I was wondering if you could give your input/opinion on what to use.

I am looking into developing a small scale GIS viewer that could possibly edit the information locally (Edit would entail drawing on the map, but not data) and searching for assets on that map.

Is ArcReader something that can be customized with add-ins? thats something I was looking into.

What id really like is for a program to be able to view the maps with simple user tasks (drawing, searching...) that is portable. any ideas or direction on where to start? I was thinking the arc run-time (java).

  • To re-open this question I think it needs to be focussed on ArcReader OR "arc run-time (java)".
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 20, 2016 at 8:35

5 Answers 5


ArcReader does have some limited capabilities to draw graphics on the screen. As far as I know, they have not added the ability to extend it with add-ons.

Creating a customized version of the open-source QGIS might be an easier, less costly option than deploying data in ArcReader (which requires the purchase of ArcGIS Desktop + ArcPublisher extension). You might be able to even hire someone to create a custom QGIS application for the cost of ArcGIS Desktop + ArcPublisher.

If you are feeling inclined to give it a go, yourself, read the Customizing the QGIS UI article at Linfiniti.com for ideas to get you started.

Another article that may give you more insight into building a slightly more custom version would be Creating a Standalone GIS Application from The Geospatial Desktop book.

  • Thanks for taking the time to answer Ryan, ill definitely check em out, exactly what I was looking for :).
    – Gisiota
    Nov 26, 2013 at 17:24

With SharpMap (easy-to-use mapping library for use in web and desktop applications) you can write a .NET application including a Map Control, customize simbology and add search funcionality.

I used for a small SQl Server Spatial Layer viewer.



ArcGIS Explorer has a SDK to develop addins and customize the application. I'm unsure if you can edit a geodatabase or shapefile unless you have ArcGIS Server.

  • 3
    I am pretty sure you are wrong about ArcReader being old and no longer maintained (see documentation). It is still offered as a 10.2 product. Nov 26, 2013 at 22:08
  • Yeah I came across that when doing some research yesterday. I think I may just do that, still testing out some other concepts like the qGis. Thanks for the input.
    – Gisiota
    Nov 27, 2013 at 14:17
  • @ryandalton, you are correct. I was thinking of the first arcexplorer. I should have researched it first.
    – klewis
    Nov 27, 2013 at 17:59

Just my experience before but I do think the case is quite opposite with yours. Once, me and my team produced an application that enable the users to make an interactive data linkage between access and arcreader. Users can only edit and input the data table only while they can not change the maps. In short, users can input their data, query the data they want to display, and finally arcreader will be displayed the map. We used delphi to create those app.

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