The only way to stay cool on a hot humid day in Arizona

The pause that refreshes, I guess….



Zillow and their Open API

for-sale.jpgFor those who haven’t seen, Zillow has outlined their upcoming open API. They will be distribute Zestimates, Zindex info, charts, comparable sales , beds/baths and other data via their open API for you to integrate into your own applications. They are interesting in what people might use this API for and you can email them and maybe get access before the API goes public.

Consume, consume, consume!


ESRI simplifies ArcGIS Server, reinforces ArcIMS

ESRI’s ArcGIS Server is a very powerful product, also very expensive. I’ve heard for a couple years they had plans to address this and thanks to a reader who didn’t want to be named they have finally decided what do to. Say hello to ArcGIS Server Basic Edition, ArcGIS Server Standard Edition, and ArcGIS Server Advanced Edition.

There are three editions for ArcGIS 9.2 Server: Basic, Standard, and Advanced. To better assist the geographic data management needs and requirements of server users, ArcSDE technology is included with all three editions of the ArcGIS Server product:

ArcGIS Server Basic Edition: ArcGIS Server Basic Edition is designed for GIS users who want shared access to geographic data. It provides core geodatabase management tools and technology for data storage, management (ArcSDE), and distribution (Web-based data replication).

ArcGIS Server Standard Edition:ArcGIS Server Standard Edition is designed for GIS users who want to visualize and publish geographic data as maps and globes. ArcGIS Server Standard Edition includes all of the functionality of the Basic edition plus a collection of 2D and 3D Web mapping/geopublishing tools, applications, and services. Application developers will have access to components (objects, Web controls, and services) for building solutions on both the Java and .NET frameworks.

ArcGIS Server Advanced Edition:ArcGIS Server Advanced Edition is designed for GIS organizations that want to provide a central, server-based GIS for distributing GIS services across the organization or over the Internet. ArcGIS Server Advanced Edition is the most functionally rich edition of ArcGIS Server. It includes all the capabilities of the Basic and Standard editions, plus it offers a collection of advanced Web applications and services. These applications and services include a browser-based editing application, numerous geoprocessing services, the ability to supply custom tasks to ArcGIS Explorer clients, and much more. For developers, ArcGIS Server Advanced Edition includes multitiered components for building and deploying both J2EE and .NET 2.0 applications and services for traditional desktop, mobile, Smart Client, and enterprise deployments.

Esri Server Editions

But that isn’t all.

ArcIMS will continue to be available and supported with the release of ArcGIS 9.2. In fact, ArcIMS 9.2 has many significant enhancements, including a new Web application and new developer components. ArcIMS users will receive ArcGIS Server Standard Edition as part of their maintenance, which means that ArcIMS users can use both ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server Standard Edition on the same machine. Also, all existing ArcIMS applications will continue to work at version 9.2.

So you get ArcGIS Server Standard Edition with your ArcIMS license.

I need to spend some more time digesting all this new info. A little information overload, but I’m suddenly really jazzed about going to the UC this year.


Does ESRI still support ArcVoyager?

I was cleaning out my desk preparing for a move downstairs (doesn’t sound too positive does it, but we are turning my office into a conference room) and I saw a disk for ArcVoyager. Bet some of you might remember that name, I sure had forgotten about it though. Take a look at this great screen shot that ESRI has on the ArcVoyager page (I’m still amazed at how many MS Windows 3.11 screen shots ESRI has still posted on their website and marketing materials).


Anyway, does ESRI still support this program? I mean even though the web page does say, “ArcVoyager was built so that little support would be necessary.” I’m guessing that at some level ESRI is still pushing ArcVoyager.

Of course finding this ArcVoyager disk isn’t as cool as the PC ARC/INFO floppy disk that reader Mapperz emailed me. I have a PC ARC/INFO 3.5.1 CD-ROM disk that I haven’t used in years, but that doesn’t beat 3.5” floppy PC ARC/INFO.



Peter Rukavina takes a look at Mac OS X GIS

Peter’s blogging about desktop GIS choices on the Macintosh. He’s taking QGIS, uDig and Thuban for a spin. Many associate only the old ArcView 3.0 on Classic MacOS as the only desktop GIS choice, but as you can see there are even better choices than ArcView on the Macintosh. I’m interesting in reading what he finds out.


Zillow’s in the money

logo1.gifLooks like Zillow secured even more financing, $25 million to be exact. That coupled to the $57 million $32 Million from earlier sources means that they have been bringing in over $4 million $3 million a month in financing according to my rough estimate. Very, very impressive.

Update – _ Just a little problem with addition_


Anyone blogging GeoWeb 2006?

logo.gifI haven’t seen any mention, but maybe I’m not paying attention in the right places.

Wow, take a look at that sponsor list. I haven’t been to the website in quite some time as I’ve never had plans to go (though give how hot it has been this summer maybe that would have been a good idea). Seems like every important geospatial company seems to be there.


Anyone want a Vox invite

vox.JPGI’ve got 3 Vox invites for anyone who wants them. For those who don’t know, Vox is Six Apart’s new “personal blogging service; sort of an adult MySpace/LiveJournal/Typepad combo (if that makes any sense). Just post in this thread and make sure the email field is correct (the email field is hidden to all except me).


Hiding behind GIS

Many times we all see people using GIS in a way to make a point. We all know maps lie so that is why special interest groups take to maps more than any other format. I happened to see a link on Ogle Earth showing the worst gerrymandered districts in the U.S. Congress. I’m not saying that this information is not useful, but when you add a statement like this on your readme it shows either you are uninformed or you have an ulterior motive.

“We leave it open as a challenge to the GIS community to come up with some algorithm for creating districts that is both “fair” and which cannot be misused by politicians.”

OK, I can’t speak to other states, but Arizona has an Independent Redistricting Commission made up of five members: two Democrats, two Republicans, and one Independent. They look at many factors and try and eliminate gerrymandered districts. OK so why did they end up with Arizona Congressional District 2? Well there was a huge feud between the Navajo and Hopi tribes about representation and the Hopi Tribe was worried about being canceled out by the larger Navajo tribe in Washington (there is much history here between the two tribes so you might want to read up a little on that to see what this is such a big deal here in Arizona). So that is why you have the second district running all the way around the mollogon rim to get to the Hopi Reservation (take a look at this map on the Hopi visitor page. Now you see what that district includes). Beyond that issue, you also have to deal with a very urban state. Most of the population of Arizona is in the large cities of Phoenix and Tucson so you have to work around including millions of acres that have almost no population with those compact highly populated counties of Maricopa and Pima.

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission is tasked with creating competitive districts so in a state like Arizona, you’ll end up with districts that will have a little gerrymandering in them to try and capture equal votes. Sure that doesn’t explain district 2, but as I said the Hopi/Navajo feud is a very big deal. Oh and guess what? The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission uses GIS to distribute the district boundaries in a fair method and provides Shapefiles and even Maptitude files for citizens to review.

You can bash the legislative districts all you want and I’ll agree there are some really bad ones out there, but to blindly include Arizona’s Second District and claim that the citizens of Arizona don’t understand the issue is an insult to everything we have done here. The citizens of Arizona voted for Proposition 106 in the 2000 General Election for the purpose of creating competitive districts. I have to question the motives of the creator of this Google Earth KML when the call out a district in a state that has voted for an independent redistricting commission. Either they don’t have a clue about what they are talking about or they have an ulterior motive beyond fair districting.

Lets take one quick look at the Arizona Congressional District Map.


Knowing what you now know about the Hopi/Navajo issues, I think you’d say that the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission did a very good job, don’t you?

Update – Thanks to b99 in the comments of this post for finding the actual 2006 Georgia redistricting plan which as you can see is very different from the one presented in the Google Earth KML. Yet another nail in the coffin of this KML exercise.


Mastering Regular Expressions, Third Edition out end of August

I’ve a little behind in my reading, so I was happy to catch this news from Jeffrey Friedl’s blog:

“I’ve finally finished the writing and production of the Third Edition of my book, Mastering Regular Expressions (published by O’Reilly Media). I’d been working on it since the early fall, and finished the day before my travels started earlier this month.

This third edition is 58 pages longer than the second edition, and now reaches 542 pages in length. The main changes from the second edition are a new, 48-page chapter on PHP, and a rewritten/expanded Java chapter taking into account the many java.until.regex changes between Java 1.4 and Java 1.5/Java 1.6.

I have to admit, I do own both first and second editions of Jeffrey’s book and I’m going to be getting his third edition too.