This post also appears in Esri Insider. Last update: April 1, 2014. With all the recent excitement and good hopes over the White House Climate Data Initiative, and the ongoing progress of the Group on Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), … Continue reading
Recently, templates have been added to the ArcGIS help that you can use to launch ArcGIS Server instances on Amazon Web Services (AWS) using AWS CloudFormation.
AWS CloudFormation lets you deploy and provision instances with the hardware infrastructure and resources you specify in a template. The ArcGIS Server templates allow you to deploy and provision multiple, identical ArcGIS Server instances fronted by an Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) in Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) or Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). This sort of architecture, with redundant ArcGIS Server instances accessed through an ELB, is referred to as a siloed architecture, because each ArcGIS Server instance is not dependent on any of the other ArcGIS Server instances. If one of the ArcGIS Server instances goes down, the ELB can connect to one of the other instances with little to no down-time, making it ideal for users who require high-availability with redundancy.
This post explains how you can use the power of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to create tiled map caches for use with ArcGIS Server. To provide some quick background: Map caching is a way you can speed up web … Continue reading
Recently Microsoft Windows Azure announced the General Availability of Virtual Machines. This allows you to start a virtual machine in the Windows Azure cloud (similar to what you can do with Hyper-V) while leveraging Windows Azure cloud features. It also means that you can now deploy ArcGIS 10.1 for Server on a Windows Azure virtual machine.
The ArcGIS for Server team is offering a workspace on http://ideas.esri.com under the name “Using ArcGIS 10.1 for Server on Microsoft Windows Azure”. You can join this workspace to find documents on how to deploy ArcGIS for Server on Windows Azure virtual machines. The workspace is also a great place to provide information about your interest in Windows Azure, give feedback, ask questions, and learn about the latest updates.
Although Windows Azure is not currently an officially supported platform for ArcGIS 10.1 for Server, Esri Support can still take your calls and will attempt to duplicate any issues on a supported platform. If the issue can be duplicated on the supported platform it will be logged for further investigation. See the Esri Supported Environment Policy for more information. Esri is looking into offering more extended support for Windows Azure virtual machines in the future.
Contributed by Marwa Mabrouk of Esri Product Management
Although ArcGIS Server has been supported in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for several years, it gets a lot easier to build an ArcGIS Server site in the Amazon cloud at 10.1. This is thanks to a new application … Continue reading
Key features for this release include:
- Improved layer controls for managing dynamic map services, map notes and group layers
- Support for secured services
- Expanded device support (including the Kindle Fire)
- Improved GPS auto-pan functionality
- Stability improvements (sign in, mobile content server, more…) Continue reading
This is the point Steve Riley was driving home in his keynote presentation at the 2012 Esri Dev Summit today. Being the CTO of Riverbed Technology, as well as having Amazon and Microsoft on his resume, he’s got some legit experience lending credit to his intelligent and animated dialog this morning on the paradigm shift into a cloud infrastructure.
“Change happens. You have to adapt or die” Riley pointed out. Adaptation is key to human progress. The wine press turned into a printing press (did that turn into twitter?). Smart organizations are getting in front of cloud technology and Riley laid out several steps he called architecture lessons for building a successful cloud implementation. Continue reading
New capabilities in ArcGIS Online were highlighted during the opening plenary session at the recent Esri 2011 International User Conference. Here’s Part II of a two-part recap of what was shown.
The ArcGIS Online plenary presentation can be viewed online. To view the ArcGIS Online Part II demonstration covered here you can fast forward by advancing to the 23:00 minute mark in the video:
ArcGIS Online at the UC Plenary – Part II
Part I of our two-part post covered how ArcGIS Online can be used by anyone, along with new capabilities like adding spreadsheets (CSV files), KML, OGC WMS services, shapefiles, and more. But while it can be used by anyone, it’s also not just for individuals, but also for organizations.
Introduced during the plenary were some new capabilities (still in beta) available to organizations via a subscription. These include the ability for organizations to manage their user accounts, assign roles to individuals, create custom landing pages and galleries, and aleverage hosted services in the cloud for publishing maps, and more.
For organizations ArcGIS Online represents a complete, online geospatial platform that is configurable, secure, and gives organizations the capability to turn their data into web-accessible services. This enables any organization’s geospatial information to become more pervasive, within organizations or to the general public.
A sample organizational site was configured for the City of Louisville, Kentucky. Organizational users can easily configure and manage their own site, replacing Esri’s ArcGIS.com website. Shown below is the City of Louisville site with a unique own look and feel; users that are members of the organization will view this site after logging in. Note that the gallery ribbon is also specific to the organization.
Shown below is the featured map gallery for the organization. Instead of maps selected by Esri from the GIS community at-large, the maps displayed here are chosen by the organization and help the users within the organization get their work done.
The gallery, default map, and basemaps used by an organization can be easily configured in the administrator’s console, shown below. Access to content and sharing outside the organization can also be managed, so you can choose to make ArcGIS Online completely secure and private for your organization, or enable external access.
ArcGIS Online also supports all of the different users found within a typical organization, from GIS professionals to information workers, and from casual browsers of information, to managers and decision makers. All users can play a role in ArcGIS Online. Shown below are some of the administration tools that are used to govern the level of access and capabilities for various users in an organization:
Some users may be “view only” users, while others may be granted access to publish data directly to the organization’s hosted services. In addition, in the event of a position change or exit from the organization, all assets from one user can be transferred to others, so no content is lost.
Content is very important to an organization, and in Part I we saw the many different types of content that can be used, including spreadsheets, to make maps. However, when working with large amounts of data it is more efficient to publish the content as hosted services rather than just adding features to a map. Using hosted services available via organizational subscriptions, any data can be web-enabled for broader access and efficient publishing.
For example, in Part I we showed how a spreadsheet containing just under 1,000 features can be added directly to any map. But for larger numbers of features these are more efficiently published as hosted web services, which also enables them to be used in mashups.
The map below was made from a spreadsheet of 25,000 locations, and has been published as a feature service via the organization’s hosted service capabilities, without the need for any desktop software:
Most organizations already have ArcGIS, and use ArcMap as the way to create state-of-the-art maps. But once a map has been made there is often the challenge of making it more widely available. Organizations can leverage ArcGIS Online to publish services directly from ArcMap, making ArcGIS Desktop the dashboard for online publishing.
Shown in ArcMap below is recent flood data that the city would like published. In this case the user has been granted publishing rights via the organizational account. As soon as the user logs in the map can be published directly via hosted cloud services, eliminating the need to manage servers, hardware, and for direct IT department involvement.
Choices can be made, if needed, about what kind of service is published (tiles or features), the projection and tiling scheme, and more. When publishing has completed, the user is notified and the web service is now ready to use.
Within an organizational account, the basemaps and the default basemap can be configured as desired. Shown below is the newly published flood data that has been mashed-up along with the city basemap and other services. Note the custom-configured basemap gallery:
In Part I we discussed and highlighted several templates that could be chosen from the map viewer template gallery. An organization can also configure the list of available templates, as shown below, to include templates for internal or external use (with the organization’s logo and branding) and also specialty templates.
These templates can also be extended to include additional capabilities, and can also be hosted in the organization’s cloud. The template used below performs a spatial analysis around critical parcels identified by the city, and delivers a report showing EPA regulated facilities nearby:
Groups can also be controlled and managed by the organization. Some groups may be for internal use only, others may make maps publicly available. The administrator can make decisions about how these are listed, and can review and control the content they contain.
In summary, ArcGIS Online provides a flexible, secure, and customizable geospatial platform for any organization, using hosted services and centralized management infrastructure. The result is that ArcGIS Online enables an organization’s geospatial assets to become more available where needed, and users more productive.
The primary theme for ArcGIS 10.1, which is expected to be released in early 2012, is sharing and collaboration. Users will find that this release makes it simpler to put mapping and geospatial analytics into the hands of more people without requiring that they be GIS experts. ArcGIS users will be able to deliver any GIS resource, such as maps, imagery, geodatabases, and tools, as a web service. The ability to access these services will be built into ArcGIS, as well as any application built with one of the ArcGIS APIs.
With this release, cloud computing—both public and private clouds—will play an increasingly critical role in how users get their work accomplished. ArcGIS software will take advantage of the powerful, scalable, and ubiquitous nature of cloud infrastructures to store and distribute geospatial content. Users will be able to easily package their maps and layers and make that content available to staff, stakeholders, partners, or the public via online groups while maintaining complete control and ownership of their content. Additionally, users will be able to quickly deploy GIS servers in the cloud when they need them as fully functional production systems for publishing services and supporting desktop, mobile, and web applications.
At 10.1, ArcGIS for Server will run natively on 64-bit operating systems. Users will notice significant performance improvements for activities such as web editing, map caching, spatial analysis, finding addresses, and using imagery.
Imagery will also be better integrated into the core of ArcGIS. ArcGIS will not only make it simpler to use imagery but also support more imagery sources, as well as lidar and radar.
An exciting addition to ArcGIS at 10.1 will be ArcGIS Runtime, which lets developers create and deploy focused, stand-alone GIS applications for desktop users, who have been asking for a small, lightweight deployment that, in terms of capabilities, fits between ArcGIS Engine and the ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs. The new runtime is designed for both desktop and cloud development. It has a fast display and does not require installation; it can be run directly from a CD. The learning curve for the new runtime is expected to be very gentle for developers familiar with the web APIs.
In addition to these enhancements to ArcGIS, Esri has also concentrated on providing core GIS tools to help users create better maps. These tools range from dynamic legends to contextual generalization, the ability to track edits, parcel editing tools, analysis tools, and a whole lot more.
Finally, as Esri moves toward ArcGIS 10.1, Python is becoming foundational to ArcGIS. It essentially bridges the gap between GIS analysts and programmers.
We will be sharing more and more about what’s coming in ArcGIS 10.1 over the next few months so check back often.
We’re proud to announce the next evolution of Esri’s offerings for water, wastewater and stormwater utilities – ArcGIS for Water Utilities.
Over the next few weeks leading up to the Esri User Conference, we will be reorganizing the Water Utility Resource Center and our templates into ArcGIS for Water Utilities. In the meantime, we thought it would be helpful to give an overview of ArcGIS for Water Utilities and answer some questions we’ve already received from members of the user community that have helped us bring ArcGIS for Water Utilities together.
What is ArcGIS for Water Utilities?
ArcGIS for Water Utilities is a collection of maps and apps packaged for the ArcGIS platform. It is designed to meet common needs of water, wastewater and stormwater utilities. The maps and apps that are part of ArcGIS for Water Utilities are the next generation of the Water Utility Resource Center Templates.
ArcGIS for Water Utilities is a configuration of ArcGIS software and is included in the cost of licensing the ArcGIS system.
What do you mean by the “ArcGIS System”?
ArcGIS is a scalable system of integrated software that is designed to be deployed in a variety of ways. The advances in ArcGIS 10 truly make ArcGIS a geo-spatial technology platform that meets the common generic needs of any organization for creating, managing, analyzing and sharing spatial data. All components of the ArcGIS platform – ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Server, the geodatabase, mobile GIS clients, web GIS clients, work seamlessly together when deployed as a system.
Water utilities are finding it easier to license the whole system because it fits their business needs better than buying individual pieces of software in a piecemeal manner. ArcGIS for Water Utilities enables users to get started fast and to become immediately productive. It provides a framework that can be extended and improved both by individual organizations as well as by valued business partners that support the water utilities community.
This sounds a lot like the Water Utility Templates you already have?
Yes – because it is the next generation of our templates. Based on your experiences and requests, we’ve decided that we can make water utility GIS easier, faster, cheaper and less confusing to implement by delivering all the parts you need to successfully implement ArcGIS to serve your organization’s mission.
How does this relate to Esri’s cloud efforts?
The cloud is already part of Esri’s platform, so it should come as no surprise that ArcGIS for Water Utilities can be implemented on site or in the cloud and will continue to evolve with the cloud capabilities of ArcGIS platform.
Why are you doing this?
We want to make ArcGIS easier, faster and cheaper to deploy for water utilities.
Are you going to a formal release schedule for ArcGIS for Water Utilities?
Yes. We have definite plans to continue to make incremental improvements and additions and will release these on an on-going basis.
How can I get ArcGIS for Water Utilities?
Download the set of maps and apps from the ArcGIS.com Water Utilities community, just like you currently download the Water Utility Templates.