in a much more basic way, without much in the way of a manual flight/ tour pattern. Could you guys please make a way to manually record motion/flight paths and A: save out as a video file, and B: share that tour/ path as a shapefile or scene layer some how? This would be so AWESOME.
    I would LOVE to see

  29. smrahman says:

    Can I make a map showing North Arrow, Scale, Legend, and the Image like data presented in Layout view of ArcMap?