Recently I was at the ESRI Nordic Developer Conference, which was attended mostly by GIS developers from Scandinavian countries. The topics covered were very diverse and gave some insight into the new features in ArcGIS 10, effective geodatabase and mobile programming techniques, working with ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs and many other things.
In particular, my attention was drawn to the ArcGIS for Sharepoint API. This development platform is relatively new for the ESRI community and it is based on the Microsoft Sharepoint platform. The demonstration of the functionality made by ESRI Software Engineer Morten Nielsen was impressive and I believe that Sharepoint platform might find use in the ESRI user community.
Again, there was a lot of information on taking advantage of different Web Mapping APIs and getting started working with ArcGIS Viewer for Flex, which was demonstrated by another ESRI Product Engineer Bjorn Svensson. The last release of the Flex viewer shown is very impressive and is worth a look. You might find the Flex viewer particularly beneficial if you do not have any programming experience, but want to provide your end Web users with a good looking and intuitive application layout.
Another exciting program that caught my attention was the Community Maps program from ESRI. This program aims at world-wide integration of user map data into an Internet-based cached map service which can be consumed by different clients later on. I think that the map templates ESRI provides us with are really effective from the cartography perspective: doesn’t this map look appealing? It is possible to download different map templates in the ArcMap map document (.mxd) with sample data and preset in advance layer symbology. So, all that is left for you to do is to apply the layer symbology to your own ArcMap map documents and optionally change the layer drawing order to match the ESRI Map Template layer structure. Map templates of different types are available at the ESRI Mapping Resource Center.
For those who are not aware yet of the sample ArcGIS map services ESRI offers for free – start using them now for demonstrations or in production depending on how they suit you. Among those services you will find some ArcGIS Server feature services (which were introduced in ArcGIS 10); these ones will allow you to implement editing functionality in your Web mapping applications. The REST endpoints for those services can be found under the ArcGIS Services Directories as below:
http://sampleserver3.arcgisonline.com/arcgis/rest/services (for ArcGIS 10)
http://sampleserver1.arcgisonline.com/arcgis/rest/services (for ArcGIS 9.3.1)