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)
“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.
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.
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)
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.
Is there an ESRI labs? Well not technically, but you can find some “lab quality” stuff in ArcScripts. I got to thinking about this when I saw Zillow introduced their own labs section. Specifically this quote caught my attention:
“Every now and then, someone writes a tool in their “spare time” (i.e. nights and weekends) that we don’t have time to fully test to make sure it integrates well with the rest of the site. So, in the spirit of playing in a tech sandbox, we came up with a way to put these ideas out there for everyone to use, test and make suggestions.”
We’ve all seen those cool mashups and tools that ESRI employees seem to trot out every User Conference or Dev Summit so why doesn’t ESRI “formalize” the process some more and let some of these great ideas out into the wild? I’ve mentioned an ESRI sandbox on this blog before and I still think it is a great idea. Many cool ideas have come out of Google Labs and I’m sure that users would love access to some of these great tools that ESRI prototypes from time to time.
As most of you know I live in Chandler, AZ or as some know the Sonoran Desert (it isn’t like Seattle or England). There has been one constant though in the imagery that Google has provided since Google Maps and Google Earth arrived, a cloud either over or near my house.
To hit clouds once over my house is possible, I’ll give you that. But to hit clouds every time (at least 3 updates that I recall) is amazing. Someone needs to start playing roulette!
Someone has been bugging me about WMS services in ArcGIS Explorer and how well the are working. Well in the latest beta they work wonderful. I’m very impressed with how well they are working. Specifically they asked about the Microsoft Terraserver WMS service and I figured a screen capture might work best to show how its working. (click image for larger view)
I was playing around with the web album feature of Picasa and how Google Earth integrates into it. The ease of geocoding the photos was very easy and a snap, yet the web portion makes me wonder if this will really take off. I’m a big Flickr user and frankly the limitations of Google’s Web Album compared to Flickr are glaring. Given that they had Flickr to work from, I’m surprised how limited the Web Album is. Plus it doesn’t even seem to carry the geocoding to the web as far as I can tell. How much better would this have all been if Google had just bought Flickr in the first place rather than Yahoo!?
I’m sticking to Flickr even though I do use Picasa. Maybe Yahoo! can come up with their own solution…
_Update -_Looks like if you rename your photo album in Picasa it destroys the url link. Flickr doesn’t do this.