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Type Private
Founded Redlands, California (1969)
Headquarters Redlands, California, U.S. 34°3′25.35″N 117°11′44.44″W / 34.0570417°N 117.1956778°W / 34.0570417; -117.1956778
Key people Jack Dangermond, Founder/President
Industry Software
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Products ArcGIS, ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcInfo, ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, ArcSDE,
Revenue More than $610 million per year
Employees 4,000+ (2007 statistics) [1]

Esri (pronounced /ˈez-ree'/) is a software development and services company providing Geographic Information System (GIS) software and geodatabase management applications. The headquarters of Esri is in Redlands, California.

Esri was founded as Environmental Systems Research Institute in 1969 as a land-use consulting firm. Esri products (particularly ArcGIS for Desktop) have a one-third of the global market share,[2] and are used by nearly 80 percent of GIS users worldwide from all professions.[3]

Esri has 10 regional offices in the U.S. and a network of 80 international distributors with about a million users in 200 countries. Esri has 2,500 employees in the U.S., and is still privately-held by the founders. In 2006, year revenues were about $660 million.[4]

Esri hosts an annual International User's Conference, which was first held on the Redlands campus in 1981 with 16 attendees. More recently, the User's Conference has been held in San Diego for the past 10 years. An estimated 14,500 worldwide users attended in 2007.[5]


Jack and Laura Dangermond founded Esri in 1969. Jack Dangermond is the current president of Esri.

Pronunciation of company name

According to the company, Esri is pronounced as a word, 'ez-ree'.[6]

Some distributors outside of the USA such as Australia market themselves with the 'ez-ree' pronunciation followed by the country name.


Esri uses the name ArcGIS to refer to its suite of GIS software products, which operate on desktop, server, and mobile platforms. ArcGIS also includes developer products and web services.

Desktop GIS

Esri's current desktop GIS suite is version 10.1, which shipped in final release form in June, 2012. ArcGIS for Desktop software products allow users to author, analyze, map, manage, share, and publish geographic information. ArcGIS for Desktop ships in three levels of licensing: ArcGIS for Desktop Basic, ArcGIS for Desktop Standard and ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced. ArcGIS for Desktop Basic provides a robust set of GIS capabilities suitable for many GIS applications. ArcGIS for Desktop Basic, at added cost, expands the desktop capabilities to allow more extensive data editing and manipulation, including server geodatabase editing. ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced is at the high end and provides full, advanced analysis and data management capabilities, including geostatistical and topological analysis tools. At all levels of licensing, ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox are the names of the applications comprising the desktop package.

ArcGIS Explorer, ArcReader, and ArcExplorer are basic freeware applications for viewing GIS data.

ArcGIS Desktop Extensions are available, including Spatial Analyst which allows faster analysis, and 3D Analyst which allows terrain mapping and analysis. Other more specialized extensions are available from Esri and third parties for specific GIS needs.

Esri's original product, ARC/INFO, was a command line GIS product available initially on minicomputers, then on UNIX workstations. In 1992, a GUI GIS, ArcView GIS, was introduced. Over time, both of those products were offered in Windows versions and ArcView was offered as a Macintosh product. The names ArcView and ArcInfo were used to name different levels of licensing in ArcGIS Desktop prior to the release of version 10.1, and less often refering to these original software products in those releases. The Windows version of ArcGIS is now the only ArcGIS for Desktop platform that is undergoing new development for future product releases.

Server GIS

Server GIS products allow GIS functionality and data to be deployed from a central environment. ArcIMS (Internet Mapping Server) provides browser based access to GIS. ArcSDE (Spatial Database Engine) is used as an RDBMS connector for other Esri software to store and retrieve GIS data within a commercially available RDBMS. Currently ArcSDE can be used with Oracle, DB2, Informix and Microsoft SQL Server databases. It supports its native SDE binary data format, Oracle Spatial, and ST_geometry. ArcGIS for Server is an internet application service, used to extend the functionality of ArcGIS for Desktop software to a browser based environment. ArcGIS for Server is available on Solaris and Linux as well as Windows and will eventually phase out ArcIMS. Other server based products include GIS Portal Toolkit, ArcGIS Image Server and Tracking Server as well as several others.

Mobile GIS

Mobile GIS conflates GIS, GPS, Location-based services, handheld computing, and the growing availability of geographic data. ArcGIS technology can be deployed on a range of mobile systems from lightweight devices to PDAs, laptops, and Tablet PCs. Products: ArcPad, Mobile ArcGIS Desktop Systems, ArcGIS for Server (Server-oriented APIs), ArcWeb Services (Web-oriented APIs), hosted geographic databases, ArcGIS for Mobile.

ArcGIS for Mobile ADF is an API to develop applications on windows mobile platform of different flavors (pocketpc, smartphone)

Developer GIS

Developer GIS products enable building custom desktop or server GIS applications or embed GIS functionality in existing applications. These focused solutions can then be easily deployed throughout an organization. Products: Esri Developer Network or EDN, ArcEngine (Desktop-oriented APIs), ArcGIS Server (Server-oriented APIs and a web development ADF which is part of ArcGIS Server), ArcWeb Services (Web-oriented APIs)

Hosted GIS (ArcWeb Services)

ArcWeb Services give a diverse user community access to geospatial content and capabilities. Central to ArcWeb Services is the geographic data it aggregates, and a variety of geographic services such as map display and address geocoding. ArcWeb Public Services are free to developers building non-commercial, non-governmental applications. ArcWeb Commercial Services provides fee-based access to additional capability. Products: ArcWeb Services—Commercial Services , ArcWeb Services—Public Services, and Web-oriented APIs.


Esri Conservation Program

In 1989 the Esri Conservation Program was started to help change the way nonprofit organizations carried out their missions of nature conservation and social change. This vision involved providing GIS software, data, and training, as well as helping to coordinate multiorganizational efforts (ie. The Society for Conservation GIS).

See also

Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System


External links