Creating Useful Technology and Supporting Our Users

Jul 28, 2015 · 6 min read

ArcGIS is an integrated Web GIS platform providing mapping, analysis, data management, and collaboration capabilities both on the open Web and on-premises.


ArcGIS includes a Living Atlas of the World. It’s like a large living library of geographic information. Our intention and aspiration is to continue building out thematic information about every subject — basemaps, imagery, demographics, landscape data, etc. — so anyone can use it to access thousands of authoritative maps.

ArcGIS includes a Living Atlas of the World which consists of thousands of ready-to-use, authoritative maps and layers.

Data Management

With respect to ArcGIS data management, we’ve been working on improving things like focused workflows and tools that improve your productivity — for example, 2D and 3D editing, improving workflows like the new task capability in ArcGIS Pro, and adding new tools to do conflation.

Mapping and Visualization

Mapping and visualization is a huge area of work and is of interest to many people. We’re working on reinventing a new kind of 3D cartography to make it easier to tell stories with 3D maps. We’re also working on vector tiles, which are sort of like raster tiles, but with some interesting characteristics. Later this year we will release a brand new app called ArcGIS Earth for global and local visualization.


We’re very active in the 3D area and are working in the areas of 3D building models, Lidar analysis, rule-based models, thematic visualization, 3D data exploration, 3D analytics, and much more.


Imagery is increasingly becoming a central part of what we’re working on and integrating into the ArcGIS platform. This means the ability to manage very large numbers of images, or do advanced analytics on a single image.

Spatial Analysis

My favorite part of the ArcGIS platform, and why I originally got into GIS, is spatial analysis. Here we’re working in two areas: adding new tools to the desktop and adding tools in the online environment.

Enhancements to the spatial analysis capabilities of the ArcGIS platform advance the science of geography.


GIS is becoming real-time — in terms of real-time connectedness to this system of engagement, but also with the ability to handle thousands of real-time events every second.

At the Boston Marathon, GIS became central to the security efforts this year to protect the event.

Big Data

For the last couple of years, we’ve been working on a project at Esri called the Big Data Project. It’s all about GeoAnalytics and visualization of massive amounts of data. It’s about creating new insights from very, very large data — hundreds of millions or even billions of observations.

Creating new insights through the analysis of taxi cab pickups and drop-offs in the New York City area.

Open Platform

ArcGIS is fundamentally an open platform. We take this seriously because it ensures that your data and your systems are interoperable with other kinds of technologies. This is challenging because different organizations have different approaches, different philosophies, or different preferences for how they implement interoperability. We are working hard to support multiple pathways to ensure that our system is open.

Esri Insider

Esri visions, strategic initiatives, and trending topics


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Esri pursues mapping and spatial analysis with visionary products and services that define the science of GIS.

Esri Insider

Esri visions, strategic initiatives, and trending topics