FIGURE 9.2 This map of elevation and earthquakes, superimposed on state borders, is part of a project generated by ESRI’s ArcView 9. The user interface has been customized by adding a toolbar (Spatial Analyst) and moving the navigation toolbar into a vertical position between the Table of Contents (at left) and the map, facilitating the selection of commonly used tools. The ArcToolbox palette has been engaged and positioned below but in line with the Table of Contents.

  1. ArcView 9 is a 100 percent Windows-compliant software package (see Figure 9.2). ArcView 3 had been built with a code base designed to permit cross platform use, so idiosyncrasies crept in. ArcView 9 adheres to dominant software standards for look and feel, with drag-and-drop operations, right-click options, movable toolbars, and so forth. Users who are knowledgeable about how current Windows applications work have an easy time figuring out how to accomplish a task in ArcView 9. (However, users who are not particularly comfortable with the multiwindow nature of sophisticated Windows software [with hierarchical options, cascading sub-menus, tabbed property windows leading to sequential dialog boxes, and stacks of toolbars] find the increased blizzard of options in ArcView 9 even more intimidating than in ArcView 3.)

  2. ArcView 9 includes a specific application, ArcCatalog, for exploring and managing geographic data. Rather than relying on the viewing and analysis tool to be both the exploration and the management tool, ArcView 9 users can conduct more speedy layer-by-layer explorations of geographic data. ArcCatalog also facilitates creation of metadata.

  3. The ArcView 9 three-dimensional Analyst extension includes a stunningly powerful application, ArcGlobe, (see Figure 9.3) which gives users a fast experience zooming from world display down to the local community. By integrating data sets, users can explore seamlessly over broad areas and represent data in a dazzling three-dimensional display. Users can also generate an animation with just a few clicks, customize it, and export it to video for sharing with others (see Figure 9.4).

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