ArcGIS.com (www.ArcGIS.com) is a key Web site for implementing and using Web GIS.
It is a Web site for browser users to share, discover, and use maps and geographic information as part of a larger community of ArcGIS users. It is also the Web site that hosts a comprehensive set of map and GIS services from Esri and many ArcGIS users.
You can use ArcGIS.com to publish and share information with Web users.
Key tasks for ArcGIS Desktop users include the following:
- Share—Desktop users can share their map packages or layer packages with one another. By downloading a layer package that you have chosen to share with me, I can do the same work on my computer that you do on yours. My maps look the same and behave the same as yours; our models and tools are the same; our information schemas are the same; how we edit our features is the same; and so on. This means that GIS users can begin to adopt and share common views and designs for their GIS deployments. They can begin to use a common view for accessing and working with rich GIS maps and geographic information.
- Join—You can create and join user groups with common interests and needs for sharing and collaboration.
- Serve—Most importantly, you can also publish your map packages and layer packages as GIS Web services using ArcGIS Server. This includes geographic information elements, such as geoprocessing models and geodatabases, that are referenced by and encapsulated within map packages and layer packages. Serving on the Web opens up access to many potential users.
- Discover—GIS Web services are discoverable just like any other Web resource. You can search ArcGIS.com to discover GIS maps and other services published by the ArcGIS community and put this information to use.
- Use—Any user with ArcGIS Desktop, a Web browser, or a mobile phone can discover these GIS maps and resources and immediately begin to put them to use.
Managing your content at ArcGIS.com
You can upload and share your GIS maps and other content at ArcGIS.com. Each desktop user can have a workspace into which you can upload your contents. You can also create and join groups of other desktop users with common interests. You can use these groups to share your ArcGIS maps and information, and you can reference your map and GIS services that others can discover and use.
Sharing starts with loading your content into ArcGIS.com.
Creating and joining groups
You can define small communities for sharing and collaboration at ArcGIS.com. You can choose with whom to share the content that you load into ArcGIS.com item by item. Each item can be shared within a single group or with everyone.
Creating and sharing GIS Web maps and apps
ArcGIS.com includes an interface in which you can create your own map. You use this to create your own Web maps at ArcGIS.com (using an ArcGIS Web map). You can share your GIS Web map with any other user, who can open and use it in any client.
Clients that can connect to and work with ArcGIS.com
Users do not need to install any software to use ArcGIS.com. They can connect using their Web browser or mobile phone and start using ArcGIS.
There is a series of ArcGIS Web apps that you can use:
- ArcGIS Explorer Online—A version of ArcGIS Explorer that runs in your Web browser
- ArcGIS API for Flex—A configurable GIS Web app and API
- ArcGIS for SharePoint—GIS Web parts for adding Web maps into your SharePoint Web sites
- ArcGIS for Windows Mobile—Web maps and apps for Windows smartphones and Tablet PCs
- ArcGIS for iPhone—Web maps and apps for the Apple iPhone
Developer APIs are also available for customizing and extending these ArcGIS Web clients.
Searching for GIS content and services
You can also search at ArcGIS.com to find GIS content that you can use in your work.
Esri content at ArcGIS.com
Esri publishes and shares a number of key maps and datasets at ArcGIS.com:
- Image maps of the world
- Street maps
- World community topographic map
- Census maps
- Terrain and elevation maps
- Reference overlays
- Many others
Search for Esri Maps and Data.