• GIS SERVERS & INTERNET MAP SERVICES •
GIS servers are set up by data owners to allow their data to be accessed directly. Desktop users connect to the data across the Internet. Once connected, they can add layers called "map services" to desktop sessions (more info). GIS servers and map services greatly reduce the need for distributing many copies of popular datasets. It is a very efficient approach to data distribution and appears to be where the world is headed.
It should be noted that adding a map service to an ArcGIS desktop session is a little different from most "Add Data" operations.
Before the individual service can be added, a connection to the server must be made in ArcCatalog.
Connecting to a server is accomplished by typing or pasting a string of text into a text box. Information on the nuts and bolts of
connecting to map services can be found at:
• Connecting to GIS servers (tutorial available at the ArcGIS Help Library hosted by Esri)
• How to Connect to an ArcIMS map service (tutorial hosted by Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access)
• How to Connect (tutorial hosted by Otter Geospatial)
The sites listed below have proven
helpful in tracking down potentially useful GIS servers and map services:
• Online Mapping Services & Data Availability (directory hosted by USGS Seamless Data Warehouse)
• Wisconsin Local Government Web Mapping Sites (directory hosted by University of Wisconsin Sea Grant)
• Map Services (directory hosted by Otter Geospatial)
• ArcGIS Online Maps & Tasks (directory hosted by Environmental Research Systems, Inc. (Esri))