Well I actually did have my SpaceNavigator in my laptop bag so I decided to download the beta driver and take it for a spin. So what do I think?

First off, ArcGlobe works exactly as you’d expect. If you’ve used the SpaceNavigator and Google Earth, you already have an idea how it works. You can customize the shortcuts to map tasks to the buttons to make repetitive tasks easier. In ArcScene, it works pretty much the same way, except you are rotating your scene rather than the globe.

In ArcMap, you don’t have a 3D view, but it works well for the 2D environment. The zoom/pan/rotate works well for navigating. The rotate function of the SpaceNavigator is a real time saver as you can rotate as easily as panning and zooming. I was very productive using the SpaceNavigator with my left hand and using my mouse with the right.

We’ll see how my opinion changes with time, but right now any ArcGIS user can improve their productivity whether or not they use 3D. My company had purchased the SpaceNavigator SE for SketchUp, but ArcGIS benefits much more and we’ll probably buy some more for the rest of our GIS Analysts (keep in mind that the $59 PE is only for education and personal use, you’ll need to spring $99 for the SE version if you want to use it for commercial use).

3DConnexion Space Navigator

The SpaceNavigator will now stay attached to my workstation at all times