Internet-based geographic information systems are an important complement to desktop applications. There are definitely situations in our work where a do-it-yourself web map is the most efficient solution. In some cases a web map can completely eliminate the need for desktop software. In other cases, products developed on the desktop can be published as web maps. "Citizen science" is an obvious opportunity - web maps can be used to upload field observations to a master database. As of November 2011, we're aware of a small handful of web mapping applications originating at UW-Green Bay. We believe that there are more to come and we are working to develop a knowledge base so we can properly support demand for this option among faculty, students and staff.
ArcGIS Explorer Online Is The Biodiversity Center Default
Our early experiments with geographic information systems on the Internet have focused on the ArcGIS Explorer Online product from Environmental Systems Research, Inc (ESRI). The fact that the product is completely internet-based (no locally installed software) seems like a big advantage over some other products. We also like its ability to read .shp files, a standard GIS format that we use extensively in our work.
Getting started is simple. Browse to the application at https://http://explorer.arcgis.com/ and sign in. If you don't have an ESRI Global Account, use the sign-in dialogue to obtain one (it's free). Read the on-line documentation and start building your GIS.
The links below connect to web maps created with the ArcGIS Explorer Online product:
• Survey Markers on the UWGB Campus
ArcGIS Explorer Online Isn't The Only Option
The ArcGIS Web Mapping product line is a suite of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that can
be used by organizations with programming capability to create large, robust applications
The Google Earth and Maps Enterprise product line is a suite of APIs
and application building blocks that allow Google Earth and Google Maps to be used as enterprise web mapping applications