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Art Haddad looking for feedback on the ArcGIS Server Development Blog

Art is asking for feedback on his personal blog about what you think of the new ArcGIS Server Development Blog. Personally I love it, but I’ve still not had a chance to get too deep into the new Web ADF just yet. ESRI should take note because this type of interaction with developers at ESRI is critical to implementers on the outside.

Any other team blogs ESRI should start?

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More city textures added to Microsoft Virtual Earth 3D

One more update to report (I did notice that there was more textures in Rome). Minneapolis, MN, St. Paul, MN, Tacoma, WA, Irving, TX, Sacramento, CA and some more outlying areas of Los Angeles (Irvine and Newport Beach, CA among others) have been given the 3D texture treatment. Since it is the season, here are a couple of the large shopping malls in the O.C.

Fashion Island – Newport Beach, CA

fashion-island.jpg

South Coast Plaza – Costa Mesa, CA

south-coast-plaza.jpg

Blimp Hangars at USMC Tustin (closed)

mcas-tustin.jpg

The Big A (hey it was called that when I grew up in Orange County)

thebiga.jpg

They haven’t made it down to my hometown or my high school yet.
vemonarch-bay.jpg
dhhs.jpg

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Planet Geospatial takes a dive

Well I was trying to fix something that I didn’t understand and totally hosed Planet Geospatial. It will slowly come back online so bear with me.

I'm using this graphic way too much lately

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Weekly Microsoft Virtual Earth Update

Seems like the Microsoft Virtual Earth team is really pumping out the updates this month. This week we have some 3D updates. I noticed this morning when I started up VE3D I got the two following message boxes:

ve3d-initial-settings.jpg

ve3d-mouse-help.jpg

Looks like Microsoft is detecting your hardware and giving you the option of a less graphic intense choices in case you are still on that old Intel P-III.

When the VE3D first appeared, I was complaining about how the model of the Colosseum was great, but it was on a very low resolution aerial. Well no longer:

col-3dve.jpg

vatican-3dve.jpg

The Virtual Earth Blog says that there is now over 20TB of imagery for almost all of Italy. The VE Team is right, Mt. Vesuvius is just stunning.

ve3d-vesuvius_1.jpg

The other famous volcano, Etna is also in high-res:

ve3d-etna.jpg

Lake Como is of course beautiful, but the terrain model could use some updating.

ve-como-terrain.jpg

The Italian Alps are covered, and you get just enough into Switzerland to capture the Matterhorn. I’m no expert, but I assume the terrain model is still not good enough.

ve3d-matterhorn.jpg

Italy is such a beautiful country and having the whole peninsula and islands in high-res makes it look even better.

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Application Message Box of the Month

I love it when programs tell you that they CAN’T do something. This was on the difficult operation of File > Exit. You can guess that after clicking OK the program crashed.

adobe-illustrator-msgbox.jpg

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Open Thread

I sense anger in commentators so maybe it is time for another open thread.

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ESRI removes all ArcGIS Server posts from Support Forums

I’m sure we can chalk this up to “webmaster error”, but as of this posting, there are no ArcGIS Server posts prior to today. Now is your chance to become ArcGIS Server MVP! 😉

Seriously though, I assume this is a result of creating a new ArcGIS Server forum for the combined ArcGIS Server and ArcSDE and then just removing the old forum from the list. I can’t imagine that everything is lost and I bet you’ll see an ArcGIS Server 9.1 forum appear soon.

As of right now, if you search for any information about ArcGIS Server, you get only the results for 30 posts. That is right, only 30 forum posts exist right now for ArcGIS Server on the support site. People are going to be grumpy.

**Update – **from the comments:

We are working on restoring the old forums threads now and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

**Update 2 – **from the forums:

Hello ArcGIS Server users,

All of the old posts have been republished to our site, and we will be working to fold them into the new structure.

Our apologies for the confusion and any inconvenience caused by these changes.

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Thoughts

Creating a simple map in Manifold

I’ve decided to just throw everything out and begin with the basics of Manifold. The first thing I think would be to create a simple map. When you open up Manifold 7x you see the following:

manifold1-initial-view.jpg

The project tab on the right is somewhat like the “Solution Explorer” in Visual Studio, but a little different. You cannot drag and drop files onto project area which to me was quite restricting. I would have loved to just grab a ton of shapefiles and drop them right there, but you have to use a different method to add a shapefile. Manifold calls these datalayers “Drawings”. I won’t get too much into what you can do with drawings as the help does a pretty good job of that, but think of each drawing as a dataset. If you have 20 GIS layers in your project, you’d have at least that many drawings and images (images are rasters in Manifold). Because you can’t drag and drop datasets into Manifold, you have to use the import function.

manifold2-import-shapefile.jpg

In this case you see that I choose to import a drawing, but you have other choices too. Now you browse to where you shapefile is located and choose the type of file below. I found this very counter intuitive as I would have though the default would be all possible drawing files rather than having to choose just one. Microsoft Office has an “all files” option and I would have though Manifold would too. So to see shapefiles, you have to choose the type below. One other thing that annoyed me about this import was that it kept dropping me back into My Documents. If all your files are in one directory this isn’t a problem, but after I add a shapefile I have to go back to the import and start all over again. When you find the shapefile you want, you get some options to specify and then it you have your drawing.

manifold4-import-shapefile3.jpg

You’ll see below how the drawing looks after the shapefile was imported. The toolbars give you access to the colors and other symbology that you might want to set. Repeat these steps for every dataset you want to bring into Manifold.

manifold5-import-shapefile4.jpg

Now if you want to make a map with these drawings, you create a new map in the project.

manifold6-map-map1.jpg

You then choose the drawings (or other types) that you want to see in this map, pretty straightforward.

manifold7-createmap.jpg

Finally you see your new map showing all the drawing files you selected. Again you make changes to the map by using the toolbars. One thing what was a little counterintuitive was changing the order of the drawings. Those tabs at the bottom can be moved around like the worksheets in Excel. The one to the left is on the “top” and the one on the right is on the “bottom”. Logically I’d say that this should be vertical as every drawing program I know does it this way.

manifold8-mapview.jpg

Now to create a “layout” you’ll need to right click on the map you wish to produce and choose “layout”

manifold9-make-layout.jpg

Again you get to set some options.

manifold10-layout-create.jpg

And then you get the layout view. The toolbar gives you the option of scalebars, north arrows, graphic lines, text, etc. Then all you have to do is right click and print.

manifold11-layout-view.jpg

Now I’ll be honest, this have been very difficult for me coming from an Autocad/Arcinfo background. Things are intuitive to me at all. But to be fair, neither was ArcView 2 when it first arrived. With work I’m sure this would all become second nature, but to me I felt like banging my head though my desk. I don’t really care too much about creating printable maps in Manifold as that isn’t what is interesting me. I’m going to start delving deeper into some of the analysis and KML export tools to see what one can do with this product.

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

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ESRI posts release information for ArcIMS, ArcSDE, and ArcGIS Server users

Sean McGinnis posted in my comments that ESRI has released a whitepaper to help with migration of ArcGIS Server products to 9.2. Some points of note are (some of this is rehash if you’ve been following, but just to recap I’ll post the big stuff):

ArcGIS Server now comes in 6 versions depending on functionality:

With the release of 9.2, ArcGIS Server is offered in six new product options distinguished by functionality (Advanced, Standard, and Basic) and by scalability (Enterprise and Workgroup). A description of ArcGIS Server product options is provided as an appendix to this document.

ArcSDE is no longer a stand alone product but part of ArcGIS Server, but basically the licensing hasn’t changed, but your maintenance now is for ArcGIS Server Enterprise Basic:

With the 9.2 release, ArcSDE is included with ArcGIS Server and is no longer sold separately.

ArcIMS continues to be sold, but now ESRI provides the a license of ArcGIS Server Standard Workgroup with it:

ArcIMS will continue to be available as a separate product, and we are providing ArcIMS customers with an equivalent version of ArcGIS Server with their 9.2 maintenance updates.

Now what about that whole ADF issue?

The 9.2 license includes the right for one developer to use the Web ADF/SDK per licensed socket pair.

If you had deployed ArcIMS 9.1 Application Server Connectors or ArcGIS Server 9.1 Web ADF/Runtime on a separate machine you are grandfathered in.

You can only use the additional ArcGIS Server license on the current server hardware as configured for the Application Server Connectors or Web ADF/Runtime deployment at the time ArcGIS Server software is shipped

Deploying additional Web ADF/Runtimes requires an additional license fee.

So if you haven’t deployed on a different server than ArcIMS or ArcGIS Server is running on at the time 9.2 shipped, you’ll have to shell out money for the Web ADF even if you don’t plan to run it on the same server.

Now what about serving up 3D Globes?

The ArcGIS Server 3D extension is included with ArcGIS Server Standard or Advanced to generate globe data cache(s) or publish a globe document as an ArcGIS globe service.

With Standard, you’ll be able to serve up globes, but not perform any analysis on them without buying the 3D extension.

And online editing of GIS datasets?

The editing functionality included with ArcGIS Server is permitted for use only with ArcGIS Server Advanced.

The PDF goes into much greater detail so I encourage everyone to read it so they understand what changes are happening at 9.2 and plan for them.

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Users waiting for ArcGIS 9.2

I’ve been getting a couple of readers panicked that they haven’t received ArcGIS 9.2 yet and there is already a Service Pack on the way. I’ll just repeat here what I’ve been emailing back, I have no idea why you haven’t received your copy yet. The best thing to do is talk to your ESRI sales rep, they’ll know right away where your copy is and might even get it to you faster. Then when it shows up, you too can be excited.