The State of Arizona is full, please go back to Iowa*

Arizona is now the fastest growing state. Let me just tell everyone thinking of moving here that the State is full. There is no more room anymore and we are beginning to stack people in the Grand Canyon. A friend in Nevada says that they are crying in the streets over losing this title. Please, help Nevada get back on top as the fastest growing state.

*Note: I love Iowa!

Google Earth Killed Santa

We GIS Pros are making little girls cry with our efforts to get GIS tools to the common man.

Virginia sits at the computer and heads straight to the North Pole. OK, that looks plausible. Official NASA watermark on the image. There’s his workshop, a runway and his reindeer and sleigh waiting. But what’s that on the path? Virginia zooms in. There he is! It’s Santa! But he looks somewhat cartoonish. Something’s wrong. Virginia plays with Google Earth’s slant tool and the game is up.

Santa has been on a diet

Santa is thinner than Cameron Diaz!

The Top 10 Posts from 2006

It has been quite a year here on my blog. Looking back at the stats I’ve pulled out the top 10 posts by popularity (number of comments, visits, trackbacks) and have listed them below.

  1. The big picture of ArcGIS Server
    Here I try and convince the world that with ESRI supporting OGC and other “open standards” that existing ESRI users can now push out their web services to a whole new clientele. Not sure how many people actually agreed with me on that one. 😉
  2. Do you still use ArcView 3.x?
    Of course you still use it and I’m sure it is keeping Jack Dangermond up at night wondering why we aren’t all paying maintenance anymore on it. Seriously ArcView 3.x for many GIS pros was the first GIS system they ever worked with. The kids today are probably wondering what the heck we were all thinking.
  3. ArcGIS Explorer vs. Google Earth
    Everyone is ready to try out ESRI’s “Google Earth Killer”, but then realize that ESRI has a different mission in mind for it.
  4. Selling open source GIS to the users
    It started out on topic, but pretty much went into a Manifold vs. ESRI discussion.
  5. Software that changed your life
    I decided to list some of the software that has deeply affected my personal and professional growth. Allan Doyle is one sick puppy for listing Assembly as his first choice. 😉
  6. Microsoft Releases Virtual Earth 3D (Beta)
    Microsoft’s Virtual Earth 3D exploded on the scene and in the end I got Slashdotted for it.
  7. Are we beginning to see a shift away from ESRI Server backend to Open Source solutions?
    The FOSS4G “server stack” begins to get some traction
  8. Open Threads
    The open threads seem to be a pretty popular feature these days. Anything goes and usually does. I picked this one mostly because I though the picture summed up the feeling in these threads.
  9. Manifold a “train wreck”. Can it be true?
    Yea, Manifold vs. ESRI is quite a big deal on my blog. This thread took off while I was on vacation. Glad to see you guys don’t need supervision! 😉
  10. ESRI ArcGIS Server licensing – Be ready to get out your checkbook
    The bombshell that ESRI was going to charge you to use the ADF on another server took everyone by surprise and was by far the most popular post on this blog. More people viewed, clicked, commented than any other (in fact as of yesterday people are still posting in it). Eventually ESRI clarified what was happening and most of us have resigned ourselves to the new “business model” for ArcGIS Server.

What is fixed with ArcGIS 9.2 Service Pack 1

Wondering if ArcGIS 9.2 SP1 will address your problem? Check out ESRI’s ArcGIS 9.2 Service Pack 1 – Announcement page and find out.

The first ArcGIS 9.2 service pack, ArcGIS 9.2 SP1 is planned to be available as a download to the public late the week of December 25, 2006. This service pack is to help address issues users have encountered in the ArcGIS 9.2 release. CD media will also be made available by request. The 9.2 SP1 page will be available in the next couple of days and will provide a detailed list of the issues addressed

Blog has moved to WordPress.com

Yep, I’ve decided that hosting my own blog isn’t for me anymore and I’ve already moved to WordPress.com for my “host”. The URL has changed and all the permalinks are exactly the same. Now I don’t have to worry about updates or why my host changed something that broke WordPress. It is somehow relaxing knowing that my hacks won’t bring down the whole system. Everything seems to be working fine so far which is a complete relief.

When Robert Scoble announced he was moving to WordPress.com, I’ll admit I laughed at him. I didn’t understand how anyone would want to give up that kind of control. Now I’ve seen the light and am sleeping much better at night! 🙂

Dave Maguire discusses licensing options with ArcGIS 9.2 Server

ESRI BABY!I’ve been holding back on this post trying to figure out what has changed since I last thought I understood ArcGIS 9.2 licensing. David Maguire goes into a pretty detailed post about ArcGIS Server 9.2’s Business Model.

Basically what we’ve though about the cost of licensing the ADF on another server is less than I thought it would be. Bascially:

As in the case of SDE, when the Web ADF and the SOM/SOC are on the same machine only a single license is required, but if the Web ADF is on its own machine (for scalability purposes) then this machine will also need a license. We will allow a single socket license (50% of the two socket license) to be used for additional Web Tier deployments.

What this means if you wish to deploy the WebADF on another server, you’ll only have to pony up 50% of the price of the license. I’m not sure how this works to be honest. Lets say you have a license for ArcGIS Server Advance Enterprise, in theory you’d have to pay half the cost of that license to put the ADF on another server. But what if the application you wish to put on that other server is no more complicated than an ArcIMS site. Can you only license ArcIMS functionality for that additional site (saving thousands) or do you have to license the full blown AGS Advanced Enterprise.

Steve posts some thoughts on his blog as well and comes to the conclusion that the cost even at 50% is probably too high. I’d have to probably agree with him unless you are really getting the functionality out of the site. Don’t forget though:

Existing ESRI users will be able to continue using their existing software on their existing licensed configuration for no additional cost. Customers on maintenance will receive an appropriate edition of ArcGIS Server 9.2 which they can run on the existing licensed hardware configuration for no additional software or maintenance fees.

This whole change in licensing has really worried me since I first heard about it. BUT between the whitepaper last week and now David’s post, I’m feeling pretty good about my understanding. As a consultant and developer, that is really all I need to move forward (well a scope of work would be nice too). David’s blog post is exactly the kind of communication we’ve been asking for from ESRI.

Fighting Manifold (or fighting the way I’ve learned GIS)

I feel like I have to forget everything I know about using GIS when I’m in Manifold. I’ll be honest, I can’t figure anything out without the help. Everything I know seems to be done differently. Based on a couple of folks suggestion, I’m going to be going over the GISAdvisor videos to see if that can help.

I will say the videos I’ve looked at are very well produced so I can see how Manifold users view them as a great resource. Maybe this will help me get back on track.

DISCLOSURE – This copy of Manifold was provided to me by Manifold for evaluation.

MapGuide gaining traction

State Seal

From the AGIC-L email list:

The City of Scottsdale is seeking GIS users from the Arizona community who are developing Web applications in MapGuide and who may have begun to use the new MapGuide 2007 environment.

We at the City of Scottsdale have just begun this exciting endeavor and were wondering if there are users interested in participating in knowledge sharing about the process of development in the new environment.

During this process we have collected a lot of documentation that the Open Source provides and believe we could act collectively with other Arizona MapGuide users to better provide services to our customers. We are just finalizing the installation of the MapGuide Extended services to our Web servers and will begin development soon so any collective
endeavors would help further the understanding of this software.

Please contact me if you would like to participate and I will forward you information to our developers at the City of Scottsdale who are handling this migration.

Thanks,

Mele

Mele Koneya
GIS Analyst II
City of Scottsdale GIS

I left out Mele’s email/phone number, but I can put anyone into contact with him or the City of Scottsdale. I keep seeing more and more requests like this every day. Something about open source breeds community doesn’t it?

New Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure and Environment (SDSFIE) Portal

Something I just learned about yesterday, but I’m sure some of the SDSFIE users might already know about. It looks like there is finally a great resource for implementing SDSFIE, a portal page. I hadn’t seen a link to it before and found it via Google (but today it appears to be on the front page of Upper 90 Systems). I like the web based SDSFIE browser that will come in handy when traveling and I don’t have access to my laptop. The forums are pretty sparse, but I’m sure that is because no one really knows about this resource. Even on the CADD/GIS Technology Center web page there is no mention.

SDSFIE Team