Ogle Earth reports that ESRI is launching a Google Earth competitor. Good to see a new entry into the market. The new ‘ESRI Geographic Exploration System’ will bring to bear powerful GIS capabilities and access to thousands of sources of free OGC data. ESRI’s challenges will be matching Google standards for usability and scalability.
Here are some quotes from those in the know:
James Fee says:
You are going to love this. This is a 2nd generation GIS product that is Google Maps, Google Earth, Virtual Earth and World Wind and more. ESRI has taken a major leap – a revolutionary leap – into the viewer exploration world.
Ed Parsons says:
ArcGIS Explorer is a Google Earth Killer, clearly ESRI were more than a little put out by the hype surronding Google Earth and have come out fighting….
ESRI have developed a interactive navigation tool which floats as a separate window, and according to my ESRI friend has been developed based on the rich experience of games designers who really know how 3D navigation works.
Jeff Thurston says:
Because ArcGIS Explorer is database enabled (meaning all the geographic data you have in your system now) it can be shared with other users. This goes beyond Google Maps and Earth in terms of simplicity while coupling huge amounts of data sharing possibilities. Working in KML? This product handles KML. It also handles 3D objects in the viewer.
Did I say this is free?
The ESRI announcement coincides with a relevant piece of information from Bill Gates about Microsoft’s investment of hundreds of millions on a virtual reality 3D globe.