ESRI’s Mobile Platform of Choice

Jack Dangermond was interviewed on CRBonline this week and there was one comment that caught my eye. When Jack commented on ArcLogistics on mobile, the interviewer asked him this:

Q. Does it run on the iPhone/BlackBerry Storm/Windows Mobile/Google Android? If not, when will it?
A. We’ve standardised on Windows Mobile as a platform that gives us a level of device independence. We are looking at other platforms, but see Windows Mobile as a primary IT platform for professionals.

Yikes, I guess we and our clients won’t be running ArcGIS on their mobile devices in the coming year.

Maxwell Smart uses ArcGIS Server Mobile on the Windows Mobile Platform.

Of course I could be over analyzing Jack’s comments like others are.


It is Pile on Microsoft Virtual Earth Week

Redfin seems to have set off criticism of Microsoft’s VE API. Their reasons for their move are outlined on their blog and many seem to agree with their conclusions about Microsoft’s and Google’s mapping APIs. I’m not sure I agree the VE API is much slower than Google’s, but I suppose if you are hypersensitive you’ll notice the difference. For us it usually is local network conditions that cause one API to be slower than the other, but YYMV.

Vish does a great job of listing what he is missing from the Virtual Earth API. Many ESRI users are exposed to these differences in the ArcGIS JavaScript Extenders for Google Maps and Virtual Earth when they move back and forth between them. I suppose if I had to come out and say which API was our development “standard”, I’d probably go with Google Maps API, but it wouldn’t be enough to call it a preference. The one feature that keeps us coming back to Virtual Earth is the Bird’s Eye imagery which many of our clients just love (planning and architecture seem to gain much from those, much more than street level imagery taken from a car in traffic).

My biggest problem with Virtual Earth is trying to figure out what the heck the “Live” platform is.

My biggest problem with Virtual Earth is trying to figure out what the heck the Live platform is.

image credit


ArcGIS License Manager Update

Running the new ArcGIS License Manager? You might want to download the latest update from ESRI’s servers. Those running ArcGIS on laptops should definitely look.

Issues Addressed in this update

  • NIM003128 ‘ The ArcGIS License Manager for Windows is now supported without hardware keys.
  • NIM006141 ‘ The ArcGIS License Manager is now supported on RedHat and SUSE LINUX.
  • NIM000652 ‘ The license manager is losing its connection with the USB key when a laptop goes to sleep, resulting in the failure of the license manager when the laptop ‘wakes up’.
  • NIM013222 ‘ A remote user can gain access to files on the license server using the License Manager as a gateway.
  • NIM040406 – The AIX License Manager has been updated to support systems running AIX 5.3 ML04 and higher.

And before you get too excited, license borrowing won’t be implemented until after 9.3.


Google Map Maker Gets Larger

Looks like Google Map Maker is now available in 164 countries?around the world. If only they’d be less evil and work with OpenStreetMap. I don’t know about you, but my time is too valuable to give it to Google without compensation.

I always toss a little Google on in the morning when I want to take over the world.

Smells Like Google


On to GeoWeb 2.0?

What? I need to use Flex APIs (and thus GeoWeb 2.0) to do this?

GeoWeb 2.0 would need to be able to answer spatial questions and solve real-life problems in the spatial context’in addition to locating and visualizing data on maps. For example, it should be able to answer questions, like when the fire broke out, taking into account wind direction and speed, which area will be effected by the smoke and how many residents will be effected; or what critical infrastructure needs to be protected. It should also be able to pinpoint the nearest safe shelters for residents likely to be affected, the best evacuation routes; and the best way to setup road blocks so that the least number of U-turns will occur.

Why does someone need to propose GeoWeb 2.0 (other than I’m sure O’Reilly requires appending the 2.0 suffix to any article you write) when we can do everything Zhang outlines with GeoWeb Classic 1.0? Good grief indeed!

Malibu Stacy


OpenLayers, ESRI and ArcGIS Server Resource Page

The ArcGIS Server REST[ful] API has been a wonderful addition to the ESRI developer world. I’ve seen more people talking and deploying RESTful API applications since it was released than I did with 9.2 (YMMV of course). One thing about it though is there still isn’t a community built around it. Sure the forums are there, but even those are not as dynamic as they should be. The Server Resource Page is very static and developers cannot add comments or suggestions to the code examples or the API reference for others to learn by. I’ll be bringing this up yet once again at the ESRI Developer Summit at what will hopefully be a JavaScript SIG (Not at the same time as the .NET SIG please).

That brings me to OpenLayers and ArcGIS Server. The RESTful API gives easy access to ESRI ArcGIS Server services to OpenLayers and other APIs, yet there is no way to collaborate such development on the ESRI community pages. I’d like to see ESRI adopt OpenLayers as readily as they have adopted Flex, Google and Microsoft APIs so that ESRI developers can deliver the applications their clients demand. There is some really good code floating around there for using ArcGIS Server REST API with OpenLayers, just not where it probably belongs to get ESRI developers started. For now just head on over to the OpenLayers email list or IRC and get involved.


ESRI Moves Their UC Blog to Facebook

As I said on Twitter, this is probably a good move for ESRI and building a community around the User Conference. Facebook is a closed ecosystem (you have to sign up to participate) but given Facebook’s traction online, it is the right move. So if you want to keep up on the ESRI UC news, sign up for Facebook and join the Official ESRI UC group.

**Update: **As some have pointed out on Twitter, not every company allows access to Facebook so the community might be missing key people.


Non-ESRI Speakers at the ESRI Developer Summit

As everyone now knows, Facebook is the place for ESRI Conference discussions and this one is no different. Dave Bouwman brought up a great point about ESRI allowing developers to give talks rather than just ESRI speakers (like every other developer conference in the world). It would appear given feedback on Facebook that this is going to happen (even though rumors were that it wouldn’t) with a “Demo Theater” sized space for speakers to talk to.

My first thought was this is a bad idea because there won’t be enough room for some speakers, but given the proximity to the Developer Islands, this might make much more sense than stuck in a small conference room down a long dark hall that no one can find. According to Jim Barry of ESRI, there will be more info and application details in the “next week or two” so start thinking about what you might want to present (or who you’d like to see present).


Picking a web front end

Dave Bouwman has a great blog post on all the different choices available to ESRI centric developers for a web mapping front end. Not a bad primer for folks still trying to figure out all the new options we have available for visualization.


OpenStreetMap Mapping Party Phoenix December 6 and 7

There will be an OpenStreetMap mapping party this weekend in Phoenix, AZ December 6th and 7th. Brandon Aguirre from Cloudmade will be here to coordinate things, and Gangplank will host it in Chandler, AZ.

If you haven’t been to a mapping party before you’ll want to come along and bring a friend. There is quite a bit of work that needs to be accomplished in Phoenix on OSM so there are tons for everyone to do.

The invite is below and don’t forget to RVSP:

Make Your Mark on the Free World Map!
Join me at Gangplank’s offices Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7 from 11:00am-4:00pm for an OpenStreetMap Mapping Party where we’ll get more of the things you want added to the map of Phoenix! Since OpenStreetMap is both free and Free, you can do really cool things with the data. (check out and for examples). At the party we’ll loan you a GPS unit and show you how to use it so you can then go out and map a section of the city. At the end of the day we’ll show you how to get that data into OpenStreetMap so you can begin mapping your community’s bikeways, hiking trails, park paths and anything else you choose!

For more information check out the following: