What is ArcGIS.com?

ArcGIS.com (www.ArcGIS.com) is a Web site for working with online GIS maps and applications. It includes

The ArcGIS.com Web site is where professional GIS users share information with all kinds of Web GIS users. The professional GIS community uses ArcGIS Desktop and Server to create and publish rich maps and geographic information services that are mashed up and referenced in Web maps. They can share their Web maps online with the ArcGIS community.

Many ArcGIS professionals create and share their maps and geographic information using ArcGIS.com. This enables the ArcGIS community to include anyone with Web access to discover and use this shared content. No software is required to use ArcGIS.com—just a Web connection. If you can use a consumer Web map (like Google Maps or Bing Maps), you can use and apply ArcGIS.com.

This is the hub Web site where you can register, discover, use, and mash up ArcGIS maps and services.

Map gallery and Web map application at ArcGIS.com

What can you find at ArcGIS.com?

ArcGIS.com has a repository where ArcGIS users and others publish and share maps and geographic information. This Web site includes the following:

Web maps

An ArcGIS Web map is an organized set of map service layers that can be opened and used together as a single map. Web maps can be shared on the Web and opened in any ArcGIS client application—for example, in ArcMap, ArcGIS Explorer Online, ArcGIS.com, iPhones, and so on. This is significant because this enables you to use GIS maps to open up and share access to your geographic information and knowledge.

Web maps are how ArcGIS users share and disseminate their geographic information as Web map layers that reference rich GIS services. Individuals use ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server to create map services and other GIS services to share their geographic information—map services, image services, editing services, geoprocessing services, and so forth. Once published, these can be discovered and used to create ArcGIS Web maps that can be used anywhere in the ArcGIS system.

Web maps can be combined (that is, mashed up). This enables anyone with a Web browser to connect to ArcGIS.com and assemble and share Web maps.

Creating a Web map at www.ArcGIS.com
You can use a Web browser to combine Web maps for creating and sharing your own Web maps at ArcGIS.com.

Using this approach, each GIS organization can make its information available to nonspecialists. This also enables the integration of information across organizations, providing a strong basis for collaboration.

Creating and sharing Web maps at ArcGIS.com

Here is a simple process for Web map creation and sharing.

  1. Create a Web map using the ArcGIS.com map application by adding basemap service(s) and operational layers.
    Adding an operational layer
    First, choose your basemap layers.
    A Web map layer of trees is added to the composite Web map.
    Then add your operational information, for example, trees as shown here.
  2. Save the Web map. All users can register and create a workspace at ArcGIS.com that allows them to save Web maps and other content for sharing with others.
    Saving a Web map at ArcGIS.com
    You can save a Web map at ArcGIS.com.
  3. Share the Web map. Your new Web map can be shared at ArcGIS.com and discovered in the map gallery.
    Web map sharing and discovery at ArcGIS.com
    You can choose to share your map with others at ArcGIS.com.

Creating, sharing, and using Web maps at ArcGIS.com

Regardless of whether you have ArcGIS Desktop software or no GIS software at all, you can use the ArcGIS Web Map application at ArcGIS.com to create your own Web maps that can be shared with all kinds of users. These individual Web maps can be assembled and shared as composite Web maps and subsequently used by anyone. No software is necessary. All users need is a Web browser or mobile device and a Web connection.

While anyone can create ArcGIS Web maps, many advanced ArcGIS users will create and share Web maps of their authoritative, trusted content and operational information for their end users. These ArcGIS Desktop users create map documents, which can be published as map services using ArcGIS Server.

The corresponding ArcGIS Map Services will be discovered on the Web and used as Web maps, which can be mashed up and combined. This enables Web map users to create and share their own Web maps that reference rich GIS content that is published by the ArcGIS user community.

Web maps can be shared and discovered in the map gallery at ArcGIS.com. You can search for Web maps in user group pages, in the map gallery, or on the open Web.

Finding maps in the map gallery at ArcGIS.com

Web browser users can create and share their own Web maps at ArcGIS.com

Web maps can be combined (that is, mashed up). Anyone with a Web browser can use ArcGIS.com to combine Web maps to create and share their own new Web map.

Creating a Web map at www.ArcGIS.com

ArcGIS Web Map clients

ArcGIS provides a series of Web clients to work with Web maps:

  • ArcGIS Web Map: For creating, sharing, and using ArcGIS Web maps
  • ArcGIS Explorer Online: A version of ArcGIS Explorer that runs in your Web browser
  • ArcGIS API for Flex: A configurable GIS Web application and API
  • ArcGIS for SharePoint: GIS Web parts for adding Web maps into your SharePoint Web sites
  • ArcGIS for Windows Mobile: Web maps and applications for the Windows smartphone and Tablet PCs
  • ArcGIS for iPhone: Web maps and applications for the Apple iPhone