Categories
Thoughts

ESRI is not the Microsoft of the GIS world, it is much more complex

I’ve been getting emails from people asking about ESRI and many of them think of ESRI as the Microsoft of the GIS world. Since people like analogies, try this one on for size:

ESRI is the Microsoft, Apple, Google, Sun, Lotus, Borland, Adobe, Oracle, IBM, and WordPerfect of the GIS world.

That is how you measure their contributions to GIS.

Categories
Thoughts

Jeff Thurston thinks we are all too focused on the GIS viewer

Link – Directions in Spatial Information

It is interesting to read and learn about all the things that Google is up to with respect to maps. Like I said a while ago, here; it has opened the door to increasing mapping awareness, especially to, although not limited to younger folks ‘ move over MTV.

Jeff pretty much says what I’ve been saying and what ESRI’s focus should be on. Tools to create GIS data are extremely important. Google isn’t a creator of this information, they are a consumer. Our GIS workflows are integrated into ESRI’s tools so for us to be successful, we need ESRI to continue to push the envelope. Our biggest problem though has been on the reader side of things. Jeff says ArcGlobe is ESRI’s “Google Earth”, but that requires you to have at least an ArcView license. Jeff does say why Google Earth has been successful and it is plainly the simplicity of the application. If you’ve ever used ArcGlobe you know you have total control over just about everything, but zooming and panning can get out of control (well maybe it is just I can’t work in a total 3d world).

The key point of Jeff’s post is that we can’t get to the future without improved spatial tools and he is right on. But the problem today is consumers are beginning to want to consume GIS services and the tools to do so are limited and into that void falls Google Earth.

Categories
Thoughts

Blogging the Homeland Security GIS Summit

I have not seen much on the ESRI Homeland Security GIS Summit anywhere. I was hoping to go this year, but got sidetracked on other work. Anyone go and care to tell us about it?

Update: Thanks to Adena for pointing me to an article over at Directions Magazine about the conference. After reading up on it, now I’m really sad I missed it. I’ll definitely be going next year.

Categories
Thoughts

ESRI is not the Microsoft of the GIS world, it is much more complex

I’ve been getting emails from people asking about ESRI and many of them think of ESRI as the Microsoft of the GIS world. Since people like analogies, try this one on for size:

ESRI is the Microsoft, Apple, Google, Sun, Lotus, Borland, Adobe, Oracle, IBM, and WordPerfect of the GIS world.

That is how you measure their contributions to GIS.

Categories
Thoughts

Grassroots Katrina GIS Support

Link – Katrina GIS support

I am participating in a fantastic, grass roots GIS project. We are working to serve as much Katrina imagery as we can, reprocessing it to make fit and look better, and providing access in as many formats as possible.

Howard is part of a wonderful effort to provide imagery of the Katrina Hurricane disaster in as many formats as possible. If you think you can help out go ahead and email him at and let him know what your skills or ideas are. You can see the effort at the Katrina Image Warehouse.

Categories
Thoughts

Grassroots Katrina GIS Support

Link – Katrina GIS support

I am participating in a fantastic, grass roots GIS project. We are working to serve as much Katrina imagery as we can, reprocessing it to make fit and look better, and providing access in as many formats as possible.

Howard is part of a wonderful effort to provide imagery of the Katrina Hurricane disaster in as many formats as possible. If you think you can help out go ahead and email him at and let him know what your skills or ideas are. You can see the effort at the Katrina Image Warehouse.

Categories
Thoughts

Chris Tweedie on “10 Utils to make Opensource GIS that little bit easier”

Link – 10 Utils to make Opensource GIS that little bit easier…

In the same vain as my other ArcIMS thread, here are my top 10 utilities (ok so its not really ten) for making my life with OGC apps that little bit easier. If i have missed any which you recommend, please let me know. I have tried to cut the list down to what i think are useful, as there are unfortunately a lot of applications which are not worth the trouble or are incredibly outdated (sorry freegis.org, but the list needs culling guys).

There has been a lot of talk about comparing ESRI software with open source GIS offerings. Chris posts the cream of the crop on his blog so if you are interested in learning more check it out. We are currently playing around with UMN Mapserver and PostGIS on Redhat and I’ve come away quite impressed.

The question is when does playing turn into marketing?

Categories
Thoughts

Chris Tweedie on “10 Utils to make Opensource GIS that little bit easier”

Link – 10 Utils to make Opensource GIS that little bit easier…

In the same vain as my other ArcIMS thread, here are my top 10 utilities (ok so its not really ten) for making my life with OGC apps that little bit easier. If i have missed any which you recommend, please let me know. I have tried to cut the list down to what i think are useful, as there are unfortunately a lot of applications which are not worth the trouble or are incredibly outdated (sorry freegis.org, but the list needs culling guys).

There has been a lot of talk about comparing ESRI software with open source GIS offerings. Chris posts the cream of the crop on his blog so if you are interested in learning more check it out. We are currently playing around with UMN Mapserver and PostGIS on Redhat and I’ve come away quite impressed.

The question is when does playing turn into marketing?

Categories
Thoughts

New GIS Programming Blog

Link – Geo Coding

In the comments on the ROK Developer Blog, Jason posted a link to a GIS blog I hadn’t seen before. Geo Coding seems focused on using AJAX with ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server. I’ve added it to my blogroll and my RSS aggregator. Cool stuff!

Categories
Thoughts

More GIS Bloggers

I added a couple new GIS bloggers to my blog roll. I’m quite impressed with how long it is getting.

Walt’s blog has some really nice posts about GIS including his take on ESRI and Google.