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ESRI Posts Videos on EDN

Link – EDN Videos

Brian Goldin has posted to let us know that ESRI has posted some really interesting videos up on EDN. If you’ve ever seen a video on Microsoft’s Channel 9 you’ll have an idea about how Brian did these. I love them because they are raw, just ESRI employees talking about what they love. There are times that ESRI feels like such a closed environment, but with videos you get to see behind the scenes on the ESRI campus in Redlands. Don’t let the EDN site scare you because one of the new videos is with Corey Tucker who is lead product specialist for the geoprocessing analysis team so even GIS analysts will get value from these videos. If you are new to GIS and want to know more about what GIS analysts do, you should check out that video with Corey Tucker also as he gets into building models to perform analysis. On top of all this, Brian is soliciting feedback on his blog and he’s open suggestions for new videos.

How about an ArcExplorer video?

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Thoughts

My Highlighter vs Mapquest

Link – Better Directions – via John Banning

…the most powerful maps can actually make it easier to get lost. Dazzled by their features – immersed in topographic information and GPS coordinates – we forget just to look around. In his book Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris, A. J. Liebling blamed a decline in French cuisine, starting in the 1920s, on the Michelin Guide. Prior to its publication, he argued, anyone brave enough to open a restaurant had to face the scrutiny of repeat customers. With the advent of this book, however, day-trippers would blithely follow its recommendations – once, and they’d never return. The fact that you can now download Michelin’s Paris guide to a PDA would probably have horrified Liebling. ChicagoCrime.org should worry any urban planner looking to revitalize a historic district. That’s the SimCity trap, emphasizing spatial relationships over more intimate, human considerations.

I used to carry a Pocket PC and a GPS CF card everywhere I went so I could tell exactly where I was but no longer. The excitement of just driving around and discovering new things has become lost as we’ve optimized our lives to make our travel as quick as possible. Give me a AAA road map and I’ll map out my route myself with a highlighter rather than let Google or Yahoo! decide what route I should go. Believe me, the scenery outside the car is much more enjoyable than a printout for your ink-jet.

Categories
Thoughts

My Highlighter vs Mapquest

Link – Better Directions – via John Banning

…the most powerful maps can actually make it easier to get lost. Dazzled by their features – immersed in topographic information and GPS coordinates – we forget just to look around. In his book Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris, A. J. Liebling blamed a decline in French cuisine, starting in the 1920s, on the Michelin Guide. Prior to its publication, he argued, anyone brave enough to open a restaurant had to face the scrutiny of repeat customers. With the advent of this book, however, day-trippers would blithely follow its recommendations – once, and they’d never return. The fact that you can now download Michelin’s Paris guide to a PDA would probably have horrified Liebling. ChicagoCrime.org should worry any urban planner looking to revitalize a historic district. That’s the SimCity trap, emphasizing spatial relationships over more intimate, human considerations.

I used to carry a Pocket PC and a GPS CF card everywhere I went so I could tell exactly where I was but no longer. The excitement of just driving around and discovering new things has become lost as we’ve optimized our lives to make our travel as quick as possible. Give me a AAA road map and I’ll map out my route myself with a highlighter rather than let Google or Yahoo! decide what route I should go. Believe me, the scenery outside the car is much more enjoyable than a printout for your ink-jet.

Categories
Thoughts

OPML Blogroll List Updated

Just as the blogroll is now dynamically updated, so is my OPML file for that list. If you ever want to download it, just click on the little orange link just to the right of the ESRI Bloggers or GIS Blogs titles.

I’ll probably be cleaning out a couple blogs that haven’t been updated in the past few months so expect the list to go down somewhat.

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Thoughts

Glenn Letham tries to stir the pot with FUD

Link – Will Google Earth Replace the need for costly GIS software and license fees?

This was a recent topic of discussion on the Google BBS… no doubt you’ve also been wondering… why invest deeply in a pricey IMS, GIS site license and support costs etc… “Lets take a look how much ArcGIS software we would need on one desktop to replicate the functionality of Google Earth. First you would need ArcView for $1,500, then add a license of 3D Analyst for $2,500. So now we are at $4,000 dollars just for software and don’t forget to add the yearly $1,300 dollar maintenance fee also. Now you need to pay for ArcWeb services so that you have data (which there aren’t even prices on website). Add in ArcIMS and ArcSDE servers and your talking the GNP of some third world countries.”

First off Glenn, lets try and include links with your posts. For those who want to see the reference post in Glenn’s blog entry click here.

I won’t spend too much time responding here to this charge that to get the functionality of Google Earth, you need to spend $4,000. One doesn’t buy a backhoe to dig a hole for a plant in your front yard, but this is what the writer above is proposing. The best response to people who post information like this above is, “To get the functionality of ArcView and 3D Analyst in Google Earth, you’d have to buy ArcView and 3D Analyst. Google Earth is nothing more than a 3D Map Viewer. ArcGIS is a professional GIS suite. Has Photoshop been hurt by Picasa since Google released the free version? Probably not any more than ESRI will be affected by Google Earth in its current state. ArcView is overkill for many, and Google Earth probably fits the bill for them, but to expect GE to replace the scientific quality analysis that ArcGIS provides is laughable considering how they can’t even get the alignment of their data correct. Maybe in the future Google Earth will add more data support, but the years of experience that ESRI has with spatial analysis will be hard to compete with. Many of us long time GIS professionals remember the press all said ArcView was dead the day that Microsoft released MapPoint. That didn’t happen and I just don’t see Google Earth making any dent into ESRI’s core business.

Oh and the writer of that post above that Glenn linked to? He posted this in the same thread.

As a side note ESRI is now saying that the free viewer ArcExplorer will include ArcScene, their 3D environment. Not sure if Google Earth had anything to do with it but competition is nice.

Seems that even he realizes that ESRI is still a force to be reckoned with even if Glenn doesn’t.

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Thoughts

Putting Shapefies into Virtual Earth

Link – Virtual Earth Shapefile Viewer – via Virtual Earth Blog

Interesting and it works pretty well. Upload any shapefile to the Internet and then just paste the URL into the form and submit. There isn’t any description yet on how this is done or what you need to do to your shapefiles to get them ready to inclusion into Virtual Earth, but it is impressive non the less. Hover over the centroid to get a pop-up id of each record. The GIS community has pretty much ignored Virtual Earth since day one, but maybe this is the start of something new.

Ve shapefile

Update – Brian Flood post the following in the comments.

pretty slick. for the record:

  1. background transfer of XML encoded point,polyline,polygon shapefile data. I’m not sure if its GML or just some quick and dirty xml
  2. javascript (js) parses the xml and either uses a custom class MPolyline to create VML (IE only) for polylines/polygons. For points, it just uses the VE AddPin method. Translation between the XML coords to map coords is handled with VE GetX()/GetY() methods
  3. local javascript from the site adds prototype handlers to the main VE_MapControl that handle the VML placed on top of it
  4. Looks like some symbology is randomly generated.

nice work, whoever they are 😉

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Thoughts

ArcGIS Server Utility Classes GotDotNet Workspace Project

Link – ArcGIS Server Utility Classes: Workspace Home

One thing I’ve been meaning to do is set up a GotDotNet workspace for ArcGIS Server utility classes. The workspace is up, and I threw up a project containing SOC (Server Object Container) COM utility classes. This is not entirely generic, and it’s currently namespaced as “Sanborn.Utilities.ArcGIS.Server.SOC” (Any ideas on namespaces?? OpenESRI.Blah.Blah?) but it’s a start. It’s also VB.NET if that matters. Without further ado…

Good for someone to step up and actually start up one of these development projects. We’ve been talking about it for months and Dave Bouwman has created one and populated it with some ArcGIS utility classes. I’ll be back in the office on Thursday so you can be sure that I’ll be taking a look at this. Our little shop has been more of an ArcIMS developer than ArcGIS Server, but we’ve been beginning to start programming with ArcGIS Server. As soon as we finish up this little Map Objects project, I really want to get into ArcGIS Server.

ESRI really should be providing this service to us GIS programmers, but it sounds like Brian is on it so hopefully this ArcGIS Server effort can drive the move to a shared development environment to replace ArcScripts. The best way to move this forward is to participate and show ESRI how valuable this can be.

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Thoughts

Running ArcReader on an average PC

Ubikcan wonders why ArcReader requires such a powerfull PC to work. Simple, it is pretty much full blown ArcGIS minus all the features. I’d expect ArcExplorer to be much easier on the systems than ArcReader. Still, the point of a reader program is that you don’t need a full blown GIS system. If ArcExplorer supports PMF files, I’d say Reader is pretty much dead anyway.

Categories
Thoughts

ArcGIS Server Utility Classes GotDotNet Workspace Project

Link – ArcGIS Server Utility Classes: Workspace Home

One thing I’ve been meaning to do is set up a GotDotNet workspace for ArcGIS Server utility classes. The workspace is up, and I threw up a project containing SOC (Server Object Container) COM utility classes. This is not entirely generic, and it’s currently namespaced as “Sanborn.Utilities.ArcGIS.Server.SOC” (Any ideas on namespaces?? OpenESRI.Blah.Blah?) but it’s a start. It’s also VB.NET if that matters. Without further ado…

Good for someone to step up and actually start up one of these development projects. We’ve been talking about it for months and Dave Bouwman has created one and populated it with some ArcGIS utility classes. I’ll be back in the office on Thursday so you can be sure that I’ll be taking a look at this. Our little shop has been more of an ArcIMS developer than ArcGIS Server, but we’ve been beginning to start programming with ArcGIS Server. As soon as we finish up this little Map Objects project, I really want to get into ArcGIS Server.

ESRI really should be providing this service to us GIS programmers, but it sounds like Brian is on it so hopefully this ArcGIS Server effort can drive the move to a shared development environment to replace ArcScripts. The best way to move this forward is to participate and show ESRI how valuable this can be.

Categories
Thoughts

Running ArcReader on an average PC

Ubikcan wonders why ArcReader requires such a powerfull PC to work. Simple, it is pretty much full blown ArcGIS minus all the features. I’d expect ArcExplorer to be much easier on the systems than ArcReader. Still, the point of a reader program is that you don’t need a full blown GIS system. If ArcExplorer supports PMF files, I’d say Reader is pretty much dead anyway.