ESRI, Arc/Info, ArcGIS, ArcView… 25 Years in the making – A Time Line

Of particular interest at this year’s International ESRI User Conference was a clever timeline showing the history of ESRI and of their core platform, ArcGIS. It’s been more than 25 years since ArcInfo hit the shelves and now with ArcGIS release 9.3 on the horizon the company is showing no sign of slowing down. Check out this timeline starting with the release of Arc/Info 1.0 and ending with ArcGIS 9.3

1981 – Arc/Info R1 released

1983 – Arc/Info R2 released – 17 systems in use including the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources and the University of Maryland

1984 – 40 Arc/Info systems are in use

1985 – Arc/Info 3

1986 – Surpass the 100 seat milestone as 105 systems are in use

1987 – Arc/Info 4

1988 – 1500 systems in use

1989 – Arc/Info 5

1990 – First ESRI Press book released “Understanding GIS The Arc/Info Method”

1991 – Arc/Info 6, 7000+ seats in use

1992 – Arc/Info is 10 years old

1993 – ArcView is released to the World – think “Affordable” desktop GIS

1994 – Arc/Info 7 & ArcView 2

1997 – 100,000 user seats

1999 – Arc/Info 8, Arc/Info workstation, and ArcView 3.2 (Everyone remembers AV 3.2, some of you are still using it!)

2002 – Arc/Info 8.2 & ArcGIS 8.2

2004 – ArcGIS Desktop 9 is announced

2005 – ArcGIS desktop 9.1

2006 – ArcGIS desktop 9.2 – over 100 person years of development

2007 – ArcGIS desktop 9.3 prepared to launch

ArcGIS 9.3 is expected to be released late 2007 as a series of incremental service patches with a full, major release in 2008. Some of the functionality enhancements expected in ArcGIS 9.3 include:

  • better algorithms to conduct and improve geographic science
  • rich error messaging
  • huge improvements in mapping and labeling
  • WYSYWIG graphic editing
  • loads of geologic labeling options
  • support for multiple view windows
  • textures for buildings
  • faster import of web services
  • tracking in 3D
  • schematic diagramming and new diagram types (ie. electrical)
  • new mapping center website (via EDN) resource downloads, models, style fills, map gallery, a blog, more – see
  • At 9.3 ArcGIS Server brings new javascript APIs – combine your organization’s GIS content hosted on ArcGIS Server withg content from Virtual Earth, Google Maps, ArcGIS Online – powered by backend ArcGIS SErver REST services
  • much more!

It all started 25+ years ago with ArcGIS 1.0 and the hiring of Scott Moorehouse

arcgis timeline

ArcGIS 9 has evolved into an industry standard for enterprise GIS and a geospatial platform for webmapping services.

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