With the Esri User Conference just around the corner, this month we’ll talk about some of the exciting things you can expect to see and hear coming off the back of the conference.
The next version of ArcGIS – ArcGIS 10.1 – is still in development, but you can expect to see some of the enhancements being shown during this year’s conference. We hear a lot of talk and buzz around cloud computing but how does it make my job easier as a GIS professional? The cloud is a large topic, certainly bigger than the space we have here, but put simply, it will enable you to collaborate with your peers in much faster ways than were previously achievable. For instance, if I work for one organisation, how do I share my content with you in another?
At ArcGIS 10.0 Esri introduced the ability for users to share content through ArcGIS.com. You can create map packages and upload these to your ArcGIS Online account from within ArcGIS Desktop. This is a great way of sharing small packages of information for other users of ArcGIS Desktop. Of course not everybody has an ArcGIS Desktop license at their disposal, so in the near future you will be able to send this map package to the cloud and have it serve the information for you as map services. This makes your content immediately available to other online clients such as the ArcGIS.com viewer and ArcGIS Explorer Online. You can also use these services within your own custom applications built using one of the many APIs available. This opens up the possibilities for fast capability sharing, collaboration, and open data access. The barriers to entry are being torn down.
At 10.1 you will also be able to serve feature data using ArcGIS Server Basic. The Spatial Data Server will be available to ArcGIS Server Basic licenses and will allow you to serve spatial data from many spatial data repositories. These feature services will then be accessible through an open rest endpoint, allowing use by many different applications.
The ArcGIS Runtime is a new product. It is a lightweight, fast library of objects that developers will use to create very modern and fit for purpose applications. Runtimes often evoke thoughts of thick clients, installers and less than ideal portability. Certainly when creating applications using ArcGIS Engine, developers must take into account many limitations that ArcGIS Engine imposes, such as disk space, memory usage and deployment techniques. ArcGIS Runtime is different. It is small in terms of disk usage, lighter weight on memory and you can run it from a flash drive without installing any components on the machine. All up, it provides more flexibility for developers deploying their applications.
There are many more enhancements coming at 10.1. Imagery enhancements, editing, and more spatial analysis tools are all coming your way, so stay tuned for announcements from the conference. There is also some great information in the Q&A section of the user conference. You will find it here.
You will also be able to see many of these new features first hand at Ozri this year. Finally check out the Map Gallery competition for this year’s Ozri. It is great to see how you all apply Esri technology to create informative maps. You never know, maybe your map will win an iPad 2!