ArcGIS Online Map and Geoservices

Common Questions

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Are ArcGIS Online basemaps completely free of charge?

ArcGIS Online basemap services are freely available to all Esri users for internal and external use. These map services include ArcGIS Online basemaps, reference maps, specialty maps, and demographic maps. The only limitation is a high-volume transaction limit of 50,000,000 transactions in a twelve months period that most likely very few users will reach.

Local, state, and federal government users, as well as educational institution and NGO users have been able to freely use ArcGIS Online basemaps and are not affected by this change and will not have a transaction limit. As before, they can continue to make unlimited use of ArcGIS Online basemaps regardless of transaction volume. Developers also have unlimited access to ArcGIS Online basemaps for development and testing purposes via the ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs.

Users who are concerned about reaching the high-volume level in a twelve months period should contact their local Esri office to discuss alternatives. Or contact us at arcgisonline@esri.com with any questions.

Who can use ArcGIS Online basemaps?

ArcGIS Online basemaps are available to all Esri users. They are a built-in feature of ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS for Server. Users who do not have ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS for Server still have access to ArcGIS Online basemaps through other clients, applications, and APIs. For example, users can create web maps in ArcGIS.com and ArcGIS Explorer for free. These web maps can be freely shared and embedded in a user’s blog or web site. These same web maps can also be used in mobile applications available for download in app stores. ArcGIS JavaScript, Flex, and Silverlight API users can create custom applications that use web maps or directly access ArcGIS Online basemaps. For users who aren’t developers, in addition to using ArcGIS.com or ArcGIS Explorer, configurable clients like the Flex Viewer for ArcGIS or the ArcGIS.com map templates are available to quickly create customized web applications. Users can also leverage direct REST and SOAP access to ArcGIS Online basemaps if they have built their applications using other tools or APIs.

What are the terms of use for ArcGIS Online web services?
Use of ArcGIS Online web services is governed by the Web Services and API Terms of Use. You can view a summary or the entire Terms of Use document.
What software do I need to access ArcGIS Online services?

To connect to ArcGIS 9.3 Service Pack 1, ArcGIS 9.3.1, ArcGIS 10, or ArcGIS Web Mapping.

Can I get a local copy of the data used in the ArcGIS Online map services?

Yes, you can get a local version of the ArcGIS Online map services. Data Appliance for ArcGIS provides much of the same data and is delivered on a preconfigured network storage device that connects to your existing network.

DataDoors for ArcGIS is another option. Through this application, you can place an online order for most of the raster data available in ArcGIS Online, then download it locally to your desktop or have it shipped to you.

Bing Maps

Are Bing Maps free to ArcGIS users?

Yes. ArcGIS users have direct access to Bing Maps through the Internet.

ArcGIS for Desktop (9.3.1 and 10), ArcGIS Engine, ArcGIS Explorer, and ArcPad 10 users can access Bing Maps at no additional cost for internal use.

ArcGIS 10 for Server users have free access to Bing Maps for internal use with a limit of 2 million transactions per 4 cores, per year. If you want to include Bing Maps in an externally facing application, you must obtain a Bing Maps key directly from Microsoft.

ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs users who do not also have an ArcGIS for Server license must obtain a Bing Maps key directly from Microsoft.

What restrictions apply in regards to using Bing Maps Services?
  • Bing Maps can only be used in applications developed in conjunction with Esri software.
  • Caching: Session-based cache is allowed, but the cache must be deleted after each session.
  • No Bird's Eye imagery can be utilized by Esri applications (however, users can link to pop-ups of birds-eye imagery - see below).
  • No traffic services can be utilized by Esri applications.
  • No asset tracking: Bing Maps Services cannot be used to monitor or track the location or movement of any asset. "Asset" means one of any of the following classes: person, vehicle, device, or other mobile object. Esri users can perform asset tracking with their own capabilities and then overlay the results on a Bing Maps basemap. Esri users cannot use the Bing Maps APIs directly to perform the actual asset tracking (such as auto-updating Bing Maps geocodes/point overlays sent in from a GPS device). Most Esri users will not have this restriction because they do not program with the Bing Maps APIs directly - instead, they utilize Bing Maps basemaps and perform their own asset tracking on top of Bing Maps basemaps.
  • Geocodes may not be stored for any purpose except caching for performance.
  • Geocodes may not be displayed on any map other than a Bing Map.
  • Esri reserves the right to determine appropriate use of free services (including Bing Maps Services) and may at any time and at its sole discretion alter or discontinue services provided to any customer accessing the free services.
What are the terms of use for Bing Maps?
Use of Bing Maps is governed by Microsoft Bing Maps Services (E-802).
How is a Bing Maps transaction defined?

It depends on the transaction type.

  • Eight 256 x 256 map tiles = 1 map transaction
  • Eight 128 x 128 map tiles = 1 map transaction (mobile device)
  • Eight 64 x 64 map tiles = 1 map transaction (mobile device)
  • One geocode = 1 transaction
  • One local search = 1 transaction
  • One point-to-point route = at least 4 transactions (1 map, 2 geocodes, 1 route)
Bing Maps transaction
What ArcGIS for Server APIs can consume Bing Maps?

The following APIs can consume Bing Maps map tiles:

ArcGIS API for Flex, ArcGIS API for Silverlight, ArcGIS API for JavaScript, ArcGIS for SharePoint, the ArcGIS for Server 10 .NET ADF, and the ArcGIS for Server 10 Web ADF for Java.

The ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for Microsoft Bing Maps can also be used to serve GIS datasets as overlays to the Bing Maps map control.

What specific map data is available with Bing Maps?
Bing Maps are composed of three map services: roads, orthographic aerial and satellite imagery, and hybrid (imagery overlaid with roads and labels). Bird's-eye imagery is not included. You can preview the three map services.
Are Bing Maps geocoding and routing services available to ArcGIS users?
All ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs support Bing Maps geocoding. Additionally, Bing Maps routing is supported in the ArcGIS API for Silverlight/WPF. However, in order to use this functionality, you must obtain a Bing Maps key directly from Microsoft.
Will ArcGIS Explorer be able to view ArcGIS Online Bing Maps in 3D?
Yes, ArcGIS Explorer will render the 2D Bing Maps map tiles in 3D on the fly.
How can I get access to Pictometry's bird's-eye imagery in ArcGIS?
You can add Pictometry's bird's-eye imagery by using the ArcGIS plug-in and extensions sold by Pictometry.

World Geocoding

What qualifies as batch geocoding?
Batch geocoding means that you are storing the results of your request locally, so you can use them again. If you want to batch geocode addresses, or programmatically serialize single geocode requests in order to save your geodcoding results for later use, you must purchase an annual subscription.

World Routing

Does the World Routing service support languages other than English?
The standard no-cost and subscription-based services provide multilanguage support for routing directions. The following languages are supported:
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish