ESRI ArcGIS for Desktop

Version10(as of 11/9/2023)
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Rating:3.3  |  48 Votes

Main Features

  • Supports more than 70 different data formats
  • Provides a comprehensive set of spatial analysis tools
  • Extensible via numerous plugins
  • Integrates with mobile platforms for remote accessibility

Software Overview

ESRI ArcGIS for Desktop is a GIS mapping application for the Windows platform. It provides many tools, allowing you to create, share, and manage geographic maps, data, and analytical models. However, ESRI replaced ArcGIS for Desktop with ArcGIS Pro.

ArcGIS for Desktop comprises several integrated applications, including ArcCatalog, ArcToolbox, and ArcMap. In these applications, ArcGIS for Desktop gives you many spatial analysis tools to generate spatial analyses, such as the number of homes within a specified distance of a flood plain. The application also offers location analytics that allows you to analyze data based on physical location, which is especially helpful for businesses wanting to know customer data, such as where the customer lives. ArcGIS for Desktop is also a flexible application, as it supports more than 70 data formats you can integrate for analysis and visualization.

Another feature of ArcGIS for Desktop is that it is a highly extensible application. You can download numerous extensions to extend the analysis and productivity capabilities of ArcGIS for Desktop, such as 3D analysis of your data or a workflow manager to help you manage GIS tasks and resources. The software also enables convenient data sharing with the use of ArcGIS Online. You can search for data, share information with others, and import base maps from one location. ArcGIS for Desktop also integrates with mobile platforms, making maps and data accessible anywhere. For example, a team of firefighters could access floor building plans on site before they go into the building.


ESRI ArcGIS for Desktop is a powerful GIS application. It supports many different data formats, provides a wide array of tools, and is excellent for collaboration. ArcGIS for Desktop is a powerful choice for GIS professionals. However, ESRI replaced it with ArcGIS Pro, which is equally up to the task.

Primary File Type

mxd icon.MXDArcGIS Map Document

Supported File Types

ExtensionFile Type
.MXDArcGIS Map Document
.3DDArcGlobe Document
.ADFESRI ArcInfo Binary Grid Format
.APLArcPad Layer File
.APRArcView Project File
.DGNMicroStation Design
.DLGDigital Line Graph
.DT0DTED Level 0 File
.DT1DTED Level 1 File
.DT2DTED Level 2 File
.E00ArcInfo Coverage Export File
.ECWEnhanced Compression Wavelet Image
.FLTOpenFlight Scene Description File
.GENArcView ARC/INFO UnGenerate file
.GMFGeology Multi-File
.HGTSRTM Elevation Data File
.JPWWorld File for JPEG
.KMLKeyhole Markup Language File
.KMZGoogle Earth Placemark File
.LPKArcGIS Layer Package
.MPKArcGIS Map Package
.MSDMap Service Definition File
.MXTArcGIS Map Template
.NMFArcGIS Explorer Map File
.PIXPCI Geomatics Database File
.PMFESRI Published Map File
.PRJProject File
.RDFArcGIS Report Document File
.RLFArcGIS Report Layout File
.SDWMrSID World File
.SHPESRI Shapefile
.SHXShapefile Index File
.STYLEArcGIS Style Manager File
.SXDArcScene Document
.TFWWorld File for TIFF
.VCTIDRISI Vector Image
.VDCIDRISI Vector Documentation File
.WLDESRI World File

Additional Related File Types

ExtensionFile Type
.ADCScanstudio 16 Color Image
.AMLArc Macro Language File
.ATXArcGIS Attribute Index File
.AUXAuxiliary File
.AVLArcView Legend File
.AVXArcView Extension File
.BPWBitmap World File
.CPGESRI Code Page File
.DEMDigital Elevation Model
.ERSER Mapper Data File
.FLSArcView GIS Windows Help Supporting File
.GDBTABLEGeodatabase Table File
.GFWGIF World File
.HDRESRI BIL Header File
.IDXIndex File
.IMDGIS Image Metadata File
.JGWJPEG World File
.JPGWJPEG World File
.JPRFugawi Projection File
.JPWWorld File for JPEG
.LASLIDAR Data Exchange File
.LYRArcView Layer File
.RDCIDRISI Raster Documentation File
.RRDReduced Resolution Dataset File
.RSTIDRISI Raster Image
.SBNESRI Spatial Binary File
.SBXESRI Spatial Index File
.SHXShapefile Index File
.SMLARC/INFO Simple Macro Language File
.SSFTrimble Standard Storage Format File
.TABMapInfo TAB File
Updated 11/9/2023