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EDN has been down for a couple days

ESRI Developer Network

Hmm EDN is still down this morning.

EDN Coldfusion Error

EDN’s Documentation Library has become valuable to me and I’m glad that I bookmarked at least the ArcIMS AXL documentation. I was really looking for ArcSDE, but at least the URL was logical so I was able to interpolate it.

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GIS and Wikipedia

Seems like our buddy GISDirtbag has decided that he’s had it with SlashGeo and wants it removed from PlanetGS. I removed SlashGeo many months ago due to some users complaining that it isn’t a blog. In the end I added it back in mostly due to the promise that they would have more original content. Whether that is the case or not, I’m not getting involved with policing PlanetGS. If the is a blog that goes off topic or ceases regular publication I’ll remove it, but as long as posts are geospatially related I’m not going to remove anyone. Defining what is a blog is hard enough so I’m going to err on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion.

OK, now that is settled I can rant about Wikipedia. I’m not shocked to see that ssomeone would add their own site to an alleged encyclopedia article since Wikipedia is all about self promotion and not about accuracy. I could go on and on with examples as to why Wikipedia is worthless, but I’m sure you’ve all heard the arguments before. Frankly any encyclopedia that allows people to advertise on an article webpage isn’t reliable at all, especially when those adding the links are personally involved.

The GIS Wikipedia article is such a mess I wouldn’t direct anyone there in the first place even if I trusted the sources. A couple years back I tried to correct an article about a topic I am very familiar with and had to battle some loser who had way too much time on their hands over the content. Wikipedia is a place where the most persistent people with the most time to waste control what is said. I’ve washed my hands of Wikipedia and everyone else should too. Take the List of GIS software page. Look at the descriptions of the software, they read like ads for their respective programs, but there are some much worse than others. Take a look at KMLer indented under ESRI as if it is associated with them. Heck click on the link and you get an ad for KMLer right inside Wikipedia. What a freaking joke of an encyclopedia that has ads. I guess users are supposed to alert the powers that be at Wikipedia, but why should we help them if they can’t stop people from staking out claims to articles that they aren’t authorities on, let along people spaming their websites and software themselves in alleged articles.

Side note, KMLer is the king of spammers. When I posted an article on Arc2Earth, a whole bunch of comments showed up claiming that Arc2Earth was a waste of money and KMLer could do more and was free. I spend the better part of a week battling those KMLer folks trying to keep their comments off the site.

Anyway, I honestly don’t care if anyone fixes the GIS articles on Wikipedia as they are of no value anyway. GIS.com is more trustworthy than Wikipedia and that is saying something. And spamming Wikipedia with links to your own website or product is slimy to be the least. Either your product/website is strong enough to stand on its own and will get added into Wikipedia on its own merit, or you need to work harder at making your product/website better.

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June hottest on record

Great job everyone, lets see what we can do with July.

Last month was the warmest June ever, with an average mean temperature of 94.6 degrees, almost 5 degrees above the normal mean of 89.8 and almost a full degree higher than the previous warmest June, 93.8 in 1990.

Time to move my retirement investment into antiperspirant.

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QGIS 0.8 Preview 1 Released

Quantum GIS LogoI was going through my RSS feeds today and noticed that QGIS 0.8 Preview 1 was released and is available for download. At least for me QGIS 0.8 is exciting because of the increased GRASS support as well as many other great new features.

Oh and it looks like they updated their webpage too.

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ArcGIS Explorer, ArcExplorer and ArcWeb Explorer

Tying to explain ArcI can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that people are getting these three products confused. ArcGIS Explorer is ESRI’s ArcGIS Server desktop client. ArcExplorer is ESRI’s GIS viewer (either MapObjects or Java based) and ArcWeb Explorer is ESRI’s flash based ArcWeb browser client. About the only things that they have in common are that they are free and they are made by ESRI. ESRI’s propensity to name things with the prefix “Arc” causes some of this confusion, but having two products with the prefix Arc and Explorer in their name could be worse.

ArcWeb seems to be included in ArcGIS as well as on its own. ArcGIS extensions usually have ArcGIS in front of their names (e.g. ArcGIS 3D Analyst or ArcGIS Publisher), but Maplex for ArcGIS and ArcScan for ArcGIS both append ArcGIS to the end. It is even worse on the server side as only ArcGIS Server adheres to the ArcGIS naming convention. ArcIMS and ArcSDE (both which predate ArcGIS) continue to hold on to their older names and ESRI Image Server doesn’t even have the word Arc in it.

ESRI Developer Network which is really ArcGIS Server and Engine Developer Network also doesn’t use Arc. One could go one, but I think everyone gets the picture. The bigger problem as I see it is that ESRI still isn’t getting any better at naming (taking ArcGIS Explorer and ArcWeb Explorer as the example). It is hard enough to explain the difference between ArcGIS Desktop, ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo these days without new products making it worse. I guess eventually there will be two products, ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server and the licenses will dictate how they are to be used. Still ESRI doesn’t seem to like to give up on these old names so I’m sure we’ll see ArcIMS and ArcSDE soldier for years to come.