ArcGIS Suite

ArcGIS is suite of programs which offer GIS (geographic information system) modelling and mapping and GIS data analysis functionality.  The suite includes ArcMap, ArcViewer and ArcReader.  ESRI is one of the largest GIS software providers on the market.

Of this suite of programs, ArcMap is the main component and the most highly functional.  The following information therefore pertains primarily to ArcMap

Primary functions of ArcMap include:

1.     GIS mapping and map modification
2.     GIS to CAD file exporting
3.     GIS data analysis

Main outputs from ArcMap are maps including:

1.     Digital 3D terrain maps can be imported as 3D meshes into 3DS Max and AutoCAD to simulate site topography allowing for later environmental analysis in the likes of Ecotect.  Also, for rendering purposes it is often necesarry to include terrain.
2.     2D site maps/plans are exportable directly from ArcMap as 2D drawing files, such as DWG, which are then imported to CAD software for site planning, documentation and modelling.
3.     Printing of site maps and mapping images, data geographies and geographic information.

Due to ESRI’s dominant industry position ArcMap is one of, if not the, primary GIS software, there is naturally extensive support available.  Good software manuals issued by ESRI for ArcMap can be found here

To get you started Media Centre suggest the following tutorials:

Beginner A: Getting Started
Beginner B: PDF Tutorial

Intermediate A: Animation in ArcMap
Intermediate B: Creating maps
Intermediate C: Making and printing maps

Advanced A: Data analysis
Advanced B: Adding VBA code
Advanced C: Querying data

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