Are you ready for "GES"? Yup, you've been using it.
February 6th, 2006 by JTJ

Susan Smith, exec. editor of GISWeekly Review, delivers a fine overview this week of GES, “Geographic Exploration Systems.”  Check it out.

Zeroing in on Geographic Exploration Systems

by Susan Smith

Nearly every participant in our Emerging Technologies review mentioned
Google Earth technology and how that might impact the future directions
of GIS. Google Earth is exciting and better known to the masses right
now, however, it is not the only “Geographic Exploration System (GES).”

Although it may seem that these GES are a new invention, they
have actually been in the works for quite some time. Technology from
lesser known companies has been used to extend or enhance software for
some of the heavy hitters. Some companies have OEM'd their technology,
others have been the result of outright acquisitions.

ESRI ArcGIS Explorer

ESRI has just released a beta version of its “geospatial information viewer,” ArcGIS Explorer,
which offers an easy way to access geographic information but also
integrates rich GIS datasets and server-based geoprocessing
applications by accessing the ArcGIS Server including geoprocessing and
3D services. It is OGC-compliant, and supports WMS and Google KML data.

Some of its features include:

  • ability to seamlessly explore data for the entire globe in 2D and 3D
  • integrate your local data with data and services from ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, OGC WMS and ESRI-hosted ArcWeb Services.
  • perform GIS analysis using tasks (i.e. visibility, modeling, proximity, search)
  • answer queries about the maps you generate and share the results with others
  • use maps and data from your own secure servers. [more]

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