Adobe drops Freehand (GoLive too)

_**Update – **Thanks to Daanish for posting a Yahoo! News story updating us on the status of the products. It looks like at least for now both are safe, but you have to wonder for how long. So for now, no worries. 🙂 _

My first computer based cartography work was done on Freehand so this kinda makes me sad even though I don’t use Freehand anymore (our company uses Illustrator). Actually the last version of Freehand I used was version 5.5 on Macintosh so that pretty much dates me and is probably why Adobe is dropping Freehand. Also I’m sure many Dreamweaver users will be happy to hear that GoLive is going away also. I used to have GoLive Cyberstudio before Adobe bought the product and renamed it, but about the time that happened Visual Interdev came out so I just ended up using that instead.

Ah the days of Freehand on Macintosh
courtesy GUIdebook

Yes I did change the blog theme

The other theme was so hacked up it was driving me nuts. This one supports the latest features of WordPress 2.0 so it should be easier to handle. Plus I wanted something a little wider than the 768px width of the old theme.

Oh and yes that old blog header was from ArcGIS Explorer so if you remember what it looked like you can see San Francisco. 😉 I got rid of it because I wanted something more simple and nothing is more simple than text on a background color.

ArcGIS Explorer Beta 1 Snapshot 2

ArcGIS ExplorerI hadn’t tried AGX in a couple weeks (been really busy) but I loaded the latest build on my computer this weekend. It is still closed beta so I can’t go into details but I’m very impressed with the progress over the last month. One of the new features really makes me wonder why Google hasn’t thought of something similar with Google Earth. As a ESRI developer I really can’t wait to see what I can do with it as it should help integrate AGX into our client workflows. I guess we should be seeing a public beta later next month but I’m beginning to think about how we can start using the ArcGIS Server 9.2 with AGX. Of course ArcGIS Server is in closed beta so we probably won’t be showing anything in that for quite some time.

Arizona State University campus map powered by Google Maps

Apparently Arizona State University has a new online campus map in beta that was designed by Google. It is unsure if ASU paid Google to create this map or if it was part of a partnership with Google considering that Google is moving onto the ASU campus. It is a pretty slick Google Maps mashup that ties into their existing campus tour as well as the ASU campus locations; Tempe Main Campus, ASU West, Polytechnic campus, Downtown Phoenix campus, ASU Research Park and Skysong (where I think Google might locate permanently).

Google and ASU sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.....

Bizarre ArcSDE Error

I’ve been building a Mosaic inside SDE from over 300 individual rasters which of course takes some time. When I came in this morning I saw that ArcCatalog had crashed (no surprise) while running the Mosaic command. I kinda figured it was just trying to do too much at one time so I went ahead and decided to add the rasters in batches. Well when I ran the first batch ArcCatalog threw this error:

Underlying DBMS error[ORA-00001: unique constraint (LAKEHURST.SDE_BLK_57_UK) violated]

A quick search on ESRI’s support site came up with this Technical Article; Error: Underlying DBMS error

“This error occurs when the sequence that generates new values for the ID column of SDE.GDB_OBJECTCLASSES becomes out of sync with the values already in that column. This situation does not occur under normal circumstances, but possible causes include improper use of the Oracle import function, an Oracle shutdown during an ArcGIS transaction, or manual manipulation of the ArcSDE metadata tables.”

The solution in the article worked and we are back in business, but none of the causes listed by ESRI happened. Guess they should append “ArcCatalog crashes” to then end. Still it feels kind of sloppy to manually edit SDE tables like this, but what else can you do?

The Mosaic command actually working....

Live Local Update? Depends where you live?

I’ve seen a whole lot of spin in the blogs about how great the “new” Live Local release is. Oh BTW, would Microsoft please buy as I can’t seem to type it the other way around. Anyway, Tempe is still having to use this horrible B&W imagery rather than the nice color imagery that Ask, Google and ESRI provide. Actually Ask has the most up to date imagery in the Phoenix area, but the service is so slow that I can’t use it. Maybe with Google opening up an office in Tempe, we’ll get as good looking data as they have in Mountain View.

In the end B&W imagery for the 5th largest city in the United States is an embarrassment for Microsoft and Virtual Earth/Live Local.

More on new Virtual Earth/Live Local Imagery Update

Out of date and irrelevant!

I’ve gotten a couple emails from people insisting that I’m wrong and Virtual Earth is the most impressive online mapping service available. My point was not that the update wasn’t good for some people, just that you have to take these updates with a grain of salt. I mean who cares that you can see some ferris wheel in the UK if you still have crappy imagery in major metropolitan areas?

It is good marketing to prove zoom into an interesting area and show off the great update, but if the majority of the product is still way behind the curve then why waste money on making a ferris wheel crisp? I don’t really care that Phoenix doesn’t have the birds eye view, but without timely imagery why would I use Virtual Earth in any product? (They can’t even spell Veterans Way correctly in the example above next to my office)

I do love the navigation of Virtual Earth vs Google or any other mapping product, but I didn’t use VE before this update and I’m sure not going to use it after. What sucks is even NASA World Wind is behind Google Earth in Phoenix so I’ve put that aside also.

Looking for the Service Pack

I love support websites where you can see a link to drivers right on the front page. You don’t have to dig through links to find what you are looking for. Usually 2 clicks and you are downloading your file. That brings me to ESRI…

I had installed ArcGIS 9.2 Beta 2 on my laptop to give it a little test run on some projects we are working on and when finished I uninstalled it and went back to ArcGIS 9.1. Today I saw that ESRI released a patch for issues with Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 and when to download it (right on the front page of ESRI supports site). Anyway on running the patch I was informed that I didn’t have Service Pack 1 installed so I went to download it.

Downloads > Patches and Service Packs > ArcInfo Desktop > Scroll Down 10 files > Click on link to Service Pack 1

Maybe I’m being hypersensitive but that is way too many clicks and scrolls to get to what is probably a very important file for ArcGIS 9.1 (Desktop, Server, IMS, SDE, etc…). I won’t even go into having to choose between the link for ArcInfo Desktop and ArcView (You’d think there would be one for ArcGIS Desktop, no?) but the Service Pack 1 should be on the Downloads page or at least the Patches and Service Packs page. Heck it is even buried in the middle of all the ArcInfo Desktop patches and service packs.

I guess complaining about the ESRI Support website is what we ESRI users do, and I assume they are going to wait for 9.2 before updating the thing, but having some critical downloads prominently displayed would be a good thing to do today.