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ESRI launches ArcWeb Services JavaScript API, will facilitate rapid deployment of Flash-based mapping applications

California, USA, 2 August 2006: ESRI has announced the availability of the ArcWeb Services JavaScript application program interface (API). Using the API, developers can embed rich Adobe Flash-based, interactive, vector maps into a Web application with just a few lines of code and rapidly deploy them.

“The release of the ArcWeb Services JavaScript API addresses the needs of our customers who are asking us to make it easier to deploy more intuitive and visually interactive mapping applications,” says Mike Tait, director of Internet services, ESRI. “We came to the conclusion that combining the power of ArcWeb Services and the capabilities of Adobe Flash into a simple JavaScript API was the best solution.”

ArcWeb Services JavaScript API provides a wide variety of sample applications with source code and includes functionality for: Changing map data layers such as satellite, street, hybrid, weather, and traffic; Manipulating point, line, and polygon overlays; Adding rich media Flash markers containing audio and video; Integrating thematic mapping layers; Incorporating GeoRSS feeds; Controlling map markers using AJAX
Accessing prebuilt map widgets.

Developers use ArcWeb Services JavaScript API to work with the vector data contained inside the map image such as points, lines, and polygons. Static map images, such as .bmp files, are exactly like digital photographs. They can be superficially touched up; however, static maps simply contain information about dots of colors that make up the picture. Vector map images allow developers to interact dynamically with information inside the map. For example, developers can now control layers of information that contain features such as turning on and off flooded areas, toggling city and county boundaries, or displaying real-time weather.

Widgets encapsulate prebuilt ArcWeb Services functionality for finding locations, navigating, routing, and selecting basic map types. Because the functionality is prebuilt, developers can rapidly integrate it into applications. The JavaScript API also provides a migration path to ArcWeb Services REST API and SOAP API for additional or more advanced functionality.

ArcWeb Services offer developers a rich set of Web services APIs and geographic content hosted by ESRI for integrating mapping and geographic information system (GIS) functionality into browser, desktop, or mobile applications. The APIs include SOAP, REST, a J2ME Mobile Toolkit, and OpenLS. The functionality can be applied to a wide range of business problems such as fleet management, economic development, and business intelligence.

On-demand geographic and business data is accessible through the APIs from more than 20 leading commercial data and content providers. This data includes driving directions, addresses, streets, points of interest, elevation, topography, weather, traffic, and business and demographic information for the United States and select countries.