We’ve spent nearly a year working with ArcGIS Online. Our view is that it is a major step forward. We’ve been asked why we take this view. In short because this is a mapping platform like no other.
Let’s start with what is a mapping platform. Put simply:
“A web mapping platform is a toolkit that helps you build a web mapping application.”
There are many such platforms available in the open source world, more details available at this link:
ArcGIS Online is Exciting
GIS has been a niche. From desktop to Web, it has been a technology and acronym that few understand. We have long hoped the use of the technology would broaden and that the acronym would be less used. Many GIS-focused organisations, including ESRI, have begun to change the language their externally facing folk now speak. This is in part due to ArcGIS Online. Web maps, which are the raw material of ArcGIS Online, have a very broad appeal. We can talk, and will in later posts, about intelligent maps, story maps. Maps and geo-data targeted at non-GIS users.
So yes, we see ArcGIS Online as very exciting.