ESRI UC Q & A: What Is Being Added to ArcGIS to Support the Work of Science?

uc20091…from the 2009 ESRI UC Q & A

The principle that GI science underlies all our software development and consulting projects is central to ESRI’s work. Some of the main areas in which science is most easily seen include the following:

  • Spatial Statistics: new spatial statistics tools have been added incrementally to the geoprocessing tool boxes in ArcGIS. For example, 9.3 has a new geographically-weighted regression tool to analyze the geographic relationship between two or more variables.
  • Geoprocessing: improvements and new geoprocessing tools provide many opportunities for scientific analysis with ArcGIS. There are improved contouring and zonal histogram tools, several performance enhancements, and some framework changes in 9.3 that enhance the user experience.
  • Cartography: the cartographic capabilities of ArcGIS have improved significantly in recent releases. The ESRI Mapping Center blog has a substantial amount of cartographic science. Watch for a similar geoprocessing blog coming soon.
  • 3D: editing, analyzing and viewing 3D GI is a very hot area right now. ESRI is pushing ahead aggressively in enhancing the 3D capabilities of ArcGIS. Now that ArcGIS 9.3 is shipping this is a major focus for R&D.
  • Data Modeling: information is only as good as the representation and storage model that is used to organize it. For this reason ESRI has invested heavily in the past few years on working with communities of users to create standardized data models for different geographic domains (water, forestry, geology, marine, etc.). These are all published on-line at