Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ArcGIS Explorer Online Can Be Used as an Option to Google Earth

ArcGIS Explorer online http://explorer.arcgis.com/ is a free web application that allows users to look at existing maps or add content to their own maps.

The first thing you will need to do is install Microsoft Silverlight (a 5.96 mb file) on your computer. Once this is done, the program will load when you open the website. The default base map is a topographic base map, however, there are 12 other base maps available by clicking on the base map button. From this dropdown you can choose a Bing aerial base map, a Bing road map, streets, terrain, terrain with labels, a USA topo map, shaded relief, Imagery, Imagery with labels and others. The controls on the left side of the map are very similar to Google Maps. You can zoom in & out, use your mouse and scroll wheel and the arrow keys on your keyboard. The Map Center on the far left of the screen allows you to view pre-saved maps. Maps that you create can be shared with everyone, shared with specific people you designate or kept for your personal use. You can search for locations by typing in the address, zip code, international postal code, intersection, airport code or geographic coordinates. The pre-made maps contain details that you can click on to learn specific information about each place. You can add content to your maps, measure distances and areas and create presentations for later playback. Presentations allow you to create captures of maps or slides that include titles and other relevant content you add to the map. You can also add pop-up windows that include text, pictures or video. Once you have created all your slides, you can have users advance the slides manually or automatically. This online resource would be very beneficial to Social Studies and Math classes as well as other subjects.

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