Frequently asked question

How can Esri help those affected by the suspension of NASA WorldWind?

Last Published: April 25, 2020


As of May 3, 2019, the NASA WorldWind project has been suspended. This means that the management and development team at the NASA Ames Research Center is no longer actively supporting WorldWind. For more information on the suspension of the WorldWind project, see the NASA WorldWind Project Suspension FAQ

The following FAQs are intended to guide WorldWind developers transitioning to Esri

  • How do I transition my WorldWind application to ArcGIS? 
    You can smoothly transition from WorldWind to Esri, depending on the type of SDK and API you used. Esri has SDKs and a JavaScript API for runtime applications and web development, respectively. These can be accessed at the ArcGIS for Developers website .
  • What if I just need to add data to a map and get situational awareness?
    ArcGIS Online is a hosted cloud offering from Esri that provides a simple experience for adding geographic data to a map. ArcGIS Online enables you to connect people, locations, and data using interactive maps. With ArcGIS Online, you’ll be a part of a very large geospatial community, a community who are creating data and maps every day. Use community data, Esri curated data in the Living Atlas, or publish your own data to create maps, 3D scenes, and applications. 
    If you need an on-premises solution, ArcGIS Enterprise offers a comparable solution to ArcGIS Online, but hosted on IT infrastructure you control, whether it is local, in the cloud, or a hybrid environment.
  • What if I need a simple, lightweight, 3D desktop application?
    ArcGIS Earth provides a lightweight, easy-to-use interface for an immersive 3D experience with a focused experience for working with geospatial data on the globe.  ArcGIS Earth allows an administrator to configure settings to suit the needs of the organization, such as connecting to ArcGIS Enterprise, configuring what layers appear when startup happens, and various other administrative application parameters. There is also the ArcGIS Earth Automation API, which provides a standard interface to communicate with ArcGIS Earth from other applications on the machine. This allows ArcGIS Earth to access resources, control and script ArcGIS Earth behaviors, and integrate with other .NET-supported applications. ArcGIS Earth is available as a desktop application, and for Android and iOS.
  • What kinds of web applications are created with ArcGIS?
    ArcGIS offers different development paradigms to get users up and running with the creation of web applications. The app developer may want to get something up and running very quickly, or create an app that suits all the needs of the customer. The development team may need to decide what is right, getting something deployed quickly with ease, or, spending more time and effort in coding to develop a more detailed application. ArcGIS supports this development spectrum through configuration (less effort), customization (moderate effort), and development (high effort).
    With very little configuration, users can deploy a web application using a configurable app. These apps allow users to have a focused experience for interacting with your map, and many of these apps are created by choosing only a few options after the web map is created. It is important to choose the best configurable app to convey the message you want to your end users. 
    If a configurable app does not suit your needs, Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS is a hosted app development application that allows flexibility in customizing the theme, layout, and widgets. If you need to go a step further and develop custom themes, layouts, and widgets, there is Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS (Developer Edition)
    Finally, if you need to control all aspects of the code in developing the application, the ArcGIS API for JavaScript is a robust API that allows developers to create compelling web applications. 
  • What ArcGIS APIs and SDKs match with WorldWind offerings?
    The ArcGIS for Developers website contains SDKs, APIs, sample code, and tutorials to extend the ArcGIS platform and allow developers to create custom applications for their organizations. Users can download SDKs and APIs, sample code, tutorials, and thorough documentation. For those familiar with developing on a specific SDK for WorldWind, here is a rough comparison between WorldWind offerings and ArcGIS offerings. 
    WorldWind    ArcGIS
    Web WorldWindArcGIS API for JavaScript
    WorldWind AndroidArcGIS Runtime SDK for Android
    WorldWind Java ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Java

    For those working with the WorldWind Server Kit, the ArcGIS platform provides several functionalities. If you need to publish services, you can publish from ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, or ArcGIS Server. If you are working with a GeoPackage, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Android, and ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Java support reading and writing GeoPackages.
  • How do I start building 3D web applications?
    Without any development, you can create applications using configurable templates hosted on ArcGIS Online, or use ArcGIS Enterprise for 'on-premises' implementation. You must have a subscription account, and once that is obtained, you can begin creating web maps and web scenes, and add services and configure your web scene. Once you have saved the web scene, you can create apps from the web scenes following the directions in the Create apps from scenes help document.
    If you want to develop 3D web applications from an API, navigate to the Quick Start tutorial for the ArcGIS API for JavaScript. The quick start guide shows how to get an ArcGIS for Developers account, setup a local development environment, or use Esri’s sandbox. The guide also directs you to samples and tutorials.
  • What are some helpful JavaScript functionalities for Web WorldWind app developers?
    The ArcGIS API for JavaScript is a robust API that allows developers to create compelling web applications. Although what was located in the Web WorldWind repository may not match exactly what is in the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, developers may find the following JavaScript resources useful in transitioning their applications. 
  • Where do I get data for my application?
    ArcGIS Online offers many services and much data to add to your application. You can sign up for a public account, or get a subscription account, giving you access to subscription content. You can also access the curated data with rich metadata for your application from the Esri Living Atlas of the World.
  • Where do I get basemaps for my application?
    Different basemaps are available through Esri in a variety of service types. If you need to add a basemap to your application, you can access it via the service REST endpoint:
Different basemaps are available through Esri in a variety of service types. If you need to add a basemap to your application, you can access it via the service REST endpoint:
  1. Go to the ArcGIS REST Services Directory:
  2. Choose the service you want, for example, “World_Topo_Map”.
  1. Select the format of the service to get the URL.
  1. Copy that URL into your application.
    You can copy the REST service directly and add it to an application, or
  2. Choose another service type, such as WMTS, and add that URL to the application.

A complete list of basemaps available with ArcGIS Online is found in the ArcGIS Online Basemaps Group.

WMTS Basemaps
The Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) specification is an international specification for serving digital maps over the web using cached image tiles. Here are a list of basemaps that can be used in your web applications. Basemaps can be found in the ArcGIS Online Basemaps group.

Arctic Imagery
Arctic Ocean Base
Arctic Ocean Reference
Antarctic Imagery
DeLorme World Base Map
National Geographic
USA Topo Maps
World Boundaries and Place Reference
World Boundaries and Places Alternate Reference
World Dark Gray Base
World Dark Gray Base Reference
World Hillshade
World Hillshade Dark
World Imagery
World Light Gray Base
World Light Gray Base Reference
World Navigation Charts
World Ocean Base
World Ocean Reference
World Physical Map
World Reference Overlay
World Shaded Relief
World Street Map
World Terrain Base
World Topo Map
World Transportation Reference

Elevation Services 3D
The table below provides elevation services in WMTS format.

Terrain 3D
Topo Bathy 3D

Scientific Data REST End Points
Current WorldWInd users in the meteorology field may find these following web services useful for their applications. There are other real-time feeds available in ArcGIS Online through the Living Atlas.

Near-Real-Time Surface In-Situ Observations
Recent Satellite Emulated Lightning Strike Density Imagery
Geostationary Weather Satellite Imagery
Weather Radar Imagery
Surface Meteorological and Hydrologic Analyses
NWS Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) quantitative precipitation
Short-Duration Hazards (e.g. Severe Thunderstorms/Tornadoes/Flash Floods) Watches
Radar base reflectivity

Article ID:000021168

  • ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Android
  • ArcGIS Online
  • ArcGIS API for JavaScript
  • ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Java

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