It has been just under a year since ArcGIS Earth launched. The new app from Esri is already one of our most popular downloads ever. ArcGIS Earth is an interactive globe viewer that allows users to navigate and explore any part of the world and work with a variety of 3D and 2D map data including KML. Earth’s appeal lies in an easy to use interface for creating sketch ups, measuring, analyzing, and sharing information in connected and disconnected as well as secure environments.
ArcGIS Earth 1.0 was released in January 2016. Right out of the gate, ArcGIS Earth contained functionality and capabilities supporting traditional KML and file-based workflows. Users can drag and drop or double-click a KML and immediately visualize it on the ArcGIS Earth globe. Earth also supports additional file types including shapefiles, CSV/text and tile and scene layer packages that operate in a similar fashion.
ArcGIS Earth’s design also capitalizes on the power of the web and service-oriented workflows. This versatility allows the application to consume multiple web services including:
- ArcGIS Server Web Services
- OGC Web Map Services (WMS)
- OGC Web Map Tile Services (WMTS)
- Direct connection by URL to a KML or KMZ service or file
A major benefit to organizations already using the ArcGIS platform is the ability to connect to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise. With this web architecture already in place, users can sign into ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS and access their organization’s content including basemaps, terrain and geocoding services.
In ArcGIS Earth, the ability to select from multiple basemaps from ArcGIS Online and the Living Atlas is a simple but powerful feature. Basemaps adds context and background to any map. ArcGIS Earth users are also able to add their own local basemaps as well as terrain data. Earth can consume over 15 different types of elevation raster formats including Digital Geographic Information Exchange Standard (DIGEST) Arc Standard Raster Product (ASRP), UTM/UPS Standard Raster Product (USRP), Controlled Image Base (CIB), Geopackages, ERDAS IMAGINE and much more.
For users behind firewalls and secure environments, ArcGIS Earth supports multiple authentication methods including built-in security, IWA, PKI, SAML, and Kerberos. Please check out the Earth documentation here for more detail.
The power and versatility of ArcGIS Earth not only lies in its support of the traditional KML and other file-based workflows but, most importantly how Earth leverages the power and functionality of the ArcGIS platform already in use by thousands of organizations around the world. ArcGIS Earth can reach out and connect to data already grouped and shared through ArcGIS Online and Portal. See all data types accessible to Earth here.
At this time, ArcGIS Earth is releasing quarterly. The current version, 1.3 is our 4th major release. Look out for our next release at the beginning of 2017. We received great feedback this past year and work to respond to feedback in every release. Great new upcoming features include more drawing and editing capabilities and additional KML functionality. Users will also see Earth continue have more configuration options as well as interaction with ArcGIS Online and Portal. Keep the feedback coming!
If you haven’t downloaded Earth yet, it’s a free download!
Thanks for making 2016 a great year for ArcGIS Earth and we look forward to hearing from you in 2017.