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I received a group of MXD, AHD, and XML files on a CD from a client. What is the least expensive ESRI software that would be needed to view the information contained in these files? I only need to view and print.

Thanks!

Rob

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2  
ArcGIS Basic (ArcView) is around $1500 for a single license –  Mapperz Dec 17 '12 at 15:25
    
What version of ArcGIS are you using? Important to note, you cannot open a newer mxd (e.g. v10 with and older version of ArcGIS). –  artwork21 Dec 17 '12 at 16:41
3  
did they also include shape files shp or a database file gdb or mdb? –  Banger Dec 17 '12 at 22:27
    
Since this isn't ESRI software, and since I have no idea how good or free it ends up being, I'll just note Tatuk claims to be able to convert mxd projects to Tatuk projects with a free plugin and viewer. See tatukgis.com/Products/3rdPartyProducts/Arc2TatukGIS.aspx –  John Dec 19 '12 at 14:02
    
I will depend of want you want to see, if the CD includes the shapefiles, and all you want is to check the data itself, you can open them in any opensource GIS software, for instance Quantum GIS. You will have to remake the symbology thought. –  Alexandre Neto Dec 19 '12 at 15:26

6 Answers 6

To open an mxd, to the best of my knowledge, you will need a license of ArcMap, which is by no means cheap. It seems that there are some tools out there to convert an ESRI document into a format that an open source solution like QGIS can read but it looks like they require access to an ArcGIS license as well.

I would ask the client to publish them to .pmf files so that you can use the freely available ArcReader software to open them up and view/print them.

If all you need to do is look at them and print the simplest solution would be for the client to send them as pdfs which are much easier to deal with.

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ArcReader is a good solution, but that's only viable if the client has paid to get the $2500 ArcPublisher extension. –  RyanDalton Dec 17 '12 at 15:43
    
ArcGIS (Basic) ArcView would be a cheaper option. –  Mapperz Dec 17 '12 at 17:19

I believe that you need a license of ArcMap as well. You can also ask the client to send the shape-file and open them in the open-source tool QuantumGIS

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If you only need this a short period of time, the trial will work for 90 days: http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgis-for-desktop/free-trial

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If you know someone who has ArcEngine SDK, you could ask them to simply build the sample app that is included with the install. The sample app is able to open and view mxd's. Before you can run that app, you will need to purchase and install the ArcEngine runtime license, which last I checked retails for $500.

Once you have the runtime installed on your computer you will be able to run the sample app, along with other ArcEngine apps without purchasing additional licensing. Unfortunately Esri does not do a good job of promoting this licensing option.

This licensing model is a bit different from the new "runtimes", where each installed app requires a new license.

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If your purpose is non-commercial personal use or otherwise doesn't contravene the license terms, there is an ArcGIS for home use subscription program that costs $100/yr. It includes pretty much everything except ArcGIS Server.

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You should try to download ArcGis Explorer. It's free and according to the description it can be used to view and (to some degree) edit GIS data. There is also another application ArcReader, but it requires .pmf files.

Note: I haven't tried these softwares myself, but it appears as they might be able to do what you ask.

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6  
ArcGIS Explorer does not open ESRI .mxd - gis.stackexchange.com/questions/21700/… –  Mapperz Dec 17 '12 at 15:24
    
Copy that, my bad.. –  Martin Dec 17 '12 at 15:25

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