What is an ArcGIS Explorer home server?

ArcGIS Explorer is a lightweight desktop application that can view GIS services and local data in three dimensions. ArcGIS Explorer is free and you can distribute it throughout your organization as a client to your ArcGIS Server system.

When you first install ArcGIS Explorer, the application displays data from servers hosted by ESRI. This is because ESRI’s server is the default home server for ArcGIS Explorer. You can configure ArcGIS Explorer so that your ArcGIS Server system is the home server instead.

A home server hosts the default map that is loaded in ArcGIS Explorer on startup. Additionally, a home server can control the look and behavior of the ArcGIS Explorer application. A home server can also notify ArcGIS Explorer when certain updates are available.

How to make your system a home server

All of the necessary files for your system to act as a home server are included when you install ArcGIS Server. You can get updates of these files to correspond with newer versions of ArcGIS Explorer. To make sure you have the latest files, visit the ESRI Support Center Patches and Service Packs page and download the ArcGIS Explorer home server files for ArcGIS Server.

Once you've obtained the updated files, perform the following steps on each computer that you install ArcGIS Explorer:

  1. In ArcGIS Explorer, click File > Set Home Server
  2. Click "Connect to the Home Server located at", then enter the URL to your server in the format http://<server name>/<instance name> (Example: http://myServer/ArcGIS)
  3. Click the Test button to test the connection, or click OK to return to ArcGIS Explorer.
  4. Close and re-open ArcGIS Explorer to see the default map from the new home server.

Configuring the default map

Every home server contains a default map that appears when clients of that home server open the ArcGIS Explorer application. The default map for the ESRI home server contains imagery and elevation data for the entire world. Your default map will also look like this unless you change it.

The default map for your ArcGIS Explorer home server is located at C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\ArcGIS\Explorer\Maps\DefaultMap.nmf. (This path may vary if you installed to a drive other than C, or if you used an instance name other than ArcGIS). You can open and edit this file in ArcGIS Explorer to define the globe and tasks that users of your home server will see when they open ArcGIS Explorer.

Getting general help for ArcGIS Explorer

The topics in this section cover things you'll need to know to administer your home server. If you need general help on how to use ArcGIS Explorer to view and navigate maps, please see the ArcGIS Explorer Help.