Tough Weekend of ArcWeb Explorer Beta

The reviews are in and most seem to think that ArcWeb Explorer isn’t up to the task. Adena started off with a pretty light review, but that was about the best ArcWeb Explorer could hope for. Jithen brought up the speed and GUI issues (that most everyone noted) as well as it having trouble displaying tiles as you panned or re-sized the browser window. I have to admit, the demo I saw before had much smoother panning that this beta version does. I can only assume that this is a result of many people using it. The navigation does seem backwards to what most web mapping applications do (My preference is to use the mouse wheel for zoom and the left click for pan). I had some problems with Flash 7 on some other browsers I don’t use as much and didn’t tell me to upgrade (Yahoo Maps did this too so its not just ESRI’s problem). I also spend WAY too much time trying to figure out if there was anything exposed from the API, but I came up empty.

Anyway, the verdict is mixed, but since this is a beta we’ll be able to help ESRI figure it out. I’m more interested in the API and seeing what people can do with the Public Services and ArcWeb Explorer. ArcWeb Explorer isn’t a competitor for Google/Yahoo!/Microsoft, but a front end to ArcWeb Services. We got to keep that in mind, but if it isn’t at least an equal to their web mapping services, people will look elsewhere.

ArcWeb Explorer Beta is out

I would have posted this much sooner today, but I was nowhere near an internet connection. Ever since I saw this demoed at the 2005 UC, I’ve been waiting to get my hands on it. Andrea has a nice post outlining what features are interesting with ArcWeb Explorer. You can give it a shot whenever you want to by going to the ArcWeb Explorer page on ESRI’s site. It is quite different than Yahoo!’s flash mapping tool and uses SWF and REST to make the browsing experience really smooth (hint – right click on the map). I’m very happy to see how fast it is and I am looking forward to seeing the JavaScript API as soon as ESRI gets around to exposing it soon. Adena has a short review from an users perspective and I’ll try and get some more up after the API is released.

ArcWeb Explorer

ESRI Improves Support Search

It appears that ESRI has rolled out a new search tool for their support site. The new search also has a link at the top to perform the same search in EDN. One nice feature is that you can customize your search settings by product (ArcCad, ArcView 3.x, ArcWeb, etc), areas (ArcScripts, Data Models, E-mail List, etc) and display (results/page, date created). This really simplifies the search process right from the front page of the support site, rather than having to go into the advanced search. EDN’s search has been similarly upgraded as well. We’ll have to see if the results have been improved as well, but the interface is much easier to work with.

ESRI Support Search

MapPoint Web Service 4.1 Support World Routing

MapPointInteresting, the MapPoint.WorldRoutable data source allows you to create routes that span multiple countries and even continents. On top of that, the API supports 13 languages for driving instructions on these routes. The MSDN Library has more on this MapPoint Web Service so if you do live somewhere other than the United States, you might want to take a look at Microsoft’s offering. The Virtual Earth Weblog also teases at what might be in store for the next Virtual Earth/Live Local release.
via Virtual Earth Blog