10.1.2 (Android) October 8, 2013

10.1.2 (iOS ) August 6, 2013

10.1.3. ( Windows Phone ) January 6, 2014

ArcGIS is the generic term for various GIS software products of the company ESRI. The software products are subdivided according to the type of application: In the product family ArcGIS Desktop, there are ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo, which only differ in each case in the functional, ArcReader and ArcGIS Explorer as a free Viewerprodukte and ArcGIS Engine as a programming environment for creating custom desktop programs. In the Server field ( ArcGIS Server ), a distinction between ArcSDE as a database component, ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Server and ArcIMS Image. For mobile devices ArcGIS Mobile and ArcPad include in the product group. Furthermore, there are some spatial data and online services that are listed under the generic term. ArcObjects is the name for the collection of program libraries, which serves as the foundation of ArcGIS software products for their own software development. The current ArcGIS version is 10.1.

The names of Arc / INFO and ArcView GIS also refer to previous versions of ESRI software. Arc / INFO was the workstation software, which was controlled from the command line and ArcView GIS, the first desktop GIS, which has been accompanied since version 3.2 of ' ArcView ' version 8.0 of the product family ArcGIS Desktop; of a complete detachment of these previous versions but still can not speak (as of October 2008).

ArcGIS Desktop in: ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcInfo, ArcReader, ArcGIS Explorer

The three product scales ( product variants with increasing thickness ) ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo differ in the accompanying functions. The structure of the three products but is otherwise the same. To the product include four main programs:

  • ArcCatalog as a data management component
  • ArcMap to display and design of 2D maps
  • ArcGlobe display and design of 3D Globes
  • ArcScene for special 3D display and analysis

(* ArcToolbox is since version 9.0 applications ArcCatalog and ArcMap component of, by which time the toolbox recognized an additional stand-alone application )

The products can extensions (called extensions ) can be expanded to include functions.

ArcReader serves as a free program for displaying ready-made maps or globes from ArcMap or ArcGlobe in PMF format ( Portable Map File).

ArcGIS Explorer is a free 3D viewer that allows both services and local spatial data can be visualized and analyzed.

ArcGIS on server: ArcSDE, ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Server Image

ArcSDE denotes the extension of database management systems (DBMS ) to the spatial data management. Supported DBMS are Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Informix, and PostgreSQL. The geo data lie in the DBMS, management and access to the geographic coordinates is ensured by ArcSDE. Since version 9.2 ArcSDE is used under the term ArcGIS Server.

ArcGIS Server originally denoted the software for providing various Geoservices, since version 9.2 ArcSDE will be added. As in the desktop area, there are three different forms, which differ in the features offered: Basic ( geo-database, replication ), Standard ( additional 2D, 3D maps ), Advanced (additional geoprocessing ). About ArcGIS Server map services can ( 2D) Globe services (3D), Geoprozessingdienste ( analysis), spatial data services (data access ), and geocoding and geometry services are offered. The default protocol is SOAP and REST services, for various forms there are additional protocols, such as KML, WMS, WCS and WFS. ArcGIS Server also includes components for the creation of clients, including on ASP.NET, Java, JavaScript, or Flex. ArcGIS Server includes a controllable via the web interface generator for applications (see also Web ADF at ). As an alternative to WebADF ESRI, there are currently only a content management system for Flex Cards ( Atlas FX, PDF, 363 kB). Furthermore, the software as the desktop on Extensions is extensible.

ArcGIS Server Image is used for fast access file-based raster data in the service interface.

To enable fast image retrieval at cards, ArcGIS Server provides the ability to precompute cards and store them as image tile (see tile cache). The generation of these cards caches can be controlled by the utility ArcCatalog, especially in the. Net version of ArcGIS Server. In ArcGIS Server for Java / Linux there is also the possibility to create caches via shell scripts. The shell scripts call on Java, which then invokes Python. An automatic cache generation via Python scripts is possible.

ArcIMS is another and even longer available product for the provision of maps, spatial data and metadata services. The mapping services are defined in an XML file that is read and interpreted at the start of the service ( AXL file, see web help AXL ). ArcIMS has reached version 10.0 in the summer of 2010, the last version. The product ArcIMS is then no longer continue (see Note to lifecycle at, PDF, 165 kB). ArcIMS is to be completely replaced by ArcGIS Server products.

ArcView GIS 3.x

Through the integrated programming environment based on the programming language Avenue and the Dialog Designer extension, can be created with the user interface, to interface and functionality of ArcView GIS 3.x can customize and extend.

In its full functionality, however, the software can be used only by extensive involvement of user extensions ( User Extensions). Some of the most powerful and popular extensions are listed here:

  • XTools: A tool for geoprocessing shapefiles (eg blending, merging, joining, cutting, etc. )
  • Memo Tools: A suite of tools, the tools of daily use provides
  • Grid Machine: A Toolbox for Spatial Analyst, especially when working with multiple raster data ( ESRI grid)
  • Edit Tools: A Collection to convert spatial data between different formats and states.

Avenue scripts and extensions for ArcView GIS 3.x are not compatible with the versions 8.x/9.x.

File Formats

A list of characters to read from ArcGIS formats can be found in the ArcGIS online help: " An overview of data support in ArcGIS "

In raster data ArcGIS supports several formats for reading and writing. A separate raster data format is not available in the current version.

A still commonly used file format for the exchange of vector data shapefiles (* .shp / shx / dbf). Since version 8.0, the so-called staff GeoDatabase has been added, based on the Microsoft Jet Engine ( *. Mdb files). In version 9.2 in addition the File Geodatabase (gdb - * directories. ) Has been introduced. Both geodatabase versions can contain both vector and raster data and are in the file system, so that a simple exchange is possible. For optimized data transmission, the Smart Data Compression has been developed which compressed objects and their characteristics summarized in a file.

The projects themselves are saved in ArcView 3 as *. Apr files and ArcView 8 and higher than *. Mxd files. Beginning with ArcGIS Desktop version 9.3.1, it is possible projects for map services in a format optimized for storing, the Esri msd calls ( Map Service Definition). Single Layer and Layer Group are in *. Lyr format. The so-called toolboxes, which store Geoverarbeitungsprozesse are saved as *. Tbx files, but can also be stored directly as Python scripts.


The geographic information system ArcView can be greatly expand both the old version of ArcView GIS 3.x and in the ArcView versions 8.x/9.x through the integration of extensions. Various extensions that are offered as proprietary software by the company ESRI, expand the GIS to additional spatial functions:

  • Spatial Analyst: Working with raster data
  • 3D Analyst: Working with surface data and 3D display, TIN- support
  • Network Analyst: Working with network data (eg routing)
  • Military Analyst: Working with Data in defense, battlefield planning and terrain analysis ( Military Analyst ).
  • Military Overlay Editor: MOLE, military overlay editor is a set of COM components for developers to build applications that use the military standard of Defense of the United States of America ( Department of Defense / DOD) MIL -STF- 2525B and the NATO APP6a support standard.
  • Maplex: expansion of cartographic representation opportunities through detailed regulation and prioritization of presentation elements, in particular labels ( Maplex )

Free alternatives

As free software, the following geographic information systems with comparable capabilities are available:

  • QGIS (Quantum GIS)