100th day of 100 degree heat

Well we did it again!

Thursday marked the 100th day of 100-degree temperatures, and there are likely more on the horizon.

Friday’s forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 102, with Saturday’s the same except for a high of 101.

The National Weather Service reported that the 100th day of 100 degree days puts Phoenix ahead of the average of about 90 days a year through 1995, the most recent figures available. The fewest 100-degree days was 48 in 1914 and the most was 143 in 1989.

ArcGIS 9.2 Beta has closed

ESRI ArcGISYes as of today, the ArcGIS 9.2 beta is closed. All the beta forums are now read only (actually not all, but most) and beta users are supposed to use normal ESRI support methods. ESRI has created a new website, ArcGIS 9.2 Prerelease (login with your existing ESRI account), where you can still download software updates and get information about the prerelease and release candidates. And the best news? ArcGIS 9.2 will begin shipping November 2006 to customers (though I’ve gotten reports that ESRI sales reps are saying December 2006).

Keep an eye out for that 9.2 Beta survey and fill it out. Tell ESRI you’d like to see MORE blogs and MORE wiki’s in the future and that they were helpful. Personally I liked the beta site so much more than the previous beta sites ESRI has done. I hope this new portal is the future as both the beta site and the new ESRI Customer Care portal are such a big improvement over the older sites.

Virtual Earth Birds Eye View gives you an interesting perspective

I’ve been checking out the update to Virtual Earth Bird’s Eye View and was taking a look at Camelback Mountain. One interesting feature that I’ve always loved is Praying Monk. In Google Earth you don’t get the resolution you’d like, but maybe there are ways around that.

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But in Virtual Earth Bird’s Eye, you get a totally different perspective.

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There is just so much to explore using Bird’s Eye. I’ll admit, I wasn’t too excited about the 45 degree view when it was announced, but boy do I love it now. Oh and I live nowhere close to the Praying Monk (not in my price range), but you can stay right next to it anytime you want (again, REALLY not my price range).

See, Wikipedia can’t be trusted

Slashgeo has written up on a user “Redlands” contributing to articles on ESRI and GIS in general. The ethical issues aside, you just can’t tell if this really is someone from ESRI or not because there is no IP to verify. Even then, just because it says that the IP came from the inland empire, that still doesn’t mean it was someone from ESRI. Bottom line is that we have no idea who this person is and it just reinforces my stance that you can’t trust Wikipedia.

Consulting using Google Earth is easier said than done

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We all know the benefits to using clients such as Google Earth over traditional web based mapping systems, but that doesn’t seem to matter much in the real world. I’ve been running up against an IT wall at many companies and organizations to getting Google Earth or even NASA World Wind installed (let along AGX when that arrives in November). Brian Timoney put it very well when he said in the comments over at All Points Blog; “While it certainly would be in my best interest for GE to be ‘the next cool thing’ in IT, my sense is that it’s not going to happen anytime soon given the current licensing for its use in professional environments.”. We work primarily with DoD clients and Google Earth/NASA World Wind or even ArcGIS Explorer penetration is almost non-existent. Sure we find pockets of GE, but generally anything we demo on Google Earth usually gets pushed aside with the realities of the work place.

So what does that mean for us in the long run? Well already we try and serve up KML using Google Maps, but you’ll see very quickly that GMap doesn’t do quite the best just just yet rendering KML. So for now, I think we’ll be putting our efforts into the new ESRI .NET Web ADF (combined with some really cool Virtual Earth stuff) and implement KML only where we see a need. For now, the efforts at getting these clients installed is too great for us to deal with. At least with web based clients I don’t need to worry about installing anything on clients computers.

Adobe Acrobat used to be in the same boat, but now it is almost impossible to find a computer without Acrobat on it. Only time will tell if Google Earth follows that same pattern and if so will it take 5 years for such implementation. Of course if they continue to charge $400, it could be close to never.

But we don’t live there

acura_logo.jpgThe family took a Sunday drive over to the “west side” of Phoenix to look at some artwork that the wife was really interesting in buying. Of course it was in a new area of town that her Acura DVD navigation didn’t have yet. When we got home I logged on to Acura’s website to see if there was an update to our navigation DVD. Of course there was and when I notified Nicky that she could get an updated version she seemed confused. I explained that she had an older version of the navigation DVD and all we had to do is shell out a couple hundred dollars for the new DVD and the world would be happy. She responded that she didn’t care. Flabbergasted I asked how can she drive with an out of date navigation DVD. Her reply? “Because we don’t live there, and our side of town is up to date”.

How can she live knowing her navigation DVD is out of date!?!?!?!?! Sigh, better not fight on this one as it isn’t even my car. (plus she keeps making fun of me for this weekend anyway).