ArcMap- ArcGIS 9.3.1 (May 2009)



Operating system:


Native filetype:



GIS mapping and GIS data analysis software

Next version release:




See also:



LEARN, The Catalogue 


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ArcGIS is suite of programs which offer GIS (geographic information system) modelling and mapping and GIS data analysis functionality.  The suite includes ArcMap, ArcViewer and ArcReader.  ESRI is one of the largest GIS software providers on the market.

Of this suite of programs, ArcMap is the main component and the most highly functional.  The following information therefore pertains primarily to ArcMap

Primary functions:

Primary functions of ArcMap include:
1.     GIS mapping and map modification
2.     GIS to CAD file exporting
3.     GIS data analysis

Primary outputs:

Main outputs from ArcMap are maps including:
1.     Digital 3D terrain maps can be imported as 3D meshes into 3DS Max and AutoCAD to simulate site topography allowing for later environmental analysis in the likes of Ecotect.  Also, for rendering purposes it is often necesarry to include terrain.
2.     2D site maps/plans are exportable directly from ArcMap as 2D drawing files, such as DWG, which are then imported to CAD software for site planning, documentation and modelling.
3.     Printing of site maps and mapping images, data geographies and geographic information.


Though ArcMap is not particularly easy to pick up and has below average levels of interface usability it is very popular. 

It uses both command lines and graphic menus to input information into the program. 

The program has relatively high levels of interoperability being of course fully integrated with other ArcGIS programs and relatively well connected with programs such as those comprising the Autodesk suite (AutoCAD, 3DS Max etc).



Learning support:

Due to ESRI's dominant industry position ArcMap is one of, if not the, primary GIS software, there is naturally extensive support available.  Good software manuals issued by ESRI for ArcMap can be found here

To get you started Media Centre suggest the following tutorials:

Beginner A: Getting underway with
Beginner B: Map layers
Beginner C: Further tutorials
Beginner D: PDF Tutorial

Intermediate A: Animation in ArcMap
Intermediate B: Creating maps
Intermediate C: Making and printing maps

Advanced A: Data analysis
Advanced B: Adding VBA code
Advanced C: Querying data


You will also likely find interesting:
Kardi Teknomo
ESRI Library



External links:



First published Mon. 1 Feb. 2010, substantive revision:
Wed. 14 April. 2010

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