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GIS Servers Connection

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Access GIS Data Through the Internet

GIS Servers allow users who have desktop GIS software with internet access, to retrieve GIS data by connecting to an available GIS service through the internet. This allows users to view and use GIS data without having to download and store GIS data. This also ensures that the most up-to-date version of the data is being used.
    Software Requirements:
  • ESRI ArcGIS desktop software (ArcMap and ArcCatalog).
  • For user who do not have GIS desktop software, ESRI has a free desktop viewer, ArcExplorer, that can connect to GIS services through the internet.
  • Check your software documentation for capabilities to make a connection to a GIS service.

Image of ESRI ArcMap with GIS Service Connection
Example of a ArcIMS Service being used in ArcMap


Connect to a GIS Service using ESRI ArcGIS

Instructions on how to connect to a Web Map Service in ESRI ArcCatalog v9.x:
  1. Start ArcCatalog and double-click GIS Servers.
  2. Select the type of GIS Service you want to connect too: Add ArcGIS Server, Add ArcIMS Server, or Add WMS Server.
  3. This will open the dialog box.
  4. Type in the URL of the Internet Server you want to connect too.
  5. Select which services you want access, All Services or Get List.
  6. Check the services you want to be able to access from this server.
  7. Click OK.
  8. The service is added to ArcCatalog as a data source and can be used in ArcMap.
    Please Note:
  • You may not be able to change the symbology and/or the scale dependency setting of the data sets available through the service. This is set by the provider.
  • If you lose a connection to a GIS Server, try to refresh your connection. If this does not resolve the issue the provider's server may be: temporarily down, the service may have removed, or the URL has changed to a different location.
  • ArcMap Help Search keywords: Connecting to GIS Servers; Connecting to a GIS server; About GIS servers and services

Image of ArcServer Connection in ArcCatalog


Connect to a GIS Service using ESRI ArcExplorer

Instructions on how to connect to a Web Map Service in ESRI ArcExplorer:
  1. Start ArcExplorer.
  2. From the main menu select 'File' and from the dropdown list 'Open'.
  3. This will open the 'Open Contect' dialog box.
  4. Select the 'Servers' icon to make it active. This will list a number of connection types at the top of the diolog box.
  5. Select which services you want access, select 'ArcIMS'.
  6. This will open the 'Add New Server Connection' for an ArcIMS server.
  7. Type the URL for the ArcIMS server. Enter the user name and password if required.
  8. Select 'OK' .
  9. This will add the ArcIMS server connection to your existing list of server connections.
  10. Select the desired service from the list.
  11. Image of Connecting ArcIMS Service in ArcExplorer
  12. A series of diolog boxes will set how the data layers will be displayed in the viewer.
    1. Raster Resolution
    2. IMS Layer Visibility. Note: Would recomend selecting the layers you are interested in viewing
    3. Service Imagery Format: Select the 'Vector, scanned or thematic mapping' option.
    Image of ArcIMS Layer
  13. Once completed, the data will be added to your ArcExplorer project and will be listed under 'Contents'. To change any of the settings, select the service and righ-click to open a diolog box and select 'Properties'.

Image of ESRI ArcMap with GIS Service Connection
Example of a ArcIMS Service being used in ArcExplorer


DNR GIS Service Information

  • For questions related to the data and/or project related to a service, please contact the project coordinator. View list of SCDNR Web Applications.
  • For technical related questions and/or problems with a service, contact: gisman@dnr.sc.gov

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