Brian points to a podcast with Mansour Raad, Andy Gup, and James Killick. The podcast is only about 15 minutes so it is a quick listen as to what ESRI is doing with Flash. We knew a little about the what ESRI was going to let us do with Flash from the ArcWeb Explorer JavaScript API (well at least the news that there is one :) ). But it looks like there is so much more. For starters, programmers will be able to use both JavaScript and Actionscript with their applications and it seems that Flex is also part of the story which some bloggers guessed.

Beyond all this Flash talk that some might not be too interested in, I got something else out of the conversation. Most web mapping applications server up rasters which requires you to request a new image every time you make a change on the map. Years ago we had looked at using Java to serve up vectors, but it was so much slower than the image services out of ArcIMS that we killed it. With Flash and SVG we are getting the tools to move back to vectors for much of our mapping which should help us create better/quicker application that immerse the user more. The possibilities of Flash really begins to come out when you start thinking about how you embed video and other content right inside your maps, rather than pop-up windows that we used to have to use. I’m really beginning to see how Flash can totally change how we go about designing web mapping applications in the future.

On top of all that, there was even mention of a demo that ESRI has using Breeze to allow people to collaborate over the web with a map, think about that!

ESRI Flash Client