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  • 1. 1 Monde Arc/Info (Présentation de ArcView) Introduction This document provides some background information on the development of ArcView Versions 1 and 2, with emphasis on the new features in Version 2. The document is organized into the following sections: -History -The Technology -How ArcView is Used -For More Information History In 1989, ESRI launched an effort to develop an easy-to-use viewer technology for GIS. This product was based on industry standards for usability and graphical user interface (GUI) design, and incorporated basic desktop mapping features. Version 1 of ArcView was a very successful product for simple GIS visualization and query, and has proven popular both within the existing ARC/INFO user community as well as with thousands of new GIS users. In 1992, ESRI began to design the second version of ArcView. The design of this product, while building on the experience of ArcView Version 1, had a far greater vision of bringing together GIS, desktop mapping, and multi-media, with traditional data analysis tools including DBMS and business graphics. The goal was to develop a technology that integrated these capabilities into a product that would be as easy and familiar to use as any of today's popular desktop products, while offering new dimensions to decision analysis through geography. Over the next two years, the architecture of this more advanced ArcView (Version 2) evolved greatly in both features and functions. The functional design requirements for ArcView Version 2 included -An easy and intuitive user interface -Better integration of multiple data types -Better access to data across networks -Enhanced tools for high quality mapping -Better support for standard output formats and devices -Geographic and tabular data editing -Strong integration with tabular databases -More DBMS analysis tools -Better raster image integration (both geographic and document images) -Spatial analysis tools (map overlay/dynamic segmentation) -Integrated business graphics -Intelligent address geocoding -Customization and application development tools -Inter-Application communications (IAC) support The Technology Following are the fundamental technologies of ArcView. The Geographic User Interface. ArcView
  • 2. 2 Version 2 integrates the visualization of geographic data with traditional data management tools like spreadsheets, databases, and business graphics. ArcView uses multiple document types, each designed to represent a familiar, intuitive metaphor for working with information. These documents include the -View document for viewing geographic data as maps -Table document that presents a tabular spreadsheet of map-related information -Chart document that allows the user to view data using traditional business graphics -Layout document that allows users to interactively compose the graphic features that are represented in the other documents for final output. Each of these documents has its own unique interface, designed to provide easy, familiar access to the tools appropriate for the particular document. The documents are dynamically linked, which means that as information is manipulated in one document, it is automatically updated in other documents to reflect the results. In addition, ArcView Version 2 supports a scripting document that is used for the development of Avenue scripts or macros which can be used to customize any of the document interfaces of ArcView or to automate specific tasks. These five documents are "owned" by another document known as the project document. A Project is the organizational metaphor for the overall product. They help you organize any combination of related documents-views, charts, tables, and layouts in one convenient location. A project "remembers" what data you were using and how you were using it from one ArcView session to another. Projects are a convenient way to organize your work, can be shared within an organization to facilitate team communication, or can be published for distribution to a broader audience. ArcView Data Handling. ArcView Version 2 supports many spatial data formats, including all of the ESRI GIS data product formats on all supplied platforms. These include ARC/INFO and PC ARC/INFO's basic vector feature types (e.g., points, lines, and polygons), and ARC/INFO's advanced feature types (e.g., routes and regions, images, and grids). Also, raster/image data types such as ERDAS, BSQ, BIL, BIT, Sun raster files, and run-length compressed files are supported. ArcView Version 2 introduces a new class of non-topological vector feature data stored in a "shapefile." This new data source was created as a simple and entirely open graphic
  • 3. 3 file format for ArcView users. The format is non-proprietary and fully documented. This means that anyone can publish data in a format immediately compatible with ArcView. ArcView allows users to directly create and edit data in this format. Shapefiles can be derived from existing ARC/INFO coverages by exporting all or just the selected features of a theme derived from an ARC/INFO coverage. Shapefiles can be easily converted to and from any other vector data format, facilitating the easy exchange of cartographic information. Finally, point information contained in virtually any type of table can be viewed and edited by ArcView directly. Input can come from numerous sources, including simple flat ASCII files, database files accessible from ArcView, or input from external data sources, like GPS receivers. Database Support. With ArcView Version 2's new relational capabilities, users can link any SQL DBMS, ASCII, dBASE file, or INFO file to their geographical data as a source for descriptive information about map features. ArcView provides extensive tabular data analysis tools to sort, query, create statistical summaries, add new fields, calculate new information based on existing attribute data, or interactively edit the contents of any field. The result of any of these operations can then be immediately displayed on a map and automatically linked with the other document types; for example, automatically update a pie chart or histogram. Intelligent Data. The object-oriented methodology of ArcView has allowed for the establishment of creating so-called "intelligent data." Using this methodology, the information presented to the user is made up of not only the raw data (e.g., map, table, image, etc.), but also various properties and methodologies that define how it is to be represented, queried, and used. The properties of data, for example, may include the legend, the map projection (representation), the scale at which it is to
  • 4. 4 be displayed, and various associations between a particular data set and other data sets. For example, end users or data publishers can define the scale and projection for a particular theme in a view. By setting scale properties for themes in a view, users can "drill" down to a particular scale and have themes either appear or disappear at relevant zoom levels, making more detailed information visible when zoomed in and more generalized views when zoomed out. Image Integration. ArcView Version 2 supports both geographic and document images. This allows for pointing at a feature and bringing up an image object such as a photograph or a scanned document. Geographic images, such as satellite images and aerial photographs, can be georeferenced and displayed with vector themes for visual reference, or as a background source for data entry. ArcView supports both opaque and transparent image display. Geographic Hot Links. These are a hypertext-like capability that allows for various kinds of data sets and software objects to be attached to geographic features and queried or initiated on request. For example, pictures can be retrieved by pointing at features on the map, or more detailed views of data can be brought up in other windows by touching particular features in the active window. Hot Links are another way users can "drill down" into greater levels of detail by linking views at multiple scales in much the same way that hypertext links topics in related documents. Also, Hot Links can be used to run an Avenue script, which might launch more sophisticated applications by simply touching a feature on the map. Address Geocoding. ArcView Version 2 includes a powerful new rule-based geocoding environment. This new technology provides more flexible geocoding capabilities, which can be used to match addresses to streets; ZIP codes to points; or city, county, state, and country names to geographic features in a theme; and so on. It can be used to georeference virtually any kind of textual
  • 5. 5 information to a map, either interactively or through batch matching. For more advanced users, there is a powerful reject processing capability that accommodates address adjustment as well as match criteria adjustment. Advanced Geographic Analysis. ArcView Version 2 contains numerous new GIS functions for spatial analysis. These include theme-on-theme operations such as point-in-polygon, line-in-polygon, polygon-on-polygon, and so on. These operations can be performed using themes in the view or users can perform the same operations through tabular joins using a theme's shape. Shapes are automatically maintained with tables associated with themes. The ability to create relationships between features based on location is called a "Spatial Join." In typical organizations, this will mean that tabular data that previously could not be easily viewed geographically can now be dynamically joined or associated by using location as the common key. In this sense, the map becomes a relationship-building tool, not simply a graphic representation tool. In addition to spatial joins and theme-on-theme operations, ArcView also supports proximity analysis. This is similar to the capability of topological feature buffering, but goes much further. ArcView Version 2 also supports a full range of projection operations including nine world projections, five hemisphere specific projections, and all of the North American projections including UTM and State Plane. Other specialized national grid systems are also be supported. Editing. ArcView Version 2's new graphic editing tools operate on shape themes, layouts, and a graphics-only overlay to a view. With graphical editing, users work with graphical objects such as points, lines, polygons, and text. These objects can be added, moved, modified, and deleted. Even individual vertices can be moved.
  • 6. 6 Users can digitize new shape themes or edit existing ones that contain points, lines, or polygon features, including composite features such as areas composed of multiple polygons and islands. Attributes can also be associated with each feature. ArcView Version 2 also allows the user to create geographically referenced graphics and annotation overlays as part of its acetate sheet functionality. For instance, ArcView's drawing tools can be used to freely delineate an overlay, geographic features, or descriptions on a map. Layout Design. Map designs contain numerous layout objects such as views, legends, north arrows, and scale bars, as well as many primitive graphical components such as text, boxes, lines, and symbols. ArcView's layout document provides a complete set of graphical editing tools to compose useful and meaningful maps. End users are supported with standard cartographic templates and are able to do graphic composition using tools such as a layout document. ArcView supports many different types and formats of output including PostScript and CGM, all the Windows drivers and, on the Macintosh, it supports Adobe Illustrator. Mapping. ArcView Version 2 supports a full library of cartographic display tools including default and user definable color and symbol palettes, interactive legend creation for both vector and raster based themes, automatic and user defined data classification tools for quantile, equal interval, and unique class mapping and automatic or interactive feature labeling tools. Avenue-ArcView Version 2's Application Development Environment and Graphic User Interface Builder. ArcView Version 2 optionally includes a new object-oriented programming language and development environment, called Avenue. Using Avenue, you can customize ArcView's user interface by hiding, adding, or deleting various buttons on each document menu. In addition, you can
  • 7. 7 associate sophisticated scripts to be executed when a particular menu button is pressed. Avenue is not simply a scripting language written around ArcView, but is a full function, object-oriented development environment with a scripting language designed specifically for GIS. With Avenue, you can completely customize ArcView to address specific user requirements or just make it work your way. IAC: Inter-Application Communication. ArcView Version 2 works with other applications, either resident on the local computer or on other computers. These communications can consist of sending data back and forth, or to make execution requests of applications that, in turn, send back information or results from analysis. These include applications such as GPS data recorders, which are tracking the location of a distant vehicle, a GPS operating as a data input device to collect data on the map interactively, or ARC/INFO to execute a sophisticated model. Using this technology, ESRI has implemented a client-server relationship between ArcView and ARC/INFO. This allows for data to be queried and viewed on a geographic data server, and also allows ArcView to initiate advanced ARC/INFO modeling or analysis functions which may be beyond the current capabilities of ArcView. The results can then be returned to ArcView for visual display and related data analysis. Client/Server Architecture. ArcView Version 2 is designed to inter-operate with many other technologies. This means ArcView is capable of extracting information from external DBMSs and establishing interapplication communication (IAC) dialogues with other applications through standard protocols (DDE for Windows, RPC for UNIX, and Apple Events for Macintosh). Through IAC, ArcView can act as a client or server in an integrated application. For example, GPS data can be collected and passed to ArcView for real time data display through an interface program and DDE.
  • 8. 8 Multi-platform Design. ArcView Version 2 is most popular in the desktop environment (Windows/NT). However, it is also available for many different types of computers, including all the UNIX platforms supported by ESRI, OpenVMS, and Apple Macintosh computers. ArcView can also read ARC/INFO data on any platform and from any platform. Avenue applications are also platform independent-scripts developed on one machine will work on any other platform. Hypertext Help System. ArcView's new interactive documentation has been implemented on-line in a Hypertext environment which supports linking between not only text objects, but also between text and other documents such as the View document, the Chart document, and so on. Users can customize the help document and implement their own "Hot Links" between special versions of help text and other components of the system. How ArcView is Used Following are a few of the many ways that ArcView Version 2 is being used. A Personal GIS. We envision that ArcView Version 2 is causing a revolution in low-end GIS usage. This is not simply desktop mapping. It incorporates many of the sophisticated geographic analysis tools and database access tools that were previously only available in high-end GIS systems. In addition, it is packaged in such a way that it is easy enough for everyone in the desktop community to be able to instantly use. It is productive for the individual, as well as functional in the larger enterprise context. A Desktop Mapping System. ArcView Version 2 contains all of the functionality of the typical desktop mapping systems plus a variety of unique tools for GIS analytic and visualization operations. It is a low-cost alternative to a variety of existing desktop tools. Its strategic advantages are the architecture of the core tool, far more sophisticated development environment, better integration with corporate databases, more
  • 9. 9 sophisticated analytic tools, better cartographic representation tools, and a much richer, more intuitive and extendible user interface. An Enterprise Client. ArcView Version 2 operates across networks to integrate spatial, tabular, and image information. ArcView handles the large collections of data sets often encountered in big organizations. In that sense, it is a kind of "industrial-strength" technology that can reach into the full corporate warehouse of information including document imaging systems, corporate tabular databases, as well as GIS databases. It integrates all these information sources in a simple and meaningful way. It also works in a peer-to-peer relationship with other sophisticated software tools, including high-end GIS systems and GIS data servers, as well as software applications such as sophisticated graphics, statistical analysis or modeling tools. A Viewer of ARC/INFO Data. ArcView helps existing ARC/INFO users by providing a technology to electronically publish and provide access to geographic information databases. As a result, GIS data is becoming more accessible to many new users through an easy, intuitive interface. Commercial Data Distribution. ArcView is being customized and distributed as the viewing tool for commercial databases published by commercial data vendors. ArcView is being customized to create applications that work exclusively with specific data sets. ESRI is working with commercial data publishers and others who wish to create a special "data viewer", which allows users to browse the data. This opportunity extends far beyond basic map data, and includes the capability to develop interactive digital publications, such as electronic books incorporating multimedia, and other products such as visual products for education, teaching, entertainment, and so on. Project Publication. Many ARC/INFO users have worked for years on GIS projects that are
  • 10. 10 typically published in hard-copy reports. Using ArcView Version 2, users are publishing digital versions of their projects for general review (e.g., the general plan for a forest, or the status of an urban development plan). An Executive Information System. ArcView Version 2's multiple-document interface system is easily customized to provide an information integration tool for high-level managers and executives to view either basic information or aggregate information through familiar tables, charts and now, maps. By integrating hot connections, multiple-scale zooming, and dynamic document relationships, the full enterprise information source can be rolled together and made accessible to the decision and policy makers who really need the information to support effect decisions. A Portable GIS Integrating GPS. ArcView Version 2 supports applications that integrate hand-held computers, and portable GPS technology. These include navigation, surveying, location finding, and field based data capture. ArcView's data capture technology provides the ability to dynamically capture and represent (in graphic form) GPS information as an overlay (theme). This gives users a strong and reliable platform that can both capture and display GPS data and also display and access basemap information as an underlay to GPS receivers. A Geographic Design System. ArcView Version 2's interactive drawing tools allow designers, planners and others to sketch new ideas, draft prototype design concepts, and communicate their ideas graphically to other project members, by simply drawing on top of existing map layers and showing these delineations as part of the "View" document. Applications for these are many, particularly in organizations that do mark ups of maps such as review of proposals for land developments/subdivisions, resource conservation plans, and construction work orders. ArcView Version 2 can be used as a project management tool for electronically publishing completion of work that is
  • 11. 11 geographically related. For example, digitizing of maps, construction of roads, development of land, or agricultural harvesting. An Educational Tool. ArcView Version 2 is being used by many levels of education (K-12 and higher) as an interactive technology for teaching students the basics of GIS and how it can be used. Students and educators are benefiting from a tool that can both teach about content, as well as the process of geographic analysis and visualization. Specialized Application Development. ArcView Version 2's powerful, object-oriented application, development language and environment, Avenue, allows the GIS community to rapidly prototype and develop a whole range of value-added applications using ArcView as the base technology. Applications range from a two-button turnkey system to a sophisticated interapplication systems that use ArcView to integrate multiple applications such as work flow, image document management, and high-end GIS. Data Publication. ArcView Version 1 has been successful in many libraries around the world for public access to information. ArcView Version 2 will extend that capability by making it even easier to link public data records to interested citizens through custom user interfaces. ArcView Version 2 can be used as a real time public access systems for virtually any type of information. Examples include events, real estate, recreation opportunities, public interest issues, hotel, emergency information, and crime areas. Analysis Tool for Business Planning. ArcView Version 2 integrates traditional business information management tools with maps, to facilitating analysis based on market research statistics, customer information, and sales territories towards the development of better business strategies that reflect the ongoing information requirements of an organization. For More Information...
  • 12. 12 More information on ArcView Version 2 is available from info@esri.com, or in the U.S. call 1-800-GIS-XPRT (1-800-447-9778).