ArcGIS Online – Bigger news to ESRI users than ArcGIS Explorer

I think the big news of the night is ArcGIS Online. I commented a while back about the sorry state of the default ArcGlobe and how ESRI should offer up some nice looking globes for users to use. Well now you have it. On ArcGIS Online, ESRI is offering up MXDs, ArcGlobe Documents, Layer files and PMF (ArcReader) documents for you to use with your projects. Plus because ArcGIS Online is an ArcGIS Server service, you can connect directly from ArcCatalog.

ESRI has quite the collection going right now (maps and services), but the key is not to let this fall aside. EDN, other than the online docs, has almost seemed abandoned since it started and I fear that ArcGIS Online might fall to the same fate.

Now I’ll be honest, I don’t see myself using this too much in my line of work. But one of the biggest complaints I hear from new ESRI users is a lack of good basemaps to start with. Now at least you have them and you don’t have to worry about finding your ESRI Data CDs.

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