Esri targets developers with new ArcGIS Platform as a service

Esri is making the core data and services that provide the infrastructure for ArcGIS available to developers through APIs and web frameworks.

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Mapping data and spatial analytics provider Esri announced a new platform-as-a-service offering that aims to make it easier for developers to integrate location content and services into their apps.

Esri has been a dominant player in GIS (geographic information systems) analytics via its ArcGIS software, but it's mapping and geospatial analytics are now familiar to all thanks to the proliferation of COVID data tracking throughout the pandemic. Many COVID-19 tracking sites are built with Esri software, notably the Johns Hopkins dashboard

Now, for the first time, Esri is making the core data and services that provide the infrastructure for ArcGIS available to developers through APIs and web frameworks.

According to Esri, the ArcGIS Platform is a geospatial platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for developers that need to integrate location capabilities into their apps, business systems, and products. The platform lets developers access Esri's location services using the APIs and web frameworks of choice, including open-source clients. It also gives developers the ability to create apps using ArcGIS APIs, SDKs, and app builders. 

Esri unveiled the ArcGIS Platform at a virtual event Wednesday, alongside customers Salesforce and drone management capability provider Airspace Link, which have been using Esri's PaaS technology. 

Salesforce is using ArcGIS Platform to provide mapping capabilities to its customers, enabling them to geographically analyze their customer data through Salesforce Maps. Airspace Link is using the platform to visualize data related to ground hazards in order to help drone operators.

"Esri's collection of ready-to-use basemaps gives our users a solution to better understand their data by presenting it visually on a map," said Ben Brantly, VP of product at Salesforce. "The capabilities of ArcGIS Platform allow us to continue to expand the value we provide to Salesforce Maps users by leveraging additional Esri location services as well as the adoption of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript."

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