Tag: basemaps

ArcGIS Online basemaps and the Data.gov GEO Viewer

At the Gov 2.0 Summit last week we demonstrated how ArcGIS Online basemaps are being leveraged in the new Data.gov GEO Viewer. We’ve had a few questions about the Viewer, so here’s how to find and use it, along with a few details about how it works. Esri’s Marten Hogeweg also covered the GEO Viewer in a post on his blog.

Data.gov, according to Wikipedia, is a U.S. government website launched in late May 2009 by the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the United States. The site states the purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.

The Data.gov GEO Viewer is a fairly recent addition, and is detailed in What’s New at the site. What’s interesting about the GEO Viewer is that it leverages ArcGIS Online basemaps (of which the world topographic basemap is composed chiefly of government-provided data from federal, state, and local government organizations) and it access the data on-the-fly from it’s URL source as catalogued at Data.gov. The GEO Viewer supports ArcGIS services, WMS, GeoRSS feeds, KML/Z files, as well as shapefiles.

You’ll find more information about the app at the GEO Viewer information page where you’ll also find some example data sets you can view. Click one of the preview links to use the GEO Viewer - we’ve chosen the EPA Region 1 regulated facilities in the following example:

The data will be retrieved, and you’ll have an opportunity to select colors to view the facilities:

The GEO Viewer lets you choose from the ArcGIS Online World Topographic, World Imagery, or World Streets basemaps, with the default the topographic basemap.


We’ve zoomed in to an area in downtown Boston, and you can see the detailed content that’s been recently contributed by the City of Boston via the community maps program. This provides detailed context for the locations of the facilities, which can be clicked to retrieve additional information.

Going back to the main Data.gov site we’ve entered the seach keyword “copper”

Finding a match for world copper smelters and following the link to its data summary page, you’ll find preview buttons which will open the data in the GEO Viewer.

And here’s the world copper smelter data viewed overlain on the world topographic basemap.

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Free Community Maps Program Webinar on Thursday, August 19

Through the Community Maps Program Esri is collaborating with user organizations around the world to build cartographically uniform and highly detailed global basemaps that GIS users can freely access for their projects.

Community-built basemaps reduce the cost of making data widely available and offer a reliable way to access critical information for use during disasters and other emergencies. Many organizations have already contributed their authoritative content to one of the three community basemaps: World Topographic Map, World Street Map or World Imagery. These maps are hosted and maintained by Esri as part of ArcGIS Online content and can be freely accessed through ArcGIS Desktop, a mobile or browser-based application, or for developers, through the free ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs.

Learn more by attending a free webinar on Thursday, August 19, 2010 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT, and learn how organizations around the world benefit by contributing their data. Just like access to the community basemaps, the webinar is free – all you need to do is register.

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Implementing the Local Government Information Model with ArcGIS 10

At ArcGIS 10, geodatabase designs can be shared with a new type of layer package called a schema-only layer package.  As the name implies, a schema-only layer package contains the schema of the data it references.  It can then be used as a template for populating your data and using the layer properties, such as symbology, scale, etc. provided in a map document.

The Local Government Information Model at ArcGIS 10 supports a series of maps and apps used by local governments and demonstrates how ArcGIS can be configured to support specific business needs in your organization.  It incorporates specific application requirements and the cartographic design elements necessary to produce rich, multi-scale base maps and operational layers.   You can download the Local Government Information Model from ArcGIS.com and migrate your content into this geodatabase design.  When you do, you can quickly take advantage of the maps and apps published on the Local Government Resource Center.  This blog post will show you how to use the new schema-only layer package provided for our local government users.

In ArcMap, click on File>ArcGIS Online and then search Maps and Data for the keyword “local government”.  When you find the Local Government Information Model, you can review the item Details and when you’re ready to download it, just click Add.

You can then determine which geodatabase you’d like to import the schema in to.  The default location is your Default.gdb, but you can specify another empty geodatabase you’ve created if you’d like.  When you download one of the templates on the Local Government Resource Center, you’ll notice we have named the sample geodatabase “Local Government” and all the maps we’re publishing will work with a geodatabase named this. So you may want to think about creating your own LocalGovernment.gdb. 

This is also a good time to to specify the spatial reference for the new geodatabase you’re creating.  A real simple way to do this is to select Spatial Reference>Other>Import and then pick an existing feature dataset that has the correct spatial reference for your data.  Then click Ok, and Ok again, and the import will begin.

When the Import Schema Package tool completes, you will see a series of layers in your map document and an empty schema in the geodatabase you specified.  From here, you can review the descriptions and domains for each feature and begin thinking about how you can migrate your data to this information model.  One note, you’ll have to add your imagery and surface models manually to this schema.

Using this information model makes it very easy to implement the maps and apps on the Local Government Resource Center.  We’ll be adding content to this information model as we publish additional templates for our local government users, so keep an eye out for updates.

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What’s New on the Local Government Resource Center

Over the last month, we’ve been doing a lot of work on the new Local Government Resource Center. Content from http://resources.esri.com has been migrated to a series of new ArcGIS.com groups and we’ve released several new maps and apps for ArcGIS 10.   So let’s take a look at the new Resource Center and the content you can now find to help you implement ArcGIS in your local government.
The Local Government Resource Center
The Local Government Resource Center consolidates several industry-focused Resource Centers (Water Utilities, Public Works, Land Records, and Public Safety) into a single resource for our local government users.   And while we’ve organized this Resource Center around a larger local government GIS system, users who are interested in specific industries, or domains, within local government can still get focused content to help them implement ArcGIS.
In addition to the industries we supported previously, the new Resource Center also has a site dedicated to base maps.  It provides a series of map templates to help you publish high-quality base maps using your authoritative content. These maps support a variety of local government applications you’ll find in the local government galleries. 
Finally, we also added two additional sites to support Elections and Planning and Development users. These sites, along with the maps and apps that support them, are still under development. But this should give you a good hint about what we’ll be working on later this summer…. 
Integration with ArcGIS.com
The biggest change you’ll notice on the new Resource Center is the integration with ArcGIS.com.  If you click on a gallery you’ll be sent to an ArcGIS.com Group for that specific industry.  
The new ArcGIS.com groups contain a series of maps and apps that support the work you do in local government. You’ll find maps and apps from the ArcGIS 9.3 Resource Center Galleries and new ones for ArcGIS 10. Each map and app is organized into a template that you can download and configure in your own organization.  If you’re interested in one of the base maps or web apps, you can try a live version of the template before downloading the zip file and configuring it.
New Content for ArcGIS 10     
There is a lot of new content on the Local Government Resource Center that will help you configure and use ArcGIS 10.  Here is a summary of what you’ll find:
New Apps: An Infrastructure Operations Dashboard and Value Analysis Dashboard that uses the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex; and a Service Request application that can be used to engage your constituents.  
New Maps: Map packages and web maps for general purpose, imagery hybrid, topographic and parcel base maps; along with a series of new maps for operational information used by water utilities, public works, and land records organizations.
So that’s a quick overview of the new Local Government Resource Center.  As you take a closer look at the new Resource Center and ArcGIS.com groups, you’ll find several ways to engage teams at ESRI responsible for supporting local government.  There are several blogs you can participate in, and you can interact directly with us on Twitter.  Give us your feedback on the new Resource Center and the maps and apps on ArcGIS.com.  We want to hear how we can help you configure and use ArcGIS in your local government agency.
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ArcGIS Online World Imagery map updated

06/23/10–The World Imagery (World_Imagery) map was updated with more recent and detailed imagery for the United States and additional high-resolution imagery for several countries in Europe, including Belgium, Czech Republic, France (Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais only), Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, and The Netherlands.

The map was updated on the standard and subscription servers (services.arcgisonline.com, server.arcgisonline.com, and premium.arcgisonline.com). If you have previously used this service, you may need to clear your cache in order to see the updates.

If you have feedback or comments about the updates, please post them to our forum.

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ArcGIS Online World Topographic Map updated with U.S. and local data

04/30/10–The World Topographic Map (World_Topo_Map) was updated to
include large-scale data for Arkansas and additional detailed local data for
Washington, D.C.

The new data for Arkansas includes coverage from a scale
of 575,000 down to 9,000 for the state and down to 4,000 for Washington County.
The data was provided by the State of
through the ESRI
Community Maps Program
. See the recent post about Community Basemaps and the Community Maps Program for information on how the program has made the World Topographic Map a Community Basemap.

The detailed city map for Washington, D.C., was updated with
additional detail including more detailed street/curb lines, driveways, and
sidewalks. This large-scale map was updated with data
provided by the District of
Columbia Geographic Information System (DCGIS)

For details on the new and updated coverage, view the list of Current World Topographic Map

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

If you have feedback or comments about the updates, please post them to our

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ArcGIS Online World Topographic Map updated with international and local data

03/19/10–The World
Topographic Map
(World_Topo_Map) was updated to include large-scale
international data for Canada and detailed local data for San Francisco.

The new data for Canada includes coverage from a scale of
~1:72,000 down to ~1:18,000. The data was provided by the Department of Natural Resources Canada
(NRCAN), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Tele Atlas (TANA).

A detailed city map for San Francisco, California, was added
to supplement the local data already available. This large-scale map was created
with data provided by the City of San Francisco from the San Francisco
Enterprise GIS Program.

For details on the new international and local coverage, view the list of Current World Topographic Map Contributors.

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

If you have feedback or comments about the updates, please post them to our
forum at http://forums.esri.com/forums.asp?c=188.

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ArcGIS Online Earthquake response for Chile

03/04/10–ESRI recently published an Earthquake Response for Chile group on ArcGIS Online to assist in providing data and other resouces related to the recent earthquake. The content is being published by ESRI and other organizations in support of relief activities.

At the site, a variety of resources can be found, including applications that combine ESRI maps with other types of information, links to services with relevant information, and links to downloadable data and maps.

From the group landing page, click the Contents tab to view shared content. Click on a thumbnail to open the item, or click the title for more information.

Here we opened the detailed description for one of the shared items, a Web map that combines USGS earthquake data with ArcGIS Online basemaps.


Click to open the Web map. Here we used Identify to view additional information from the USGS about each earthquake in the area. The red dots represent quakes greater than 2.5 in magnitude.

By clicking Add More Layers:


We can find additional services to mashup in our application, enabling us to build upon existing maps.

Here we found another service published by the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) and created a mashup of our original map with the PDC service, selected a new basemap, and reordered the layers in our contents.

For more information visit the ESRI Chile Earthquake Support site.

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ArcGIS Online at the Federal User Conference

02/18/10–Some of the evolving ArcGIS Online features, and a peek at forthcoming changes and enhancements, were highlighted at yesterday’s FedUC plenary session and demonstrated in the ESRI showcase and conference workshops.

The recently announced and newly updated World Imagery, World Streets, and World Topographic basemaps were featured throughout. The World Topographic map includes detailed content, such as, building footprints (in diverse worldwide locations from Geneva to Manhattan), elevation data, and even vegetation, providing coverage to 1:1,000 scale in major U.S. cities, such as, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Pasadena, Washington, D.C., and a growing list of others.

This basemap represents a true “community basemap” built with contributions from throughout the GIS user community. Here’s an example from Washington, D.C., near the Library of Congress.

Also highlighted was the upcoming evolution of arcgisonline.com – maps.arcgis.com – which focuses on ways to provide ready-to-use maps and apps, and easy ways to share and create communities. Here’s the current map gallery – choose one and begin making your own map, or switch to the app gallery to see more examples.


A new Web mapping application is an integral part of the site, and allows users to browse ArcGIS Online, the Web, or specific ArcGIS Servers for content to mashup and share with others. New maps can also be shared via links. Here the streets basemap was chosen and mashed up with demographic data (daytime population) found on ArcGIS Online and live weather radar data discovered on the Web. Users can also connect directly to an ArcGIS Server.


Also shown was a preview of ArcGIS Explorer Online, a Silverlight-based rich internet client for working directly with ArcGIS Online content, and other resources found on the Web or at specific ArcGIS Servers.

ArcGIS Online is “built-in” to the ArcGIS user experience, and it’s inherently integrated into ArcGIS 10. Demonstrations showed how ArcMap users can find basemaps, discover additional layers to add to their maps, and modify and share data directly via ArcGIS Online. It’s a seamless and transparent part of the user experience.

More in upcoming posts, but the FedUC has provided the first glimpse at what’s ahead for ArcGIS Online and online GIS.

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ArcGIS Online as a substrate for GeoDesign (and more)

01/11/10–Last week’s GeoDesign Summit was a landmark gathering of professionals and academics involved in applying technology, engineering, and planning in a rapidly changing world. One of the fundamental themes of the meeting was the pairing of GIS and design, and how the design process could be enhanced by GIS. Several of the demonstrations utilized ArcGIS Online content and tools to underscore those themes, and showed how ArcGIS Online could be used as a substrate for GeoDesign.

ArcGIS Online can play a key role in providing an excellent substrate upon which to work, whether you’re a GeoDesigner, GIS user, or Web mapper looking for great content to build upon. A recent post highlighted some of the content additions and updates, and we received some additional questions about those after the GeoDesign Summit. Here’s a quick review of some of the latest content updates and some highlights of things that were shown last week.

The updated World Imagery map now compiles the best available imagery for the United States plus high-resolution imagery around the world. At the GeoDesign Summit we took a closer look at some of those cities, including London and Geneva, which is shown below. High resolution imagery is included for thousands of cities outside the United States.

Bing Maps for Enterprise aerial, hybrid, and roads add yet another dimension to worldwide high resolution imagery and street data available via ArcGIS Online. Shown below is a section of London:

The new World Street map includes building footprints for major cities worldwide with contributions from a variety of sources including ESRI users. Shown below is a section of Rome:

And here’s an even more detailed (1:1K) section of Philadelphia:

The World Topographic map was highlighted, with a new cartographic presentation of data from the best available sources, such as the USGS, EPA, TeleAtlas, and local sources. Shown here is a section of Pennsylvania:

And here’s a very detailed section of Pasadena, California, with highly detailed buildings and terrain from LIDAR data.

These new basemaps (and others we’ve not mentioned in this post) provide great maps you can use as-is or to represent a great canvas for your design or GIS work. The best way to experience these is to try them for yourself – just follow the links to preview them or add them directly to your ArcGIS desktop.

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