Back in the office

The police have pulled down the tape and we are back in the office. The suspicious package lunch box has been destroyed by the Tempe Bomb squad. No word on the status of the ham and cheese sandwich.

Tempe Bomb Squad


Dear Microsoft…

I’m sure Microsoft Popfly is really cool, but until you get around to sending me an invite (I’ve been waiting for weeks), I’m stuck looking in from the outside.

Respectfully yours:

James Fee


Manifold Returns

We’ve been kicked out of our office building due to a bomb scare at the bus station below. What does any respected GIS professional do in that situation? Grabs his laptop and a copy of Manifold. I figured I might as well get Manifold reinstalled and give it another try.


Workin’ at Greyhound

I’ve been working on a little ArcWeb Explorer application and [noticed what ESRI thinks of my office]( 33.4250124917037&sf=7400&ds=ArcWeb:bam&glt=vectorGroupLayer&w=nv 8 60). There hasn’t been a greyhound station there in 10 years. :


Shapefiles vs DWGs

I was talking with a “CAD Operator” the other day and he mentioned to me that he noticed that Shapefiles are the GIS equivalent to the DWG. I explained to him how technically it wasn’t like that, but I guess you’d get that feeling as almost everyone uses the Shapefile in one way other another.


Open Source GIS San Diego Gathering (OSG-SD) is a go

There was some talk about the OSG-SD not happening, but it looks like its a go.

From the OSG-SD mailing list:

Hi All

Well its on !

Tim Foresman has agreed to be our speaker again ! Fresh from the ISDE5 conference in Berkeley.

We had a Great time and made lots of new friends. Lots of good news to share about the Digital Earth Exchange and the new
announcement from Spot Image of France about Planet Action Collaboration to Provide Climate Change Tools.

I will also be showing some of the latest coolest open source software on the planet 🙂 We will also be opening it up for others to share what they are up to! Feel free to contact me if you would like to present something but its not required.

We will buy Pizza and refreshments for all so we would like to know how many want to attend… reply to the list or me directly! Invite folks you meet at the ESRI conference 🙂

The plan is to start around 6PM at the Vizlab on SDSU campus.

The trolley runs from downtown and stops on the south side of campus or its a short drive east on Rt.8

Hope to see you all on the 18th of June at 6PM

John Graham
Chief Scientist, Visualization Center
San Diego State University

All had a great time last year and it is very easy to get there via the Trolley. Trust me, if you want to see some amazing stuff head over. And don’t worry, it isn’t an ESRI hate session. Most (though there are some folks that are close minded) understand the reality of ESRI and their place in GIS and try and work with them as opposed to fighting them. That is what makes what you see so special.


Jack’s answers to the 2007 UC Q&A

UPDATE: I have no idea why ESRI doesn’t believe in permalinks so all those links below do nothing special. Sorry.

I’m not going and probably most of you aren’t either so this might be your best bet as to getting an idea what might or might not be said Monday morning.

ESRI International User Conference 2007 Q&A

Some of note:

Q: What are ESRI’s plans for ArcGIS 9.3?
Doesn’t that sound like what 9.2 was supposed to be?

Q: When will ESRI support multiple layouts in an MXD?
I know this is a big deal for many of you, but I’ve learned to live with it)

**Q: What is ESRI working on beyond 9.3? **
Am I the only one that worries about more integration of everything into the geodatabase?

Q: Can you clarify the difference between ESRI’s viewer technologies ArcGIS Explorer, ArcExplorer, and ArcWeb Explorer? When should I use one over the other?
How about stop naming everything the same? I spend more time explaining to clients the difference between AGX and ArcExplorer than I do showing them its capabilities.

Q: Does ArcGIS 3D Analyst provide support for interchanging SketchUp models?
Now we are talking, import without the need of an additional extension (well beyond 3D Analyst) is huge. That said where is the export to SketchUp?

Q: What are your plans for improving documentation for ArcGIS Server, especially related to developer help?

1 request of mine. Keep the improvements coming.

Q: Please provide an overview of the ArcGIS Server licensing model.
The only thing more confusing that ArcGIS Explorer/ArcExplorer/ArcWeb Explorer is the ArcGIS Server licensing model. I guess they needed something to go with the ArcObjects model.

Q: What’s coming in ArcGIS Server 9.3?
Anyone who’s tried to implement AGS knows the security model is a mess. The Javascript API is interesting and better WMS/WFS support is great. Where is the improved KML support?

Q: What happened to ArcSDE?
Yea what did happen to ArcSDE?

Q: I have heard Microsoft is developing a spatial type in SQL Server. Will ESRI be supporting this?
I suspect SQL Server and ArcGIS will go together like bees and honey.

Q: What are ESRI’s plans for opening up access to the geodatabase?
Well there you go, more proof that they will go the API route on this.

Q: Will ArcGIS Server support PostgreSQL? Will it provide SQL access to features stored in a geodatabase?
While I think generally, most ESRI users will gravitate to SQL Server, PostgreSQL support is huge.

Q: What is the status of CAD Client?
The most unloved part of the ESRI stack. We need it and use it, but it lags so far behind. I can only hope they’ll at least support Autocad 2007 at 9.2, but I’m not hopeful.

**Q: When will ESRI be releasing Service Pack 3? **
So July 2007 it is….

Q: When will ESRI publish a list of known software defects?
OK, I’ll be the first to say it, “How long do you think that list will be?” 😉

Q: To what extent does ESRI support interoperability with KML and Google Earth? Is KML becoming an OGC standard like GML?
I was hoping to see more mention of KML. Seems like ESRI still isn’t going to jump with both two feet into supporting KML. Kinda looks like they are being dragged into it. Too bad for us.

**Q: Does ESRI have an interoperability strategy to work with or integrate its tools with Google Earth and Virtual Earth? **
Again I have to say it, you’d think by Summer 2007 ESRI with have a more focus strategy than “ESRI is also actively working with both Microsoft and Google to improve interoperability”. We should be seeing integration at 9.3. shrug

Q: How is ESRI participating in the Open Source environment?
Interesting answer to that question, I’ll give you that…

Q: What is the status of ESRI’s support for running ArcGIS on 64-bit operating systems?
There we go, the answer we all were looking for.

Q: Does ESRI have a plan to improve ArcGIS Desktop to utilize multiprocessors on a PC?
Again, great answer!

Q: Can you provide better access to ESRI customer records about my organization?
When will ESRI Customer Care be open to Business Partners? It seems like we’ve been waiting for a long time.

Q: What is ESRI doing in ArcGIS to make it easier for users to share geoprocessing models and best practices?
Community building is a wonderful idea.

Q: What is the GeoWeb? How will it be used?
ESRI’s definition of the GeoWeb.

Q: What are some of the results from your survey? What have you discovered?

Interesting to say the least. ESRI users want a little of everything.


Off to the College World Series

If only I had vacation time to go to Omaha. Oh well I’ll have to watch the CWS and the ESRI UC both on TV this year.


Lazy Sunday Open Thread

I’ll be heading out later today to watch my Sun Devils send Ole Miss back east and advance to the College World Series. My hats off to those who are from the SEC and have to deal with “Hotty Toddy” regularly. So have at it folks.

Just a note to those who keep emailing me about my “attack on GeoCommons”. GeoCommons is irrelevant to this conversation and was just picked because Steve brought it up. A couple brought up the point that the Keyhole community and all those “pushpins” now in Google Earth as proof that this concept works. I think that those points are proof that this concept doesn’t work in “the real world”. Sure its great to put a pushpin on the Redlands Post Office and call it ESRI’s home office.

There is no authority in these kinds of applications and until that happens, I’ll continue to view it as just another recreational activity. It is the same issue facing Wikipedia.

At some point someone will figure this out and then we’ll be in business.


GeoCommons – The future of mapping or geo-splog?

Steve and I had a heated argument about Geocommons. Steve used statements such as “it is frickin sweet!!!” and “no need for spatial analyst anymore”. I responded with “its pretty worthless” and “meh”. Steve likes the idea that he can access maps that people have created and leverage them in his own work. I’m pretty much down on the lack of metadata and no idea of the motives of some of the map creators such as “aark2” and others.

Steve of course loves the idea that “I can upload my data and do stuff with it – without owning ArcMap w/spatial analyst”. That may be true, but I just can’t imagine using any of this data in anything other than recreational browsing. I mean what EIS would ever reference GeoCommons as a source. Not one of mine, that is for sure.