The Virtual Earth Interactive SDK

One of the coolest things I’ve seen over the weekend is this new Virtual Earth Interactive SDK. The VE Interactive SDK gives a more visual way of learning how to program the SDK. Instead of looking up the objects and methods in the online help, the VE Interactive SDK allows you to visually create your tools and then view the code to see how the control works or just copy and paste it to your own website. Plus you can also see the VE reference right there in case you want to know more about a specific function (tabs switch between “Show Me”, “Show Source” and “Reference”). I know many programmers who work better by seeing code than trying to figure out an object model (and some programmers who haven’t a clue how to even use an object model) and this Interactive SDK will be a huge help for them.

Virtual Earth Interactive SDK

Virtual Earth Interactive SDK

One last ArcGIS Explorer beta screenshot

I guess some people were expecting a daily screenshot from AGX, but I was pretty much done showing some interesting things with the latest beta. Still some seem to be hurt that I ended with a startup screenshot and not another map. Well here is Washington DC with transportation on. Honestly when ArcGIS Server 9.2 beta 2 gets out and people can start working with the back end to AGX, then we’ll see the magic really happen. (click image for larger view)

AGX-Beta

Perform an ERASE in ArcView

ESRI ArcGISI’m sure many ArcInfo users have been stuck on an ArcView license and tried to perform an erase. I know I have and usually forget that you need ArcInfo so you have to exit out and change the license. Well today I saw an ArcScript that allows ArcView users to perform an erase. ArcGIS – ArcView Erase Tool:

“This geoprocessing has been built for an ArcGIS – ArcView license, where users do not have access to the full ArcGIS – ArcInfo erase tool. Because it makes use of a featurelayer, the tool is executed from with in the ArcMap environment. The methodology involves creating a union between the erase or mask featureclass and the main featureclass which needs to have the features removed from behind erased featureclass. An erased featureclass is created based on the non-erased featureclass structure and features are appended to this featureclass based using the temporary unioned featureclass. This tool produces the same output as the standard ArcInfo desktop Erase tool. This tool is supported for both personal geodatabase featureclasses and shapefiles.”

Not a bad download for those not able to afford an ArcInfo license and want to perform an erase. Sue even went to the trouble of creating a toolbox so you don’t have to know a thing about Python.

ArcView Erase Toolbox

ArcGIS Explorer Startup Page

I posted a couple weeks back on how there was something in the latest beta (at the time) that really got me excited with how I might be able to integrate ArcGIS Explorer into workflows with our clients. I guess someone remembered that and wanted to know what it was. Say hello to ArcGIS Explorer’s startup page. What is really nice is that you will be able to create your own startup page and brand AGX the way you want. You’ll be able to make modifications to this startup page and the clients will get those changes next time they view it. Any new features or news can be posted up right away. Heck combined with the ability to skin AGX, I think we’ll see some really great implementations of the customization features.

AGX-Startup

ArcGIS Explorer and Terrain

A couple people emailed and IM’d me about the terrain in AGX. I haven’t really look too far into terrain yet, but it is very similar to how Google Earth looks and works. Take this view from Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay looking back toward the City of San Francisco. Take a look at how the place name labels for South San Francisco and Daly City are partially hidden by the Twin Peaks and Mount Davidson. (click image for larger view)

AGX-SFO

On top of all this Beta 2 of ArcGIS Server 9.2 has been working its way out of Redlands so soon we’ll really be able to start working with some really slick stuff with ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGIS Server (task framework, 3D Globe Services).

Update – Someone asked to see the same view in Google Earth 4 for comparison. I don’t have it installed at work, but a friend was kind enough to get a similar view with the terrain quality turned up all the way. Take a look and compare.

ge_example.jpg