What to get the geospatial person in your life who has everything

My wife always complains that she can’t buy me any books because I buy them before she even hears of them. Well if she wants to surprise me this year, she can take a look at the kite aerial photography gift guide over at MAKE.

I’ll only have to wait for some wind to take up to date aerial photography of areas I’m working on. Heck and you can take it all on the road with you and amaze your friends.

Even back in 1750 Ben Franklin was an avid kite aerial photographer

Ben flew a kite

Yahoo! Fire Eagle survives the cuts

The Yahoo! Brickhouse closing put some projects in jeopardy, but apparently Fire Eagle is “alive and well”.

Rest assured that whilst Brickhouse may be gone, Fire Eagle itself lives and thrives within the Yahoo! Geo Technologies Group. Fire Eagle has been, and will continue to be, a core component of Yahoo’s Geo Technology and User Location strategies and we’re committed to developing features, applications and support without interruption.

Fire Eagle and Pipes are two of Yahoo!’s better projects and hopefully the problems at Yahoo! won’t hurt their development.

ArcGIS Map Server Cache in Amazon S3

We’ve been loading our tile caches in Amazon S3 for quite some time now and it looks like others are trying to take advantage of the service. I’ve come to the conclusion that using S3 for your tile cache makes a ton of sense for performance and reliability issues. Our S3 tile caches are more reliable than our file servers in serving up the tiles and do it so much faster. Is anyone else noticing the benefits of S3 or has is been problematic for you?

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.