Love exploring maps? How about taking the ArcGIS route? ArcGIS is Esri’s free cross-platform GIS-powered client for Android and iOS that fetches worldwide maps using Microsoft’s Bing service and lets you find and view information about locations all over the globe. ArcGIS features maps hosted by worldwide users and lets you access your own maps from the ArcGIS Server. With comprehensive map details, layers, a huge online gallery, extended map sharing, editing and measurement options, ArcGIS ensures that you do not have to rely on multiple navigation-based apps and atlases to quench your exploration needs.
The app was initially released just for the iOS-powered devices while its Android variant has just recently landed on the Android Market. Even if you’re not connected to the app’s service, you may still explore all the various features/maps that ArcGIS has to offer. Tapping anywhere on map displays the latitude/longitude information of the place, long-pressing brings up a magnifying glass that displays a zoomed in view of the selected portion of the map within itself.
To access your ArcGIS data and other app features, tap on the button in the top-left corner of the screen. The screen that follows, carrys your ArcGIS Groups and Maps gallery. The gallery contains Featured, Popular, Highest Rated, most commented on, Recent and sample maps.
All maps pertaining to various locations, events, meteorological information, natural disasters, future plans, ongoing projects or any other user-defined category can be found under this menu. Tapping the Collection Samples button lets you edit various built-in maps. For instance, you may add personal notes, complete with images, URLs, email ID, phone number and date/time to a preferred spot on map or help organizations with useful information pertaining to various surveys/inspection that are in-progress in various parts of the world. All the modifications made to these maps are stored on server and can be accessed/edited by anyone, ArcGIS subscriber or not.
While certain editing features could prove helpful in crowd-sourcing important data and statistical analyses for a specific location.
On the app’s homescreen, tap the ruler icon to get accurate distance/area measurements according to various parameters. The search button, obviously, handles all your queries for locations of interest. To modify map display, simply tap Menu > Map Contents and pick the layers of your choice.
Although the app’s map viewing and editing features are considerably good, it isn’t ideal for navigation and requires some practice to get a grip of various features/tools incorporated therein. It would certainly be harsh to compare it with the pioneering Google Maps service that has become an obvious choice for almost any smartphone user when it comes to picking a default navigation app.