Swivel – Users Upload and Share Data


I’ve been checking out Swivel this morning and I have to say I’m excited. A friend described it best when he said it looks like a YouTube for data. Its so easy to add data and start using it.

Step 1: I loaded the career stats for Orlando Cepeda. I used the web query tool in MS Excel to import the data into a Excel workbook and then saved the data out as a CSV to import into Swivel.


Step 2: You then can preview the data to make sure it imported in correctly.


Step 3: You then can set the field types and unit of measure.


Step 4: Describe the data you have uploaded, where you got it, give it a picture (from Flickr, but you can choose anyplace later)


Step 5: Explore your data that you’ve uploaded


The graphs are not too bad and you can even embed them on your webpage like this:


Of course not everyone enjoys baseball as much as I do, but you can compare any other uploaded data via graph such as Per Capita Income vs. Unleaded Regular Gas Price


I’m as excited about Swivel as I was about Zillow. I can only imagine where this will lead as uploading and working with your data and data of others is just so simple. YouTube for data is right.


Visiting the In-Laws

I’m heading out first thing tomorrow to visit the in-laws in Prue, OK. We’ll be visiting my wife’s Grandmother’s farm (yes that is a dirt road in front of it). Its been pretty cold there so I’m a little nervous as I don’t have the proper clothing (I had a jacket on today here in Tempe and the high is about 75F) as it will be 36F there tomorrow. Anyway I won’t be around for the rest of the week/weekend as I’m not even bothering to bring my laptop (their phone line dates from the Truman Administration and last time I was there I could not get a signal on my Verizon Wireless PC Card (Analog only in the area). At least there will be good eating (not too healthy, but bacon is part of every meal). Try and not go too nuts in that Manifold comments ok? 😉



ArcGIS 9.2 and World Files

Ever use the georeference toolbar to register a raster image in ArcMap? I think most of us have used it in our lives and a small change in how 9.2 handles it might cause problems with users still using ArcGIS 9.1.

ArcGIS 9.2 no longer will write a tfw (world file) after georeferencing. Instead ArcGIS 9.2 will only write a .aux.xml file, which contains the referencing data. So why is this a MAJOR problem?

ArcGIS 9.1 cannot read the reference data from the .aux.xml file. For some reason ESRI Developers decided that this was not a needed feature (even though all their documentation (even 9.2 documentation) says that a world file would be created.)

The good news is that this issue will be addressed at the first Service Pack (I was worried that there wouldn’t be anything to put in that first service pack myself)


ArcGIS Server Development Blog goes live

Art Haddad emailed me tonight to let me know the ArcGIS Server Development Blog is up and in business. Jeremy Bartley is already blogging away (and using Kansas as an example). I think this is the first “official” non-marketing blog at ESRI. Great job guys!

ESRI 2.0

Update 1 –Look, an actual ArcGIS Server demo application!


Ed Parsons is leaving the Ordnance Survey

Ed Parsons posts that he has decided to leave the Ordnance Survey. No word yet from where he is headed, but I wish him all the luck. His blog has always been a great read and taught me much about how technology has changed the Ordnance Survey (I could never get Charles Babbage out of my mind).


Paul Ramsey on PostGIS for SDE

I so want to see this elephant have ArcSDEPaul has been thinking about the announcement that ESRI would allow ArcSDE to use PostgreSQL and has up with a pretty good argument on why ESRI should make PostGIS the default spatial type.

One of the interesting nuggets to come out of the ESRI User Conference this year was the news that ESRI was going to support ArcSDE on PostgreSQL “sometime soon”. Which, to PostGIS people like ourselves suggests the question: “implemented how?”

If it was up to me, I’d tell ESRI to fly Paul out to Redlands and get ArcSDE running on PostgreSQL immediately. I’ve got a dying Oracle 8i installation that would love to be running PostgreSQL.


Some IPs are being blocked by my host, not intentionally

It looks like for some reason that my host is blocking IP address including ESRI. Believe me it isn’t intentional and we are working on figuring out what the problem is. This includes both and as they are hosting on the same server.



AskCity – The result of Ask Maps and Citysearch

I see and Citysearch (both owned by IAC) have released a new mapping tool today. I see tons of potential here because now Ask could have the best local content of any mapping service out there, but in the end I doubt it will get much traction. When you have to compete against Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! it is hard not to bet against them.

Is a stronger brand than CitySearch? I would have thought that putting this tool inside Citysearch would be the more logical place. At least we can see IAC trying to get some synergy here between all their brands (such as Evite and Ticketmaster).



Manifold a “train wreck”. Can it be true?

Matt has some issues with both Manifold itself and the quality of its online help (or lack there of; love the redirect to an IP address on the forums, quite professional).

The reason we bought Manifold was to have a GIS in which to create nice maps of our large datasets in an easy way and serve them out to the web. While there were plenty of warnings that Manifold’s website was full of hyperbole & BS, I choose not to heed them.

Matt concludes that open source GIS (uDig/QGIS/Mapserver/MapGuide) might be a better choice in the long run for most users looking to escape the ESRI stack. This probably regulates Manifold to an Opera like status among GIS users. A fanatical fan base, decent product, but an also ran in the marketplace.


ArcGIS 9.2 Docs available on EDN

As Kirk noticed yesterday and Rob posted about today, the docs are now online at EDN for 9.2.

Also only 109 days left until the 2007 ESRI Developer Summit in Palm Springs. I’ll be there.

2006 ESRI Developer's Summit