The big new feature in this beta version is the ability to 'surf' data that is hosted on ArcGIS servers almost as easily as you surf the internet. No GIS savvy required!
This feature uses a split screen. The left side of your screen will display the table of contents of an ArcGIS server. The right side will display the map. Click a layer in the table of contents and that data appears on the map. Think of it this way: Click layer - See data. This GIS surfing feature works on both mobile and non-mobile devices.
Here is a screenshot showing a split screen:
If you try this beta version and something does not seem to work right, please let me know. I cannot fix it if I do not know it is broken.
Except for news media, GISsurfer is for non-commercial use only. If you are a commercial user I don't mind you playing with GISsurfer out of curiosity to see what it can do, but please respect my instruction that you are not to use GISsurfer in any way to generate revenue.
GISsurfer terms of service
Note that I designed the interface for people that know nothing about GIS. Thus, you will always need to display the sidebar in order to display GIS data on the map. The interface does not let you skip the sidebar by entering a complete ArcGIS layer address.
1. Start the beta version of GISsurfer
2. Zoom in on somewhere that you want to display GIS data.
3. Click the basemap button (next to the 'Menu' button).
4. Look under the 'overlay' heading and click 'Add GIS overlays'. (Mobile uses scroll down)
5. When the popup appears, click 'Help' and you will see a link to a list that I curate that has internet addresses for 1,800+ USA-based government ArcGIS servers. Those servers range from the federal level down to the city level. You are not limited to servers on this list. You can use *any* public-facing ArcGIS server. Enter an ArcGIS server address in this popup and send your request to the server.
6. When the sidebar opens, click 'Help' to learn about what you can do with the sidebar. Drill down through the table of contents until checkboxes appear. A checkbox represents a layer that can be displayed on the map. A layer that is checked has been added to the map and will show up in the list of overlays that can be turned on/off.
7. To see the last part of the interface for this GIS surfing feature, click the basemap button, look under the 'overlay' heading and click 'Manage GIS overlays'. Click the 'Help' button in that popup.
If you are new to GISsurfer please take a few minutes to look at the website.
Among other things you will learn how to restack overlays, tell which overlay is 'on top' and how to display attribute data the GIS server has for an overlay. Sometimes the attribute data includes a link that leads to more information.
After you add some GIS layers to the map you can click Menu ==> Link to this map. The link you see will use the beta version of GISsurfer to replicate the map on your screen including the GIS layers.
Thank you for trying the this beta version of GISsurfer and please send me any feedback you care to share.