Monday, November 15, 2010

What is ArcGIS?


ArcGIS is a software for GIS (Geographical Information System) data editing and analysis. It is a suite consisting of a group of geographic information system (GIS) software products produced by Esri (Wikipedia). It provides tools to users from the very basic of data digitizing to the sophisticated modelling. It is a complete integration system which helps organizations of any fields in asset/data management, planning and analysis, business operation and situational awareness. It is a system for people who rely on accurate geographic information to make decisions (Esri (a)).

In ArcGIS, there are 3 key parts that make up this integrated geographical information system which are the ArcGIS Desktop software, ArcSDE gateway and ArcIMS software (Esri (b)). ArcGIS Desktop provides all the integrated suite of advanced GIS applications which is the core system and highlight of the product. In ArcGIS Desktop, there are several other product levels that make up the software which are ArcReader, ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo. The functionality of those product levels start with minimal in ArcReader and maximize in ArcInfo level where user can utilize all capabilities for data manipulating, editing and analysis. In ArcReader, one can view and query maps created with the other Arc products. To perform basic spatial analysis, one can use the ArcView as it can also allows one to view spatial data and create layered maps while the ArcEditor extends the use of ArcView by including more advanced tools for manipulation of shapefiles and geodatabases.
ArcGIS System

Besides all those "Arcs", the focus of the software are the ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox. ArcMap are the software interface where all the analysis or data manipulation take place while ArcToolbox provides extend functionality to the ArcMap. In addition to those, ArcScene provides the user to analyze or visualize their work in 3D. To manage all the data, ArcCatalog provides easy interface to store, manage, copy, duplicate or view all the data as simple as using windows interface. This is why the usage of ArcGIS is very technically practical and beneficial to the users from various type of field and interest background.

ArcMap and ArcCatalog interface

As a researcher in forestry and remote sensing field, ArcGIS has provided me with all of those functions and I'm very satisfied with its easy user interface as well as it tools function. It is in my greatest interest to continue using it and perhaps expanding the use of the ArcGIS software.

Thanx for reading.


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