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KML to ArcMap Converter

Link – A little KML to CSV converter

I wrote a quick and dirty XSLT-hack to convert a KML-file to a very basic CSV-structure, which I could later import as X/Y coordinates to ArcGIS.

OK, its not really a KML to ArcGIS converter, but it will allow any ArcGIS Desktop user to import KML point files into ArcMap as a CSV file. It really hasn’t been developed yet, but there are plans to enhance the converter to support GML and lines and polygons. There has been a huge focus on ArcGIS to KML, but not much on the reverse.

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The best part of Thanksgiving is

The part after you stuff yourself full of turkey and stuffing and then plop yourself on the couch to watch some football. Of course there still is some pumpkin pie to come, but we’ll cross that bridge when it happens.

Enjoy the holiday folks, and to those not in the USA, I’ll eat plenty of pie for all of us.

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A mostly “GYM-free” zone

Link – Back to non-GYM, happy Thanksgiving

Scoble links to Spatially Adjusted in a non-GYM post, maybe Public ArcWeb Services 2006 is timed just right to take advantage of this Google Mapping rut people seem to be in. Heck, I bet Scoble doesn’t even know about ArcGIS Explorer, all the fun of Google Earth, but none of the “GYM” baggage.

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Defending KML against the proprietary police

Link – “Proprietary” Formats: KML and GML

It would appear that the only salient difference in proprietary-ness is that KML was developed by a single company (albeit with input from others), whereas GML was developed by a standards committee. The salient difference in the marketplace is that KML is usable and hand-editable, whereas GML is rather too complex for use without tools. In contrast to what one might expect, the standards committee developed format requires tools to create, whereas the one developed by Keyhole does not.

Strong words against the GML camp, but some of it might be deserved. Personally I’ve not run into too many people complaining about KML being proprietary, but I’ve seen people bring it up on different blogs. As a GIS professional I don’t really care about which formats have OGC standard labels on them as most of our clients use one of 3 formats for data interchange; e00, shapefile or personal geodatabase, all ESRI formats. I don’t see the day anytime soon where KML will get added to that list, but if ESRI continues to integrate KML support into their products and continues to ignore GML it could happen.

I got hammered a months ago about complaining that much of these open formats aren’t supported in ArcCatalog and saying it was up to the open source community integrate into ArcGIS products, rather than ESRI. I think at this point with ESRI OGC support usually limited to an ArcGIS extension, someone needs to step up and write some tools for GIS professionals to integrate OGC support into their ESRI workflows because ESRI doesn’t seem to think it is a priority. There are tons of open source tools that support both OGC and proprietary ESRI standards and formats, but you have to pay money on top of ArcGIS to get such support in ArcGIS. Many look at this as ESRI’s fault and maybe it is, but given all the KML export/import tools being developed for ArcGIS, you’d think someone would take on the challenge and integrate all the GDAL tools into a nice toolbar or toolbox.

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New Feeds Added to Planet Geospatial

I’ve added a couple new feeds to Planet Geospatial and in doing so I think I hit the limit of what the python script and my server could handle as the script started to time out. A quick look at the feed list showed many sites that aren’t updated anymore or aren’t really blogs. I’m personally going to keep all the feeds in my RSS aggregator, so if any start posting again I’ll add them right back in.

The end result is that the script runs very quick and I’m happy with how the site has turned out. I’ve been maintaining a change log (you’ll see the link right below the generated date) of all revisions so you can follow what has been added or subtracted (and why).

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Public ArcWeb Services Error

I know ArcWeb is working, but when I try and use the account I set up for Public ArcWeb Services I get the following error. Probably user error, but still very frustrating 🙁

UpdateAndrea Rosso in the comments says as I suspected, user error.

Public AWS Error

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The Mapdex ArcMap Toolbar

Link – Mapdex ArcMap Toolbar

As if Iqbal, in my group, just finished developing an ArcMap toolbar plugin for Mapdex. This ArcMap extension will allow you to search Mapdex directly from within ArcMap. I think it is pretty powerful. It makes use of the soon to be released Mapdex REST interface.

Looks interesting to me. Finding web services is one of the hardest things to do these days and integrating one of the only tools that can do it, Mapdex, into ArcGIS should help increase their usage, plus integrated into ArcGIS should improve workflows. Click through to the article to sign up for the beta.

Mapdex ArcGIS Toolbar

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Fall 2005 ArcNews is out and does anyone really care?

Link – ArcNews

A perfect example to why quarterly publications aren’t valuable anymore is the latest ArcNews. The ESRI rss feed sums it up perfectly, “User Conference highlights and Image Server news among the top stories”. Both topics are important, but quite dated. If ArcNews was more relevant to current news the top stories should be ArcWeb 2006 and the ArcGIS Visual Studio .NET Integration Framework. ArcWeb is in the issue, but the announcement that Public ArcWeb services are available, YIKES! Oh well, maybe by March we’ll get some ESRI Katrina stories.

I would think this publication would be of more value if it was dropped as a print ‘newspaper” and became a online magazine updated as ESRI product news happens.

Truman

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Planet Geospatial “Fixed”

There has been some problems with Planet Geospatial over the last month both on the html page and with the feeds. I finally gave up trying to handle all the html and are now stripping it out (except for link tags). I’ve also decided to use FeedBurner as it seems to do better than either of the two feeds that I was using before. For most RSS readers, the change should be transparent, but some might want to update the feed to http://feeds.feedburner.com/PlanetGeospatial. I’ve tried this in Yahoo!, Google Reader, Newsgator, RSS Owl, Bloglines and Feedster. If you see trouble, let me know, but I’m hopeful this should end all the problems Planet Geospatial has had (I just asked the Magic 8-ball and it told me that it will work so I’m confident).

Also, Sean Gillies has updated his Greasemonkey script which removes feeds from Planet Geospatial that don’t interest you. This version should be pretty stable as I have no plans to change Planet Geospatial since it is working with all browsers and all major RSS readers.

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ESRI ArcWeb 2006 Released

Link – ArcWeb Services

I went to login to my ArcWeb Services account this morning and low and behold I was forwarded to the ArcWeb 2006 page. The main ESRI ArcWeb page doesn’t seem to be updated, but as far as I can tell it should be soon. There are many new and cool features in 2006 that I’ll try and go into during the day, but many will want to take special note of the new REST support. A short week means I have to squeeze 40 hours of work into 24 hours of time (why does it never work in the reverse), but I’m going to spend some time playing over the Thanksgiving Day weekend with Public ArcWeb Services and REST.

Update – It looks like it isn’t totally available yet as the ArcWeb Explorer demo isn’t up, but I suspect we’ll be seeing this sometime this week.

AW2006