Producing a map application; are there other options beyond hosting services?

12-28-2018 02:43 PM
New Contributor II

I've got a set of layers that were once a part of a printed atlas that I want to turn into an interactive application that works much like the standard Google Maps type setup, with various other functions available (directions, nearest facility, my location etc). I've begun looking into the options available, and thought I'd streamline the process by posting my questions here before going too far down the rabbit hole.

So far my own skimming has turned up the standard app builder options, like Web AppBuilder, the standard hosting options, like ArcGIS Online and Enterprise, and several other online web map hosting services, like Mango Maps.

My main question is this: are there any app builder options out there that do not require an online hosting service?  Something that can produce a map application package that can run from a set of files independent of an online or server hosted service, that can be downloaded directly to a mobile device as a package and used?

I just want to make sure that I'm covering all of my bases before moving in on a paid service, and any hints of a direction to look would be much appreciated.

If not, is it possible to create an AppBuilder application without one of the basemaps provided? That is one of the bigger hangups I have before going forward with the AppBuilder/ArcOnline direction, given that the atlas layers I have already provide many (if not all) of my basemap necessities.

Thank you for your time.

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2 Replies
Esri Contributor

Hi Cody,


So, Google maps is generally a web-based application that consumes web-based services, to that note, ArcGIS online is itself web-based application and can also create some like with the Web AppBuilder, these web-apps consume web-based service like the Esri Basemaps, or ArcGIS online Hosted layers.


With a free public ArcGIS online account you have access to some application and could use Feature collections that get stored in a Web Maps, but they can be limited, so getting a very detailed map along with using Web AppBuilder would need to utilize a service base that comes with a Full ArcGIS Online subscription.


Going primarily offline, there are non-web-based solutions for mapping, for instance ArcGIS Desktop and the File geodatabase is a primary product Esri offers for your PC, in my opinion the bread and butter of mapping with Esri software.  But It’s hard to put your bread and butter in your pocket and carry that around. 


Esri offers a Developer platform for coders to develop apps, for instance a coder can use the ArcGIS runtime SDK and can develop an application that uses a “Map package” that can be created with ArcGIS Desktop.


Either road you take is going to lead you through either Online Service or a GIS Desktop platform. Pardon the plug here but getting in contact with a Esri sales rep is a good way to open this discussion to explore if any Esri products suit your needs.

I hope this helps. 

New Contributor II

That wasn't quite what I meant for the majority of your answer (which was 100% my fault for not articulating the question very well), but your mentioning of the Runtime SDK does give me a direction to look in; that being a piece of software that can produce a final product from a map already developed in ArcGIS Desktop. Unfortunately I cannot reliably call myself a coder, so it won't be directly useful right away, but it is more of a base to work off of than I had before.

Thank you once again

I'll be holding off on calling this 'Answered' for a few more days just in case someone else may have something to add but hasn't seen this yet (off on holidays, that kind of thing).