Keywords: GIS, ArcCatalog
Geographic information exists in many forms, including relational databases, files, ArcGIS documents, and remote GIS web services. ArcGIS applications work together to allow you to work with geographic information and other ancillary data that exist in various data sources, including datasets, relational databases, and many file types and schemas.

ArcCatalog helps GIS users by providing an integrated and unified view of all the data files, databases, and ArcGIS documents available to ArcGIS users. Unlike other data (a photo or Word document), geographic datasets often consist of a set of files, rather than a single file. When listed in Windows Explorer, the datasets appear as a list of system folders and files, whereas ArcCatalog displays and manages the datasets as single entities.


Keywords: GIS, ArcExplorer
ArcExplorer is a free lightweight GIS data viewer written in Java that is used to perform basic GIS functions (e.g., view, navigate, and query). It is a downloadable application that operates in a stand-alone environment and does not need to connect to a server.


Keywords: GIS, ESRI, ArcGIS
ArcGIS is the name of a group of geographic information system software product lines produced by ESRI.

Prior to the ArcGIS suite, ESRI had focused its software development on the command line Arc/INFO workstation program and several Graphical User Interface-based products such as the ArcView GIS 3.x desktop program. Other ESRI products included MapObjects, a programming library for developers, and ArcSDE as a relational database management system. The various products had branched out into multiple source trees and did not integrate well with one another. In January 1997, ESRI decided to revamp its GIS software platform, creating a single integrated software architecture.

ArcGIS Engine Runtime

Keywords: GIS, ArcGIS Engine Runtime
The final component of ArcGIS Engine is the ArcGIS Engine Runtime license and its extensions. All applications built with the ArcGIS Engine Developer Kit require ArcGIS Engine Runtime, with the appropriate license, to execute successfully. ArcGIS Engine Runtime is the platform on which ArcGIS Desktop is built; this allows users of ArcGIS Desktop applications to execute custom applications based on ArcGIS Engine, if permitted by the ArcGIS Engine application developer.

ArcGIS Online

Keywords: GIS, ArcGIS Online
ArcGIS Online provides maps and other content for your ArcGIS (free and premium).

ArcGIS Server Manager

Keywords: GIS, ArcGIS Server Manager
Web based app that allows you to create web map applications. ArcGIS Server Manager also lets you create Web services that access the GIS server and provide GIS functionality to other applications. You can create map, geocode, globe, geodata, geoprocessing, mobile data, network analysis, OGC Web Mapping Services (WMS), and Keyhole Markup Language (KML) Web services.


Keywords: GIS, ArcGIS Web ADF
Set of controls, tasks and Web applications. Used to create GIS applications. Includes ArcGIS Server Manager.


Keywords: GIS, ArcIMS
ArcIMS (standing for Arc Internet Map Server) is a Web Map Server produced by ESRI. It is a GIS that is designed to serve maps across the Internet. Sometimes these maps are just static images allowing simple panning and zooming, while others are more complex pages. Examples of interactive maps served with ArcIMS include maps with layers that can be turned on and off, or with features containing attributes that can be queried. A visitor to a site driven by ArcIMS needs nothing more than a web browser: the GIS and database are maintained on the server side.

Using ArcIMS, city and local governments, businesses, and other organizations worldwide share geospatial information both internally and to the public.


Keywords: GIS, ArcMap
ArcMap is a component of ESRI's ArcGIS Geographical Information System (GIS). It is developed as client software specifically for the Microsoft Windows environment, to enable more intuitive processing and presentation of ArcGIS data. It does not currently contain as much functionality as its sister program ArcInfo.


Keywords: GIS, ArcObjects
A library of software components that make up the foundation of ArcGIS. ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Engine, and ArcGIS Server are all built using the ArcObjects libraries.


Keywords: GIS, Flex

The ArcGIS API for Flex™ allows the creation of Rich Internet applications on top of ArcGIS Server. It is integrated with Adobe Flex Builder 3 and can be downloaded for free. The Flex framework is a client-side technology that is rendered by Flash Player 9 or Adobe AIR.

Free Data

Keywords: GIS, Free Data, ArcGIS Online, Open Street Map, GeoBase, TIGER


Keywords: GIS, Geodatabase
The geodatabase provides the data storage and data management framework for ArcGIS. Each geodatabase is a collection of various geographic datasets that reside in a file system folder, a Microsoft® Access™ database, or a relational database management system such as Oracle®, Microsoft® SQL Server®, PostgreSQL®, Informix® or IBM® DB2.

A key geodatabase concept is the dataset. It is the primary mechanism used to organize and use geographic information in ArcGIS. The geodatabase contains three primary dataset types: Feature Classes, Raster Datasets, and Tables.

Geographic Markup Language (GML)

Keywords: Geographic Markup Language (GML), GIS
A language used for defining, encoding and transporting geographic data via the Internet. The syntax is based on XML and OGC simple feature specifications.


Keywords: GIS, GeoServer, open source
GeoServer is an open source software server written in Java that allows users to share and edit geospatial data. Designed for interoperability, it publishes data from any major spatial data source using open standards.


Keywords: GIS, help, resources, ESDN


Keywords: GIS, MapGuide, Autodesk
Autodesk MapGuide® 6.5 software helps you develop, manage, and distribute GIS and design applications on the Internet or your intranet, broadening your access to mission-critical geospatial and digital design data.


Keywords: GIS, news, ArcWatch, ArcNews, ArcUser


Keywords: GIS, PostGIS
PostGIS is an open source software program that adds support for geographic objects to the PostgreSQL object-relational database. PostGIS follows the Simple Features for SQL specification from the Open Geospatial Consortium.

There are a large number of software products that can use PostGIS as a database backend, including GeoServer.


Keywords: GIS, PostgreSQL, database, open source
PostgreSQL is an open source object-relational database system. It has more than 15 years of active development. It runs on all major operating systems, including Linux, UNIX (AIX, BSD, HP-UX, SGI IRIX, Mac OS X, Solaris, Tru64), and Windows.


Keywords: GIS, raster
Raster data provides a map image formed by a matrix of pixels arranged in rows columns, which can be displayed on a computer screen. An example would be a digital photograph.


Keywords: GIS, shapefile
The ESRI Shapefile or simply a shapefile is a popular geospatial vector data format for geographic information systems software. A "shapefile" commonly refers to a collection of files with ".shp", ".shx", ".dbf", and other extensions on a common prefix name (e.g., "lakes.*"). Shapefiles are simple because they store primitive geometrical data types of points, lines, and polygons.


Keywords: GIS, TIGER, Census, database, government
The U.S. Census Bureau is a great source for downloadable basemap data in shapefile format. Their data is referred to as the TIGER database. It stands for Topologically Intgrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing. It isn't a database in the traditional sense. The actual TIGER files are stored in a custom ASCII format.


Keywords: GIS, vector
One method of storing, representing or displaying spatial data in digital form. It consists of using coordinate pairs (x,y) to represent locations on the earth. Features can take the form of single points, lines, arcs or closed lines (polygons). Most work GIS Analysts do is based in vector data.