Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Using Google Maps to Visualize ArcGIS Data & Services

Hi, I’m Sterling Quinn and I work on the development team for server-based GIS technologies at ESRI in Redlands, California. We’re happy to report that ESRI software users can now expose their GIS in Google Maps through the recently-released ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for the Google Maps API. The extension is built on the Google Maps API and is designed to communicate with ArcGIS Server, ESRI’s product for serving GIS functionality on the Web.

The ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for the Google Maps API allows you to maintain the user-friendly front end of Google Maps while tapping into an advanced GIS on the back end. You can use the extension to display your own maps on top of Google’s, query features in your database and display them on the map, or expose tasks that run GIS analysis models on the server. You can display your results using the Google Maps API’s native graphics engine and info windows.

To learn how to use the ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for the Google Maps API, use the online SDK, which contains basic concepts, an API reference, and examples of how to create custom maps and Mapplets. The examples contain detailed descriptions on how to do things like adding an ArcGIS Server map type button, displaying query results as KML, or running a task on the server to return a route and elevation profile.

Following are some quick links to example Mapplets built with the ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for the Google Maps API. For those of you who don't know, Mapplets are mini applications that you can add to Google Maps in the “My Maps” tab and are nifty because a user can enable multiple Mapplets at a time.


Cached Map Service

Displays an ArcGIS tiled map service over the Google base map.

Census Block Query

Retrieves US Census data from an ArcGIS map service at a point you click and displays it in a series of charts created with the Google Chart API.

Message in a Bottle

Uses an ArcGIS geoprocessing service to tell you where a bottle would drift if you dropped it in the ocean.

Service Area Analysis

Uses an ArcGIS geoprocessing service to display drive time polygons from a point you click.