Baby steps. GIS software giant Esri, which still lacks a full fledged desktop GIS software solution for native Mac OS users, has announced the release of Explorer for ArcGIS. A step beyond the previous ArcExplorer, Explorer for ArcGIS is a free Mac OS app that offers the following functionality:
- Find, use, and share maps from your Mac or iOS device.
- Search for places and features in your map.
- Access and use maps authored by you or others within your ArcGIS organization.
- Sketch on top of maps to highlight and share ideas with others.
- Tell stories and brief stakeholders with interactive map presentations.
- Map authoring and data editing will be available in future releases.
From Esri’s press release:
With Explorer for ArcGIS, you can access maps, search for and visualize data, and brief stakeholders. In the new Mac version, you also have the ability to open and view multiple maps at once, dock and undock pop-up windows, and go full screen—taking advantage of Apple’s Retina technology on MacBook and Thunderbolt displays.
Explorer for ArcGIS is one of many ready-to-use apps to access maps authored by you or others within your organization, and share them from Macs or iOS devices. The app is designed for anyone who needs to explore data in a geographic context and use maps to make more informed decisions. With an elegant and intuitive interface, it requires no GIS experience to operate.
Anyone using a Mac desktop or iOS device can download and try the sample maps included in the app. ArcGIS Online subscribers, trial users, and those with a Portal for ArcGIS account can simply download the app, sign in, and begin exploring their maps and data.
Esri plans an Android version of the Explorer for ArcGIS app that will be available in a later release.
As for when a full version of ArcGIS will be developed for the Mac, a timeline is still unknown. Each year, the Esri Q&A seems to address the overall question of when ArcGIS will be natively available for Mac OS users but a firm deadline is still elusive. In the meantime, Mac users that want to run ArcGIS must install a virtual machine to install and run ArcGIS in a Windows OS environment.