ArcGIS ExplorerArcMapESRIVirtual Earth

Embed Virtual Earth into ESRI’s ArcGIS

By November 12, 2008 2 Comments

The excellent Arc2Earth from Brian Flood has always had the ability to display map tiles from Microsoft, Yahoo and as a custom layer in your map.

What is new in the current beta release is the ability to directly embed the API from Microsoft and Google into ArcMap – the movie below explains all:

<a href="" target="_new" title="Arc2Earth - Virtual Earth">Video: Arc2Earth &#8211; Virtual Earth</a>

As brian states on the Spatial Data Logic Blog, you can drape your own data over the existing globes and then use this as an element on your Page Layout for exporting to either paper or digital copies. The process of draping your current map over the globes happens automatically and on a background thread, so its really intuitive to work with and doesn’t stall the main thread ArcMap uses for most of its own work . As you change your Map contents in the TOC, the changes are reflected on the globes as well.

Find out more via


Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.


  • coastal says:

    I’d just use Manifold. I don’t want to derail Brian’s work here but for another 45 dollars i can get a full blown GIS.. and then just cancel that ESRI annual fee.

  • Dave says:

    I would be a little concerned about the legalities of such an approach – especially when generating maps using the VE base data.