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definition - ESRI

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Type Private
Industry Software
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Founded Redlands, California (1969)
Headquarters Redlands, California, U.S. 34°3′25.35″N 117°11′44.44″W / 34.0570417°N 117.1956778°W / 34.0570417; -117.1956778
Key people Jack Dangermond, Founder/President
Products ArcGIS, ArcView, ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, ArcSDE, ArcGIS Mobile, ArcPad
Revenue More than $776 million per year
Employees 2,700 (US)+ (2009 statistics) [1]
Website www.esri.com
For the Irish think tank, see Economic and Social Research Institute.

Esri (play /ˈɛsr/) is a software development and services company providing Geographic Information System (GIS) software and geodatabase management applications. The headquarters of Esri is in Redlands, California.

The company was founded as Environmental Systems Research Institute in 1969 as a land-use consulting firm. Esri products (particularly ArcGIS Desktop) have one-third of the global market share.[2] In 2002 Esri had approximately a 30 percent share of the GIS software market worldwide, more than any other vendor.[3] Other sources estimate that about 70 percent of the current GIS users make use of Esri products.[4]

It has 10 regional offices in the U.S. and a network of 80 international distributors with about a million users in 200 countries. Esri has 2,500 employees in the U.S., and is still privately-held by the founders. In 2006 revenues were about $660 million.[5]

They host an annual International User's Conference, which was first held on the Redlands campus in 1981 with 16 attendees. More recently, the User's Conference has been held in San Diego for the past 10 years. An estimated 14,500 worldwide users attended in 2007.[6]



Jack and Laura Dangermond founded Esri in 1969. Jack Dangermond is the current president of Esri.

  Pronunciation of company name

According to the company, Esri is pronounced as a word, 'ez-ree'.[7]

Some distributors outside of the USA such as Australia market themselves with the 'ess-ree' pronunciation followed by the country name.


Esri uses the name ArcGIS to refer to its suite of GIS software products, which operate on desktop, server, and mobile platforms. ArcGIS also includes developer products and web services. In a general sense, the term GIS describes any information system that integrates, stores, edits, analyzes, shares and displays geographic information for informing decision making. The term GIS-Centric, however, has been specifically defined as the use of the Esri ArcGIS geodatabase as the asset/feature data repository central to Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) as a part of Enterprise Asset Management and analytical software systems. GIS-centric certification criteria has been specifically defined by NAGCS, the National Association of GIS-Centric Solutions. http://www.nagcs.org/index.asp .

  Desktop GIS

As of September 2010 Esri's current desktop GIS suite is version 10.0. ArcGIS for Desktop software products allow users to author, analyze, map, manage, share, and publish geographic information. ArcGIS for Desktop ships in three levels of licensing: ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo. ArcView provides a robust set of GIS capabilities suitable for many GIS applications. ArcEditor, at added cost, expands the desktop capabilities to allow more extensive data editing and manipulation, including server geodatabase editing. ArcInfo is at the high end and provides full, advanced analysis and data management capabilities, including geostatistical and topological analysis tools. At all levels of licensing, ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox are the names of the applications comprising the desktop package.

ArcGIS Explorer, ArcReader, and ArcExplorer are basic freeware applications for viewing GIS data.

ArcGIS for Desktop Extensions are available, including Spatial Analyst which allows raster analysis, and 3D Analyst which allows terrain mapping and analysis. Other more specialized extensions are available from Esri and third parties for specific GIS needs.

Esri's original product, ARC/INFO, was a command line GIS product available initially on minicomputers, then on UNIX workstations. In 1992, a GUI GIS, ArcView GIS, was introduced. Over time, both of those products were offered in Windows versions and ArcView was offered as a Macintosh product. The names ArcView and ArcInfo are now used to name different levels of licensing in ArcGIS for Desktop, and less often refer to these original software products. The Windows version of ArcGIS is now the only ArcGIS for Desktop platform that is undergoing new development for future product releases.

  Server GIS

Server GIS products allow GIS functionality and data to be deployed from a central environment. ArcIMS (Internet Mapping Server) provides browser based access to GIS. ArcSDE (Spatial Database Engine) is used as an RDBMS connector for other Esri software to store and retrieve GIS data within a commercially available RDBMS. Currently ArcSDE can be used with Oracle, DB2, Informix and Microsoft SQL Server databases. It supports its native SDE binary data format, Oracle Spatial, and ST_geometry. ArcGIS for Server is an internet application service, used to extend the functionality of ArcGIS for Desktop software to a browser based environment... ArcGIS for Server is available on Solaris and Linux as well as Windows and will eventually phase out ArcIMS. Other server based products include Geoportal Extension, ArcGIS Image Server and Tracking Server as well as several others.

  Mobile GIS

Mobile GIS conflates GIS, GPS, location-based services, handheld computing, and the growing availability of geographic data. ArcGIS technology can be deployed on a range of mobile systems from lightweight devices to PDAs, laptops, and Tablet PCs. Products: ArcPad, ArcGIS for Mobile, ArcGIS for Server (Server-oriented APIs), ArcWeb Services (Web-oriented APIs), hosted geographic databases, ArcGIS mobile.[8]

ArcGIS for mobile ADF is an application programming interface (API) for developing solutions on various Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded platforms (pocketpc, smartphone, ultra-mobile devices, etc.

  Developer GIS

Developer GIS products enable building custom desktop or server GIS applications or embed GIS functionality in existing applications. These focused solutions can then be easily deployed throughout an organization. Products: Esri Developer Network or EDN, ArcEngine (Desktop-oriented APIs), ArcGIS for Server (Server-oriented APIs and a web development ADF which is part of ArcGIS for Server), ArcWeb Services (Web-oriented APIs).

  Online GIS (ArcGIS Online)

ArcGIS includes online, or internet, capabilities in all Esri software products. Online capabilities are centrally located at www.arcgis.com. These include web API’s, hosted map and geoprocessing services, and a user sharing program. A variety of basemaps is a signature feature of arcgis.com. The Esri Community Maps program compiles detailed user basemap information into a common cartographic format called Topographic Basemap.

  Esri Technical Certification

The Esri Technical Certification program was launched in January 2011.[9] The program provides an exam based certification for Esri software. The core groups for the certification include Desktop, Developer, and Enterprise. Each subcategory under these groups have two certification levels, Associate and Professional.[10]

  Esri Conservation Program

In 1989, the Esri Conservation Program was started to help change the way nonprofit organizations carried out their missions of nature conservation and social change. This vision involved providing GIS software, data, and training, as well as helping to coordinate multiorganizational efforts (i.e. The Society for Conservation GIS).

  Federal investigation

On June 28, 2006, an Esri official said that the company had received a federal subpoena as part of the ongoing investigation into the ties between Jerry Lewis and Copeland Lowery. "We have no concerns," Esri spokesman Don Berry said. "We retain a lobbyist and it is not an issue for us." On September 5, 2006, the Associated Press reported that federal investigators were looking into a donation of 41 acres (170,000 m2) of land to the city of Redlands by the owners of Esri in 2001, land adjacent to the home of Lewis.

Between 2001 and 2006, Lewis earmarked more than $90 million for Esri projects that included defense intelligence systems such as database mapping to assist in rebuilding Iraq. Other projects included using GIS methodologies to assess the fire danger of the San Bernardino Mountains, to help move troops in the Iraq war, and to assist in reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina. From 1998-2003, the company also received another $60 million in defense contracts outside of those earmarks.

Esri has paid Lowery's firm $320,000 since 1998. Jack and Laura Dangermond have consistently been among the top individual contributors to Lewis' campaign fund, giving a combined $13,900 between 2000 and 2005. The couple has donated a combined $32,900 to the campaign fund and Lewis' PAC since the 2000 election cycle.[11]

In late November 2010, the US Department of Justice notified Lewis's attorneys that the case had been concluded and closed without charges.[12]

  ESRI Australia Accused of Copying Intellectual Property

In December 2009, creator of a first-of-its kind crowdsourced koala mapping website (now known as KoalaTracker.com.au), Alex Harris,[13] approached ESRI Australia to provide an online mapping function. ESRI Australia initially declined, stating the company’s software did not provide the functionality requested.

Harris created the site with the functionality desired, and on further discussion, ESRI Australia provided a hosted display map, taking an RSS feed of sighting reports from the koala map. The public relations kudos to ESRI Australia was immense.

The site, originally called KoalaDiaries,[14] launched in February 2010.

Harris was a keynote speaker at the ESRI/OZRI Asia Pacific Conference in March 2010, and recipient of ESRI’s GIS in Community award.

In May 2010, ESRI Australia, along with a dozen other website designers, received a brief from the Australian Koala Foundation to copy the free crowdsourced koala map.[15]

Harris owns the copyright and explicitly denied permission for the koala mapping site to be copied. Harris argued that the fragmentation of data was one of the key reasons koala conservation efforts had failed,[16] and that there was significant value in having one national database and map that was already built, that was free for everyone to use, and whose data was also freely available to government agencies, conservation groups and the general community.

ESRI Australia agreed to not duplicate this important conservation innovation.[17] .

In April 2011, ESRI Australia launched a duplicate online koala map for the AKF.[18] It did so in violation of Australian intellectual property law, and in breach of the agreement with Harris.

Development of the free community koala map KoalaTracker.com.au was entirely funded by Harris.[19]

ESRI Australia has defended its actions in duplicating this site’s web-based koala mapping function, claiming it was a commercial decision.

  See also


  1. ^ Esri - Company's history
  2. ^ "GIS software training from Esri in India". NIIT Technology News. http://www.prdomain.com/companies/N/NIIT/newsreleases/20055521656.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  3. ^ "COTS GIS: The Value of a Commercial Geographic Information System". www.esri.com. http://www.esri.com/library/whitepapers/pdfs/cots-gis.pdf. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  4. ^ "GIS Software Applications". gislounge.com. http://gislounge.com/gis-software-applications/. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  5. ^ "GIS in Our World". Esri Website: Company Facts. http://www.esri.com/company/about/facts.html. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  6. ^ "Esri International User Conference". GIS Monitor Newsletter. GIS Monitor. 2007-06-22. http://www.gismonitor.com/news/newsletter/archive/archives.php?issue=20070622. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  7. ^ http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/7575-Esri-Transitioning-Pronunciation-of-its-Name.html
  8. ^ "Mobile GIS App Development". WebMapSolutions. http://www.webmapsolutions.com. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Earn the New Esri Technical Certification". Esri. http://www.esri.com/news/releases/10_4qtr/technical-cert.html. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Technical Certification". Esri. http://training.esri.com/certification/. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Guy McCarthy; George Watson (2006-06-30). "Esri verifies company targeted by subpoena". The San Bernardino Sun. http://www.sbsun.com/onlineextras/ci_3996395. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  12. ^ Ben Goad (2010-12-03). "Justice Department closes long-running case involving Rep. Lewis". The Press-Enterprise. http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_lewis04.2edc8f6.html. Retrieved December 7, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Creation of Koala Diaries". Position Magazine. http://www.koalatracker.com.au/_literature_71108/Capturing_koalas_-_Spatial_Source. 
  14. ^ "Launch of Koala Diaries". The Noosa Journal. http://www.koalatracker.com.au/_literature_48079/New_web_lifeline_for_koalas_-_The_Noosa_Journal. 
  15. ^ "AKF brief to designers". http://www.koalatracker.com.au/_literature_113753/AKF_brief_to_web_designers. 
  16. ^ "Copyright owned by Harris". http://www.koalatracker.com.au/_literature_113752/The_Dummy_Spit. 
  17. ^ "ESRI Australia agrees not to copy". http://www.koalatracker.com.au/_literature_113756/ESRI_denial. 
  18. ^ "ESRI Australia launches koala map for AKF". http://www.koalatracker.com.au/_literature_113757/ESRI_launches_AKF_mapping_website. 
  19. ^ "About KoalaTracker.com.au". http://www.koalatracker.com.au/about. 

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