I hope someone can help.

THE ISSUE: I work for a company where 90% of the personnel work remotely. The GIS department acts as a support tool authoring content for a variety of projects. There is a need to create a workflow where employees can access basic base maps to view authored content on base maps without having to put in a request to the GIS department. The hope is that someone can RDP to a computer or login via a website to access data and to capture basic elements of a geographic location (lat/long, geographic extent, etc) while viewing and printing authored content.

CURRENT WORKFLOW: Employees put in a request via email to the GIS department. This workflows creates a backlog.

QUESTION: Is there a free solution that can be utilized out of the box with little or no required knowledge of programming code to set up the tool?

thanks Jay

  • 1
    Sounds like Google Earth would suit your needs.
    – Mapperz
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 19:40
  • Do they have to be able to edit data? Run geoprocessing tasks? Or just view maps? Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 22:34
  • They just need to view the maps and potentially print.
    – Jay
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 19:09

2 Answers 2


Using ArcGIS.com you can have an option author maps for free and ArcGIS Explorer is also free. The latter is a download.

  • Welcome to GIS SE! As you start to use the site you will notice that the Answer area should not normally include any question marks (which indicate a Question). Your original "answer" could be fine as a Comment but it can also be "fixed" with an edit which I will do now.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 22:26

When have done something similar in our company, but it wasn't an easy thing to put together. We wanted something that was all but fool proof for non GIS users. What we did was to create a cache of imagery to be used as the base map system (running on GeoServe if memory serves me right). Then using Leaflet a user can drag and drop a shapefile into the web browser that is serving the imagery and voilà, a map with the GIS data. If you want to have easy "fool proof" systems then you will want/need to develop something. I cheap-o way to do it would be to set up a QGIS project that is on the RDP computer with all the elements you will need. But as Ryan Dalton pointed out, will there be any thing to do. Also, will the maps always be in the same area? If you are looking for a non-GIS map maker magic bullet, I think its safe to say it doesn't exist stright out of the box. Yes Google Earth is an option, but that would assume everyone can make KML/KMZ (which is not an ESRI product) and that your use of the maps do not violate the Google Earth license.

  • The data coverage will have the potential to be global. We currently utilize Google Earth Pro.
    – Jay
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 19:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.