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More on www.arcgiSEXplorer.com

ArcGIS ExplorerOK, here is the scoop on the ArcGIS Explorer domain name. It is a test to if it is blocked by your firewall because of the work “sex” in the url. I’m guessing that if they are testing it, it probably is being block and we can probably assume that it won’t be the official domain.

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IronPython and ESRI’s .NET Framework

IronPython LogoHas anyone looked at trying IronPython with the ArcGIS Server .NET Framework yet? I’m guessing it should work in theory, but I guess you just never know. Aaron Marten has a good post on getting IronPython integrated into VS 2005 IDE. With IronPython in Visual Studio, it is intriguing to think of the possibilities out there considering ESRI’s move into Python on Desktop.

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Testing www.arcgisexplorer.com

Not sure if anyone else noticed this, but the ESRI RSS feed had an interesting item last night.

In preparation for the ArcGIS Explorer community portal, we would like you to test www.arcgisexplorer.com by clicking on the link. If it doesn’t work from behind your organization’s firewall, please e-mail info@esri.com with ‘Test Failed’ in the subject. Thank you for your help.

Doesn’t work for me, but it might signify that ArcGIS Explorer is about ready to go public beta. Then again it could be a mistake.

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ESRI at the 2006 Flashforward Conference

Brian points to a podcast with Mansour Raad, Andy Gup, and James Killick. The podcast is only about 15 minutes so it is a quick listen as to what ESRI is doing with Flash. We knew a little about the what ESRI was going to let us do with Flash from the ArcWeb Explorer JavaScript API (well at least the news that there is one 🙂 ). But it looks like there is so much more. For starters, programmers will be able to use both JavaScript and Actionscript with their applications and it seems that Flex is also part of the story which some bloggers guessed.

Beyond all this Flash talk that some might not be too interested in, I got something else out of the conversation. Most web mapping applications server up rasters which requires you to request a new image every time you make a change on the map. Years ago we had looked at using Java to serve up vectors, but it was so much slower than the image services out of ArcIMS that we killed it. With Flash and SVG we are getting the tools to move back to vectors for much of our mapping which should help us create better/quicker application that immerse the user more. The possibilities of Flash really begins to come out when you start thinking about how you embed video and other content right inside your maps, rather than pop-up windows that we used to have to use. I’m really beginning to see how Flash can totally change how we go about designing web mapping applications in the future.

On top of all that, there was even mention of a demo that ESRI has using Breeze to allow people to collaborate over the web with a map, think about that!

ESRI Flash Client

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Break Time

I’ve got to take a short break from the blog.

Damn I love that blue....

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Brian Goldin on the Developer Summit

2006 ESRI Developer's SummitBrian’s posted again and he’s thinking about the new Developer’s Summit next month in Palm Springs. “In some ways we’re breaking the mold from our traditional events. In essence conferences are about people and therefore a key focus is to provide a community environment where we can all share experiences and ideas. I think this happens to some extent naturally at conferences ‘ for this event we really want to promote this type of communication.” There you go, if you’ve felt like you have outgrown the User Conference, this might be your ticket. Heck how often have you looked at that timeline that ESRI always puts up on the wall at the San Diego Convention Center and think what it might have been like at the first User Conference in Redlands all those years ago, here is your chance to be part of the first Developer Summit.

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ArcWeb Services 2006 SOAP Object Model

Update – looks like ESRI posted the incorrect document. The link has been updated.

ESRI has posted the SOAP Object Model for AWS 2006 on their support site. It is on the last page of the brochure.

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ESRI ArcIMS vs. UMN MapServer

ArcIMS vs MapServer
Tobin Bradley has posted about the speed difference between ArcIMS and Mapserver. “Although I can’t rerun their test to validate the results, I can anecdotally support them – I have certainly found MapServer to perform significantly faster than ArcIMS, and that experience has been echoed to me by other parties. The study found MapServer to be about 30% faster than ArcIMS, which sounds about right.” Wow, 30% faster! That gets your attention, but when looking at the posted results in his post (he says he found them on a listserv, but Google wasn’t kind to me today) you see on average that UMN MapServer is half a second quicker than ArcIMS in the performed test. Not exactly anything to be amazed about and probably not measurable by most people and certainly not significant.

I won’t argue with anyone who says UMN MapServer is fast because I’ve seen it, but in our real world applications we haven’t noticed any difference between our applications running on ArcIMS vs those running on MapServer. Benchmarking something like that is a complete waste of our time, plus I don’t own a stopwatch. The bigger issue with the speed of both GIS server applications is how and where your data is installed. It is easy to get caught up on these speed claims with server software and they are fun for posting to Digg, but in the real world there are way too many variables to worry about 1/2 a second waiting for a map to be served.

ArcIMS does has some issues, but I don’t consider speed to be one of them.

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Latest Beta of Arc2Earth

I’ve been playing with the latest beta of Arc2Earth exporting 3D shapefiles to Google Earth. I’ve used ArcScene to display these in the past, but not everyone has 3D Analyst to view it. The depth of features of Arc2Earth is amazing and the ability to customize each layer you wish to export is almost endless. I’ve only scratched the surface of what this extension can do and the latest beta of A2E is really making me want to try some more.

Imaginary Surfaces in Google Earth

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Yahoo! releases User Interface Libraries and Design Patterns

The news out of Yahoo! this morning is that they have released their User Interface Library which inluces a set of utilities and controls, written in JavaScript under a BSD license and their Design Pattern Library under a Creative Commons license. On top of that, they also have started up the Yahoo! User Interface Blog to evangelize both releases. A cursory look shows that some of these tools are right out of the new Yahoo! Email beta and Yahoo! Maps beta (as well as some of the My Yahoo! interface).

Yahoo! Design Patterns