Ok, so ESRI confirmed that there were indeed 400 million maps created on arcgis.com in October, but I am still not convinced…
It is not that is impossible for ESRI to achieve such growth in one month, it’s that there just isn’t any (publicly accessible) evidence to suggest that the number is anywhere close. To illustrate my point, let’s compare Arcgis.com to another website with massive amounts of user-generated content. Since there is no such website in the GIS space, let’s take Flickr. I know that this is not “apples to apples” comparison, but since we are comparing only the amount of user-generated content it will work.
Here is what we know about Flickr: According to Compete, Flickr enjoyed almost 20 million unique visitors in October who uploaded more than 3000 images per minute. If we do a rough calculation (3000 photos * 1440 minutes * 31 days) we will arrive at 133,920,000 photos for October.
Now let’s look at Arcgis: Compete shows roughly 33K unique visitors for October and the numbers from Alexa are not much different. As I noted earlier, ESRI claims 400,000,000 user-generated maps for this period. This means that every unique visitor had to have created over 12K maps.