ArcGIS goes to the Web

ArcGIS goes to the Web

ESRI has introduced a server-based version of its flagship ArcGIS geographic information system software, until now a desktop application.

'Organizations have been centralizing their geospatial data for a long time, but GIS functionality has been distributed out to heavyweight desktop clients,' said Bernie Szukalski, group product manager for servers and services at the Redlands, Calif., company. 'A server architecture can centralize GIS services and deploy them to lightweight browser clients.'

ArcGIS Server could potentially simplify management for large-scale use because it can be maintained in one location, rather than across multiple PCs.

The server version has features such as mapping, geocoding, spatial query, editing, tracing and analysis. A number of functions can be accessed with only a browser, and ESRI has also published a list of specifications that developers could use to build applications around the browser. For example, they could weave GIS information into facility network modeling, property management, land records, forest management, transportation and citizen services.

The Agriculture Department, Census Bureau, Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department all have enterprise license agreements with ESRI. The Geospatial One-Stop e-government initiative uses ESRI's portal product to provide federal GIS information to the public.

ArcGIS Server works with enterprise application frameworks such as Java2 Enterprise Edition and Microsoft .Net. The GIS software for Unix and Microsoft Windows platforms starts at $30,000 for two CPUs, Szukalski said.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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