Web GIS: A compelling new vision for how the world works with ArcGIS

If you are a long-time user of ArcGIS, you may think of it as a series of software programs and tools that you use to get professional GIS work done. As technology evolves, we invite you to consider an expanded vision for how the world works with your geographic information, based on ArcGIS as an online, cloud-based platform.

ArcGIS provides an open computing platform for maps and geographic information, making it easy to create and share your work as useful, intelligent GIS maps. All of the advanced geographic information that you create as data, maps, and analytical models can be mashed up and delivered as online maps and apps and shared with others who put them to work-both within your organization and beyond.

Your users work with apps that bring your geographic information to life. These apps run on the web, smart phones, tablets, and desktops.

GIS computing infrastructure

The ArcGIS platform provides a ready-to-use GIS computing infrastructure that you can run in a number of settings:

  • In the ArcGIS Online cloud infrastructure, hosted by Esri
  • On your own enterprise servers, or
  • By blending both computing environments

This provides an open GIS computing platform for maps and geographic information, making it easy for you to create and share your maps, data, and analysis with others.

ArcGIS platform infrastructure.

Your users work with apps that bring your geographic information to life. These apps run on the web, smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

Web GIS is a new pattern

Maps on the web provide a new paradigm for how people everywhere access and use geographic information. They use GIS maps on their desktops, the web, on tablets, and smart phones for a sophisticated range of activities to apply advanced geographic information.

  • Web GIS naturally delivers GIS into the hands of people. People expect to be able to use maps on modern consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets, simple web browsers, and embedded directly within commonly used apps such as Microsoft Office. Web GIS enables you to easily build maps that work seamlessly across these different devices and form factors: Web GIS maps work everywhere.
  • Web GIS reduces the need to create custom applications. ArcGIS comes with a wide variety of ready to use applications and application templates that are included that let you tailor simple, focused user experiences to help people get their jobs done quickly and intuitively.
  • Web GIS provides a platform for integrating GIS with other business systems. In fact Web GIS is based on simple protocols like REST and other proven web standards so you can effectively embed GIS into existing enterprise systems. IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy, and SAP, to name a few, are examples of systems that 'plug and play' with the Web GIS delivered through ArcGIS/
  • Web GIS enables collaboration throughout your organization, facilitating communication and optimizing the use of information about your operations and activities. For example, Web GIS makes tools available so that anyone can use to easily add their data into a map, analyze it, and properly present their results to communicate an idea. The emphasis is on access by everyone, as opposed to a few.
  • Web GIS opens the door for creating a participatory environment where GIS tools are made more accessible and flexible. The maps you create can be kept private, or immediately shared with a group of peers or the public at large who interact with your maps using their chosen client application.
  • Web GIS allows organizations to properly manage all of their geographic knowledge. At the heart of Web GIS is a map-centric content management system, which helps organize, secure, and facilitate access to geographic information products. This central component, which we will refer to as the 'ArcGIS portal,' represents a common gateway for everything geo in your organization. It indexes all your maps for easy discovery, allows for defining rules about who can access various datasets, maps, GIS applications, and so on. The portal is a central component for embracing Web GIS.

Ready-to-use content

The platform comes with a living atlas of beautiful basemaps, imagery, and geographic layers available for anyone to use, along with thousands of datasets and map services from around the world that have been created and shared by your organization as well as a host of other GIS organizations much like yours.

This living atlas provides an enabling framework to reach anyone with your GIS. All of the advanced geographic information that you create as data, maps, and analytical tools for your traditional GIS operations can be mashed up as intelligent online maps and apps and then shared with others across your organization and beyond.

This new platform delivers your authoritative maps and related geographic information to a broad audience using lightweight clients and custom apps for the web and other devices. This fully complements, integrates, and extends existing professional GIS workflows that you are already familiar with.

Apps make ArcGIS accessible everywhere

ArcGIS comes with a set of ready-to-use applications so you can put useful and informative products and tools in the hands of your users. ArcGIS apps run on all devices, from smartphones and tablets to web browsers and a range of desktop and laptop computers.

ArcGIS platform flexibility.

The new ArcGIS is available everywhere, accessible through a variety of devices, smartphones, and desktops.

ArcGIS apps are optimized to help you with tasks that range from compelling storytelling with maps, data collection in the field, and the use of map-centric operational dashboards to monitor and manage your organization's work activities, and apps for advanced analysis and geographic data management.

A large community of developers and business partners provide even more applications enabling the use of GIS across all types of communities. You choose an app to interact with the platform based on what you are trying to do. There's an app for that.

Find the app for your needs, at the ArcGIS Marketplace.

GIS services

ArcGIS provides you with open, standards-based technology to make your GIS resources available online, both by using Portal for ArcGIS and ArcGIS for Server on-premises or by sharing in the ArcGIS Online cloud.

Publish and share your own geographic data, map layers, and analytical tools as web maps and related GIS services that you and many others can leverage across your organization. Combine your maps and layers with other rich geographic information content accessible through the ArcGIS platform as well as virtually any business information from a spreadsheet, text file, or DBMS table.

The role of GIS Professionals

As a GIS professional, you use ArcGIS for Desktop as a publishing dashboard for information sharing. You can host GIS Services in your own systems using ArcGIS Server, or rely on Esri's ArcGIS Online Hosted Services.

Using the new cloud-based ArcGIS platform, you can manage your information online, in your own enterprise networks or in the ArcGIS Online cloud. You share this information using many types of clients, devices, and websites. Your users access your information using online maps and apps on each client providing a personalized interface to your information.

Learn more about using the ArcGIS for Desktop GIS publishing dashboard

Learn more about ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Portal

Extend your reach with ArcGIS for Organizations

ArcGIS extends the reach of your GIS, making maps and geographic information available throughout an organization, across a community, and openly on the web. Your organization or department can subscribe to an organizational account for ArcGIS Online to exploit the power of your GIS content and share your work throughout your organization.

This enables ArcGIS as an online service throughout your organization and provides a hosted account for your organization. ArcGIS for Organizations includes:

  • The capability to organize and manage your organization's content galleries online, including the ability to determine who has information access item by item, and to maintain and to control your identity as the publisher.
  • Rich content to help you get going. For example, you can choose from a variety of beautiful basemaps to kick-start your projects.
  • A cloud-based computing environment to host your information and services. You can also reference your local ArcGIS Server content in your organizational system.
  • Publishing, hosting, and scaling of your maps and geographic data services in the ArcGIS Online cloud.
  • Assign and manage administrator, publisher, and user roles for your organization so that you control how your content is organized and shared, and who has access.
  • Administer and manage your content in groups and galleries.
  • Access your maps and information everywhere on smart phones, tablets, and other mobile clients, extending the reach of your GIS.
  • Share your maps and data through blogs, social media, and custom apps.

Learn more about ArcGIS Online for Organizations

The new ArcGIS for knowledge workers

The knowledge workers in your organization, who have little GIS experience, can also create and share their own online GIS maps and apps. They easily add their own business information, turning any table into map features. They can configure interactive pop-up windows and access all kinds of additional data: reports, photos, documents, and links that add rich context to their web maps.

Add shapefiles, Excel spreadsheets, text files, Web Map Services (WMS), and KML. ArcGIS maps can be integrated with applications like Microsoft SharePoint, IBM Cognos, and other enterprise information technology.

The ArcGIS paltform comes with ready-to-use apps.

ArcGIS for Developers

ArcGIS has a number of developer APIs for JavaScript, Apple iOS, Android, Windows Store, and key desktop programming environments.

Developers and designers can create great applications using the maps and related GIS services found in ArcGIS. Using this rich, authoritative content, you can create innovative map-centric applications that make geographic information accessible in new ways to new audiences. You can also embed GIS functionality into their existing applications as well.

ArcGIS provides the content and enabling platform. Developers provide their ideas. And this results in great apps.

Visit the ArcGIS for Developers website (https://developers.arcgis.com)