Getting Used to SWF in Public ArcWeb Services

I’ve been playing around with Public ArcWeb Services and it seems that I know very little of how Flash works because I didn’t have a clue that a SWF file would resize to the browser window no matter what I told AWS to return the image size (a 250×200 pixel swf).

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Actually, my respect for SWF as a web mapping format grows each time I use it. After using SOAP with AWS in version 2, I love the simplicity of REST.

KML Home Companion 3

Link – KML Home Companion 3.0.4

KML Home Companion is out of beta and has some bug fixes. Eveyone will probably want to download the latest version. KML Home Companion has really come together as a great tool to get your GIS datasets out of ArcGIS and into Google Earth.

Fixes in 3.0.4

Fixed points with categories – first point was being dropped
Tessellate works correctly – tag was misspelled

Fixes in 3.0.3

Fixed polygon fill with categories – first polygon was being dropped

Fixes in 3.0.2

Polygons can have “holes” – innerBoundaryIs tag now implemented
Fixed polygon extrusion

New Features in 3.0

Can create single or multiple placemarks for a layer
Allows either a default color or the ArcMap layer symbology
Error checking for geometry types
Transparency is displayed as a percentage instead of a Hex number
Refresh button for layer listing
Easier method of selecting output directory

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.

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.