Arc2Earth Offers ArcToolbox Integration

Link – Arc2Earth Update – ArcToolbox Integration

One feature that I wanted to point out specifically is the integration of A2E into the ArcGIS Geoprocessing subsystem. Essentially, this will allow the A2E exporter to be called directly from scripts (Python, VBScript etc.), Models, the CommandLine or directly from ArcToolbox. My favorite right now is the Model integration, there is just a myriad of geospatial analysis that be accomplished. Likewise, the time savings from the automation can be pretty significant. So now the final step can be to create a KML or KMZ file for consumption of the results directly in GE.

I love this. You can perform analysis on your datasets and then send to users who don’t have ArcGIS. Export to KML becomes as easy as exporting to a e00 (well actually easier). I’ve written so many AMLs in my life that I even today continue to use AML (and Python) for scripting many of my analysis tasks. Rather than adding the output to ArcMap and generating a PDF to show others the results, I can just send them the KML and let them view it in Google Earth. Sweet!


Mapz Librarian Blog

Link – mapz librarian

I used to post about every GIS or map blog that I found, but there are so many these days that I’ve kind of gotten off the habit of doing so. Well this isn’t a new blog, mapz librarian has been around for awhile, but it is now on Blogger. I’ve been subscribed for some time but I’ve never posted about it which is a shame because he’s a GIS Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington and has a very different take on GIS than most of us GIS bloggers. Joshua’s been a good blogger before, but now that he’s off of Bloglines and on to Blogger, I’m sure everyone will be reading more of him.

Portland Maps search now supports Google Earth

I had posted about the Portland Maps Advanced Search last week and how it integrated Google Maps into the user interface to allow users to see where their results were located before going to more detailed mapping of each site. Richard Davies just posted to let us know that he’s gotten the export to Google Earth working and now your results can be view in the Google Earth application. Go ahead and search using the Portland Maps Advanced Search tool. When the results are return, you’ll see a little Google Earth KML icon in the lower left portion of the page.


Just click on that to download the KML file into your Google Earth.

click to view larger image

This is really slick, compared to most municipal web mapping sites, Portland really has their ducks in a row with the latest technology. Great job guys!

More About Google Earth the Data Shift

I’ve been working with Brian Flood to determine how and why the data won’t line up in Google Earth when exported out of ArcGIS into a KML/KMZ file. Brian figured out the following:

there definitely seems to be a shift in GE’s aerials in some places (e.g. none in NJ, mild in Nevada, somewhat severe in your area). However, it looks like the WGS cords returned by GE are correct, so its overlaying your data correctly, its just its other base data is slightly shifted. I suspect this is QA/QC issue for GE

For the next build, I added a xy shift variable that can be controlled by the user, essentially making up for the GE base data errors.

Not a great story but if GE is used purely as a viewer it works. I also will mark the KML with comments so the shift can be undone at a later date (or simply re-exported)

This isn’t good/bad news really as one can manually adjust the x/y shift, but it adds a step to the export that shouldn’t be there and this is compounded by the fact that the shift isn’t constant across the globe. At least now we know what the issue is and hopefully all ArcMap to KML extensions will add the ability to adjust the x/y shift soon.

ArcExplorer’s “ace in the hole”

If I was the Program Manager of ArcExplorer, I would be calling CNN/MSNBC/Fox News/ABC News/CBS News/etc right now and show them a demo of ArcExplorer with some of the great ArcWeb services ESRI has. ArcWeb has better imagery, better weather layers and better road network than Google Earth has and I’m sure many of these news organizations would love to have all this out of the box, rather than rely on a KML/KMZ file from some server in Russia for their hurricane tracking. I would do just about anything to get the ESRI logo in the lower right corner of the TV screens while people are amazed both ArcExplorer and the ArcWeb services on top of that. ESRI only has to point to the years of experience serving up ArcWeb as to how valuable it can be to news organizations.

If leveraged correctly, ArcWeb will be the reason why ArcExplorer will be a success. It won’t be easy, but the choice of services from ESRI has got to be a great marketing tool.

NOAA Releases Post-Rita Aerial Images

Link – Hurricane Rita Base Map Index Page – via PubSub

NOAA just completed an aerial survey areas affected by Hurricane Rita. The areas were photographed on Sunday covered the coastal regions of Louisiana and Texas. They were flown last Sunday right after the hurricane hit. One hates to make comparisons with natural disasters, but these images look very similar to the ones from the tsunami that hit SE Asia last year.

Update – Go here if you want to get information about georeferencing the images for use in GIS.