In January, mapping technology company Esri launched ArcGIS Earth. It is a free desktop application that allows you to explore map data. In that, it is similar to Google Earth. Beyond browsing maps, you can use the application in conjunction with the ArcGIS platform and and securely access, share, and publish maps and geographical data. This comes in conjunction with Google’s deprecation of Google Earth Enterprise. The free desktop software would allow an enterprise to have more “view-only” users have quick, convenient access to the data rather than requiring more licenses or tying up dedicated computers for GIS research.
ArcGIS Earth allows you to import local KML files (.kml, .kmz), Shapefile (.shp) or to import data from ArcGIS Online. You can browse the data on your screen with zoom (scroll wheel) and pan (right-click and drag) capability. You can also draw and measure on the maps. Lastly, you can then choose to export your images (.jpg, png, or .tiff).
“Enterprise customers can use ArcGIS Earth to put the power of mapping into the hands of anyone in a large organization who needs to reliably access a map,” said Chris Andrews, Esri product manager for ArcGIS Earth. “The application combines a familiar, immersive, globe-based experience that is accessible by nontechnical users, with the power to access any data stored in the ArcGIS platform. With ArcGIS Earth, we are adding an option to help our users share the value of GIS throughout their organizations or even beyond.”
ArcGIS Earth is fully integrated with the ArcGIS platform—on-premises and in the cloud—for the secure access, sharing, and publishing of enterprise maps and data, and continued operations with minimal interruption. Users with an ArcGIS account can access secured data in ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS for Server including feature, scene, map, and image services.
ArcGIS Earth is currently at version 1.0. It is compatible with Windows 7 and newer versions. It can be downloaded (in exchange for an email address) at esri.com/earth.