ArcGIS Explorer Desktop


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Common Questions—

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Do I need ArcGIS for Server to use ArcGIS Explorer?
ArcGIS Explorer is ready to use and connects directly to ArcGIS Online, which powers the default map, basemaps, and tools you use. Though you don't need ArcGIS for Server, you can extend the maps and capabilities of ArcGIS Explorer by authoring and publishing your own maps and layers via ArcGIS for Server or by authoring geoprocessing tools, which can extend the ArcGIS Explorer capabilities via add-ins.
Is ArcGIS Explorer customizable?
Yes, ArcGIS Explorer can be customized in a variety of ways, many of which do not require programming. First, you can personalize the application by changing colour schemes and the behaviour of various aspects of the application, choosing tools to appear on the Quick Access toolbar, and changing the location of windows such as Content.

ArcGIS Explorer can be further customized using Application Configuration Manager (ACM). Using ACM, you can remove tools, add new tabs, reorganize existing tools, enable or disable capabilities (like saving the map or adding new layers), and more. These are saved as application configuration files (.ncfg), which can be opened directly via double-clicking. In many cases, ACM is used to configure ArcGIS Explorer for specific users and workflows.

Using the ArcGIS Explorer Software Developer Kit (SDK), you can extend the software's capabilities via add-ins that you create using Visual Studio. A typical example is authoring a geoprocessing tool and extending ArcGIS Explorer with additional GIS capabilities via an add-in built using the SDK. Add-ins can also be managed within application configurations.
What are application configurations?
Application configurations allow you to easily control the user experience by having centrally managed configurations that allow controlling the tools, basemaps, startup banner, and other aspects of ArcGIS Explorer.
How can I use application configurations?
Application configurations are a great way to customize ArcGIS Explorer to support specific users, tasks, or workflows. So, for example, you could create a special version of ArcGIS Explorer for planners, another for the utility department, and another for crime analysis. The application configurations can be centrally managed within an organization.
Is there a charge for the ArcGIS Explorer SDK?
No, the ArcGIS Explorer SDK is free and available via a separate download.
What are expansion packs?
ArcGIS Explorer expansion packs are optional downloads that are used to deliver additional ArcGIS Explorer capabilities or resources. The current list of expansion packs includes
  • Data Access Expansion Pack—Expands geodatabase functionality by allowing direct connections to multiuser geodatabases
  • Fonts Expansion Pack—Adds more Esri fonts for use with ArcGIS Explorer when displaying ArcGIS layer files and layer packages
  • Projection Engine Expansion Pack—Adds more projections and geotransformations for use with ArcGIS Explorer
Can I use ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS for Server on the same machine?
Yes, ArcGIS Explorer can be used with other Esri software on the same machine without any conflicts or versioning issues.
Can I work offline with ArcGIS Explorer?
ArcGIS Explorer is meant to be used in a connected environment, since the default map, basemaps, and functions are provided via ArcGIS Online, but ArcGIS Explorer will work with reduced capabilities in a disconnected (or intermittently connected) environment. You can work directly with local content or any Web-based content you've visited (and therefore cached locally), but you won't be able to use Find or other capabilities that rely on an ArcGIS Online connection.
What is the basemap gallery?
The new basemap gallery in ArcGIS Explorer allows you to choose from a variety of basemaps (including Microsoft Bing Maps content) offered through ArcGIS Online. These basemaps are the foundation on which you place other content. Basemaps can be changed on the fly without changing the order or look of other layers in your map, and the basemap you've chosen will be saved along with other content in your map.
Can I add my own basemaps to the ArcGIS Explorer basemap gallery?
Yes, just select the content you want and choose Save As, then New Basemap. Your basemap will automatically appear in the basemap gallery.
Can Microsoft Bing Maps be used for free in ArcGIS Explorer?
Yes. Bing Maps content is included in the ArcGIS Explorer basemap gallery and is free for all ArcGIS Explorer users.
Can I symbolize data any way that I want in ArcGIS Explorer?
ArcGIS Explorer provides basic capabilities for symbolizing local data and includes a rich palette of point symbols that you can extend. This release adds support for ArcGIS layer files and layer packages. Layer packages are ideal for encapsulating ArcGIS for Desktop ArcMap application cartography with the data in an easy-to-share package that can be e-mailed, copied to CD or DVD, or shared via ArcGIS Online. Using layer files and layer packages, ArcGIS for Desktop cartography can be viewed using ArcGIS Explorer. Basemap and map service cartography is not editable and is "as authored" by the ArcMap user who created it and published it via ArcGIS for Server.
Can an ArcGIS Explorer presentation run automatically?
Yes, presentations can be set to advance automatically at a specified time interval, and the map can be saved so that the presentation starts automatically when the map is opened.
Can you include PowerPoint slides in an ArcGIS Explorer presentation?
Yes. PowerPoint slides can be saved from PowerPoint and added to ArcGIS Explorer as an image overlay. ArcGIS Explorer presentation controls enable you to add and use multiple slides, position the slides in a variety of ways, and control when they are displayed during the presentation. Image overlays can be used to add logos, text, or other graphics that can enhance any presentation.
Does ArcGIS Explorer support projections?
Yes, ArcGIS Explorer has always projected data on the fly onto its globe. With the new option to display data in 2D mode, the map projection can be set to any ArcGIS projection and includes support for local transformations.
What languages does ArcGIS Explorer support?
Supported languages are English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese. Localization includes help.
Will my existing ArcGIS Explorer NMF files work with the new version?
Yes, existing NMF files can be opened and used.
Will my existing ArcGIS Explorer tasks work with the new version?
Not directly. Previous ArcGIS Explorer tasks will need to be rebuilt using the new ArcGIS Explorer SDK.
I want to create an add-in and sell that as part of my business to other ArcGIS Explorer users. Is this permitted?
Yes, developers can create custom add-ins and distribute those for free or for a fee. There are no restrictions.
How do I get technical support for ArcGIS Explorer?
ArcGIS Explorer is a free downloadable product. No technical support is provided for users who have downloaded ArcGIS Explorer. However, Esri customers who are current on their maintenance for either ArcGIS for Desktop (any license level) or ArcGIS for Server (any license level) can receive limited technical support for ArcGIS Explorer.