ArcGIS is a geographical information system (GIS) developed by ESRI and first released in January 1997. This program is used in creating and utilizing maps, analyzing map information, and analyzing geographic data and features such as terrain types, natural land features like mountains, forests, and rivers, and man-made infrastructures such as buildings, roads, fields, and residential blocks. ArcGIS is also used in sharing and discovering geographic information online or through applications that support the ArcGIS platform. This program provides an extensive database that stores different types of geographic information. ArcGIS is capable of providing major road and street names, landmarks, personal residential and commercial buildings, as well as natural terrain features. Users can view these features with special symbols, markers, and color codes. ArcGIS provides three functionality levels: ArcGIS Basic, ArcGIS Standard, and ArcGIS Advanced. ArcGis Basic is used to view spatial data, perform basic spatial analysis, and create layered maps. ArcGIS Standard provides users with more advanced toolkits for shapefile and geodatabase manipulation. ArcGIS Advanced includes the features of the previous two in addition to advanced tools for data manipulation, data analysis, and editing.
ArcGIS features a simple user interface that contains three main control areas. The first control area contains the main command buttons that execute actions within the program. These buttons allow users to open, save, edit, track, and tag locations in the map area. The next control area is the map display where users can view and manipulate the map and other geographic data. Beside the map viewing area, users may find the tool and control panel as well as the markers and legends that provide them with guides on reading the map and other geographic data.