Google announced the end of their Google Maps (Google Maps Engine) by early 2015. After January 29, 2016, the product was disabled and is no longer available.
Among the different alternatives offered, Google and Esri worked closely together to provide a replacement software as well as training to all users of Google Earth Enterprise and Google Maps Engine technology.
ESRI, published a free software called “ArcGIS Earth” in December 2015, which is an interesting alternative to the not quite free option of ArcGIS Online. The product is an office application freely available and installable, which enable 2D and 3D visualization easily .
Beta version was made available for downloading.
Downloading ArcGis Earth
To download the Beta version, go to the website ArcGIS Earth Beta Program . The Beta version is public, but you will, however, need to create an account , if you haven’t already set one on the ArcGIS Online platform .
Go to https://www.arcgis.com/home/signin.html and click the Create a public account button.
- Once your account is created, start the connection .
- Go to http://www.esri.com/landing-pages/arcgis-earth and click Sign in for Beta.
- Download and install ArcGis Earth.
Launching ArcGis Earth
Launch the application.
Login by clicking Sign in . Enter your ArcGIS Online account connection data .
If you are correctly connected, your account appears instead of Sign in and you are ready to run the software.
The ArcGIS Earth Interface
The toolbar offers the following features:
- Adding data
- Drawing tool
- Measurement Tool
- Send by email
- Maps selection
Most of the options are very explicit. Here we will discuss the available maps and the option Add Data.
The available maps
In the beta version, the available maps are:
The topographic map includes administrative boundaries, cities, hydrographic and physiographic features, and parks, points of interest, transportation networks and buildings.
The Imaging world map is a detailed aerial image layer, designed as a base map for different maps and applications.
- Imaging and labels
Same layer but with display of place names
I have not yet found information about the data source used for this base map.
- Canvas Dark Grey
Map background “rear – neutral plan” to superimpose and enhance other data layers.
- Grey scale
Same as the previous but in shades of light grey.
- National Geographic
General background map concerning educational and informative features
- Oceans and bathymetry
When you need something more specific than a flat blue representing the sea and the oceans .
- Land with tags
This is the 3D base map, the ArcGis Earth DTM .
By default and without having to install plugins? ESRI would have included the OSM interest?
Add data to ArcGIS Earth
Click the + tool to open the dialog to add data.
The first option allows adding data on line (via URL). Entering the URL allows you to specify an available source on line (ArcGis Portal).
The second option allows adding local data. Adding Files allows you to view KML / KMZ / SHP files present on your hard disk or any other media .
The third option allows adding ArcGIS Online data.