Since we’ll go into ArcGIS more later today I’ll focus on two announcements that I think are huge for ESRI.

First the new ArcExplorer. No its not really like the old one, but more like Google Earth (in fact at least the demo blew Google Earth away with functionality, but we’ll see how easy it is to use in the real world). The demo was pretty impressive because unlike the one stream that Google Earth uses for their application, it was able to pull from multiple servers for different datasets. It is free and no announcement was made to its release (the application on screen said ArcExplorer Prototype).

Second was the new individual ArcWeb Services package. This will be free for individuals and programmers. Jack announced that there would be a “robust API”, but I was very disappointed to hear no clapping at his announcement. I’m not sure if anyone got what Jack was saying, but you’ll be able to create your own ArcWeb Services applications. I hate it when something as big as that announcement doesn’t get a rise out of the audience, but I guess we’ll just have to evangelize it ourselves. The first thing I’m going to do tomorrow is seek out some ArcWeb Services team members and better understand how this will work and when it will be available. I’ve played around with ArcWeb with our EDN subscription, but now I’ll be able to play with it at home.