Redlands, Calif.-based ESRI is making its Web mapping application programming interfaces (APIs) available at no cost to users who are building applications for use in internal and noncommercial environments. The APIs have always been free for licensed ArcGIS Server users, but the company is now making them available to government agencies and nongovernmental organizations. The mapping applications are built on top of ArcGIS Servers without additional costs or licensing. “Delivering rich Internet applications using Silverlight, Flex and JavaScript is a new and exciting trend for Web application developers, and the demand for these types of applications is growing at a phenomenal rate,” ESRI President Jack Dangermond said in a statement. “Making these tools widely available means that, as GIS professionals across the globe continue to author geographic knowledge, application developers will use these APIs to easily access this information.”

Because the APIs are part of ESRI's Web infrastructure, users will have access to ArcGIS Online map services for imagery, street maps and topographic maps, as well as services for routing, geocoding, demographic analysis and more. Organizations can spatially enable their databases without the need for maintaining an expensive infrastructure. For example, a city government might deploy two different types of applications: an internal-facing executive dashboard that allows officials and managers to track capital improvement spending, and an external-facing application for citizens to contribute their concerns and suggestions regarding those improvements. Both applications could be deployed at no cost.

To access downloads and get more information about ArcGIS Web mapping APIs, visit www.esri.com/apis.

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