ESRI: GIS and Mapping Software

What's New in ArcGIS

What's New in ArcGIS 9.3.1

City of Greeley, Colorado ArcGIS Server application, using the ArcGIS API for Flex; click to enlarge
Create intuitive Web maps that are significantly faster than ArcGIS 9.3.

ArcGIS 9.3.1 improves the performance of dynamic map publishing and increases the sharing of geographic information.

High-Performance Dynamic Map Publishing

Better Sharing of Geographic Information

Fast Access to Microsoft Virtual Earth Maps and Imagery

Enhanced Support for Java Developers

Easy to Install


ArcGIS 9.3.1 is scheduled to be available in Q2 2009. ESRI will automatically ship ArcGIS 9.3.1 to users current on maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I need to uninstall ArcGIS 9.3 before I install ArcGIS 9.3.1?
No. ArcGIS 9.3.1 installs on top of ArcGIS 9.3.
I am still using ArcGIS 9.2. Do I need to install ArcGIS 9.3 before I install ArcGIS 9.3.1?
Customers who are current on maintenance will receive the ArcGIS 9.3.1 update install by default. In this case, you have two options:
  1. Install ArcGIS 9.3 (which requires uninstalling previous versions of ArcGIS) before installing the ArcGIS 9.3.1 update.
  2. Request the ArcGIS 9.3.1 complete install (includes ArcGIS 9.3 and ArcGIS 9.3.1 on one installation media) from
Is the Microsoft Virtual Earth content free to ArcGIS users?
ArcGIS Desktop users who are current on maintenance will be able to access Microsoft Virtual Earth at no additional cost. This access comes with an annual transaction cap that will be enough to meet the needs of most users. However, users who need more can purchase an annual subscription to the Virtual Earth service that has no transaction limitation.

ArcGIS Server users will be able to easily access a built-in free 90 watermarked evaluation of Microsoft Virtual Earth that can be leveraged with the .NET ADF, and JavaScript, Flex and Silverlight APIs. After the evaluation period, ArcGIS users can purchase an annual subscription.

ArcGIS Explorer users who have an existing ArcGIS Desktop license on the same machine as ArcGIS Explorer can use the Microsoft Virtual Earth content at no additional cost. ArcGIS Explorer users that do not have an ArcGIS desktop license can evaluate Microsoft Virtual Earth for 90 days (watermarked), and then purchase an unlimited use subscription.
What makes dynamic map services faster in ArcGIS 9.3.1?
We have worked on several major areas in ArcGIS 9.3.1 to improve the performance of dynamic map services. First of all, we have incorporated a new toolbar in ArcMap, which allows you to tune your map documents easily. This toolbar "analyzes" your map document and tells you how you could make it better performing. For example, it will detect if
  • any of your layers are being projected on the fly.
  • building a specific index on a field in your geodatabase is advisable.
  • a layer does not have scale dependencies.
  • a complex multilayered symbol is being used.
  • Etc.
Additionally, through this toolbar you can export your map document to a map service definition (msd) file, which is optimized for performance in ArcGIS Server.

ArcGIS 9.3.1 also uses significantly improved drawing technology to accelerate map display, boosting your server's throughput.

Finally, we have optimized the output images created by the map service to make sure that they are as small as possible (while maintaining high cartographic standards). Smaller files mean faster download times, especially on low bandwidth networks.
Can I accelerate caching times with 9.3.1?
Yes. You can optimize your map documents and publish them through map service definition files, which will accelerate your map caching process.
Can I create a map service definition file from any ArcMap document?
Yes. However, the Map Service Publishing toolbar in ArcMap will warn you if there are any data sources that are not compatible with making high performance maps.
Can I access ArcGIS 9.3.1 Map Services from 9.3 Web applications?
Yes. From a client point of view, ArcGIS 9.3.1 dynamic map Web services look just like 9.3 map Web services, but they are faster. Web applications built with the ArcGIS JavaScript API and the ArcGIS API for Flex will be able to transparently connect to your 9.3.1 map services. Web ADF applications will be able to connect to 9.3.1 services as long you do so over Internet connections.

For additional details, download the What's New in ArcGIS 9.3.1 document [PDF].


Still have questions about ArcGIS 9.3.1? Please ask.

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