Despite the introduction of the ArcGIS platform at the 2000 ESRI International User Conference, some GIS shops either partially or exclusively still use ArcView 3.x as a means by which to do GIS. The original ArcView was introduced in the early 1990s as a graphical interface to view geographic data. ArcInfo, at the time, was a predominately command line driven application that was not user friendly, especially for the casual user of GIS. ArcView, over time and through the add functionality of extensions, developed into a program that was capable of more complex spatial analysis and mapping. The ease of use, the cheaper price, and (at least initially) the availability of the software on Windows instead of UNIX (as was the case until the mid-1990s for ArcInfo) made ArcView a popular choice for entry into the GIS world.
Find information about the various GIS software found under the ArcGIS model.