Esri is a software development and services company providing Geographic Information System
(GIS) software and geodatabase management applications. The headquarters of Esri is in
Redlands, California. Jack and Laura Dangermond founded Esri in 1969. Jack Dangermond is
the current president of Esri
The company was founded as Environmental Systems Research Institute in 1969 as a land-use
consulting firm. Esri products (particularly ArcGIS Desktop) have one-third of the global market
share In 2009 Esri had approximately a 30 percent share of the GIS software market
worldwide, more than any other vendor Other sources estimate that about seventy percent of the
current GIS users make use of Esri products
In the 1990s, Esri experienced a period of rapid growth spurred by faster and cheaper computers,
network processing, electronic data publishing, and new data capture techniques such as remote
sensing and GPS. Esri's first desktop solution, ArcView, had a major impact on the industry by
opening up the possibilities of GIS to more users. In addition, Esri's growing business partner
and developer programs allowed further expansion and the advent of customized solutions.
Esri also increased its support for GIS education at the university level and introduced a
comprehensive K-12 program. In addition, the company expanded its own training programs and
facilities. Today, Esri offers hundreds of courses at various training sites around the world as
well as online courses, live training seminars, and podcasts. Esri Press was launched, which now
has nearly 100 titles.
While most organizations choose to implement the software on their own, Esri continues to offer
project-, implementation-, and industry-focused services.
GIS and the Enterprise
During the late 1990s, Esri reengineered ARC/INFO to develop a modular and scalable GIS
platform that would work both on the desktop and across the enterprise. The result was ArcGIS.
Next, Esri released ArcGIS Server, the corresponding data management component for Esri's
ArcGIS software family. It allows GIS capabilities to be delivered to large numbers of users over
existing networks. Analysts can author maps, globes, and geoprocessing tasks on their desktops
and publish them online using integrated tools. GIS functions can be delivered as services
throughout the enterprise. Users can connect to central servers using traditional desktop GIS as
well as Web browsers, mobile computing devices, and digital appliances. They can also connect
to services via Amazon Cloud.
This server technology provides broad support for interoperability standards and allows
integration with other enterprise software. Esri has also actively participated in the development
of GIS standards.
During this time, it became increasingly evident that the GIS community needed a means to
increase awareness of GIS. Prompted by an idea from consumer advocate Ralph Nader, Esri
launched GIS Day in 1999 in coordination with the National Geographic Society. Now, GIS Day
is held every year during Geography Awareness Week.
Each stage in Esri's evolution has involved major technology changes. Today it's the Web and
Web GIS. The power of the Web promises to support more GIS collaboration. Applications
already possible include sharing commercial services, mashups, and data replication services.
The Web is also making GIS more distributed, multiparticipant, and open.
This means that more and more people are engaged in activities such as creating and interacting
with maps online, so Esri has steadily integrated the online experience into ArcGIS technology.
Software such as ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Explorer provide instant access to a host of
online services, including maps and tools. Esri is also taking advantage of cloud computing
opportunities to help make GIS available to anyone, anywhere.ArcGIS.com is Esri's newest
online experience that brings content, tools, and the growing GIS community together in one
Prior to the ArcGIS suite, Esri had focused its software development on the command
line Arc/INFO workstation program and several Graphical User Interface-based products such as
the ArcView GIS 3.x desktop program. Other Esri products included MapObjects,
a programming library for developers, and ArcSDE as a relational database management system.
The various products had branched out into multiple source trees and did not integrate well with
one another. In January 1997, Esri decided to revamp its GIS software platform, creating a single
integrated software architecture.
In late 1999, Esri released ArcGIS 8.0, which ran on the Microsoft Windows operating
system. ArcGIS combined the visual user-interface aspect of ArcView GIS 3.x interface with
some of the power from the Arc/INFO version 7.2 workstation. This pairing resulted in a new
software suite called ArcGIS, which included the command-line ArcInfo workstation (v8.0) and
a new graphical user interface application called ArcMap(v8.0) incorporating some of the
functionality of ArcInfo with a more intuitive interface, as well as an ArcGIS file management
application called ArcCatalog (v8.0). The release of the ArcGIS suite constituted a major change
in Esri's software offerings, aligning all their client and server products under one software
architecture known as ArcGIS, developed using Microsoft Windows COM standards.
One major difference is the programming (scripting) languages available to customize or extend
the software to suit particular user needs. In the transition to ArcGIS, Esri dropped support of its
application-specific scripting languages, Avenue and the ARC Macro Language (AML), in
favour of Visual Basic for Applications scripting and open access to ArcGIS components using
the Microsoft COM standards. ArcGIS is designed to store data in a proprietary RDBMS
format, known as geodatabase. ArcGIS 8.x introduced other new features, including on-the-
flymap projections, and annotation in the database.
Updates of ArcView 3.x extensions, including 3D Analyst and Spatial Analyst, came later with
release of ArcGIS 8.1, which was unveiled at the Esri International User Conference in
2000. ArcGIS 8.1 was officially released on April 24, 2001. Other new extensions were made
available with ArcGIS 8.1, including GeoStatistical Analyst. ArcGIS 8.1 also added the ability to
access data online, directly from the Geography Network site or other ArcIMS map
services. ArcGIS 8.3 was introduced in 2002, adding topology to geodatabases, which was a
feature originally available only with ArcInfo coverages.
ArcGIS 9 was released in May 2004, which included ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Engine for
developers. The ArcGIS 9 release includes ageoprocessing environment that allows execution
of traditional GIS processing tools (such as clipping, overlay, and spatial analysis) interactively
or from any scripting language that supports COM standards. Although the most popular of these
is Python, others have been used, especially Perl and VBScript. ArcGIS 9 includes a visual
programming environment, similar to ERDAS IMAGINE's Model Maker (released in 1994,
v8.0.2). The Esri version is called ModelBuilder and as does the ERDAS IMAGINE version
allows users to graphically link geoprocessing tools into new tools called models. These models
can be executed directly or exported to scripting languages which can then execute in batch
mode (launched from a command line), or they can undergo further editing to add branching or
On June 26, 2008, Esri released ArcGIS 9.3. The new version of ArcGIS Desktop has new
modeling tools and geostatistical error tracking features, while ArcGIS Server has improved
used to create mashups, and integrated with either Google Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth.
At the 2008 Esri Developers Summit, there was little emphasis on ArcIMS, except for one
session on transitioning from ArcIMS to ArcGIS Server-based applications, indicating a change
in focus for Esri with ArcGIS 9.3 for web-based mapping applications.
In May 2009, Esri released ArcGIS 9.3.1, which improved the performance of dynamic map
publishing and introduced better sharing of geographic information.
In 2010, Esri announced what had previously been thought of as version 9.4 would be version 10
and would be shipped in the second quarter of 2010. The current version is 10.0. as of September
As of September 2010 Esri's current desktop GIS suite is version 10.0. ArcGIS Desktop software
products allow users to author, analyze, map, manage, share, and publish geographic
information. ArcGIS Desktop ships in three levels of licensing: ArcView, ArcEditor and
ArcInfo. ArcView provides a robust set of GIS capabilities suitable for many GIS applications.
ArcEditor, at added cost, expands the desktop capabilities to allow more extensive data editing
and manipulation, including server geodatabase editing. ArcInfo is at the high end and provides
full, advanced analysis and data management capabilities, including geostatistical and
topological analysis tools. At all levels of licensing, ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox are
the names of the applications comprising the desktop package.
ArcGIS Explorer, ArcReader, and ArcExplorer are basic freeware applications for viewing GIS
ArcGIS Desktop Extensions are available, including Spatial Analyst which allows raster
analysis, and 3D Analyst which allows terrain mapping and analysis. Other more specialized
extensions are available from Esri and third parties for specific GIS needs.
Esri's original product, ARC/INFO, was a command line GIS product available initially on
minicomputers, then on UNIX workstations. In 1992, a GUI GIS, ArcView GIS, was introduced.
Over time, both of those products were offered in Windows versions and ArcView was offered
as a Macintosh product. The names ArcView and ArcInfo are now used to name different levels
of licensing in ArcGIS Desktop, and less often refer to these original software products. The
Windows version of ArcGIS is now the only ArcGIS Desktop platform that is undergoing new
development for future product releases.
Server GIS products allow GIS functionality and data to be deployed from a central
environment. ArcIMS (Internet Mapping Server) provides browser based access to GIS. ArcSDE
(Spatial Database Engine) is used as an RDBMS connector for other Esri software to store and
retrieve GIS data within a commercially available RDBMS. Currently ArcSDE can be used with
Oracle, DB2, Informix and Microsoft SQL Server databases. It supports its native SDE binary
data format, Oracle Spatial, and ST_geometry. ArcGIS Server is an internet application service,
used to extend the functionality of ArcGIS Desktop software to a browser based environment...
ArcGIS Server is available on Solaris and Linux as well as Windows and will eventually phase
out ArcIMS. Other server based products include Geoportal Extension, ArcGIS Image Server
and Tracking Server as well as several others.
Mobile GIS conflates GIS, GPS, location-based services, handheld computing, and the growing
availability of geographic data. ArcGIS technology can be deployed on a range of mobile
systems from lightweight devices to PDAs, laptops, and Tablet PCs. Products: ArcPad, Mobile
ArcGIS Desktop Systems, ArcGIS Server (Server-oriented APIs), ArcWeb Services (Web-
oriented APIs), hosted geographic databases, ArcGIS mobile.
ArcGIS mobile ADF is an API to develop applications on windows mobile platform of different
flavors (pocketpc, smartphone).
Developer GIS products enable building custom desktop or server GIS applications or embed
GIS functionality in existing applications. These focused solutions can then be easily deployed
throughout an organization. Products: Esri Developer Network or EDN, ArcEngine (Desktop-
oriented APIs), ArcGIS Server (Server-oriented APIs and a web development ADF which is part
of ArcGIS Server), ArcWeb Services (Web-oriented APIs)
Online GIS (ArcGIS Online)
ArcGIS includes online, or internet, capabilities in all Esri software products. Online capabilities
are centrally located at www.arcgis.com. These include web API’s, hosted map and
geoprocessing services, and a user sharing program. A variety of basemaps is a signature feature
of arcgis.com. The Esri Community Maps program compiles detailed user basemap information
into a common cartographic format called Topographic Basemap.
ArcGIS consists of Desktop GIS products, as well as GIS products that run on a server, or
on a mobile device.
ArcGIS Desktop is available at different product levels, with increasing functionality.
ArcReader (freeware, viewer) is a basic data viewer for maps and GIS data published in the
proprietary Esri format using ArcGIS Publisher. The software also provides some basic tools
for map viewing, printing and querying of spatial data. ArcReader is included with any of the
ArcGIS suite of products, and is also available for free to download. ArcReader only works
with preauthored published map files, created with ArcGIS Publisher.
ArcView is the entry level of ArcGIS licensing offered. With ArcView, one is able to view
and edit GIS data held in flat files, or view data stored in a relational database management
system by accessing it through ArcSDE.
ArcEditor is the midlevel software suite designed for advanced editing of spatial data
published in the proprietary Esri format. It provides tools for the creation of map and spatial
data used in GIS, including the ability of editing geodatabase files and data, multiuser
geodatabase editing, versioning, raster data editing and vectorization, advanced vector data
editing, managing coverages, coordinate geometry (COGO), and editing geometric networks.
ArcEditor is not intended for advanced spatial analysis.
ArcInfo allows users the most flexibility and control in all aspects of data building,
modeling, analysis, and map display. ArcInfo includes increased capability in the areas of
spatial analysis, geoprocessing, data management, and others.
Other desktop GIS software include ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGIS Engine. ArcGIS Explorer is a
GIS viewer which can work as a client forArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, ArcWeb Services and Web
Map Service (WMS).
ArcGIS Online is a free web application currently in public beta, allowing sharing and search
of geographic information, as well as content published by Esri, ArcGIS users, and other
authoritative data providers. It allows users to create and join groups, and control access to
items shared publicly or within groups.
ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs are APIs for several languages, allowing users to build and
deploy applications that include GIS functionality and Web services from ArcGIS Online and
applications that can be embedded in web pages or launched as stand-alone Web
applications. Flex, Adobe Air and Windows Presentation Foundation(WPF) are supported for
ArcGIS Desktop consists of several integrated applications,
including ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcToolbox, and ArcGlobe. ArcCatalog is the data management
application, used to browse datasets and files on one's computer, database, or other sources. In
addition to showing what data is available, ArcCatalog also allows users to preview the data on a
map. ArcCatalog also provides the ability to view and manage metadata for spatial
datasets. ArcMap is the application used to view, edit and query geospatial data, and
create maps. The ArcMap inferface has two main sections, including a table of contents on the
left and the data frame(s) which display the map. Items in the table of contents correspond with
layers on the map. ArcToolbox contains geoprocessing, data conversion, and analysis tools,
along with much of the functionality in ArcInfo. It is also possible to use batch processing with
ArcToolbox, for frequently repeated tasks.
There are a number of software extensions for ArcGIS Desktop to provide added functionality,
including 3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst, Network Analyst, Survey Analyst, Tracking Analyst, and
Geostatistical Analyst. Advanced map labeling is available with the Maplex extension, as an
add-on to ArcView and ArcEditor and is bundled with ArcInfo. Numerous extensions have
also been developed by third-parties, such as XTools and MAP2PDF for
creating georeferenced pdfs (GeoPDF), ERDAS' Image Analysis and Stereo Analyst for
ArcGIS, and ISM'sPurVIEW, which converts Arc- desktops into precise stereo-viewing
windows to work with geo-referenced stereoscopic image models for accurate geodatabase-direct
editing or feature digitizing.
ArcGIS Mobile and ArcPad are products designed for mobile devices. ArcGIS Mobile is
a software development kit for developers to use to create applications for mobile devices, such
as smartphones or tablet PCs. If connected to the Internet, mobile applications can connect to
ArcGIS Server to access or update data. ArcGIS Mobile is only available at the Enterprise
Server GIS products include ArcIMS (web mapping server), ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Image
Server. As with ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Server is available at different product levels,
including Basic, Standard, and Advanced Editions. ArcGIS Server comes with SQL Server
ExpressDBMS embedded, and can work with enterprise DBMS such as SQL Server
Enterprise and Oracle. The Esri Developer Network (EDN) includes ArcObjects and other
tools for building custom software applications, and ArcGIS Engine provides a programming
interface for developers.
• Browse-Text or Graphics
• Manage-Copy, Delete, Rename,Coordinate System, Add attributes,Build
Three ways to view dataContents,Preview,Metadata
2map view—Pagelayout,Data view
ArcView is full-featured geographic information system (GIS)
software for visualizing, managing, creating, and analyzing
geographic data. Using ArcView, you can understand the
geographic context of your data, allowing you to see
relationships and identify patterns in new ways. ArcView helps
tens of thousands of organizations make better decisions and solve
o Author maps using simple wizards and an extensive suite of
o Use predefined map templates that save you time and make it easy to create a consistent
style in your maps.
o Create interactive maps from file, database, and online sources.
o Create interactive maps that link nonspatial data to specific locations.
o Create interactive maps that allow you to access a wide variety of digital data.
o Create street-level maps that incorporate GPS locations.
o View CAD data or satellite images.
o Generate reports and charts.
o Save, print, export, or embed completed maps in other documents or applications.
o Analyze spatial data and derive answers from data of a location-dependent nature.
o Visually model and spatially analyze a process or workflow.
o Use a geoprocessing framework that includes ready-to-use analysis tools as well as the
ability to build process models, scripts, and complete workflows.
Data Use and Integration
o Create and manage geographic data, tabular data, and metadata.
o Use a wide variety of data types including demographics, facilities, CAD drawings,
imagery, Web services, and multimedia.
o Directly read or import more than 70 different formats in ArcView.
Begin your visualization and analysis right away with the included ESRI Data & Maps Media
Kit, which is updated annually and preconfigured to work specifically with ESRI software. The
ESRI Data & Maps Media Kit contains more than 24 GB of data including
o Basemap and thematic MXDs for Canada, Europe, Mexico, the United States, and the
o Commercial data from Tele Atlas, AND Mapping, DMTI Spatial, WorldSat, EarthSat,
EuroGeographics, Michael Bauer Research, World Wildlife Fund, SIGSA, and ESRI
o Ninety-meter Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) dataset
o All levels of U.S. Census geography and ZIP Codes
o TIGER 2000-based StreetMap USA data
ArcGIS Online includes optimized, ready-to-use content and capabilities such as 2D maps, 3D
globes, and reference layers. ArcGIS Online services are always available on the Web so that
users with Internet access can use these services at any time.
o View, navigate, and print published ArcGIS maps using ArcReader (.pmf files).
o Deploy your GIS data—share and deliver interactive maps based on dynamic content.
o Offer novices and professionals alike a way to view and query your published maps.
Map Viewing and Navigation
o Perform basic map navigation such as zooming and panning and switching between map
and page layout view.
o Communicate more efficiently with the ability to graphically mark up maps.
o Utilize ArcWeb Services in ArcReader including route, nearby place, and address
Data Query and Exploration
o Use ArcReader tools such as Find and Identify to explore a variety of geographic data
including raster and vector data.
o Use tools such as Identify, Find, Measure, Hyperlink, and Magnifier Window to discover
information not available when working with static paper maps.
o Print published map documents and published globe documents including all layer
symbology and cartographic map elements on any supported printer.
Configurable and Customizable
o Using the ArcGIS Publisher wizard, you can control the appearance of the ArcReader
application when it opens a map.
o Create custom ArcReader applications or embed ArcReader capabilities into existing
applications using the ArcGIS Publisher developer controls.
Menus and Functionalities of ArcGIS:
ArcMap is the main component of Esri's ArcGIS suite of geospatial processing programs, and is
used primarily to view, edit, create, and analyze geospatial data. ArcMap allows the user to
explore data within a data set, symbolize features accordingly, and create maps.
ArcMap users can create and manipulate data sets to include a variety of information. For
example, the maps produced in ArcMap generally include features such as north arrows, scale
bars, titles, legends, etc. The software package include a style-set of these features.
The ArcGIS suite is available at three license levels: ArcEditor, ArcView, and ArcInfo. Each
step up in the license provides the user with more extensions that allow a variety of querying to
be performed on a data set. ArcInfo is the highest level of licensing, and allows the user to use
such extensions as 3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst, and the Geostatistical Analyst.
Maps created and saved within ArcMap will create a file on the hard drive with an .mxd
extension. Once an .mxd file is opened in ArcMap, the user can display a variety of information,
as long as it exists within the data set. At this time the user will create an entirely new map
output and use the customization and design features to create a unique product. Upon
completion of the map, ArcMap has the ability to save, print, and export files to PDF.
The geographic information that is loaded into ArcMap can be viewed in two ways: data view
and layout view.
In data view, the user can interact with the geographic information presented, and the map
elements are hidden from view. Most projects begin in this view, and continue to the layout view
for final editing and production. While in the layout view, the user can incorporate a number of
useful features such as scale bars and north arrows. These elements are crucial to map-making,
and provide clients with appropriate reference information.
Editing in ArcMap
ArcCatalog is a geodatabase administration application in ESRI's ArcGIS suite. It provides an
integrated and unified view of all the data files, databases, and ArcGIS documents, integrating
information that exists in many forms, including relational databases, files, ArcGIS documents,
and remote GIS web services.
Specifically, ArcCatalog allows an ArcGIS user to:
Browse and find geographic information
Record, view, and manage metadata
Define, export, and import geodatabase data models and datasets
Search for and discover GIS data on local networks and the Web
Create and manage the schemas of geodatabases
Administer ArcSDE geodatabases
Administer an ArcGIS server
A central place to access GIS information
What is a model?
• An abstraction of reality.
• A model is structured as a set of rules and procedures to derive new information that
can be analyzed to aid in problem solving and planning.
A procedure run on a database to derive a measure or a set of measures. A set of clearly defined
analytical procedures used to derive new information. A model is structured as a set of rules and
procedures to derive new information that can be analyzed to aid in problem solving and
planning. Analytical tools in a geographic information system (GIS) are used for building spatial
models. Models can include a combination of logical expressions, mathematical procedures and
criteria, which are applied for the purpose of simulating a process, predicting an outcome, or
characterizing a phenomenon. The terms modeling and analysis are often used interchangeably.
Analysis is the process of identifying a question or issue to be addressed, modeling, investigating
model results, and making interpretations about the results including a recommendation about
the issue being addressed. Modeling is more limited in scope; it is the process of simulation,
prediction, or description.
What is modeling?
To produce a representation or simulation of a problem.A procedure run on a database to
derive a measure or set of measures.A set of clearly defined procedures used to derive new
What is analysis?
The process of modeling, examining and interpreting model results. Analysis is the process of
extracting or creating new information about a set of geographic features. Spatial analysis is
useful for suitability and capability evaluation, for estimation and prediction, and for
interpretation and understanding.
Analysis is often referred to as modeling. In GIS, there are four traditional types of spatial
analysis: spatial overlay and contiguity analysis, surface analysis, network analysis (pathfinding
and linear feature modeling), and raster, cell-based analysis.
2. Data representation of reality; for example, spatial data models include the arc-node,
georelational model, rasters or grids, and tins. See also spatial modeling and analysis
ModelBuilder is an application in which you create, edit, and manage models
ModelBuilder for building generic tools
In this mode, you use ModelBuilder to build a tool that will be used as a system tool; opened and
run from ArcToolbox, entered as a command in the Command Line window, called in scripts, or
embedded in other models. The expectation is that these types of tools will be shared with others.
Models built in this way expose variables as model parameters and should have meaningful
variable names and full documentation. Below is an example of a generic tool model. Note that
none of the processes are ready-to-run, since all parameters will be supplied by the user at run
With ArcIMS, you can
Deliver dynamic maps and data via the Web.
Share data with others to accomplish tasks.
The core of ArcIMS is a spatial server where most of the map related services are processed. On
the server side, ArcIMS connector sits on top of web server and ArcIMS component and
Application server works behind the scene. On the client side, the viewers can be thin client,
custom clients or Esri desktop application like ArcMap, ArcExplorer, or ArcPad.
ArcIMS uses Esri's ArcXML to receive and respond to requests from the client. The data behind
ArcIMS is usually stored in Shapefile format (an open specification) or an ArcSDE RDBMS
The Data Delivery Extension (DDE) is an extension to the ArcIMS product that delivers data to
users in a data format and coordinate system of their own choosing, in order to have access to
data in a format compatible with their local GIS applications.
ArcIMS metadata services can be used to create a central, online metadata repository that allows
you to easily publish and efficiently browse metadata over the Internet. You can author your
metadata through the ArcGIS ArcCatalog™ application using industry-standard and user-
definable style templates, then publish your metadata by simply dragging and dropping it into the
ArcIMS Metadata Server. asily Create and Share Your Web Mapping Application You can build
and customize viewers by using the ArcIMS Web Manager or the ArcIMS Application
Developer Framework (ADF).
Users without developer experience can benefit from the step-by-step workflow in ArcIMS Web
Manager, which lets you choose the function¬ality and services you want to use in the
application. Multiple map ser¬vices can be integrated into a single Web application. Once
published to the Web, you can still edit the application in ArcIMS Web Manager.
The ADF provides developers with additional flexibility to easily create customized viewers
from scratch or edit the output from ArcIMS Web Manager. Two versions of the ADF can be
used—one for the Microsoft .NET Framework and one for the Java platform.
On the client side, the custom viewer provides visitors to your Web site with the ability to view
high-quality, interactive maps that feature tools including seamless pan, dynamic zoom,
MapTips, and keyboard shortcuts.
Maintain Standards and Security
ArcIMS supports Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) capabilities that
adhere to Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), specifications. For more information on
ESRI’s commitment to interoperability and standards, visit www.esri.com/standards.
To manage the security of your Web site, ArcIMS also supports Secure Hypertext Transfer
Protocol and Secure Sockets Layer Protocol. In addi¬tion, ArcIMS performs user authentication
for map services, allowing you to define which users have access to GIS data
ArcIMS Route Server—Put routing capabilities on your Website by adding the ArcIMS Route
Server extension to your application.
Users can quickly obtain point-to-point directions, locate optimal routes based on time and
distance, account for multiple stops along a route, and create drive-time rings around a point.
ArcIMS Data Delivery—The ArcIMS Data Delivery extension enables users to easily select,
export, and deliver data in multiple formats and projections from a centralized Internet server.
This extension allows users and administrators to publish data in a wide variety of standard
spatial formats used within the industry.
With ArcIMS Data Delivery, you can download data in 20 different formats using a simple
browser-based application, project features to more than 4,000 projections, and download
extracted features in ZIP files.
A geodata service allows you to access a geodatabase through a local area network (LAN) or
the Internet using ArcGIS Server. The service exposes the ability to perform geodatabase
replication operations, make copies using data extraction and execute queries in the
geodatabase. A geodata service may be added for any type of geodatabase including
ArcSDE geodatabases, personal geodatabases and file geodatabases.
Geodata services are useful in situations where you need to access geodatabases in remote
locations. For example, a company may want to set up ArcSDE geodatabases to manage data
in its Los Angeles and New York offices. Once created, each office can publish its ArcSDE
geodatabase on the Internet using a geodata service. The geodata services can then be used
to create replicas for the ArcSDE geodatabases. With geodatabase replication, the geodata
services can be also used to periodically synchronize the changes in each geodatabase over
Before working with geodata services, you should have a basic understanding of how
geodatabases, geodatabase replication, and data extraction work. The topic Understanding
distributed data in the ArcGIS Desktop Help is a good starting point. Additionally, it's
helpful to have some experience performing replication and data extraction in the ArcGIS
Desktop environment before attempting these operations with ArcGIS Server The following
diagram and examples describe how geodata services are consumed:
1. Enterprise geodatabase: In the diagram above, a replica exists between an enterprise
geodatabase in New York and an enterprise geodatabase in Los Angeles. The replica
was created by first publishing the Los Angeles geodatabase as a geodata service
with the Replication operation enabled in ArcGIS Server. An administrator in New
York then accessed this geodata service over the Internet and used the ArcGIS
Desktop tools to create a replica. (See the preceding section for information on how
you can replicas from geodata services.)
Once replicated, editors perform updates to each enterprise geodatase locally. The
administrator in New York periodically runs a geoprocessing model to connect to the
geodata service in Los Angeles and synchronize changes in both directions. This
keeps the geodatabases synchronized, allowing users to access the same information
at either location.
2. Single User Geodatabases: There are also replicas between the Los Angeles
enterprise geodatabase and local geodatabases running on field workers' laptops. The
field workers disconnect from the network, make updates to their local geodatabases
during the day and then synchronize with the Los Angeles database at the end of each
In this case, field workers can use check-out replicas to personal or file geodatabases.
At the end of each day the laptops are connected to the Los Angeles geodatabase and
changes are checked in. Once check in completes, new check-outs needs to be
created for the next days work. This can be done using a geoprocessing model that is
scheduled to run overnight. To avoid having to run the check out process each night,
two way replicas can be used instead of check-out replicas. A two way replica allows
multiple synchronizations which can both send and receive changes. Therefore, at the
end of the day, each laptop can run through a synchronization process to both upload
changes and get the latest modifications from the Los Angeles geodatabase. Personal
ArcSDE geodatabases running on each laptop can be used to create the two way
These processes can be run locally in the office by plugging the field laptops into the
LAN each night. In cases where the field workers are too remote to make it back to
the office each night, they can also run the processes on the Internet. Here, instead of
accessing the geodatabase directly, they connect to the geodata service published for
the Los Angeles geodatabase over the Internet.
Once integrated, the changes from the field workers are also shared with the New
York office when the enterprise offices synchronize.
Service type GIS resource
Map service Map document (.mxd, .pmf)
Geocode service Address locator (.loc, .mxs, SDE batch locator)
Database connection file (.sde) or Personal Geodatabase or File
Geodatabase or Map document with a layer that references a layer from a
Map document with a tool layer or Toolbox (.tbx)
Globe service Globe document (.3dd, .pmf)
You can modify a service's properties to make it either pooled or non-pooled.
Pooled services can be shared between multiple application sessions. Therefore, pooled
services should only be used with stateless operations. In contrast, non-pooled services are
dedicated to one application session and are used when the application requires stateful
operations, such as editing. Non-pooled services should generally only be created for editing
data, connecting through an ArcGIS Server Local connection.
Both pooled and non-pooled configurations require you to specify a minimum and maximum
number of instances when you add the service. When you start the service configuration, the
GIS server pre-creates and initializes the minimum number of instances. When an
application asks the server object manager (SOM) for an instance of that service, it gets a
reference to one of the pre-created services. If all of the pre-created services are in use, the
server creates a new instance, and will do this for each subsequent request until the
maximum allowable number of instances for the configuration has been reached, or the
capacity of all container machines has been reached, whichever comes first.
An application that uses a pooled service instance only uses it for the amount of time it takes
to complete one request (for example, draw a map or geocode an address). After the request
is completed, the application releases its reference to the service and returns it directly to the
pool. Users of such an application may be working with a number of different instances of a
service in the pool as they interact with the application. This fact is transparent to the users,
since the state of all the instances in the pool is the same.
For example, a stateless application that wants to draw a certain extent of a map will get a
reference to an instance of a map service from the pool, execute a method on the map
service to draw the map, then release it back to the pool. The next time the application needs
to draw the map, this is repeated. Each draw of the map may use a different instance of the
pooled service; therefore, each pooled service must be the same (have the same set of layers,
the same renderer for each layer, and so on). If a user changes the state of a pooled service
by, for example, adding a layer or changing a layer's renderer, he or she will see inconsistent
results while panning and zooming around the map. This is because the instance whose state
was changed was returned to the pool, and the user is not guaranteed to receive that
particular instance from the pool every time he or she requests a service. It's the developer's
responsibility to make sure that the application does not change the state of the instance and
that the instance is returned to the pool in a timely manner.
Pooling services allows the GIS server to support more users with fewer resources allocated
to a particular service. Because applications can share a pool of services, the number of
concurrent users on the system can be greater than that which would be possible if each user
held a reference to a dedicated service.
Pooled services can support more users because application sessions share a collection
of services in the pool.
An application that makes use of a non-pooled service typically holds its reference to the
service for the duration of the application's session. When the application releases the
instance, it is destroyed and the GIS server creates a new one to maintain the number of
available instances. For this reason, the user of a non-pooled service can make changes to the
service's underlying data.
With non-pooled services, the number of users on the system can have no more than a 1:1
correlation with the number of running service instances. Therefore, the number of
concurrent users the GIS server can support is equal to the number of non-pooled services
that it can support effectively at any one time.
With non-pooled services, the number of users on the system can have no more than a
1:1 correlation with the number of running service instances.
Service recycling allows services that have become unusable to be destroyed and replaced
with fresh services; recycling also reclaims resources taken up by stale services.
Pooled services are typically shared between multiple applications and users of those
applications. Through reuse, a number of things can happen to a service to make it
unavailable for use by applications. For example, an application may incorrectly modify a
service's state, or an application may incorrectly hold a reference to a service, making it
unavailable to other applications or sessions. In some cases, services may become corrupted
and unusable. Recycling allows you to keep the pool of services fresh and cycle out stale or
unusable services. Note that recycling does not apply to non-pooled services because non-
pooled services are created explicitly for use by a particular client and destroyed after use.
During recycling, the server destroys, then re-creates each instance in a pooled service
configuration. Recycling occurs as a background process on the server. Although you will
not see anything on your screen notifying you that recycling is occurring, you can see the
events associated with recycling in the log files. After recycling occurs, you will also notice
that the number of running instances has returned to the minimum allowed.
The time between recycling events is called the recycling interval. The default recycling
interval is 24 hours, which you can change in the Service Properties dialog. You can also
select the time that the configuration will initially be recycled. From that time forward,
recycling will occur each time the recycling interval is reached.
Services are recycled one instance at a time to ensure that instances remain available and to
spread out the performance hits caused by creating a new instance of each service. Recycling
occurs in random order; however, instances of services in use by clients are not recycled
until released. In this way, recycling occurs without interrupting the user of a service.
If there are not enough services available during recycling, a request will be queued until an
instance becomes available. If the MaximumWaitTime is reached during this time, the log
files will record the same message that they normally would.
If you change the underlying data of a service, this change will automatically be reflected
after recycling. For example, if you have a service of type MapServer running and you
change its associated map document, you will be able to see the change after recycling
occurs. (To see the changes immediately, you can manually stop and start the service.)
When you create a service, you specify the minimum and maximum number of instances
you want to make available. These instances run on the container machines within processes.
The isolation level determines whether these instances run in separate processes or share
Services with high isolation run in dedicated processes on the GIS server.
In general, you should use the default setting of high isolation so that each instance runs
in its own process. With this setting, if something causes the process to fail, it will only
affect the single instance running in it.
A low isolation setting allows up to four instances of a service configuration to share a single
process; thus, allowing the execution of four concurrent, independent requests. This is often
referred to as multi-threading. The advantage of low isolation is that it increases the number
of concurrent instances supported by a single process. However, if that process should fail,
all instances running inside it will also fail.
Services with low isolation can share processes with other services of the same type.
Prior to the 9.2 release, using low isolation consumed less memory on the container
machines. At 9.2, memory consumption has been optimized such that now there is only a
small difference between low and high isolation. Thus, high isolation is the recommended
ArcGIS Server extensions
The ArcGIS Server optional extensions allow you to add capabilities to your system and
create applications leveraging advanced features
The ArcGIS Server 3D extension includes a set of 3D GIS functions to create and analyze
surfaces. These functions include slope, aspect, and hillshade analysis.
The ArcGIS Server Spatial extension provides a powerful set of functions that allows you
to create, query, and analyze cell-based raster data.
You can use the Spatial extension to derive information about your data, identify spatial
relationships, find suitable locations, calculate travel cost surfaces, and perform a wide
range of additional raster geoprocessing operations.
The ArcGIS Server Geostatistical Extension turns your advanced geostatistical analytics
produced in ArcGIS Desktop into Web services. These Web services give you the tools you
need to generate statistically valid surfaces and use these surfaces in GIS modeling and
visualization with other ArcGIS extensions such as Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst across
The ArcGIS Server Network extension provides network-based spatial analysis capabilities
including routing, travel directions, closest facility, and service area analysis. Developers
can use it to build and deploy custom network applications.
The ArcGIS Server Geoportal extension allows you to manage and publish metadata for
your geospatial resources. It also gives users the ability to discover and connect to these
resources. It supports standards-based clearing house and metadata/service directory
The image extension allows you to process large volumes of raster data and serve them
throughout your enterprise. Image services can include datasets with different formats,
projections, and resolutions. One of the key features of the image extension is that it
supports image data in its native format and does not require a special format to be created.
Data Interoperability extension
Available as a separate install, the ArcGIS Server Data Interoperability extension enables
you to easily use and distribute data in many formats.
You can use the Data Interoperability extension to directly read more than 70 spatial data
formats and export to more than 50 spatial data formats. ArcGIS Server complements the
Data Interoperability extension by allowing you to author maps and geoprocessing tasks
that support nonnative data sources on your desktop and publish them to ArcGIS Server.
You can publish maps that contain nonnative data sources using the Data Interoperability
extension's direct-read capabilities and Interoperability Connections. You can also publish
geoprocessing tasks that contain conversion functions such as Quick Import, Quick Export,
and the Spatial ETL tool.
Workflow Manager extension
The Workflow Manager extension for ArcGIS Server allows you to organize, centralize,
and standardize project workflows.
The ArcGIS Server Schematics extension provides a set of functions to allow diagram
generations and updates within a Web application, along with the ability to share your
schematic diagrams across your enterprise and across the Web within ArcGIS Server.
The ArcGIS Server ArcPad Extension allows you to author and publish ArcPad projects to
ArcGIS Server and synchronize data between ArcPad to ArcGIS Server via any Internet
connection. The ArcGIS Server ArcPad extension was introduced at the ArcPad 8.0 release.
About ArcGIS Engine
ArcGIS Engine is a complete library of embeddable geographic information system (GIS)
components for developers to build custom applications. Using ArcGIS Engine, you can embed
GIS functions into existing applications and build focused custom applications that deliver
advanced GIS systems to many users. ArcGIS Engine consists of a Software Developer Kit
(SDK) and a redistributable runtime providing the platform for all ArcGIS applications. Since
ArcGIS Engine is supported on Windows, Solaris, and Linux (Intel), developers can create cross-
platform custom solutions for a wide range of users.
Five parts of ArcGIS Engine
The following illustration shows the five parts of ArcGIS Engine:
The following outlines the five parts of ArcGIS Engine as shown in the previous illustration:
• Base services—The core GIS ArcObjects required for almost any GIS application,
such as feature geometry and display.
• Data access—ArcGIS Engine provides access to a wide variety of raster and
vector formats including the power and flexibility of the geodatabase.
• Map presentation—ArcObjects for map creation and display with symbology,
labeling, and thematic mapping capabilities including custom applications.
• Developer components—High-level user interface controls for rapid application
development and a comprehensive help system for effective development.
• Extensions—ArcGIS Engine Runtime is deployable with the standard
functionality or with additional extensions for advanced functionality.
Each of these parts, including the extension functionality, is available through the ArcGIS
Engine SDK. ArcGIS Engine Runtime and its extensions—although integral factors in the
development of a custom GIS application—specifically involve application deployment and are
therefore considered separately.
ArcGIS Engine SDK
The ArcGIS Engine SDK is a component-based software development product for building and
deploying custom GIS and mapping applications. The ArcGIS Engine SDK for the .NET
Framework is not an end user product but rather a toolkit for application developers. It can be
used to build basic map viewers or comprehensive and dynamic GIS editing solutions. With the
ArcGIS Engine SDK, you, as a developer, have an unprecedented flexibility for creating
customized interfaces for maps. You can use Visual Studio with C# or Visual Basic .NET to
create unique applications or combine ArcGIS Engine components with other software
components to realize a synergistic relationship between maps and the information that users
Using ArcGIS Engine, the map itself can be either an incidental element within or the central
component of an application. If, for example, the focus of your application is a database with
information about businesses, ArcGIS Engine can enable the application to display a form with a
map highlighting the business location of interest when your user performs a query on the
The ArcGIS Engine SDK provides access to a large collection of GIS components, or
ArcObjects, that fall into the categories discussed earlier—base services, data access, and map
presentation. Another part of ArcGIS Engine, developer components, is also included in the
Developer Kit. These are value-added developer controls for creating a high-quality map user
interface. The ArcGIS Engine controls are available for use in Visual Studio as .NET Windows
controls. The following ArcGIS controls, or visual components, are provided to assist with
• Collection of commands, tools, and menus for use with the ToolbarControl
ArcGIS Engine capabilities
The capabilities of ArcGIS Engine are extensive. As an ArcGIS Engine developer, you can
implement these and many other functions using its Developer Kit.
If deployed, the following items are included in the standard ArcGIS Engine Runtime
functionality and do not require any of the additional extensions:
• Display a map with multiple map layers, such as roads, streams, and boundaries
• Pan and zoom throughout a map
• Identify features on a map
• Search for and find features on a map
• Display labels with text from field values
• Draw images from aerial photography or satellite imagery
• Draw graphic features, such as points, lines, circles, and polygons
• Draw descriptive text
• Select features along lines and inside boxes, areas, polygons, and circles
• Select features within a specified distance of other features
• Find and select features with a Structured Query Language (SQL) expression
• Render features with thematic methods, such as value map, class breaks, and dot
• Dynamically display real-time or time series data
• Find locations on a map by geocoding addresses or street intersections
• Transform the coordinate system of your map data
• Perform geometric operations on shapes to create buffers—calculate differences—
and find intersections, unions, or inverse intersections of shapes
• Manipulate the shape or rotation of a map
• Create and update geographic features and their attributes
• Execute a geoprocessing tool
ArcGIS Server users
What is Maplex?
Well-placed labels can make a map more understandable and useful. Maplex for ArcGIS
provides a special set of tools that allows you to improve the quality of the labels on your map.
With Maplex for ArcGIS, you can define parameters to control the positioning and size of your
labels; Maplex for ArcGIS then uses these parameters to calculate the best placement for all the
labels on your map. You can also assign different levels of importance to features to ensure that
more important features are labeled before less important ones.
Maplex for ArcGIS lets you control how labels should be placed relative to features, how labels
can be modified or reduced to allow more label placement when the available space is
constrained, and how conflicts between labels are resolved.
Maplex for ArcGIS provides the following:
Advanced placement styles for polygons including styles that represent land parcels, rivers,
Special placement for lines that represent street, river, and contour features
Ability to offset labels from features
Repetition of labels at a specified distance along a line and within a polygon
Control of word and character spacing
Alignment of labels to projection graticules
Control of label placement zones
Flexible placement to allow more labels to fit in an area
Fine control of label stacking
Label abbreviation and truncation
Font reduction parameters for congested areas
Control of whether a label may extend beyond a feature
Enhanced weighting of features to determine label placement
Control over the minimum feature size that will be labeled
Placement of labels as background text
Search tolerance to remove duplicate labels
Ability to control the order in which the label fitting strategies are applied
Maplex for ArcGIS seamlessly integrates into the labeling and annotation tools in ArcGIS.
Simply selecting the ESRI Maplex Label Engine as the active label engine for your data frame
enables Maplex for ArcGIS functionality. Labeling dialog boxes, such as the Label Manager,
show Maplex properties for active data frames, and the Labeling toolbar activates the Maplex
tools and options. The labels you create using Maplex for ArcGIS can be shared and displayed
without a Maplex license or converted to annotation and shared and edited in a geodatabase.
Generating annotation from labels placed with Maplex for ArcGIS cuts the time to manually edit
annotation on maps, increasing your productivity
ArcGIS Engine, ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Desktop
Comparing the three types of geodatabases
Description A collection of
various types of GIS
datasets held as
tables in a relational
database (This is the
data format for
ArcGIS stored and
managed in a
A collection of various
types of GIS datasets
held in a file system
folder.(This is the
recommended native data
format for ArcGIS stored
and managed in a file
format for ArcGIS
data files.(This is
limited in size and
tied to the
relational database.) Windows
readers and many
Single user and small
readers or one writer per
feature dataset, stand-
alone feature class, or
table. Concurrent use of
any specific file
eventually degrades for
large numbers of readers.
Single user and
readers and one
degrades for large
Each dataset is a separate
file on disk. A file
geodatabase is a file
folder that holds its
All the contents in
held in a single
Size limits Up to DBMS limits One TB for each dataset.
Each file geodatabase
can hold many datasets.
The 1 TB limit can be
raised to 256 TB for
extremely large image
datasets. Each feature
class can scale up to
hundreds of millions of
vector features per
Two GB per
The effective limit
250 and 500 MB
across all DBMSs;
checkout and check-
in, and historical
Only supported as a
geodatabase for clients
who post updates using
checkout and check-in
and as a client to which
updates can be sent using
Only supported as
a geodatabase for
clients who post
check-in and as a
client to which
updates can be
sent using one-
Platforms Windows, UNIX,
Linux, and direct
DBMSs that can
potentially run on
Cross-platform. Windows only.
any platform on the
user's local network
Provided by DBMS Operating file system
and so on
File system management. Windows file
Notes Requires the use of
ArcSDE for SQL
ArcSDE for all other
with ArcGIS Server
You can optionally store
data in a read-only
compressed format to
Often used as an
like the string
handling for text
File geodatabases and personal geodatabases
File and personal geodatabases, which are freely available to all users of ArcView, ArcEditor,
and ArcInfo, are designed to support the full information model of the geodatabase, which
comprises topologies, raster catalogs, network datasets, terrain datasets, address locators, and
so on. File and personal geodatabases are designed to be edited by a single user and do not
support geodatabase versioning. With a file geodatabase, it is possible to have more than one
editor at the same time provided they are editing in different feature datasets, stand-alone
feature classes, or tables.
The file geodatabase was a new geodatabase type released in ArcGIS 9.2. Its goals are to do
Provide a widely available, simple, and scalable geodatabase solution for all users.
Provide a portable geodatabase that works across operating systems.
Scale up to handle very large datasets.
Provide excellent performance and scalability, for example, to support individual datasets
containing well over 300 million features and datasets that can scale beyond 500 GB per file
with very fast performance.
Use an efficient data structure that is optimized for performance and storage. File
geodatabases use about one-third of the feature geometry storage required by shapefiles and
personal geodatabases. File geodatabases also allow users to compress vector data to a read-
only format to reduce storage requirements even further.
Outperform shapefiles for operations involving attributes and scale the data size limits way
beyond shapefile limits.
Personal geodatabases have been used in ArcGIS since their initial release in version 8.0 and
have used the Microsoft Access data file structure (the .mdb file). They support geodatabases
that are limited in size to 2 GB or less. However, the effective database size is smaller,
somewhere between 250 and 500 MB, before the database performance starts to slow down.
Personal geodatabases are also only supported on the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Users like the table operations they can perform using Microsoft Access on personal
geodatabases. Many users really like the text-handling capabilities in Microsoft Access for
working with attribute values.
ArcGIS will continue to support personal geodatabases for numerous purposes. However, in
most cases, ESRI recommends using file geodatabases for their scalability in size, significantly
faster performance, and cross-platform use. The file geodatabase is ideal for working with file-
based datasets for GIS projects, personal use, and in small workgroups. It has strong
performance and scales well to hold extremely large data volumes without requiring the use of
a DBMS. Plus, it is portable across operating systems.
Typically, users will employ multiple file or personal geodatabases for their data collections
and access these simultaneously for their GIS work.
When you need a large, multiuser geodatabase that can be edited and used simultaneously by
many users, the ArcSDE geodatabase provides a good solution. It adds the ability to manage a
shared, multiuser geodatabase as well as support for a number of critical version-based GIS
workflows. The ability to leverage your organization's enterprise relational databases is a key
advantage of the ArcSDE geodatabase.
ArcSDE geodatabases work with a variety of DBMS storage models (IBM DB2, Informix,
Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server). ArcSDE geodatabases are primarily used in a wide
range of individual, workgroup, department, and enterprise settings. They take full advantage
of underlying DBMS architectures to support the following:
Extremely large, continuous GIS databases
Many simultaneous users
Long transactions and versioned workflows
Relational database support for GIS data management (providing the benefits of a relational
database for scalability, reliability, security, backup, integrity, and so forth)
SQL types for Spatial in all supported DBMSs (Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Informix,
High performance that can scale to a very large number of users
Through many large geodatabase implementations, it has been found that DBMSs are efficient
at moving in and out of tables the type of large binary objects required for GIS data. In
addition, GIS database sizes can be much larger and the number of supported users greater
than with file-based GIS datasets.