ArcGIS is commercial GIS software by ESRI Inc, USA. It comprised: 3 products, 3 application modules, ArcGIS Services, Database, extensions and ArcObjects


a) Three products: ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo in the order of increasing functionality Available capabilities within these modules are “tiered” in three levels

  • ArcView: viewing, map production, spatial analysis, basic editing:
  • ArcEditor: ArcView, plus specialized editing:
  • ArcInfo: ArcView & ArcEditor plus special analyses and conversions:

b) It has three applications modules: ArcMAP, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox

  •  ArcMap: for data display, map production, spatial analysis, data editing
  • ArcCatalog: for data management and preview
  •  ArcToolbox, for specialized data conversions and analyses, available as a window in both

c) Extensions: for special : Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst, Geostatistics, Business Analyst, etc.

d) ArcObjects: to build specialized capabilities within ArcMap or ArcCatalog using VB for Applications

e) ArcGIS Services: ArcIMS for internet mapping and ArCSDE for database management

f) Others: ArcScene for 3-D modelling; ArcGlobe for global mapping


ArcMap Interface

ArcMap does Primary display applications and •Perform map-based tasks like: Displaying, – Editing, Querying, Analyzing, Charting and –reporting. ArcMap interface is as seen below


                                                          Fig of ArcMAP, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox


ArcCatalog: is a window into GIS database used for Browse your data, Manage your data and Create and view data documents (metadata)

ArcToolBox: Geographic processing functions like Data management, ,analysis, and conversion. –Tools vary between ArcGIS products

Practical exercises with ArcGIS Desktop

A) Demonstration

  • Observe ArcCatalog
    •    Directory structure and navigation
    •    Documentation
  • Observe ArcMap
    • Add data
    • Display and query data
    • Zoom and pan tools
    • Save a map document
  • Observe ArcToobox
    • toolkits

B) Observe and appreciate Data View and Layout View

C) View layers, data frame and maps