Just a quick post and some thoughts: ESRI has recently announced that they will be changing their ArcGIS product names.    As you can see (below) the names are more wordy, but crucially they make more sense.   Some will argue (I’ve seen the twitter threads!) that this cosmetic change is pointless, but I disagree.   Not everyone using ESRI’s products is a ‘power user’ and whilst there are those who would argue that ArcView (ArcGIS for Desktop Basic) is a pointless product which serves no ‘real’ (proper maps are done by ArcInfo and ArcEditor, apparently) purpose.    I would argue it is useful tool for many companies and for ESRI it serves as the ‘gateway drug’ to their product line.

I work in an office that uses ArcView (ArcGIS for Desktop Basic) extensively in it’s projects.   We’re not the ‘super-power’ users that some GIS professionals would like people who use ArcGIS to be.  However the product allows us to fit in with other industries/workflows (and some of those mythical power users too!) as well the other professional tools we use on the job.   We do not need the powerful features of ArcInfo and ArcEditor (not yet anyway!).   We are also often constrained to using certain products within our projects by the client.


Increasingly in our line of work and client list ArcGIS compatibility is a requirement not an optional extra.   Let me be clear about this though, we are not ‘cheap’ for wanting to use the ‘basic’ version of ArcGIS, we just have different requirements.

Personally I think what might happen next is that ESRI will look at the prices of all these products and do some price ‘adjustments’ (perhaps starting with a price reduction ArcGIS for Desktop Basic).  Why?

Well there are many products out there that do what ArcGIS for Desktop Basic do either for free or at a far cheaper price, and with more features.    ESRI I hope would like to keep those customers so that when they are ready and in need of more features the path of least resistance is up ESRI’s product line and not someone else’s.

Agree or disagree?  Or do you want to raise a further issue?  Use the comments below or drop me a message!



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