ArcGIS Explorer Desktop and future Esri support...

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03-14-2013 01:20 PM
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New Contributor II
Hello.

I have been told by an employee at Esri that the ArcGIS Explorer Desktop product will no longer be supported in the future, and that it will only exist as an online viewer.  I assume this would be http://www.arcgis.com/explorer/.  Can someone from Esri on this forum confirm that the Desktop Explorer is being officially discontinued, and if so, when that will happen?

The main reason I am asking this is because I use Explorer Desktop in some of my college teaching.  I would like to know if it's going away (and when) before I spend the time updating GIS exercises for my students.

Thanks,

Scott White
Durango, CO
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Esri Regular Contributor
The next release of ArcGIS Explorer Desktop will be 10.2 and the timing of future releases will fall in-line with the ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) releases.  The focus of the next release is maintaining compatibility with ArcGIS and fixing reported issues with functionality.


mark
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Occasional Contributor II
So its been almost a year.....any news on the next version?
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Esri Regular Contributor
If you look at the thread over the years, I am not very good at predicting the future and the timing of the release is really out of my control.  We do plan to release an updated version this year (2014).

-mark
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Occasional Contributor II
Thanks. 'This Year' is a pretty broad timeframe. I don't think most users are expecting a specific date and time, but a month or even a Fiscal Quarter timeframe would be helpful. By this year would that mean by Summer, or by December 31, 2014?
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New Contributor
If you look at the thread over the years, I am not very good at predicting the future and the timing of the release is really out of my control.  We do plan to release an updated version this year (2014).

-mark


Hello Mark,

Is there any insight that you can provide the general public regarding the support and development life cycle of this product? ArcGIS Explorer is an extremely clean, capable, and extensible product. I've developed plugins for it and enjoy using it as the base for my GIS solutions. My concern with this latest release is that it's not as stable as previous versions and there does not appear to be a clear roadmap for the software's future releases. Are there any considerations to open source this product? The best alternative to using this product is Terramenta, which is an open source Java application the uses NASA World Wind inside a Netbeans platform.

Your insights are much appreciated!

-Travis
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Esri Regular Contributor
I have a little more clarity on this.  First from reading this very thread the plan to release an updated version of ArcGIS Explorer desktop did not happen for the 10.2 ArcGIS release.

At the recent Fed GIS conference  Jack outlined the general plan for this year.
The next release of ArcGIS Desktop software will be 10.2.2 and it will be released soon, the software certification process at Esri is underway now for it.

Following the ArcGIS 10.2.2 release Jack had "ArcGIS Next" on his plenary slide, and that is planned for this year.
We are planning to have ArcGIS Explorer desktop ready for release with ArcGIS Next.  This is primarily a bug fix release for the ArcGIS Explorer Desktop 2500 release that you are currently using.

Q3 at earliest  ??

I appreciate your patience as we work towards the next release,
Mark
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New Contributor III
Thanks for the update. So realistically we should expect an update by the end of the year....

The development discussion of this product is an interesting one. ESRI keeps pushing ArcGIS Online and Server for web maps. Unfortunately, not all GIS users have high-speed internet, cell phone coverage, etc. In my very rural area, I'm going to be relying heavily on this free viewer to distribute GIS maps and data. Most rural areas have dial-up internet or DSL less than 3mb speeds. Pushing web maps is fine where there is infrastructure, but for those of us that have to deal with technology limitations, we still rely on these viewers. I sure hope ESRI does not stop developing a free standalone viewer, because if everything keeps getting pushed to the web and AGO, we'll have to stop using ESRI products and pursue other avenues, like open source software.
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Occasional Contributor II
I sure hope ESRI does not stop developing a free standalone viewer, because if everything keeps getting pushed to the web and AGO, we'll have to stop using ESRI products and pursue other avenues, like open source software.


I agree with Nathan whole heartedly.

Mark,

First my company lost the ESRI product we used extensively called BusinessMap, then I sold ESRI's ArcGIS for Server system to my management, and the key to the sale was ArcGIS Explorer for Desktop (AGX), a free viewer that our users could use when they were offsite.

Since we invested several tens of thousands in this ecosystem, there was the, "ESRI & Microsoft Alliance" http://www.microsoft.com/enterprise/partners/esri.aspx#fbid=deL6CRXclrO

Windows 8 was released to the public in October 2012. After which AGX ceased to work on windows machines.

Can't we use the backdoor created with the ESRI Windows Alliance to proactively respond to a new Windows Release before it happens, instead of taking two years to respond to a new Windows Release. Two years at the earliest that is if AGX is fixed by Q3.

Many of my users service rural customers, so that means when they are not in a major urban area with an internet connection where they can VPN into our network based ArcGIS Server - browser based tools. . . they have no map.

How ironic is that. Microsoft and ESRI form an Alliiance, AGX ceases to function on Windows, then when the user needs a map & navigation instructions the most (in a rural unfamiliar area) the map is unavailable.

I am a paying customer, I bought ESRI's whole system. More than that I sold ESRI's whole system and I have earnestly and productively advocated for ESRI, yet my patience is being put to the test.

Two years from when Windows 8 is released until when ArcGIS Explorer for Desktop will work on it, even in the presence of an "alliance" between ESRI and MS is not acceptable.

Streets and Trips is ~$35, and MapPoint is ~$300 . . . PLEASE FIX AGX SOON!! I don't want to spend money outside your ecosystem. Please!!!

Sincerely,

John Nowlin
National Service Systems Developer
Stiles Machinery
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Esri Regular Contributor
John,

We have been using ArcGIS Explorer Desktop on Windows 8 and 8.1 and we do not have a repro case for the flashing and cursor stealing that you described in this post. http://forums.arcgis.com/threads/88885-Installing-ArcGIS-Explorer-2500-on-Windows-8.1-preview?p=3541...  We have seen something kind of similar to this on windows 7 with Internet Explorer 10  http://forums.arcgis.com/threads/99851-Explorer-difficulties-hard-to-click-and-type-in-Explorer?p=35... but have not seen this behavior on Win 8.

We will be making an updated setup available soon that will address the issue with installing on Windows 8.1.  The update will also include a fix for zooming to the correct result extent when using a custom geocoding services and precise measuring and note pinning in 3D.

Later this year we will also release a version of ArcGIS Explorer Desktop that is in synch with version changes in ArcGIS Desktop (Arcmap, ArcGlobe etc..) and ArcGIS Explorer Desktop will continue to release and stay in synch as new version of ArcGIS Desktop are released.

That said...

It is true that we are working on a variety of applications for use with ArcGIS online, one of those is Explorer for ArcGIS. http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/03/27/explorer-for-arcgis-is-coming/  Over time this application will grow in functionality to do much of what you use ArcGIS Explorer desktop for today and more.  I encourage you to read the blog post and respond to it.

Mark
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