ArcGIS 9.2 Service Pack 1 Due Week of December 18th

Thanks to Joel for the heads up via email!

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 18, 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.

Righteous Dude!


ArcGIS Image Server “now available”

Jonathan emailed me to let me know that ESRI is now pushing ArcGIS Image Server on their front page. Image Server has always been sort of a phantom product, you heard about it at the conferences, but damn if you saw a thing on the website. Well there is an overview in the ESRI help if you want to see what all the fuss is about and probably a podcast on its way.

The ArcGIS Family of products keeps you and your kids safe!


ArcGIS Server Basic Standard Advanced Workgroup Enterprise explained

ESRI posted a pretty good explaination of all those new ArcGIS Server levels and what they mean.

ArcGIS Server is offered in a scalable line of editions (Advanced, Standard, and Basic) that are built from a common set of technology components. These editions are distinguished by their functionality.

  • Advanced – ArcGIS Server Advanced is designed for GIS organizations that want to provide a central, server-based GIS for distributing GIS services across the organization or over the Internet. I provides spatial data management, visualization (both 2D and 3D), and spatial analysis capabilities.
  • Standard – ArcGIS Server Standard is designed for GIS users who want to provide a central, server-based GIS for publishing geographic data as maps and globes. It provides spatial data management and visualization (both 2D and 3D) capabilities.
  • Basic – ArcGIS Server Basic is designed for GIS users who want shared access to geographic data. It provides core geodatabase management tools and technology for data storage, management, and distribution (Web-based data replication).

Each ArcGIS Server edition is offered at an Enterprise level and a Workgroup level. These levels define each edition’s capacity.

  • Enterprise – The Enterprise level of ArcGIS Server supports an unlimited number of users via either direct connect or connection to an application server. It offers DBMS support for IBM DB2, IBM Informix, all editions of Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle. It has no data or memory limits.

  • Workgroup – The Workgroup level of ArcGIS Server supports a maximum of 10 direct connect users. It includes an embedded DBMS (Microsoft SQL Server Express). It has a data limit of 4 GB and a memory limit of 1 GB.

So when ESRI says you are getting a copy of ArcGIS Server Standard Enterprise, you know now what that means.


GeoChat for ArcGIS Explorer

GeoChat for ArcMap has been out for a while and just got updated for ArcGIS 9.2. Hot on the heels of that release comes GeoChat for ArcGIS Explorer. I speculated that it might make sense for Google to add such functionality to Google Earth, but here comes ESRI and GeoChat first to the table. Richie has some great screenshots of GeoChat running on his blog and you can download it here. Now users in different locations can collaborate using a digital globe application. The possibilities are endless here, all you need in a jabber account (like Google Talk) and ArcGIS Explorer (well .NET 2.0 too, but don’t we all have that? 😉 ).



Get into the Christmas spirit or else!

My admin has been on my case all week (I’ve been in a foul mood for stupid reasons) about getting into the Christmas spirit. Fine, I got a Christmas tree on my desk now. Ho Ho Ho!

Nothing says Christmas like a USB Christmas Tree


Mining Claims Site Powered by Google Maps and Google Earth

As many can attest, mining is big business in the west. Right in Arizona, we have some of the largest copper mines in the world and one of the largest copper mining companies headquartered here. School children learn about the “5 C’s” of Arizona (Climate, Citrus, Cotton, Cattle and Copper) and it is even included in our state seal (see like little guy on the left mining copper?).

GM Mining

The Environmental Working Group has set up a website devoted to educating people about the affects of mining currently on the western USA and the possible impacts in the future. You can zoom into individual state or mines and see the landscape, current and future mining claims and even get a KML link to view in Google Earth. So you can see the impacts today and possible future impacts to the landscape and environment in the future.

GM Mining

[Pinto Valley Op. (Miami, AZ)

GE Mining

Mines in Google Earth (kml download)

With Uranium mining a hot topic out west, understanding the impacts of such mining is important for all of us. Those who pay are usually the ones who don’t benefit from mining.

Update – Not only Native American’s, but the poor who live in these old mining towns. Would you want to live downstream from this mine? Many times when I go fly fishing in the west I have to wonder what am I wading into when I cross a stream.


Good Morning Manifold

Manifold arrived this morning via FedEx:



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


Initial Manifold Experience

Installing Manifold was pretty easy as I had .NET already installed. After running Manifold for the first time, Manifold let me know there was an update and I had to uninstall the version I just installed and then reinstall the update. I like it when Setup applications check before installing rather than this route. That said installation was quick so it wasn’t too much of a hassle.

Now the GUI. I’m a fish out of water here. To be fair Manifold acknowledges this:

A Note for ESRI or MapInfo Users

As mentioned in the For Experienced GIS Users topic in the introduction, Manifold’s user interface is not at all like those used in older GIS products. Instead, Manifold’s nomenclature and commands are based on a combination of several stylistic approaches:

  • Microsoft methods and terminology wherever a Manifold capability matches something within the Microsoft spectrum of products. For example, Manifold uses “Tools – Options” because that’s where user preferences are kept within most Microsoft products.

  • Microsoft Visual Studio, Visual C++ and Visual Basic user interface style for development and programming.

  • Adobe PhotoShop concepts for photographic/artistic image editing.

  • Manifold System logic and mathematics for GIS.

The team is often asked why we did not simply clone ESRI methods and interfaces in GIS, since ESRI dominates GIS markets. There are three reasons why:

  • The potential user base for GIS is far larger than the current ESRI population, which is a very small number by mass-market Microsoft standards. Making Manifold accessible to hundreds of millions of Microsoft Office users means adopting Microsoft terminology and methods, not ESRI’s.

  • Older GIS systems were created in a technologically less sophisticated time. Providing the full range of modern capabilities means adopting modern ways.

  • We seriously intend to deliver a fusion of GIS, CAD, advanced database, image processing, photo editing, mathematics modeling and many other disciplines. The right user interface that works with a blend of such intense functions is a new user interface that blends the best ideas from all these disciplines and not just GIS.

We realize that the above approach make transitioning to Manifold more difficult for experienced GIS people who have a lot of ESRI or MapInfo experience they would like to leverage. However, for many ESRI or MapInfo users a transition to Manifold is really their first transition into the bigger world of Microsoft standards and mass-market PC software standards. For any professional person using computers this is a necessary step and not wasted effort.

I’m not going to post too much on Manifold and how it compares to GIS systems that I’m used to until I get some practice with the application. I’m used to the ESRI way, good or bad, so I just need to spend some time and work though the new concepts. Smartly Manifold has a whole help section devoted to the “Experienced GIS User” which goes over the differences between the two products. I’ll find some time tomorrow to really get into Manifold before trying some more complex tasks.


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


Microsoft Virtual Earth Birds Eye View Greatly Improved

We were all simply amazed at the birds eye view portion of Virtual Earth (I’ve not been a fan of the implementation since day one). That said, it has grown on me so I’ve learned to deal with the grid navigation. Well tonight Microsoft announced that they have replaced the old birds eye navigation with one that makes a ton more sense.

I mentioned a couple days ago that the Birds Eye navigation control was being replaced soon, and today marks the day. Makes me want to sing the witch is dead song from Wizard of Oz. No more thumbnail grid – You can now navigate in Birds Eye using the new inset map similar to Streets and Trips. You can also drag to the end of a birds eye scene and VE will try to bring in the next scene based on where you are dragging.



Another new features is the ability to measure distance as you use the drawing tools. GIS professionals will appreciate that feature. I now see that I am only 200 yards from the front gate to Sun Devil Stadium (now that we have a real football coach again).



Blog Support for Mobile Browsers

mobile.jpgWhile on my trek to rural Oklahoma and the land of 14.4 AOL modem connections, I began to rely on my [Treo 700p]( treo700p_snowflakes) for email and web access. One thing I noticed that navigating my blog was impossible. Well after some work and a great little plugin my blog now works on all mobile browsers, from small Motorola and LG phones, to Palm/Windows Mobile browsers. Just go to on your mobile device and it just works.

Next I need to do the same with PlanetGS. 🙂