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I am considering purchasing ArcGIS Online for a group of users who currently use about 5% of ArcGIS capabilities (ArcMap, simple map creation and information display) about 80% of the time. Primary attractive features of ArcGIS Online for them include drag-and-drop addition of layers, the ability to publish and share maps embedded in a browser, avoiding installation of Desktop software, and the ability to publish and use basemaps served from the cloud.

What are the other options and a few pros and cons?

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oh ArcGIS online, well 3k is big money for me to use the basic feature. I don't buy that, I will try to look for alternative, such MangoMap, very simple and well I have all the basic feature for free. :-) –  khousuylong Mar 25 '13 at 1:58

3 Answers 3

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There are quite a few alternatives and I've actually written a short book on the subject entitled "Online GIS - Meet the Cloud Publication Platforms that Will Revolutionize our Industry" but that's a little outdated now.

Here's an updated summary:

MangoMap: Very easy to use, no coding required. Lots of tools and functionality available to make really polished map applications. Much more competitive pricing than ArcGIS Online organisational accounts.

GISCloud: Online alternative to traditional client/server GIS setup. Many features but hampered by a frustrating user interface.

MapBox: Making maps sexy again. Programmer focused. Great for maps that need to fit a brand and be able to scale for high traffic. Good fit for consumer internet sites.

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thanks for detailed answer !! –  Sunil Mar 25 '13 at 4:54

OpenGeo Suite

You'll have similar web based map making & editing tools to Arcgis online with added flexibility.

The OpenGeo Suite Cloud Edition is a hosted version.

If you're comfortable running your own server you could also install the free and open source Community Edition.

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I've had good luck using GeoCommons for more lightweight mapping.

The upside is that the service is free within a certain limit, and includes some fairly powerful analysis tools. I believe any mapping is free if using or creating open data, and while my organization did not end up paying for the service, the prices seemed reasonable.

I didn't realize until I visited today, though, that this service is now a part of esri, so their terms may have changed.

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thanks, hadn't looked at that yet. isn't really an option as not all maps and info can be made public. –  r4gt4g Mar 21 '13 at 18:44
    
It doesn't require public maps, I just think public maps don't count against your data/map limits. I've used it with only private groups in the past. I found that users with a low comfort level in GIS were able to design maps and perform analysis with only a little training. Again, though, we used it to a limited enough extent that we didn't run into any data caps. –  ChrisHamby Mar 21 '13 at 21:26

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