The publishing process takes the map authored using ArcMap and creates a special file called a Published Map File (PMF).
Published Map Files contain metadata about data source locations and drawing instructions (symbology and rendering rules, scale dependencies, etc.). The PMF file also has properties that define how the user of the PMF interacts with the map. The first release of ArcReader--Esri's free and easy-to-use application that allows users to view and print maps--is now available.
Publishing maps using the ArcGIS Publisher extension provides a low-cost option for distributing maps that does not require GIS knowledge on the part of end users. Interactive maps can reach a wide variety of people at a very low cost and can be modified to reflect changing business requirements and objectives.
The ArcGIS Publisher extension allows users to convert ArcMap map documents (MXD files) to print published map files (PMF), a new document format. Depending on the functionality specified when the PMF was created, ArcReader users can use pan, zoom, identify, measure, hyperlink, and find tools for navigation and simple queries. Publishing maps using the ArcGIS Publisher extension provides a low-cost option for distributing maps that does not require GIS knowledge on the part of end users and can be ideal for distributing data to decision makers. ArcIMS enables organizations to deliver interactive maps over the Internet using image or feature services.
Although there is some overlap of functionality, particularly in Intranet environments, organizations may find that both approaches can be used to meet different interactive mapping needs. For example, the PMF can be password protected, and ArcReader functionality can be disabled. More than a pretty picture, interactive maps have two advantages over traditional paper maps-access to the most up-to-date information and specialized tools for retrieving information. Those unfamiliar with GIS depended on these GIS professionals to meet all their spatial analysis and map-making needs.


With interactive maps, organizations can update centralized databases independently of the map. Users can export a map file for publication purposes or a hard-copy plot that can be included with a report or proposal.
For example, a sewer network feature can be linked to maintenance videos or the location of a business on a map in a kiosk application can be linked to that company's Web site. While ArcExplorer, also available at no cost from Esri, is a GIS data reader, ArcReader allows users to view and interact with PMF format files.
It delivers a wider variety of functionality through its customization capabilities, enabling users to make more advanced spatial queries. Sharing interactive maps gives organizations new ways to distribute geographic data whether accessed using ArcReader on the desktop or over the Internet using a browser.
Additional information is also available from the online help for ArcMap under ArcMap > Creating maps > Creating interactive maps. Interactive maps provide new opportunities for distributing information within an organization or to the public via the Internet. For example, the street centerline database used to provide driving directions at a Web site can be updated monthly as road construction is completed. None of this is news to GIS users but for engineers or managers not familiar with GIS, ArcReader or a Web site using ArcMap Server can supply spatial information inexpensively and easily. Any layers present in the original ArcMap document-rasters, geodatabases, shapefiles, coverages, CAD data, and ArcIMS map services-can be published to this document. For example, if panning and zooming capabilities are the only functionality requirements for users, the identify tool can be disabled to protect confidentiality of the data. PMFs retain the same look and feel as ArcMap documents and can use the same data sources and layer formats so data from different databases and map services, whether accessed over the Internet or locally, can be presented seamlessly in a single map document. High-quality maps can be distributed and printed and lightweight PMF documents can be e-mailed.


For data that does not require frequent updates, distributing PMF files with data on a CD-ROM may be a good solution.
Using either of these strategies, GIS departments can provide managers and customers with interactive maps that access spatial information easily and efficiently. The updates are transparent to visitors using the Web site because the map is independent of the data.
Only one interactive map, accessing one or more data sources seamlessly, is needed to deliver the same information.
And in situations for which paper maps are still the best solution, maps can easily be printed using ArcReader or a Web browser.
A PMF document preserves the layout created in ArcMap and supplies the same cartographic quality for map output. The use of many copies of ArcReader for nonGIS staff can lower administration costs while providing access to centrally maintained data. The ArcMap Server extension makes printer-friendly online maps easy and supports multiple output formats-JPG, PNG, PDF, EPS, EMF, and AI (Adobe Illustrator). Spatial bookmarks can be published in the document so users can efficiently locate what they need. PMF maps can be cut and pasted into applications such as Microsoft Word, printed to a file, or plotted to any size supported by ArcMap and specified during publication. Generating a digital rather than a paper map archive can save space and make resources more readily available. ArcGIS Explorer adds value to any GIS because it helps you deliver your authoritative data to a broad audience.




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