Friday, February 25, 2011


Esri's Bern Szukalski visited the City of Philadelphia GIS team in early December to show and discuss ArcGIS Explorer (AGX) capabilities. We were considering using AGX or AGX Online (AGXO) to present the city's GIS strategic plan to stakeholders. Bern asked if we thought AGXO would be adequate for this project and its objectives, as outlined by the city's Director of Enterprise GIS. I had no reason to doubt it at the time. Now I'm not so sure.

AGX Online is limited to basic labels and popups. It will fall short on a couple of the projects objectives: It won't present the GIS Strategic Plan with a lot of "impact" to city government audiences, nor display "Powerpoint-like" design details, as the GIS Director hoped.

Working the AGXO Frederick Douglass presentation ( ) showed me that AGXO is limited to:
  • Basemaps pan, zoom, and switch
  • Titles and text labels
  • Point, line, and polygon graphics
  • Popups from the graphics that are limited to
    • title and short text
    • displayed image or video
    • one hyperlink
That's all there is.

The strategic plan presentation might be improved somewhat with enhancements in the next release of AGXO, which Bern demo'd at Esri's Federal UC in January. He also described it at . Enhancements are:
  • map feature templates
  • better feature and annotation editing wizards
  • better user experience -- streamlined and simplified for ease of use.
The first two will make authoring more efficient but won't expand AGXO's presentation quality very much. Better user experience will help. This is something that many of my Frederick Douglass AGXO beta testers critiqued.

Maybe Esri can give me access to the new release in time for use on this project.

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