ESRI Resource Center is Available

Last week I assumed one could access the new 9.3 resource centers, but it appeared that unless you were part of the 9.3 beta, you could not log in. Jason Stewart noted in the comments that you can now access them without your beta program login.


Now you can have direct connections to ArcSDE geodatabases

One of the more interesting features ESRI has rolled out lately is the ability to connect to geodatabases that aren’t the same release. Now ArcGIS 9.2 SP5 or SP6 clients can make connections to ArcSDE 9.3 geodatabases and for ArcGIS 9.3 clients can make direct connections to any ArcSDE 9.x geodatabase.

Direct connections to ArcSDE geodatabases

The ESRI Inside the Geodatabase blog has some links to web help and support information worth checking out.


ArcGIS 9.2 Service Pack 6 Announced

Those who aren’t jumping on the 9.3 upgrade bandwagon can grab the latest ArcGIS 9.2 SP6 release available later this month. I’m personally very happy to see continued improvements to 9.2 even though 9.3 is released. Many organizations don’t upgrade immediately and making sure 9.2 is still improved allows those who aren’t ready to make the jump work better. A welcome change from abandoning older releases (though I think in the past years ESRI has been more proactive about supporting versions longer).


ESRI Press Books — Implementing GIS

I really do enjoy books that ESRI publishes (if only they were cheaper) and I’ve noticed two books coming up that really interest me.

The first, “Building a GIS” by Dave Peters looks to be a big help with implementing GIS at organizations. In fact ESRI is pushing it as a “companion” to Roger Tomlinson’s Thinking About GIS, which is one of my favorite books (I even got a signed copy). The table of contents reveals how deeply it will visit many of the topics folks email me daily on such as ArcGIS architecture and security (feel free to continue emailing me though 😉 ). I know many folks avoid these books because they have an obvious ESRI slant to them (given the publisher), but I find their approach valuable in any geospatial implementation.

The second book is one that I think I’m even more interested in reading, “The Business Benefits of GIS, An ROI Approach” by David Maguire, Victoria Kouyoumjian and Ross Smith. ESRI linked to an interview with David Maguire on the book and David hit a on something that I think is why this book will be very valuable. David rightly points out there are very few examples of “measurable” business benefits of GIS projects and no standardized way to estimate the ROI on using GIS. (read the interview for more insight). A good methodology to establish true value of a GIS will greatly improve its acceptance in both enterprise and smaller organizations. ESRI has even set up a website to support the book (

According to Barnes & Noble, the books won’t be shipping until late August, but maybe there will be something at the ESRI UC next month on them. Even at their cost (especially the second book), I think will be very valuable in my bookshelf.

Update: It looks like there will sessions for both books at the UC.


FortiusOne GeoCommons Finder! is now Public Beta

I’ve recieved an email saying that the great GeoCommons Finder! is now public beta. Many were very interested when it was announced so if you’ve been waiting for an invite to the private beta, you no longer have to wait. Sign up, check out the user manual, and give feedback.

GeoCommons Logo

I love Finder! and how it makes searching for data and learning more about the data easy. You got to check it out. This stuff is easy to use if you know nothing about GIS and it provides enough value to GIS professionals who want to get more data and have it documented for their use.




Patch ArcGIS 9.3 to support Adobe Acrobat 9 PDF

Because of a NDA of some sort, the Acrobat 9 support was never in the 9.3 beta program and even missed the 9.3 release. But never fear, you can download the patch to enable Acrobat 9 support:

Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader version 9 support a new version of PDF that allows for encoding of map coordinate system and georeference information inside the PDF file. This patch enables ArcGIS Desktop, Engine, and Server applications to export georeferenced PDF files.

There also appears to be some sort of agreement where Adobe will support GeoPDF in their Arcobat releases. My head hurts a little after reading those press releases (note to everyone, stop using the word “consume”). Hopefully TerraGo will use their blog to actually tell us in English what this agreement means.



Unpacking ArcGIS 9.3

For those who haven’t received their 9.3 release and can’t sleep at night without knowing what the package looks like, Jithen has some pictures for you.

ArcGIS 9.3 Arrives!

I’m wondering if the new packaging will be gentler on the DVDs as mine always got very scratched removing them from the cardboard packaging.


More ESRI ArcGIS 9.3 News

It looks like ESRI finally put the 9.3 help publicly and you no longer need a password to access it (HT Jithen & Mapperz).

Welcome to ArcGIS Desktop Help 9.3

The ESRI Resource Center is available as well. Unlike the disorganized ArcGIS Support pages, these are focused on the ESRI product you are working with. I’m really happy to see these resource pages, but I’m curious where they fit within the whole ESRI Support and ESRI EDN sites. I suspect that I won’t be using EDN as much as I’ll be using these new resource pages. At any rate the look great and are easy to use; a welcome change from the Support and EDN pages.

UPDATE: It looks like the resource center is still blocked for those who were not in the beta. Someone at ESRI forgot to flip the switch…

There is also a “What’s New in ArcGIS 9.3” Podcast. The direct link to the podcast is here. Why they make it so hard to get to these podcasts are beyond me. Shouldn’t they be available on the resource pages?

Lastly, while I’m getting ready to deploy ArcSDE ArcGIS Server Enterprise with SQL Server 2008, many are very interested in what PostgreSQL brings to the ArcGIS stable at 9.3. Bill Dollins has been working on a couple blog posts about Using ArcSDE 9.3 with PostgreSQL. Just seeing ArcMap push to PostgreSQL and then using uDIG to view the data is powerful. Says Bill:

…depending on how you implement it, ArcSDE for PostgreSQL can provide interoperability between ArcGIS and an open-source stack. uDig can be leveraged in a pinch to edit data loaded into ArcSDE using the PostGIS geometry type, allowing you to expand to meet demand.

I think many organizations will look long and hard at migrating their SQL Server or Oracle implementations to Postgres.


Ed Parsons on “What Map Maker is /is not”

Real Ed Parsons tries to frame what Map Maker is. I’m still disappointed in what Map Maker is not, oh well at least they could have paid folks using Mechanical Turk for their time.


Sanchez pays big for map edits