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Founded1969; 54 years ago (1969)
Redlands, California, U.S.
ProductsArcGIS, ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Online
Revenue$1.1 billion (2014 statistics)[3]
Number of employees
3,800+ (2016 statistics)[4] Edit this at Wikidata

Esri (/ˈɛzr/;[5] Environmental Systems Research Institute) is an American multinational geographic information system (GIS) software company. It is best known for its ArcGIS products. With a 40% market share, Esri is the world's leading supplier of GIS software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications.[6][7]

The company is headquartered in Redlands, California.[8]

Founded as the Environmental Systems Research Institute in 1969 as a land-use consulting firm, Esri currently has 49 offices worldwide including 11 research and development centers in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific.[9][10] There are 10 regional U.S. offices and over 3,000 partners globally, with users in every country and a total of over a million active users in 350,000 organizations. These include Fortune 500 companies, most national governments, 20,000 cities, all 50 US States and 7,000+ universities. The firm has 4,000 total employees, and is privately held by its founders.[11][12][13][14][15] In a 2016 Investor's Business Daily article, Esri's annual revenues were indicated to be $1.1 billion.[16]

The company hosts an annual International User's Conference, which was first held on the Redlands campus in 1981 with 16 attendees. The 43rd User Conference was held in San Diego at the San Diego Convention Center. In 2022, 31,590 users from 142 countries attended either in person or digitally.[17][18]


Esri uses the name ArcGIS to refer to its suite of GIS software products, which operate on desktop, server, and mobile platforms. ArcGIS also includes developer products and web services. In a general sense, the term GIS describes any information system that integrates, stores, edits, analyzes, shares and displays geographic information for informing decision making. The term GIS-Centric, however, has been specifically defined as the use of the Esri ArcGIS geodatabase as the asset and feature data repository central to computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) as a part of enterprise asset management and analytical software systems. GIS-centric certification criteria have been specifically defined by NAGCS, the National Association of GIS-Centric Solutions.

Desktop GIS[edit]

As of January 2021, the company's desktop GIS suite is ArcGIS Desktop version 10.8.1 and ArcGIS Pro 2.7. ArcGIS Desktop consists of several integrated applications, including ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcToolbox, ArcScene, ArcGlobe, and ArcGIS Pro. The suite's main application today is ArcGIS Pro which is slowly replacing the former main components, ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox. Collectively these applications allow users to author, analyze, map, manage, share, and publish geographic information. ArcGIS Pro was introduced in early 2015 as a modern and fully 64-bit application with integrated 2D and 3D functionality.[19] The product suite is available in three levels of licensing:[20] Basic (formerly called ArcView), Standard (formerly called ArcEditor) and Advanced (formerly called ArcInfo). Basic provides a basic set of GIS capabilities suitable for many GIS applications. Standard, at added cost, allows more extensive data editing and manipulation, including server geodatabase editing. Advanced, at the high end, provides full, advanced analysis and data management capabilities, including geostatistical and topological analysis tools. Additionally, ArcGIS is compatible with following OGC standards: WFS, WCS, GFS and various others.

ArcGIS Explorer, ArcReader, and ArcExplorer are basic freeware applications for viewing GIS data.

ArcGIS Desktop extensions are available, including Spatial Analyst for raster analysis, and 3D Analyst for terrain mapping and analysis. Other more specialized extensions are available from Esri and third parties.

Esri's original product, ARC/INFO, was a command line GIS product available initially on minicomputers, then on UNIX workstations. In 1992, a GUI GIS, ArcView GIS, was introduced. Over time, both products were offered in Windows versions, and ArcView also as a Macintosh product. The names ArcView and ArcInfo were used for a while to name different levels of licensing in ArcGIS Desktop, and less often refer to these original software products. The Windows version of ArcGIS is now the only ArcGIS Desktop platform that is undergoing new development for future product releases.

Server GIS[edit]

Server GIS products provide GIS functionality and data deployed from a central environment. ArcGIS Server is an Internet application service, used to extend the functionality of ArcGIS Desktop software to a browser based environment. It is available on Solaris and Linux as well as Windows. ArcSDE (Spatial Database Engine) is used as a Relational database management system connector for other Esri software to store and retrieve GIS data within a commercially available database: currently, it can be used with Oracle, PostgreSQL, DB2, Informix and Microsoft SQL Server databases. It supports its native SDE binary data format, Oracle Spatial, and ST_geometry. ArcIMS (Internet Mapping Server) provides browser-based access to GIS. As of ArcGIS 10.1, ArcIMS has been deprecated in favor of ArcGIS Server, but there are still many instances of ArcIMS (10.0 and older) in production environments. Other server-based products include Geoportal Server, ArcGIS Image Server and Tracking Server as well as several others.

Mobile GIS[edit]

Mobile GIS conflates GIS, GPS, location-based services, hand-held computing, and the growing availability of geographic data. ArcGIS technology can be deployed on a range of mobile systems from lightweight devices to PDAs, laptops, and Tablet PCs. The firm's products for this use include Collector for ArcGIS, Survey123 for ArcGIS, ArcGIS QuickCapture and more. Former products and applications in this category included ArcPad and ArcGIS for Mobile.[21]

Online GIS (ArcGIS Online)[edit]

ArcGIS includes Internet capabilities in all Esri software products. The services, provided through ArcGIS Online at, include web APIs, hosted map and geoprocessing services, and a user sharing program. A variety of basemaps is a signature feature of ArcGIS Online. The Esri Community Maps program compiles detailed user basemap information into a common cartographic format called Topographic Basemap.[22]

Data formats[edit]


  • Shapefile – Esri's proprietary, hybrid vector data format using SHP, SHX and DBF files. Originally invented in the early 1990s, it is still commonly used as a widely supported interchange format.
  • Enterprise Geodatabase – Esri's geodatabase format for use in an relational database system.
  • File Geodatabase – Esri's file-based geodatabase format, stored as folders in a file system.
  • Personal Geodatabase – Esri's closed, integrated vector data storage strategy using Microsoft's Access MDB format is a legacy format generally replaced by the file geodatabase in most contemporary use.
  • Coverage – Esri's closed, hybrid vector data storage strategy. Legacy ArcGIS Workstation / ArcInfo format with reduced support in modern application.


Esri Technical Certification[edit]

The Esri Technical Certification program was launched in January 2011.[23] The program provides an exam based certification for Esri software. The core groups for the certification include Desktop, Developer, and Enterprise. Each subcategory under these groups have two certification levels, Associate and Professional.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Redlands, Jennifer M. Dobbs, University of (28 May 2020). "Esri, University of Redlands partner to give away trees". Redlands News. Retrieved 2020-06-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Esri to provide mapping resources to WHO Member States". GPS World. 2020-04-01. Retrieved 2020-06-20.
  3. ^ Heltt, Miguel. "The Godfather of Digital Maps". Forbes/Tech. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Esri Named on Forbes Best Midsize Employers List". Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  5. ^ Schutzberg, Adena (2010-03-23). "ESRI "Transitioning" Pronunciation of its Name". Archived from the original on 2016-08-28. Retrieved 2016-07-25.
  6. ^ "Update: Esri has 40+% of GIS Marketshare". Directions Magazine. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
  7. ^ "Jack Dangermond". Forbes. July 18, 2023. Retrieved July 18, 2023.
  8. ^ "Activity-Based Intelligence Comes of Age in Modern Warfare". Aviation International News. June 20, 2017. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  9. ^ "Esri and ArcGIS". Harvard Digital Initiative. November 12, 2019. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  10. ^ "Bentley Systems: Important Player In The GIS Software Industry". Seeking Alpha. July 27, 2022. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  11. ^ "Contact Esri". Esri Office Worldwide. Esri. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  12. ^ "About Esri : Locations". Esri. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  13. ^ "About Esri : Company". Esri. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  14. ^ "Fact Sheet". ESRI. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  15. ^ "GIS in Our World". Esri Website: Company Facts. Archived from the original on 1998-12-05. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  16. ^ Howell, Donna (2009-08-14). "Jack Dangermond's Digital Mapping Lays It All Out". Investor's Business Daily. Archived from the original on 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  17. ^ "The 2022 EsriUC by the numbers - Attendees, sponsors, speakers, stickers and much more!". Esri. July 22, 2022. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  18. ^ "2017 ESRIUC by the Numbers – facts, stats, and numbers of interest". GEO Jobe. 2017-07-17. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  19. ^ "ArcGIS Pro – Reinventing Desktop GIS". 27 January 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Buy ArcGIS for Desktop". Retrieved 2016-07-25.
  21. ^ "Mobile GIS App Development". WebMapSolutions. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  22. ^ "Free Mobile app for ArcGIS Online". WebMapSolutions. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Earn the New Esri Technical Certification". Esri. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  24. ^ "Technical Certification". Esri. Retrieved 4 October 2011.

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