Manifold Toolbar?

Are you kidding me? What is this 1999? Oh but of course as The Earth is Square points out, it all has to do with giving Google the middle finger. recommends use of Microsoft Virtual Earth (the default installation) instead of Google servers for several reasons:

  • Virtual Earth has a more even appearance in large scales.
  • Virtual Earth does not interrupt service to active users, as Google has been known to do.
  • Virtual Earth does not “watermark” images with a disfiguring logo as Google does.
  • Virtual Earth has better resolution in many (but not all) locations.
  • Microsoft has supported developers working on alternatives to Microsoft’s own geographic browsers.

Rule number one is never cross or speak ill of Manifold.


Update on DRG on the Internet Archive

A note from Jared on the status of the migration to the Internet Archive:

I spoke with the guy at the Internet Archive who is supposed to get the data moved over. He unfortunately has been caught up on their September 11th archive project.

When I pushed for a time frame of when he could get the data moved to a real web server he said, “a few days to a week”.

At that point it will basically just be an index page with folders to download the files.

I’ve also started sending them metadata so that they will show up in their website search. On my end, I need to go through all the data and take a better inventory of anything that might be missing.

But my for basic access to the data, my fingers are crossed for within a week.



GoLive is out of Creative Studio, Dreamweaver is in

We use both, but only because our Creative Studio licenses include GoLive (though I used GoLive Cyberstudio years ago). Well now we can stop paying for that Dreamweaver license. GoLive will still be available as a separate product, but those who have relied on GoLive being part of Creative Studio will need to fork up some more money.



ArcGIS Explorer 9.2 rc1

Jei is all over the AGX 9.2 rc1 being released. Those in the beta program can download the latest version from the beta site.



ESRI ArcGIS Explorer 9.2 RC1 Screenshot

Since I don’t want to get kicked out of the beta program, this is the best I can do to satisfy everyone’s need to see latest AGX beta.

World Streets 3D Globe View of Hollywood and Vine



Integrating Time into your Google Earth Workflows using Arc2Earth

Brian Flood was kind enough to give me a sneak peak at his latest Arc2Earth extension for ArcGIS that takes advantage of Google Earth’s new time-based KML tags. The Arc2Earth implementation of time is pretty slick and you can wait for Brian to post about it as he’s a better showman than I am. (**Update – **Brian has blogged about the release) Anyway I was able to take some GPS sitings of some threatened and endangered species such as the Coastal California gnatcatcher, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Least Bell’s Vireo and Arroyo Southwestern Toad data from the coastal areas of San Diego County and animate it right inside Google Earth using the new time controls. We’ve been using ArcReader and Adobe Acrobat in the past because it was the simplest way to get the data to the biologists, but now using Google Earth, the biologists can view the changes in the distribution of species very simply. I took some thinking on how to best organize it for Google Earth, but once I figured that out, it was smooth sailing.

This all brings up something important to ESRI ArcGIS users at 9.2 that I’ve been meaning to post about. Tim Whiteaker over at the University of Texas at Austin has a great walk-though on how to use netCDF with ArcGIS 9.2 including sample data. There are so many ways time animation can add value to your analysis and this fall the tools to accomplish this task are becoming much easier to use.


Still waiting for Metadata with online mapping tools

I visited this over a year ago and I still feel the same way. For someone to invest their time and effort using these online mapping APIs and not have access to the metadata really hurts. Take this example; in jest the Virtual Earth team posted on keeping an eye on their competitors such as Google and joked that “no one actually works at the Googleplex given the barren parking lots”. Of course we all know it must be a holiday/weekend when the picture was taken, but in reality, can we really be sure? For companies such as Zillow who use this “Bird’s Eye View”, one would think that they would want to know when the image was taken. Maybe they have this information, but end uses don’t. Copyrights don’t do us any good.

Time is such a big component of data and being blindfolded only limits the value of these APIs.


New Virtual Earth Features

I can’t bring myself to say Live Local so I’m sticking with Virtual Earth. Anyway I was talking to Brian Flood today about using Arc2Earth to export KML and share those KMLs using Google Maps. My only disappointment was in Google Maps support of KML at this point (though I’m sure it will get there eventually). The problem for us using KML has been our clients not being able to install Google Earth because of the license issues. $400 a pop just won’t cut it. Anyway taking a look at the new Virtual Earth features such as the ability to draw polygons on maps and collaborate with other users via the web seems like a killer feature to me for those who want to share their GIS layers with others. Google Earth is a great tool, but ever computer has a web browser on it. Beyond exporting to PDF, that is the only sure way I can share mapping with clients and have them able to read the maps.

So this begs the question, when can I see Arc2VirtualEarth? There seems to be no import/export tool for these polygons, polylines and points but I can’t imagine that would be very hard to enable such a tool.

Also the Virtual Earth Interactive SDK has been updated with the new VE features.



Squeaky wheels do get the grease

OK, so I whined and moaned about Arizona not have any good coverage in Virtual Earth (or any service for that matter). Well check this out!

Not only is there coverage, but it is quite recent. You can see the light rail construction at the base of “A Mountain” just north of our building. Must have been late spring/early summer. Better stop off a Costco and get those M&Ms for the Virtual Earth team. 😀


For those who want to see what the Tempe location of Google looks like, check this out. It might not be a Google Campus, but is is on the ASU Main Campus. See how easy life is when you have good data? I guess I can take the rest of the week off.

Honestly I’m like a kid in the candy store. Heck even Scottsdale was added so you can see other interesting things beyond the pool next to my work such as Taliesin West.


Update on ArcGIS Explorer Release Candidate

ArcGIS Explorer

Looks like it might get out this week, so patience.

The UC release is very nice, but if there is a show stopper, best get it right especially since this is the release candidate.