[gis_info] ArcView 3.x Replacement Options

Harvey Arnone Harvey.Arnone at Seattle.Gov
Sat Jan 17 00:49:42 PST 2009

GIS Professionals, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is looking at various solutions in our ArcView 3.x replacement project.  We would be interested to learn what technology path your organization  has employed for implementing mid-range GIS desktop solutions.  

Background:  SPU will be replacing all of the customized ArcView 3.x applications we have developed over the past 14 years.  These desktop applications support a wide range of business functions and are used by 400+ utility staff for inquiry, research, planning, scheduling, tracking and modeling.

High-end applications like ArcGIS desktop present too much complexity (and cost) for the type of tasks most of our users perform, while simple but inexpensive browser-based viewers offer too little functionality.  We're interested in learning about your experience with desktop applications that offer such "mid-range" functionality as the ability to:
   --add and remove layers from the table of contents, and to change the drawing order
   - - symbolize or re-symbolize layers
   - - label features from attributes
   - - save the current"view"so that the user can return to their work at a later time
   - - select features and operate on the resultant select set
   - - view spatial data in tabular form
   - - launch other applications
   - - add graphic shapes and text ("redlining")

We are firmly embedded in the Oracle/ESRI geodatabase world with highly customized ArcMap-based data maintenance editors.  We also have experience with building ArcEngine applications for narrow work flows, and with ArcGIS Server and Virtual Earth for tasks less complex than those listed above.  So our question is really about the middle range, as it seems that an ArcView3-like application is missing from ESRI's offering (i.e an easy-to-use,moderately-functioned, and moderately-priced GIS desktop application).

You can help us by letting us know the following:
  - - whether you formerly used ArcView
  - - what product(s) your organization now deploys for end user desktop GIS applications
  - - whether you would recommend that we follow a similar approach
  - - what functionality your applications are missing due to limitations with your software platform

Thanks for your help.  - Harvey Arnone (SPU - GIS Applications,  harvey.arnone at seattle.gov)

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