ArcGIS 9.2 Service Pack 5 will be available by the end of March. This appears to be a “true” service pack release and not a feature release. I’m not sure I’ll bother installing it on our ArcGIS Server implementations, but we’ll deploy on all our ArcGIS Desktop seats. One change did catch my eye.

Launching maps and globes from web pages (new in SP5)

  • Service Pack 5 includes a fix that enables you to launch maps (MXDs), globes (3DDs) and scenes (SXDs) by clicking on them in web pages. Previously you had to right-click the files and save them to a folder, and then launch them from the folder. With this fix, it is much easier to launch maps and globes containing internet content, such as those on the ArcGIS Online beta website: http://arcgisonline.esri.com/index.cfm?fa=access.desktop

This enhancement provides a useful way to make map services that you are serving with ArcIMS or ArcGIS Server easily accessible to other ArcGIS Desktop users, because you can simply include a map or globe referencing your service(s) on a web page. Layer files can also be added to web pages for download, but ArcGIS Desktop 9.2 users have to right-click on a layer file on a web page and save it to a folder in order to access it. In the ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 release we are adding full support for adding layer files from web pages to your maps and globes simply by clicking on them.