CLEAR Research

Maps on the Web

ArcGIS Explorer

ArcGIS Explorer is a lightweight desktop application that allows a user to combine ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, and WMS mapping services with your local GIS data (shapefiles, geodatabase files, KML, etc) and view them on a 3D globe surface. Maps and geographic data layers available from ESRI for ArcGIS Explorer include imagery, topographic maps, physical features, shaded relief, historical maps, street maps and more.

DownloadGet your free version of ArcGIS Explorer from ESRI!

  • Very easy to use for both client and server.
  • It's an Earth browser (like Google Earth) that includes imagery for the globe and can display features in 3D.
  • The user can add various data types to the application: ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS or WMS services, shapefile, geodatabase, KML, and rasters.
  • GIS tasks such as data queries, measuring, driving directions and proximity searches can be performed.
  • Great for users to obtain data online and use it to build maps without much GIS/mapping background.
  • It can be slow so patience is required! Currently it is only PC-compatible.
Required in order to Create Internet service (ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS or WMS service) with accessible data files or data stored on your local machine
Know-how Necessary Very little
Cost Free
Requires to Use (besides the internet and a broswer) Download ArcGIS Explorer from the ESRI website


Adding an Internet Mapping Service to ArcGIS Explorer


Activity Link

Try it on your own! Click on the activity link to open a step-by-step exercise that takes you through the process of adding an internet map service and local data to ArcGIS Explorer!