Microsoft Geo

I still see projects now and them that are spatial. I think of the US Building Footprints project and how they had to give away the data and couldn’t monetize such a project. Bing Maps went through so many name changes that we can’t even recall them all. Heck Microsoft bought Nokia but only the phones. They didn’t buy HERE (Navteq) which could have been a great coup for them.

Visual Studio Code… Someone needs to check some files into Git.

I have to admit, I’ve been a user of BBEdit since about 1994, but I’ve found myself using Visual Studio Code much more. If I search my blog posts over the years, there are posts littered with Visual Studio hate. But now I find VS Code to be my go to code editor and not only for programming but also editing GeoJSON files.

But this really has me thinking. Microsoft and Geo really has died. I’m not saying that SQL Server isn’t used for spatial queries. Or that occasionally I see Bing Maps used in apps. But really they have become such an also ran that I really couldn’t even recall the last time I used Bing Maps API, let along SQL Server (I actually do recall and it was SQL Azure back in 2016). For a company that really has reinvented itself, they have fumbled what little they had in spatial away.

I’m sure I have a screenshot of Bing Maps, but I didn’t search for very long.

While at Cityzenith, we dealt with CityNext, which had much sway in the Smart City space, but so like depth. I think it was just an excuse to get their name on Smart City conferences.

I have to tip my hat to Microsoft for many things, but in our space, they really have become at best a follower, at worst an also ran.

At least old Gil is trying…

Python and Visual Studio

I posted this a while back on twitter but someone asked me about it this morning and I thought I’d share it here on the blog.  The Visual Studio Blog has and article out on Why write Python in Visual Studio? which is worth reading for everyone writing Python on Windows.

Recently, Visual Studio 2015 was released with support for Python. Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) are available to help throughout Visual Studio in all the places you’d expect, from editing and IntelliSense, to debugging, profiling, and publishing to Azure. You can find all the details and some video walkthroughs, documentation, and other resources on visualstudio.com, and the post announcing Python Tools 2.1 and Python Tools 2.2 beta.

The post is a great read into the choices the Visual Studio team made on how to integrate IntelliSense with Python.  Honestly when VS 2015 came out I’ve started using it for all Python development on Windows and when I switch over to my Mac I really miss the features.  GIS users have embraced Python and having a real IDE to help them is a huge plus.  In the past I’ve avoided IDEs where I didn’t need them but with Python projects getting larger and more important, it really makes sense to organize them better.