New Version of ArcGIS Explorer Now Available

Company: ESRI
Published: 17 August, 2009
ESRI's newest release of ArcGIS Explorer became available for free download today, providing a highly visual and intuitive way to explore, share, and present your geographic information. It is an ideal means of making your authoritative geographic information system (GIS) data available to people who are not GIS experts.

ArcGIS Explorer is a GIS visualization tool that connects directly to a variety of ready-to-use ArcGIS Online basemaps and layers and enables users to add their own map services or local data. It can also be extended with users' existing geoprocessing tools. ArcGIS Explorer is designed to work directly with maps and layers authored using ArcGIS Desktop and published via ArcGIS Server or shared using layer packages.

"This release introduces some very big features," says Bern Szukalski, ArcGIS Explorer product manager. "We're always learning from users what they want and need, and we have incorporated some compelling new features as a result. These include the ability to access shared maps, layers, and tools directly from ArcGIS Online; support for layer packages that enable ArcGIS Explorer to leverage state-of-the-art ArcGIS Desktop cartography; the ability to use maps in 2D or 3D; and presentation tools that let users share their geographic knowledge and communicate geographically."

ArcGIS Explorer now has an intuitive and easy-to-use ribbon interface, giving users the ability to manage and organize tools and content. New tools provide an easy way to tailor applications to specific audiences or needs. Also included is a new integrated 2D and 3D display, which makes switching between 2D and 3D modes as simple as a mouse click.

Developers can use the software development kit (SDK) to build custom add-ins to extend the ArcGIS Explorer capabilities. Users can access continually updated basemaps and layers from ArcGIS Online, including Bing Maps for Enterprise imagery, streets, and hybrid layers. The new version also includes improved support for KML/KMZ files and "regionated" KML.

Since presentations are an important part of conveying ideas, this version of ArcGIS Explorer includes new presentation tools. Users can now create compelling slide shows within the ArcGIS Explorer environment. The tools allow presenters to pan, zoom, and interact with maps and data in a visually dynamic way.