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So our search and rescue team would like to be able to view ESRI's World Imagery basemap through the free tool (ArcGIS Explorer). Thing is, we will be offline when we are in the field. So - is there a way to download our region of the ESRI World Imagery basemap, for use offline?

Note, I'm not a GIS professional, so am probably mixing some terminology.

I found the URL where the World Imagery basemap data lives, and the query form to get back a flat image (jpg I think). But, we would really like to have it integrated as a basemap so we can use it seamlessly in ArcGIS Explorer. (Is a basemap a different beast than just a raster layer?)

Is there any way to get this as a 'Data Appliance' from ESRI? link

Our county staff uses the full paid ArcGIS tools so they might be able to get them for our SAR team's use - the issue is that we would want to view it offline in the free tool on our laptops in the field.

We really do want to use ESRI World Imagery, or an equivalent (it is 1 foot = 1 pixel in our area).

Thanks

UPDATE - 2013-10-01 - SOLVED:

gmapcatcher does the trick perfectly. It doesn't read from ESRI World Imagery, but it does download tiles from Bing and others (0.3m in our area) for offline viewing. It's not very feature-rich but that is a big part of the appeal! Learning curve is just about zero. There's probably a fairly easy way to turn those downloaded tiles into a correct directory structure for serving a tileset on MapServer, in order to use it with more feature-packed tools. If anyone finds a quick way to do that tile-file-rearranging please post here, thanks!

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What is your area? A lot of the ESRI World Imagery consists of aerial photos that are freely available from other sources. You may be able to find the same photos online and download them to your field PCs. –  Dan C Sep 26 '13 at 3:24
    
We're in north CA. Actually I think I could get jpg of the entire area from that query page so that we could view the whole area just as a non-georeferenced image, but, I was hoping for the real 'basemap', which is georeferenced in some manner. –  Tom Grundy Sep 26 '13 at 4:25
    
I'd start with the National Map (viewer.nationalmap.gov/viewer), zoom to your area, click "Download Data" in the upper-right, pick a quadrangle, and see what's available. You can also try Cal Atlas (atlas.ca.gov/download.html). Usually just googling the state you're interested in and the phrase "GIS data" will lead you to whatever's publicly available. The counties you are interested in may have their own GIS clearinghouses as well. –  Dan C Sep 26 '13 at 14:25
    
If none of the other leads pan out we'll look at these options. I do no nationalmap doesn't have the 0.3m for our area. –  Tom Grundy Sep 26 '13 at 14:37
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4 Answers 4

If your organization have obtained ArcGIS Server license, then you have access to Data and Maps for Server, which includes map cache for several Esri basemaps that you can use offline including, but not limited to, World Imagery. The World Imagery will only be available down to the 1:1million scale, and must be served by an ArcGIS server instance, so won't be available offline.

World Imagery

This map presents satellite imagery for the world. The map includes NASA Blue Marble: Next Generation 500-meter resolution imagery at small scales, i-cubed 15-meter eSAT imagery at medium scales for the world, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 15-meter Landsat imagery for Antarctica. (Sources: Esri, i-cubed, NASA, USGS)

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Thanks for the lead. We got the county staff (who are actual ESRI customers) to ask the question to ESRI tech support - we'll see if they point in the same direction, no doubt they'll respond soon. –  Tom Grundy Sep 26 '13 at 14:35
    
So in light of the fact that you can only get down to 15m (we want 0.3m) on Data and Maps for Server, do you think our best option is to get the flat 0.3m images from the World Imagery query page and make a custom basemap out of them (which I don't know how to do just yet), and/or just make a big raster layer? –  Tom Grundy Sep 26 '13 at 18:28
    
Tom, I am not really sure how do you mean with the "World Imagery query page". Could you please elaborate on this? :) –  Alex Tereshenkov Sep 26 '13 at 18:42
    
Right - sorry to be unclear - hear it is: link; if you click the Export Map link at the bottom of that page, and format the query correctly, you can get a flat (non-georeferenced) image. –  Tom Grundy Sep 26 '13 at 19:53
    
It just clicked in that the query page above only goes down to 15m per pixel imagery. So - no go there apparently... ideas? –  Tom Grundy Sep 27 '13 at 0:01
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You can try to use GoogleMapsRipper 2.0.4 from http://www.blueblackworks.com to downlaod Openstreet Maps to disk and create ESRI world file.
GoogleMapsRipper is mapping software that allows you to download both satellite imagery, topographic and road maps from OpenStreet Maps. All downloaded map segments are saved on the disk for offline use. You can save maps in several image formats ( .Bmp, .Jpg,..Gif, .Tif, .Png). Georeferencing data can be saved in XML format or ESRI World Files can be created in several formats ( .Bpw, .Jgw, .Gfw, .Tfw, .Pgw).

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Thanks for the tip, please see follow-on question here - if you can help with that please post there. –  Tom Grundy Oct 13 '13 at 16:22
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UPDATE - 2013-10-01 - SOLVED:

gmapcatcher does the trick perfectly. It doesn't read from ESRI World Imagery, but it does download tiles from Bing and others (0.3m in our area) for offline viewing. It's not very feature-rich but that is a big part of the appeal! Learning curve is just about zero. There's probably a fairly easy way to turn those downloaded tiles into a correct directory structure for serving a tileset on MapServer, in order to use it with more feature-packed tools. If anyone finds a quick way to do that tile-file-rearranging please post here, thanks!

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I might be a little late to this party, but I put together a couple of simple python scripts to download map tiles by extent. In my case, I hooked the scripts up as django management commands which wrote to a sqlite database.

This first post is about tile urls for various map content providers:

http://bcdcspatial.blogspot.com/2012/01/onlineoffline-mapping-map-tiles-and.html

Next, I did a post on how to get urls for all tiles within a geograpic extent:

http://bcdcspatial.blogspot.com/2012/02/onlineoffline-mapping-finding-tile-urls.html

The basic usage looked like this:

    '''
The City of New Orleans
xmin: -90.283741
ymin: 29.890626
xmax: -89.912952
ymax: 30.057766
'''

import urllib2

#constructing the template url for arcgis online
template = 'http://services.arcgisonline.com/ArcGIS/rest/services/World_Topo_Map/MapServer/tile/{{z}}/{{y}}/{{x}}.png'

tileUtils = TileUtils()
tileFinder = TileFinder(tileUtils, template)
tile_urls = tileFinder.getTileUrlsByLatLngExtent(-90.283741, 29.890626, -89.912952, 30.057766, 11)

for t in tile_urls: urllib2.urlopen(t).read()

The system I ended up building worked well because I loaded every extent I could find (e.g. continent, country, region, eco-region), and could then download all tiles for that area using an id.

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Thanks for the tip, please see follow-on question here - if you can help with that please post there. –  Tom Grundy Oct 13 '13 at 16:24
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