Seamless USGS TOPO! in ArcGIS

Someone emailed me asking if I had any luck using the National Geographic TOPO! extension with 9.2. My reply?

National Geographic TOPO! map series @ AGS Online

ArcGIS Online TOPO! in ArcMap

This layer presents land cover imagery for the world and detailed topographic maps for the United States. The layer includes NPS Natural Earth physical map at 1.24km per pixel for the world at small scales, i-cubed eTOPO 1:250,000 scale maps for the contiguous United States at medium scales, and National Geographic TOPO! 1:100,000 and 1:24,000 scale maps (1:250,000 and 1:63,000 in Alaska) for the United States at large scales. The TOPO! maps are seamless, scanned images of USGS paper topographic maps.

No sense in bothering with all those CDs and extensions anymore. What is even better is that you don’t need ArcMap to use this. Download ArcGIS Explorer or even ArcGIS Reader and utilize the layer.

ArcGIS Online TOPO! in ArcGIS Explorer

Open Thread

I’m going to be at the house today with a bunch of contractors (still have not moved it, but close). I’ll be off the computer all day so it seems like the perfect time for an open thread.

ESRI Support Site Survey

While there is no truth to the rumor that no one at ESRI can go to the bathroom without a survey, the ESRI Support Team has a new survey out to see what improvements we want to the support site.

Where Would You Like To See the Support Center Improved?

We’ve been talking about improvements to the ESRI Support site since this blog started and some of the main points that have been hashed out here in posts and comments are in that survey. The keys for me and many others are:

  • RSS feeds
  • Better Search Results (please use the Google Search Appliance, no need to fool around with this)
  • User Comments Section on Knowledge Base articles
  • Tagging of articles

Go ahead and fill out that survey and let ESRI know what you want to see. We all are great at complaining about the site, but we need to be just as good with our comments and this is the perfect opportunity to be heard.

The Day ArcIMS Died

ArcIMS died April 11, 2007, the day Arc2Earth Publisher was released. With the ability to serve up even dynamic layers using Virtual Earth, there is no reason to invest any money in ArcIMS anymore. Save the money you would be using licensing ArcIMS and take a look at ArcGIS Server which does bring the promise of modern functionality to ESRI map servers. I mean wouldn’t you rather have this (via Virtual Earth Blog):

than this?

And at a fraction of the cost? Plus given how much of a pain ArcMap Server has been, you can get better utilization of your MXDs with Arc2Earth than you can with ArcMap Server.

By not being able to serve up tiles, ArcIMS is slow, outdated and ugly. Time to move on (and I say this with great regret because I’ve rolled out more ArcIMS sites than I can remember over the years). Invest your time and energy in ArcGIS Server as well other more modern web mapping servers.

Putting ArcIMS to rest

Update to Zillow v. Arizona

Conspiracy theorists are taken aback by the news that Realtors are supporting Zillow in their fight to keep Arizona from banning it from us poor Grand Canyon State saps.

A state agency’s efforts to stop Zillow .com from offering property-value estimates in Arizona are drawing criticism from some Realtors who think regulators are overstepping their authority.

The critics also are targeting an Arizona Board of Appraisal reform bill they fear will muzzle anyone from offering an opinion about property values unless he or she is a licensed appraiser, Realtor or attorney.

Phoenix real estate broker Greg Swann said that the legislation, Senate Bill 1291, is narrowly written to block Zillow from offering its estimates. It also could affect other online services from offering property-value estimates using what are called automated valuation models, he said. “This is legislation to stop progress,” said Swann, adding that state regulators are being Luddites in trying to halt the advance of Internet commerce.

Of course there are claims that this isn’t a Zillow bill:

The Arizona House is expected to consider the bill on Monday, said Deborah Pearson, director of Arizona Board of Appraisal.

The legislation is not aimed at Zillow but rather is intended to update statutes that have not changed since 1991, Pearson said. The Board of Appraisals has not found any other online entities that are violating the state law, said Pearson, the board’s director.

I’m guessing that they Board of Appraisals must be needing their eyes check if they can only claim that Zillow is in violation.

For fun you can read the whole Senate Bill 1291 and see what this fuss is about, specifically:

“Appraisal” or “real estate appraisal” means a statement independently and impartially prepared by an individual setting forth an opinion as to the market value of real property as of a specific date and supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information any of the following:

(a) the act or process of developing an opinion of value.
(b) An opinion of value.
(c) Pertaining to appraising and related functions such as appraisal practice or appraisal services.

I believe such a change to the Arizona Revised Statutes would mean that I would be in violation if I told my neighbors how much their house might be worth. Slippery slope if you ask me!

What my brother here means to say is that we felt that the institution no longer had anything to offer us

ArcGIS Image Server now included in ESRI Developer Network


While it was announced at the Developer Summit, the “official” news that [ArcGIS Image Server]( will be part of EDN is welcome.

ArcGIS Image Server, a server-based solution that provides fast access and visualization of large quantities of file-based imagery processed on the fly and on demand, has been added to the suite of software provided to ESRI Developer Network (EDN) subscribers. Both ArcGIS Image Server extensions, Orthorectification and Seamline, are also included.

ESRI Posts ArcObjects Survey

I’m sure many of you got an email this morning detailing a new survey for ArcObjects that ESRI has posted:

The ESRI development team seeks your feedback on ArcGIS 9.2 so that we can incorporate your needs into future releases. We are specifically interested in how you use ArcObjects.

We’d like to know how you work with the ArcGIS 9.2 platform, what language you use, and what types of enhancements you would like to see in the future to make your work easier. Our areas of interest include

  • Libraries you use
  • Libraries you extend
  • Engine commands and tools
  • Engine controls
  • .NET and Java technologies
  • More specific tools that could make you more productive

Thank you in advance for your help.

Please complete the survey by April 25, 2007.

As always, these surveys are a great opportunity to get feedback to ESRI so if you use ArcObjects, you’ll probably want to complete it. The question about a “simplified API” in ArcObjects is something I know people have been asking about for quite some time.