Why Do I Need Arc2Earth?

Arc2Earth was created to convert and publish your ArcGIS data to view in Google Earth, Google Maps or Virtual Earth with a click of a button. There are some advantages and disadvantages to using one product over another. Google Earth is a full fledged application with all of the tools available to the user at startup. Some of the tools found in Google Earth are not available in Google Maps and Virtual Earth. Due to its robustness Google Earth must be installed on the users PC in order to view the exported data from Arc2Earth. The alternative to Google Earth are light weight viewers, like Google Maps and Virtual Earth that require no installation of software and require a relatively small amount of time to learn and function within the website. Google Maps and Virtual Earth uses a tiling system which allow for the symbology used in your ArcMap projects to be seamlessly translated into your exported tiles. Google Maps and Virtual Earth web sites allow for the potential of building applications on top of the web sites with more formal API’s.

Arc2Earth does not limit users to exporting to a single product. Users have the ability to quickly and easily export their data to any one of the three products mentioned above, which makes Arc2Earth an extremely versatile product that will meet the needs of your projects now but is also prepared to meet your project needs in the future. Regardless if you are using Google Earth, Google Maps or Virtual Earth users will have the ability to disperse their GIS data to their fellow users with ease using Arc2Earth. KML is a reasonably simple syntax that you can work with in any text editor. For very simple documents, it is easy enough to do just that. However, if most of your spatial data resides in traditional GIS formats (shapefiles, coverages, ArcSDE) it becomes very tedious to translate these values by hand. Likewise, most of this data probably resides in projections other then what Google Earth expects. Finally, ESRI’s ArcMap is an excellent cartographic authoring environment that many in the GIS community are used to working with. Arc2Earth was built to remedy these problems and to make it as easy as possible to translate all of the information inside an MXD file into KML. While not perfect, Google Earth does not support much of the rich cartographic styles in ArcGIS, Arc2Earth will translate as much information as possible including Labeling, Renderers, Graphics and Layouts.