For Environmental Systems Research Institute, success stems from thinking globally and mapping locally. Known as ESRI, the company develops geographic information systems (GIS) software used to create and label digital maps, publish maps on the Internet, and build related databases. ESRI has customers in fields such as government, forestry, oil and gas, and transportation. Its ArcGIS product line includes applications used for tracking oil spills, planning land use, monitoring rainforest depletion, and routing emergency vehicles, among many other uses. ESRI was founded in 1969 by Jack and Laura Dangermond, who still own the company.
While ESRI's GIS technology underlies the mapping services of other companies, it is mostly concerned with supporting institutional, enterprise, and civil customers. Companies such as Garmin and TomTom, a partner, are more focused on the consumer mobile mapping market, while ESRI's clients have included AECOM, American Transmission, National Geographic Society, and Carrefour. Still, mapping technology for the Web and mobile phones is a burgeoning market, and ESRI's ArcGIS supports all wireless platforms for mobile devices.
The company's ESRI Press unit publishes books on the GIS field, including atlases, software manuals, and textbooks. ESRI also provides professional services, such as project management and technology implementation, as well as support and disaster response consulting.
ESRI operates from 10 offices in the US and relies on a network of more than 80 distributors around the world to serve international customers.
The company engages in partnerships and alliances to spread the use of its technologies. ESRI collaborated with the Electric Power Research Institute to build a common information model (CIM) to help power providers and users respond to outages.
ESRI also provided a website that helps people discover organizations that share data and provide access to government databases. More than 380,000 organizations have provided information that can be combined with ESRI's GIS services.