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    ArcGIS is an online, cloud-based mapping platform that enables visualization and access to geographic information system (GIS) data in the form of: base maps, imagery, and demographic data along with analytic and mapping tools. 

    Nov 30, 2017 11:51am
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    ArcGIS is a platform for mapping and geospatial data analytics. The software enables: spatial analytics, mapping and visualizations, 3D geographic information system, real time GIS, and data collection and management.  

    Esri provides two primary desktop applications ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro, which are both part of ArcGIS Desktop. ArcMap is an application for authoring, editing, and geoprocessing for making maps, editing, managing and analyzing spatial data. ArcGIS Pro enables map making in both 2D and 3D, it also features collaboration tools. Esri describes ArcGIS Pro as their premier application. ArcGIS Desktop includes both ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap, and you can run them side by side.

    In addition to analytic platforms, subscribers can add content layers to their ArcGIS Desktop for developing mapping data. These include image layers with access to recent, high-resolution imagery for many areas of the world as well as lower-resolution imagery of the planet (updated daily). The Basemaps suite of ArcGIS provides access to reference maps representing the world, there is also a set of demographic data from approximately 120 countries. 


    ArcMap is the central application used in ArcGIS and is used primarily to view, edit, create, and analyze geospatial data. Users can create maps and manipulate data sets to includes added features such as north arrows, scale bars, titles, legends, and neat lines.  ArcMap represents geographic information as a collection of layers and other elements in a map view.

    There are two primary map views in ArcMap: the data view and the layout view. In ArcMap data view, the map is the data frame, it is presented as a geographic window in which map layers are displayed and used. Users can work with GIS information presented through map layers using geographic coordinates. In the page layout view a collection of map elements (i.e. data frame, map title, scale bar, north arrow, and a symbol legend) arranged on a page. The Layout view is used to design and author a map for printing, exporting, or publishing.

    ArcGIS Pro

    ArcGIS Pro is the professional GIS 64-bit desktop application that’s part of the ArcGIS Desktop collection. The application enables 2D and 3D mapping; according to the provider, this platform advances visualization, analytics, image processing, data management and integration. It is a complete suite for desktop GIS that can be used to create maps, perform spatial analysis, and manage data. 

    ArcGIS Pro is not a replacement for ArcMap, it is a supplement with specific capabilities that can be used alongside ArcMap.


    ArcGIS Online is the scalable, online, cloud-based mapping platform available through Esri as software-as-service. ArcGIS Online comes with a suite of basemaps, imagery, and demographic data.

    ArcGIS Pro is supported as a hosted application on virtualized environments, including: Citrix XenDesktop, Windows Server, and VMware vSphere. 


    Esri offers ArcGIS Desktop software for use by students at colleges and universities through the Esri Education Site License Program. The Education Site License can cover a single campus, multiple campuses, a district, or statewide systems. The Site License allows an academic institution to use Esri software for teaching, research, or administrative purposes for an annual fee. 

    Esri's Higher Educational Institutional License provides access to ArcGIS platform for faculty, staff, and students for learning, research and administration at an institution or institution systems. Esri also offers licenses for specific use in: academic departments, administrative use, and student use.


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