The new ArcGIS at 10.1

Along with the 10.1 release, we would like to introduce you to a compelling new vision of what ArcGIS is. We're excited to deliver this new ArcGIS and to provide you with resources, information, and a community that will help you make the most of it. ArcGIS allows people all over the world to collect, organize, analyze, communicate, and distribute authoritative geographic information. As technology changes and moves ahead, we're introducing a new vision of how the world works with GIS.

What is this new vision?

Today, GIS data is often unintentionally locked up within GIS organizations and is unavailable for discovery and use by the broader community. There is tremendous value in the authoritative content created and maintained by the GIS community around the globe. The new ArcGIS is a platform for unlocking, opening up, sharing, and leveraging this amazing body of information.

As an existing ArcGIS user and member of the GIS community, you already know ArcGIS to be the product that you use to get professional GIS work done. Over the past few years, ArcGIS has also become a server and cloud infrastructure that you can use to deliver authoritative maps and other geographic information to a wider audience using lightweight clients and custom applications on the web and other devices. Now at 10.1, we are further extending and opening up ArcGIS so that it becomes a true cloud-based content management system for working with geographic information.

Anyone can use this new platform to find, use, create, and share maps, collaborate with others in groups and communities, deploy map-based applications with easy-to-configure templates, and create custom applications using a rich set of developer APIs. A global atlas of beautiful basemaps and imagery is built into this platform and available for anyone to use for free, along with thousands of datasets and map services that have been shared and registered in ArcGIS by users like you from around the world. The new ArcGIS provides an online infrastructure for making maps and geographic information available throughout an organization, across a community, and openly on the web. This new vision of ArcGIS fully complements, integrates, and extends the existing professional GIS workflows that you are already familiar with.

ArcGIS is accessible everywhere

While the roots of ArcGIS are in workstation and desktop computing, the new ArcGIS is available everywhere on a variety of platforms. Some of our recent name changes, such as ArcGIS Desktop becoming ArcGIS for Desktop, are designed to promote this vision of ArcGIS being a system that runs everywhere: on professional desktops, servers, the cloud, standard web browsers, smartphones, mobile devices, and tablets. You simply interact with the platform based on what you are trying to do.

GIS professionals use ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS for Server to build and share rich content and geographic information. They manage this information online—in their own enterprise networks or in the cloud-based ArcGIS Online infrastructure. They share this information with many types of clients, devices, and websites.

The ArcGIS system

The new ArcGIS for GIS professionals

As a GIS professional, you can deliver any GIS resource, such as maps, imagery, geodatabases, and analytical tools, as a web service so it can be integrated into the ArcGIS system and shared through powerful online maps. You'll find that this release makes it easier to put mapping and spatial analysis into the hands of more people without requiring that they be GIS experts or the need to use ArcGIS for Desktop. And you don't need to have a server in order to turn your data into map services that can be used in intelligent web maps. ArcGIS 10.1 includes the ability to upload maps and data to the ArcGIS Online cloud and automatically turn them into web services. You can also use the ArcGIS system to more easily share your data and tradecraft with other GIS professionals. For example, you can automatically package a geoprocessing model along with its data and related documentation into one convenient file so it can be shared with others in the GIS community. The new ArcGIS also scales at the departmental, enterprise, and public level. For example, in an enterprise ArcGIS, users may work with maps combining private data owned and managed by the enterprise along with publicly available data from government agencies. Private clouds and private portals are also supported.

Click to view each professional GIS application

The new ArcGIS for knowledge workers

Knowledge workers who gather, analyze, present, and act on information but who have little GIS experience (or software) are a key audience for the new ArcGIS. They can use any of the maps in ArcGIS and easily add their own business information to create new maps and information products, such as map-based presentations. They can draw symbolized points, lines, and polygons directly on a web map or upload their own information, especially tabular data. They can configure interactive pop-up windows and integrate other data, such as reports, photos, documents, and links that add rich context to their web maps. Open standards are also supported such as shapefiles, Excel spreadsheets., Web Map Services (WMS), and KML. ArcGIS web maps can be integrated with applications like Microsoft Sharepoint and other enterprise information technology.

The new ArcGIS for developers

Developers and designers can create great applications using any of the maps and related services found in ArcGIS, including the advanced functionality offered by geoprocessing services. All of the geographic content in ArcGIS can be accessed directly in applications using the open REST protocol. Developers can create innovative map-centric applications that make geographic information accessible in new ways to new audiences, or embed GIS functionality inside existing applications. ArcGIS has free APIs for JavaScript, Flex, Silverlight, and the key mobile devices, such as Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows Mobile. ArcGIS provides the authoritative GIS data, basemaps, rich APIs, and the shared expertise of the GIS community. Developers provide their ideas. And this results in great apps.

The new ArcGIS for developers

The new ArcGIS for everyone else

Originally, the only way to make GIS maps was to install and learn GIS software. Now anyone with a web browser or smartphone can use ArcGIS to find, use, and create rich, interactive, intelligent maps that can be leveraged in many different ways. The new ArcGIS is GIS for everyone. For example, people can find an official map published by a government agency and link to that map from their web pages, blogs, and social media posts, such as Twitter. Maps can also be embedded directly in web pages. This enables authoritative geographic information published by the GIS community to be easily and freely leveraged by citizens, bloggers, businesses, and anyone in the webosphere. Using ArcGIS like this to access existing maps is free and doesn’t require that the user log in to ArcGIS or to have a user account. People who want to go further can create an ArcGIS account and start creating their own maps.

An exciting future

An exciting future

We believe this new vision of ArcGIS opens up completely new forms of information dissemination and collaboration to our GIS community. People all over the world are already familiar with using maps on the web and their mobile devices, and now they are ready to use maps that do more. The new ArcGIS lets people find authoritative data from the GIS community and make immediate use of it. Examples include emergency responders who share event status in crisis situations, land-use planners who can collaborate on geodesign, and citizen science volunteers who can share observational data such as animal and bird sightings. These maps can then be combined with map layers that are shared by others to author yet more rich web maps. If you are a GIS professional, this new GIS ecosystem pattern of online maps and data is compelling because your maps and GIS work can easily be leveraged by others to create completely new information products that add enormous value. Developers outside your organization can use ArcGIS to present data you have shared with the community in applications that open up new audiences and uses for your information.