Tag: ArcGIS Content

View a demo about ArcGIS Online Content

08/04/09–View a demo from the UC Plenary about ArcGIS Online Content from ESRI’s Christophe Carpentier.

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Learn about routing using ArcGIS Online

7/23/09–As announced last month, routing services for Europe and North America are now available on ESRI’s ArcGIS Online Task Server. These free tools from ESRI are available to use in your ArcGIS applications.

Learn about Routing Using ArcGIS Online in the GIS Education Community Blog.

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Geocoding with ArcMap using the ArcGIS Online locators

7/20/09–As announced earlier this year, address locators for Europe and North America, and a world places locator are now available on the ArcGIS Online Task Server. You can use these free ArcGIS Online locators from ESRI to geocode in ArcMap.

Learn about Geocoding Using ArcGIS Online in the GIS Education Community Blog.

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ArcGIS Online Q&A from the 2009 ESRI International User Conference

7/15/09–Do you have questions about ArcGIS Online and how you can use it for your GIS needs? The following ArcGIS Online information is from the 2009 ESRI International User Conference Q&A and may answer some of your questions.

Can I serve the ArcGIS Online maps and tasks on my own server?

Yes, there are two methods. The first method, ArcGIS Data Appliance, is a complete hardware, data, and software appliance for plugging into an ArcGIS Server environment. The basemaps and tasks are delivered on a preconfigured network storage device and include terabytes of prerendered data, preconfigured and cached at multiple scales as well as geocoding and routing functionality for the United States, Canada,and Europe. The latest version of the ArcGIS Data Appliance provides the following basemaps: USA/World Collection (also available as a single-state offering); World Imagery Collection; World Collection; World IKONOS Cities Imagery; and European Street Map. ArcGIS users who do not have ArcGIS Server can purchase the ArcGIS Data Appliance (ServerBundle), which includes ArcGIS Server software and hardware needed to provide a complete turnkey solution.

Alternatively,users can directly integrate ArcGISOnline resources for re-serving in association with their own Web applications. You can create Web applications integrated with ArcGIS Online resources using the ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs or ArcGIS Server Web ADFs.

The second method is DataDoors for ArcGIS, in which users can purchase most of the raster data that is available through ArcGIS Online map services. DataDoors for ArcGIS is powered by i-cubed’s DataDoors which provides image processing and delivery services for ArcGIS Online imagery. Through the DataDoors application you can order ArcGIS Online data and data from other vendors for any size area in the coordinate system and file format of your choice. Depending on the size of the data you order, you can either download it directly as soon as it has been processed or have the data shipped to you.

What is the ArcGIS Online sharing capability? When will it be available?

ArcGIS Online Sharing is a Web application that provides a platform for ArcGIS users to find and share maps, layers (including layer packages), and tools. This capability is in many ways like Flickr (the photo sharing Website). The ArcGIS Online Sharing site has been designed to allow users to find, upload and share content either with defined groups or publicly. The managers of these groups can restrict or allow access at the individual or group level. Joining ArcGIS Online Sharing is free and it can be used anonymously; however, signing up for an account provides you with various privileges for accessing and using the content and creating and joining groups.

Content that you can upload and share includes pre-authored maps, for example MXDs and 3DDs, layer packages, and services. A layer package (LPK) is a file format you can create in ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 for easy sharing in ArcGIS Online. When you save a map layer, you can choose to include its source data and other intrinsic properties such as thumbnail, extent, and spatial reference as part of a layer package. Layer packages allow you to publish your layers in a format that can be easily uploaded and downloaded in ArcGIS Online. When other users want to use these layer packages in their ArcGIS applications, ArcGIS Online unpackages them and opens them in the appropriate ArcGIS application, for example, ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 or ArcGIS Explorer.

The public beta version of ArcGIS Online Sharing is now available.

Can you explain your vision for the ArcGIS Online Map services?

ESRI has a long history of including data as a core part of our software products.The ESRI Data & Maps DVDs are a very popular part of ArcGIS and have helped users ramp-up quickly with their GIS projects by providing a variety of ready-to-use datasets. ArcGIS Online Map Services are simply an extension of this vision, by delivering precached and cartographically rendered basemaps and reference layers as Web services.  ESRI will continue to grow this library of high-quality basemaps and thematic overlays for direct use within ArcGIS products.

What are ArcGIS Online basemaps and how do you expect users to apply them?

ArcGIS Online basemaps are ready-to-use, precached, multi-scale maps delivered as a Web services. They are specifically designed to be used as high-quality background maps that provide a context for operational GIS overlays. They include imagery, streets, topography, demography, transportation, hydrology, and more. Most of the ArcGIS Online map services are available at no cost to ArcGIS users and can be quickly integrated with a user’s local GIS data or services. All the basemaps are derived from various existing government, commercial, and other authoritative data providers.

New ArcGIS Online basemaps that will be showcased at the User Conference include a World Topographic Map, a DeLorme World Base Map, and World IKONOS Cities Imagery. Many other thematic maps including geology, soil, demographic, and land cover maps will be released later on this year.

How did ESRI develop the ArcGIS Online basemaps?

ArcGIS Online basemaps include a number of ready-to-use map services that users can connect to immediately through the Internet and use as background layers for GIS overlays.

The Approach

All the basemaps are derived from combinations of various existing government, commercial, and other authoritative data sources. ESRI has gone through a process of systematically integrating these data sets to minimize inconsistencies and conflicts between the various source materials. For example, the topographic base map is made up of elevation, transportation,place names, administrative boundaries, water features, and points of interest layers. These layers were combined, harmonized, and rendered with a common multi-scale cartographic template. However, more work remains. ESRI will continue to improve these maps, providing periodic releases that reflect these improvements.  

Our first public beta release of the World Topographic Map product will be at the User Conference. We want to particularly acknowledge the support of the USGS National Mapping Program in providing their datasets in the U.S. In the fall we will release a major update that will include a global shaded relief layer based on 30 meter SRTM and more detailed global features based on the DeLorme World Atlas developed at a scale of 1:100,000.

We would appreciate user feedback on these continuing efforts. Please send comments to Charlie Frye at cfrye@esri.com.

A New Web Mapping Pattern

ESRI sees these basemaps as part of a new style for Web mapping consisting of basemaps and operational overlays (layers that are focused on a particular GIS mission or application). Basemaps are meant to be a background map and are typically cached, whereas operational overlays reflect data sets that change frequently (i.e., they are drawn dynamically).

A key design notion of this new pattern is to help end users focus on the operational information – the basemap provides a background or context. ESRI has adapted an approach of purposefully making the colors of our basemaps muted to provide a better background for GIS operational overlays.

Lessons Learned

ESRI has learned many lessons from this effort, including ways to integrate multi-source data, how to design good multi-scale Web maps, and the best methods for caching maps efficiently. We are publishing these designs in the form of map templates (available through the MapTemplates ArcGIS Resource Center). They can be easily downloaded and used by any of our users who wish to create similar maps for their own geographies and possibly share them. Many users have already done this and set up their own Web mapping sites that can easily be connected/mashed-up with ArcGIS Online maps. 

Other Basemaps

Other topographic basemaps available through ArcGIS Online include:

*  Raster scans of USGS topo maps (enhanced with National Geographic hill shading)

*  Raster scans of various NGA maps

*  Bing Maps (formerly Virtual Earth)

Future Basemaps

ESRI is also working on other map/image services that will be released 3rd quarter 2009.

*  World IKONOS Cities Imagery service for more than 700 major metropolitan areas around the world.

*  The DeLorme World Base Map, a detailed world atlas, initially at1:1 million, with incremental releases down to 1:100,000 scale.

*  Many other thematic maps including geology, soil, demographic, and land cover maps.

What is the price of ArcGIS Online map services?

ArcGIS Online map services include imagery, topographic, street basemaps, and more. ArcGIS Online standard map services are free to ArcGIS users for internal (personal or within an organization) use, and external, noncommercial use. To use ArcGIS Online standard map services for commercial use, you must purchase an annual subscription. ArcGIS Online premium map services are available for any use and require the purchase of an annual subscription. Bing Maps (formerly Virtual Earth), which are considered premium map services, are available at no cost to ArcGIS Desktop (including ArcGIS Engine) users who are current on maintenance. ArcGIS Server includes a free 90-day evaluation of Bing Maps, after which you can purchase an annual subscription.

How can ESRI support collaboration among its user communities?

At this year’s User Conference, ESRI will be showcasing a new capability within ArcGIS Online that allows users to share their content with other users over the Web. The free ArcGIS Online Sharing Web application, available as public beta, gives users the ability to upload maps, layers, layer packages, Web services, and tools, and share their uploaded items either publicly with everyone or within specific groups they created. Other users can then search for these uploaded items and use them immediately for their GIS work.

There will be a number of demonstrations and technical sessions at the User Conference that will show how this concept of finding and sharing geographic content is made very easy using ArcGIS Online.

This sharing portal has been requested by users for many years and will be a valuable resource for those of you who want to share your information more effectively and quickly within your own organization or with others outside of your organization across the Web.

What are you doing to help users make better maps using ArcGIS?

Maps are the primary way we communicate with GIS. At ESRI, we have been working hard to help you deliver your content using great maps. We are focused on a number of specific activities that will help you publish better maps for your GIS work.

ArcGIS 9.3.1. A key focus of the ArcGIS 9.3.1 release this spring was the added capability to more easily publish great Web maps using ArcGIS.This release includes a number of enhancements to help you leverage your data to publish Web maps:

*  New high performance, optimized map services. These are fast map services that are published using ArcGIS Server from ArcMap. In most cases, these are faster and more scalable than an ArcIMS map service while providing high quality cartography from ArcMap.

*  The new ArcGIS Web APIs for JavaScript, Adobe Flex, and Microsoft Silverlight also enable users to deploy Web maps that follow a key pattern of base maps with operational overlays.

*  In addition, the ArcGIS Explorer release this summer will help the ArcGIS community to make great maps and deliver them freely using this exciting new release.

Basemaps for the Web. ArcGIS users have begun using a common pattern for Web maps that involve the use of online, multi-scale maps that provide the foundation or framework onto which operational GIS overlays or layers can be displayed and used. These multi-scale maps provide a basemap or framework for Web maps. Many ArcGIS users are leveraging their own data to create, publish, and maintain a set of these basemaps for use on the Web.

New Topographic Map on ArcGIS Online. In order to promote the use of this Web map pattern, ESRI has implemented a multi-scale topographic basemap and is making it available as a free online service on ArcGIS Online for users to mash up and dynamically overlay their operational content. This map zooms into a map scale of 1:20,000 across the U.S. We have provided a few example areas (Portland, Oregon, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) where you can zoom in to 1:1,000. We are also sharing the cartographic design of these maps as map templates.

New Discovery and Sharing Capabilities at ArcGIS Online. Another dimension of Web maps is how users can share maps across user groups or communities. We are adding new sharing and discovery capabilities for this in the beta release of ArcGIS Online that was just released at the end of June.

As an ArcGIS user, you can publish and share datasets, maps, and map services with other users using your own online workspace stored at ArcGIS Online. You can also use ArcGIS Online to search for and apply data and maps shared by other users. Also, you can set up and join user groups where you can securely share information and collaborate with other users. 

Are data appliances a way of the future? What is ESRI providing?

Yes. Data appliances are critical to our customers’ success because they provide ready-to-use GIS databases at a relatively low cost.These appliances can be plugged into an existing organizational infrastructure and include large volumes of ready-to-use content (e.g., imagery, street basemaps, and reference layers) that can be combined with operational data to support mission critical projects. Packaged as one solution, appliances simplify maintenance, support, and the management of data and software updates.

ESRI offers pre-integrated data and solution appliances that combine data, software,hardware, and customizable applications. Installation is fast and simple and can be supported in standard IT environments. At the same time, the various software components for data management, visualization, and analysis can also be customized to adapt organization-specific workflows and business processes.

Will ArcGIS Server support cloud hosting?

Traditionally,organizations have managed and maintained computer systems using an on-site hosting model. Cloud computing allows for on-demand, commonly off-site, technology capabilities that are delivered as a service over the Web. With the advent of cloud computing, there are several alternative software deployment methods available that can significantly reduce an organization’s resources of time, money, and IT support. ESRI recognizes the benefits of cloud computing, when used appropriately, for increased cost optimization and to deliver greater customer satisfaction. However, many users are not quite ready to jump into public cloud computing, or are restricted from doing so.  In these situations, these deployment tiers are replicated within a private cloud environment, maintained within the parameters of the host organization, but taking advantage of cloud practices, such as virtualization and self-service Web administration, within an on-site enterprise computing environment.

Although cloud computing may not be suitable for all solutions, ESRI is working on products to be more cloud compatible. ArcGIS Server is being architected in such a way that services run efficiently and effectively, taking full advantage of the benefits offered by the Cloud on Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2).  For example, ArcGIS Server instances will be able to be added and removed dynamically as expected on EC2 without disruption of service.  Administration will be designed for cloud and virtualization environments, consistent with cloud-ready systems.  We will provide additional details as we finalize the ArcGIS 9.4 release.

In the meantime, ESRI is investing in the cloud computing environment with other solutions, as well. Business Analyst Online and the ArcGIS Server Geoportal Extension are both examples of Software as a Service (SaaS), as on-demand end-user applications. In addition, ArcGIS Online Sharing adds the ability for our customers to share their data as part of a growing online community. For developers interested in application platforms as a service, ESRI offers the ArcGIS Online Sharing REST API and the ArcGIS Web mapping APIs. Finally, to leverage both on-premise software and hosted services (Software + Services), ESRI customers can take advantage of using their ESRI software with ESRI hosted services through the ArcGIS Online Resource Center maps, GIS services, Web applications and Web Mapping APIs.

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Learn about using ArcGIS Online Layer Packages

7/13/09–As mentioned when we announced the new ArcGIS Online Sharing Application a few weeks ago, better sharing of geographic information is enabled in part via new ArcGIS technology that allows layers referencing feature or raster data to be packaged into a single “layer package”, comprised of both the layer cartography and data. These layer packages can be shared with other users via files, e-mail, or the new ArcGIS Online sharing capability.

Learn about Layer Packages, ArcMap, ArcGIS Online, and ArcGIS Explorer 900 in the GIS Education Community Blog.

For tutorials on layer packages, see A tutorial for creating good layer packages and Creating layer packages part 2 – using group layers in the ArcGIS Explorer blog.

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New maps added to ArcGIS Online

7/9/09—Several new maps were added to ArcGIS Online this past week. As mentioned in our earlier announcement in May, this includes several maps in the Google Maps/Bing Maps tiling scheme. These consist of 12 USA demographic maps featuring recently released 2009 data from ESRI’s demographic data team, a world terrain basemap and a world reference overlay map designed for use with thematic maps like demographics, and a world basemap from DeLorme. Also included is a new world topographic map that was compiled to uniform cartography from best available sources assembled from data providers such as the USGS, EPA, FAO, NPS, AND, and TANA. Learn more about the world topographic map in the ESRI Mapping Center.

In addition, a few final updates and additions were made to maps in the traditional ArcGIS Online tiling scheme. This includes a new World IKONOS Cities Imagery map with high-resolution imagery for over 700 metro areas around the world, designed to be overlaid on the USA Prime Imagery or other imagery basemaps. Lastly, there was an update to our world user imagery map with high-resolution imagery for the State of Pennsylvania and Ventura County, California.

To learn about these new maps, visit the following links in the new ArcGIS Online sharing application:

Google Maps/Bing Maps tiling scheme

ArcGIS Online tiling scheme

The following maps in the ArcGIS Online tiling scheme were updated to include coverage for the State of Pennsylvania and Ventura County, CA:

If you have previously used any of these updated map services, you may need to clear your cache in order to see the updates.

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World Imagery Services Updated

6/23/09–The World Imagery services (ESRI_Imagery_World and ESRI_Imagery_World_2D) were updated with more recent imagery for the United States and with new high-resolution coverage for metropolitan areas around the world. The services now include GeoEye IKONOS 1m imagery for more than 875 cities and 1,200 towns worldwide plus USGS 15m Landsat imagery for Antarctica. In addition, approximately 40% of the imagery in the United States was updated with more recent imagery.

Check out the coverage maps and cities/town lists in the World
Imagery service description
to learn about the coverage for the 1m imagery
now available.

If you have previously used these services, you may need to clear your cache in order to
see the updates.

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Routing now available

6/15/09—Routing services for Europe and North America are now available on the ArcGIS Online Task Server. These free tools are available to use in your ArcGIS applications.

The routing capabilities are based on Tele Atlas 2008 reference data for North America and Tele Atlas 2007 reference data for Europe. The routing services enable you to generate routes and driving directions for two or more points with a limit of 5,000 routes per year, including 10 route stops and 25 barriers per route. For external commercial use of ArcGIS Online routing tools, or if you want to create more than 5,000 routes per year, subscriptions are available in blocks of 5,000 routes, including 20 route stops and 250 barriers per route.

For information on using the routing tools with the ArcGIS software of your choice, see Using free routing tools on the task server.

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Upgrades to ArcGIS Online premium servers on June 2, 2009

6/2/09-This evening from 5 PM PST to midnight, ArcGIS Online will undergo system upgrades to improve our infrastructure. These system upgrades will provide a more robust environment to support ArcGIS Online services usage today and as it continues to grow. Tonight’s upgrades will be made for the system that supports ArcGIS Online premium (subscription) map services (i.e., premium.arcgisonline.com). We anticipate minimal impact to your applications during this time, but you may need to reconnect to the ArcGIS Online premium servers. However, if you experience any ongoing service availability or performance issues as a result of this change, please post a description of them to this blog.

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Upgrades to ArcGIS Online servers on May 26, 2009

5/26/09—This evening from 5 PM PST to midnight, ArcGIS
Online will undergo system upgrades to improve our infrastructure. These
system upgrades will provide a more robust environment to support ArcGIS Online
services usage today and as it continues to grow. Tonight’s upgrades will be made for the
system that supports ArcGIS Online map services (i.e., services.arcgisonline.com
and server.arcgisonline.com). We anticipate minimal impact to your applications during this time, but you may need to reconnect to the ArcGIS Online servers. However, if you experience
any ongoing service availability or performance issues as a result of this
change, please post a description of them to this blog.

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