LG.Philips 52-inch Multi-touch Screen

Gizmodo and Engadget both have articles on this LCD touch screen and both show a picture of Google Earth being demonstrated.

LG-Philips LCD Touch1

52-inch Multi-touch Screen – World’s Largest Multi-touch Display
LG.Philips LCD’s 52-inch multi-touch panel for public and interactive displays is not only the world’s largest, it is also one of the most responsive, able to recognize input from either a touch of a finger or more precise writing instruments. It uses an infrared image sensor that gives it the ability to recognize two separate touch points as well as gestures. It boasts some of the industry’s highest specifications, with a 90 Hz touch response time, 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution and a light transmission rate of 95 to 100 percent.

What caught my eye was how thin this unit is and there is no hacking here to get a touch table. We could be seeing this technology explode here in a few months.

  1. If you look past the cute girl, you can see Google Earth 


Use Nintendo Wii Remote with Virtual Earth

Sure you can use the Xbox360 controller, or the 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator to navigate the 3D Virtual Earth globe, but anyone can do that. The real fun is using your Wii Remote to control the 3D Globe.
Video: Wiimote Interface for Virtual Earth


Microsoft turns the world right side up again

Thanks to Paul Ramsey, Bill Dollins, Morten Nielsen and others, Microsoft has said that they plan to implement longitude-latitude ordering in WKB and WKT for both the geography and geometry types. Bill put it best IMO as to why this change needed to happen with SQL Server 2008.

For me, the issue is consistency. Regardless of the mindsets of professionals vs. non-professionals or the imprecision of the OGC spec, the bottom line is that the same call behaves differently for two related data types.

Now sure it would have been possible to work around this, but it makes no sense for Microsoft to do things different from everyone else. Now I still see Microsoft using the GML example of axis order to justify their choice, but given that the standard is long/lat I can’t understand why they’d want to be different.

Now you know why folks such as Howard Butler were “unhappy” that Google named their blog Google LatLong rather than the more correct Google LongLat.

Homer 3D

Man, this place looks expensive. I feel like I’m wasting a fortune just standing here.


Using OGR to Visualize Data

The biggest excuse I hear time and time again for not using open source geospatial tools is that they are too confusing to use. Take GDAL/OGR for example, the webpage probably scares off most users because of the lack of examples of how to use both toolsets. But the tools themselves are so easy to use this shouldn’t scare anyone off. In fact, if you’ve used ArcInfo to convert a coverage to a shapefile in your past, you have all the skills needed to use both GDAL and OGR.

That said Tom Kralidis has a great example of using OGR to convert a Microsoft Excel file to KML. GDAL/OGR is integral to so many GIS applications (even ESRI uses it) that any GIS professional should have at least a basic understanding to how it works. Look at Tom’s example, download FWTools and get cracking on using GDAL/OGR.

Waffle House

Fans of the Waffle House wait for open source geospatial tool users to create GeoRSS feed of store locations



Its been a cold and blistery day here in Tempe, Arizona (well by Tempe standards at least) so I’m ready to get the fire burning and the Kahlua hot chocolate flowing. My son Connor has been bouncing off the walls full of Christmas candy and cookies and the anticipation that Santa is on his way. I’ve had Google Earth running all day and I’ve caught him watching multiple times. About 4 more hours and he will be in bed and dreaming of Santa.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!


Merry Christmas

I’ll be busy with my new Nintendo Wii today (and probably the rest of the week). I’m already getting beaten at EA Playground and Donkey Kong Blast, but holding my own at MLB Power Pros and Carnival Games. It wasn’t all Wii though for me. The wife did get me something I had been really wanting.

Hope everyone else had a great Christmas morning as well!

Merry Christmas!


TileCache 2.0 Released with ArcIMS Support

TileCache 2.0 has been released with support for ArcIMS AXL requests. This should be of great interest to users of ArcIMS who want to create a tile cache. If you have a server that can run Python CGI and has write access to the hard drive and an ArcIMS Web Service, you can create tiles. Now your ArcIMS site will have the performance of the tile cache and you can even use the cache with the OpenLayers client. I’m really anxious to give this a try when I get back from vacation on some of our older ArcIMS sites.

In addition Christopher Schmidt says there is also limited support for KML Super-Overlays in Google Earth. We’ve had great luck with Arc2Earth and using super-overlays created directly from ArcMap and using TileCache in Google Earth just as interesting to me. Definitely have to look more into that (just think, ArcIMS in Google Earth using super-overlay). Christopher also mentions that Amazon S3 is available. I’ve really taken to leveraging Amazon S3 with sharing our datasets. The costs are just so inexpensive that I cannot think of hosting data any other way. TileCache just became much more valuable to our workflows with S3 support.

So as Agent J might say from MIB II; you can take your old “old and busted” ArcIMS web service and turn it into new hotness with TileCache.

Agent J


ArcGIS Explorer Build 440 Released

The ArcGIS Explorer Blog just announced that AGX build 440 is available:

The ArcGIS Explorer Team is pleased to announce that today, at approximately 1:58 p.m. PST, the newest version of ArcGIS Explorer – Explorer 440 – was released.

If the ESRI servers are your home servers, you’ll be notified that there is a new version available the next time you start the application. Just follow the instructions to download and install this new release.

The “What’s New in ArcGIS Explorer 440” page has a list of all the enhancements (I think many will appreciate the ArcIMS improvements since that is the biggest complain I always hear).


College Football Team Travel Maps has a new section called the Travel Map. The section contains conference and team road game data collected for regular season games from the 1998 through the 2007 NCAA Football schedule. As you might guess, any conference with a team in Hawaii would probably lead the rankings in miles traveled and the WAC does not disappoint. What amazed me though was that Georgia has traveled a total of 358 miles for non-conference road games (only traveling out of conference to Georgia Tech and Clemson) since 1998 but Hawaii has traveled 72,918 total miles (coupled with the fact that they still have to travel 4,037.56 miles to play LaTech in conference). The Travel Map is very interesting to see how little large schools travel out of conference (Arizona State is no exception). The conference rankings are below:

Conference Travel Miles
WAC 327,521
Conference USA 278,991
MWC 188,308
Sun Belt 154,512
PAC 10 150,990
MAC 127,212
Big East 127,076
Big Ten 107,881
ACC 101,545
Big 12 73,183
SEC 42,141


zigGIS 2.0 coming soon

PostgreSQL is about to get really integrated into ArcGIS workflows in 2008. First off we have ArcGIS Server Enterprise (ArcSDE) which will support PostgreSQL (ESRI and PostGIS data types) and now we have zigGIS 2.0 which will support PostGIS/PostgreSQL without the need for the traditional “ArcSDE” connection.

First and foremost, the zigGIS codebase will remain open. Secondly, personal and educational use of zigGIS will remain free…

As for our corporate users – you will need to purchase licenses per seat. Licenses will fall somewhere below $300 each. We hope this keeps zigGIS affordable to those organizations that require heavy-duty GIS capabilities. (don’t forget that the use of PostGIS + zigGIS saves you from all ArcSDE licensing costs)

If you are in an enterprise environment, ArcGIS Server Enterprise probably makes a ton of sense (especially in the ESRI server stack), but in smaller offices and workgroups why pay for all that overhead you are not using?