CLEAR Research

Maps on the Web

ESRI Interactive Mapping Software - ArcIMS

Pros/Cons Highly interactive, customizable. Limited GIS analytical functionality. Good for creating basic viewers and allowing users to explore multiple GIS layers. The "service" can be added to ArcMap or free viewers like ArcExplorer or ArcGIS explorer.
Required in order to Create ArcIMS and a server with all the right software, ArcMap is helpful.
Know-how Necessary Installation requires perseverance. Creating out-of-the box viewer is not hard. Customization required code dabbling. High level customization requires writing code.
Cost Expensive (10k) plus server, someone to administer
Requires to Use (besides the internet and a browser) Nothing
CT Example City of Meriden
City of Bridgeport
Town of South Windsor
Town of Groton
Town of Essex

ArcIMS (Internet Map Server) installation is not trivial - consult someone who knows something about servers.

After installation, ArcIMS has three mini-programs. The first is Administrator which is the place for overall site settings and for creating map services. The second is Designer which creates all the pieces (html and java files) that occur around the map. The third is Author. If you are going straight from an ArcMap mxd (which is recommended for casual users), you don't need Author. For XML coders, Author allows for more customization than ArcMap.


- Create a map in ArcMap with all the layers you want, in the right order with the right colors. Pay attention to the layer and class names in the table of contents.

- Use Administrator to create a service that references your ArcMap document. NOTE: All data must be accessible to the ArcMap document, including path names.

- Use Designer to follow the wizard and create an "out-of-the-box" map viewer.

- The map service and viewer should be available on the web at the address http://yourwebserver/imsserver/servicename. For example, is the webserver, clearims is the imsserver, landscape is the service name.

ArcIMS Example
ArcIMS Example
ArcIMS out-of-the box viewer ArcIMS customized viewer

Begin basic customization

If you have some guts to look at some code, find your web files. Usually they are on the server in the ArcIMS folder, then Website folder, then the name of your service. The ArcIMSparam.js has many of the basic setting and a good bit of comments to help guide. Start here by changing colors, or the title name.

Viewing Tip:

CTRL F5 If your map gets hung up or you click too fast and break it, hold the CTRL button and press F5 to reload.


Viewing Sample Websites

1. View an out-of-the-box viewer (no customization) that uses the same map service as the Community Resource Inventory. Click here.

2. View the same map service with a highly customized viewer of the Community Resource Inventory Online. Click here. Then click Go to Map.

3. Notice the differences and possibilities that code hacking involved. No real code writing was necessary for the customized viewer, above.

4. View some other excellent and customized ArcIMS websites. For each, click around, turn layers on and off and use the tools available.

- Monterey Bay GIS

- Arizona NEMO ArcIMS Sites

- Town of Groton, CT Data Viewers including Property viewer, Buffer viewer, GIS Data Viewer and Utility Viewer

- Town of South Kingston, RI

Visit the Finding Map Services webpage to find more ArcIMS sites.