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Issue Date: April/May 2000

GIS software that sets a new standard

1 April 2000

Features IT industry-standard architecture, ease of use, open computing platform and powerful cartographic tools.
Said to be the most significant release of geographic information system (GIS) software to hit the computing market, ArcInfo 8.0 is the result of one of the largest, most comprehensive research and development effort of its kind. The package is a new platform for creating, managing, disseminating and applying geographic knowledge and is available from Geographic Information Management Systems (GIMS) in South Africa.
Built using IT standards
ArcInfo 8 has been developed using modern software engineering and computing standards. It is compatible with other industry-standard information technology and allows software developers to integrate and develop software applications using the latest methods. Arcinfo 8 has been completely reengineered to take advantage of the very latest in computer advances such as an object-oriented data model, a fully integrated database management system (DBMS), and a complete component architecture.
Ease of use
A key feature is that it makes sophisticated GIS more usable. New applications like ArcMap and ArcCatalog accomplish this goal by approaching GIS from a new perspective. While the depth of functionality in ArcInfo is great, new user interfaces and wizards help users get up and running quickly.
Open platform support
ArcInfo 8 is hardware and software-independent, giving users a number of choices when selecting their hardware and software platform. ArcInfo 8 operates on both the Unix and NT operating systems.
Powerful cartographic production
It provides a good solution for advanced and powerful automated cartography. Having a comprehensive tool set for high-quality cartographic output, it gives users an advanced GIS software solution for their mapping needs.
A great solution for utility businesses
While ArcInfo 8 is designed to be the complete solution for virtually any market, the software has been optimised for utility businesses. Electric, water and gas utilities can benefit from the wide and diverse ESRI utility user community that has helped guide development of the package.
"The new features and enhancements in ArcInfo 8 address the needs and requests of the ArcInfo user community," says Jack Dangermond, President of ESRI. "Users will immediately realise the benefits of the new ArcInfo whether they work on a single desktop system or a large company network."
The new user interface for ArcInfo 8 is a versatile workspace. It is the environment for working with, managing, and transforming map data all within the same easy-to-use program. A new object-oriented data model allows users to add behaviour, properties, rules, and relationships to their spatial data. This model allows definition of features that more closely resemble the real world. The new package fully supports the existing georelational model.
ESRI says that ArcInfo 8 is the first GIS to fully integrate DBMS technology. ESRI has re-engineered and integrated its ArcSDE technology to operate as an integral part of ArcInfo 8. This allows users to fully manage spatial data along with their other business data using standard DBMS practices.
Unlimited customisation options have become available. Industry-standard Microsoft Visual Basic for applications is included with ArcInfo 8 to provide more advanced users and developers with a comprehensive customisation capability. Even nonprogrammers can customise ArcInfo 8 using the simple drag-and-drop and menu-driven tools.
ArcInfo software is a professional GIS, used in industry, government and academia. Developed and supported by experienced technical and applications-oriented staff, it provides state-of-the-art GIS backed by more than thirty years of experience in the industry. System acquisition includes extensive hard copy and online documentation, on-site training and involvement in a large and active GIS software user community. Used by more than 100 000 professionals in more than 40 000 organisations worldwide, ArcInfo provides the wide selection of GIS functionality and easy access to many data types needed to integrate GIS with a broad array of applications.
Corporations use ArcInfo to route delivery vehicles, plan sales territories, and analyse the competition. Governments at the local, state, and national levels use it to manage land records, track emergency vehicles in realtime and perform demographic analysis for economic development. ESRI claims that more students are trained to use ArcInfo than all other professional GIS software combined at colleges and universities worldwide.
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