ArcGIS for Server

This module aims at giving students practice in publishing GIS services using ArcGIS for Server technologies. ArcGIS for Server is the solution proposed by Esri to share GIS resources over the web. The ArcGIS for Server deployment options will be introduced together with the supported web services capabilities, the available server-client communication protocols, cloud-computing paradigm and existing efforts dedicated to standards development in GIS. The following geospatial web services will be discussed in details: map service, caching service, feature service, geoprocessing service and image services.
ArcGIS Online platform will serve as example of online cloud-computing application helping users to both search published GI resources and to share their authoritative resources as web services.

For this module, we use ArcGIS Desktop, which students can license without any extra costs.

3 months



The module is free of charge for UNIGIS students working to meet their elective subject requirements. Included are:

  • all related study materials
  • supervision and assessment
  • module accreditation according to the curriculum

ClubUNIGIS members can register at a price of € 300,-. Included are:

  • all related study materials
  • supervision and assessment
  • course certificate upon completion of the module

  • Explain the benefits of Web GIS
  • Outline the main capabilities of ArcGIS Online Platform
  • Describe  the key functionalities of geospatial web services
  • Define the web services supported by ArcGIS for Server technologies
  • Publish spatial data as Map Service, Feature Service, Image Service and Cached Map Service
  • Publish spatial analysis tools as Geoprocessing Services
  • Develop your own Client application using the Esri API’s

Core UNIGIS modules 1-3 or equivalent understanding of GIS, data modeling, data structures and data acquisition. If you are not sure whether you qualify, please contact (UNIGIS DE) or (UNIGIS INT).

We would like to inform you that this is an exclusively English language module. Therefore, any kind of communication with the module lecturer should be in English. The module is delivered in form of an instructed self-study that is based on explorative learning process and process. Theoretical concepts are complemented with practice oriented examples demonstrated with the help of several exercises defined for almost all lessons. A discussion forum is used for communication among students and the lecturer. A discussion forum is maintained in the Moodle platform in order to support efficient module instruction. You are requested to submit all your questions related to this module to this forum only. The lecturer will check all incoming comments on a regular basis. He will answer your questions or provide you with pointers for solving your problems. Upon completion of the module students are requested to evaluate the module, which is a part of our quality assurance policy and practice.

  • ArcGIS Desktop
  • ArcGIS Server
  • ArcGIS Online platform: the access to the ArcGIS Online UIA private instance is granted by request.
  • Esri Maps for Service: application that brings mapping capabilities to the Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.
  • JavaScript WebApp Builder application

The assessment is based on your completed assignments. They must be submitted in written format (.PDF) within the required time period. The web applications developed during these assignments have to be published in the ArcGIS Online platform and shared with the “ArcGIS for Server Module Assignments” Group. Therefore, the other students can get insight about the work of their fellows and can give feedback on the published applications. Besides the assignments, the module offers different exercises that aim at giving the students praxis into the ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online platform technologies. The exercises are not mandatory and thus, they are not included in the module assessment. However, they might ease the fulfilment of the tasks defined in the assignments.

If the assignment(s) is/ are handed after the announced deadline, the lecturer is not obligated to grade it/them. It will be listed as such on your transcript.

Lesson 1 – Introduction to Web GIS
The first lesson will cover the technologies behind the Web GIS paradigm. The students will get familiar with the Web GIS architecture, the key functionalities of the geospatial web services and Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI).

Lesson 2 – Cloud GIS
Cloud computing is a new computing paradigm that enables utilization of software and hardware infrastructure by multiple users without the need of local installation and maintenance of computing resources and software. In this lesson, the following cloud computing models will be introduced: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as Service (IaaS).

Lesson 3 – ArcGIS Online as Gateway to services
In this lesson, the ArcGIS online platform is introduced. ArcGIS online is a Software as Service (SaaS) application that can be accessed through web clients, desktop clients or mobile clients. The users do not have to install anything for getting access to this application. The students will get familiar with the key capabilities of this platform: searching, finding and using GI resources (maps, web applications, tools, web services) shared by others. They will create a simple web application and will share it with their UNIGIS colleagues.

Lesson 4 – ArcGIS Online for Organization
In this lesson, the students will learn how to create customized web maps by adding web services published by GIS community or data layers stored locally on their computers.

Lesson 5 – Developing online editing applications
After using the spatial data shared by others as web services, it’s time to learn how to share our own data as web services. ArcGIS Online application allows users to publish web services without purchasing and installing any GIS Server on theri premises (no hardware or software is required). The following (hosted) services types are supported: Tile Mapping Services and Feature Access Service. The hosted services capability is supported only by purchasing the ArcGIS Online for Organization subscription. With ArcGIS Online for organization subscription, the organizations can customize their private ArcGIS Online instance by customizing the interface; they can organize their spatial content in different groups and can prohibit the access to their data by using the ArcGIS Online security model. In this module, the students will use the ArcGIS Online UNIGIS International Association (UIA) instance

Lesson 6 – Web Services
In the first part of this lesson, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and RESTful (Representational State Transfer) web services are explained. Available standardization efforts within geospatial domain will be introduced in the end.

Lesson 7 – ArcGIS Server technologies
This lesson aims at giving students a brief description of the ArcGIS Server capabilities, supported services and deployment options. Data store options available in the last version of ArcGIS for Server will be also introduced. The ArcGIS Server performance, scalability and services tuning options will be discussed in details. In the end, the students will learn how to secure their ArcGIS Server instance and web services.

Lesson 8 – Publishing map and feature services using ArcGIS Server 
In this lesson, the main steps involved in authoring, sharing and consuming map services using ArcGIS Server will be introduced. The students will publish their own map service using both ArcGIS Server Manager application and ArcGIS Desktop application.

Lesson 9 – Publishing Cached Map Service and Image Service using ArcGIS Server
In this lesson, the students will be learning about how to improve services performance and how to share your authoritative raster datasets or mosaic dataset. You will be learning about Cached Map Service and Image Service.

Lesson 10 – Mobile GIS
This lesson is dedicated to Mobile GIS and its benefits for organizations and agencies whose activities rely on field data collections. In the first part of this lesson, the interaction between Desktop GIS, Web GIS and Mobile GIS will be introduced. The benefits, challenges and technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and the increasing availability of smarted mobile devices will be thoroughly discussed in the next part of this lesson. The second part of this lesson is dedicated to the existing Esri solutions to develop mobile app, namely: ArcGIS for Windows Mobile, Collector for ArcGIS, SDK Runtime.

Lesson 11 –  Online spatial analysis
Geoprocessing Service (GP) is about exposing spatial analysis tool over the web. The students will publish their own spatial analysis tool as GP. After getting a feeling about what geoprocessing service means, the power and benefits of GP will be introduced.

Lesson 12 – Sharing using packages
Packages are compressed files containing data, data sources, symbology, tools and any pre-defined settings. In this lesson, the students will learn about the packages supported by ArcGIS (layer packages, map package, Tile package etc.), their advantages and disadvantages and about the differences between them and the geospatial web services.

Lesson 13 – Consuming GI Services – API’s
ESRI web mapping API‘s (such as avaScript). The students will use the web app templates published on ArcGIS Online and the JavaScript WebApp Builder application to develop their own client applications.

Lesson 14 – ArcGIS for Server Extensions
In this lesson, several ArcGIS Server Extensions are introduced. The ArcGIS Server Extensions allow us to synchronize our applications with different regulations (such as INSPIRE implementing rules) and to improve our experience in sharing GIS resources on the internet.