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Thoughts

GIS Web Services

Rolleyes

Now that everyone is starting to use the Google Maps API to do tons of web mapping, don’t you think it is time for ESRI to offer their own web services?

Come now people, how long have we been doing things like Google Weather Map with ArcWeb Services. I’m not saying Google Maps API isn’t cool, its just that most of this has been done before. Has ESRI lost out because they didn’t open up their API like Google has? I’m guessing it is in their best interest not to get involved with Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps or MapPoint. It is easy to get excited about the “script kiddies” and their interesting applications they are building, but I don’t think much of this will lead anywhere as they will tire of their web mapping applications and move on. Stability is what leads developers to ESRI and their products, not eye candy.

Categories
Thoughts

GIS Users Can’t Get Enough Google Earth

Link: G-town Love: Look Out ESRI (dead link).

Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) is the microsoft of GIS… their the top dawgs in GIS software and in turn everyone use’s their file formats and forms of analysis. Overall they have some good stuff. However, google just launched google earth. Now I’m sure google’s software isn’t as robust as ArcGIS and doesn’t really support a wide variety of data types. However, there are a ton of small businesses and people that could benefit from a “light-weight” GIS that is easy to use and requires little training.

While I agree that ESRI should have a consumer product, I don’t think Google Earth is close to being that product. The amount of press that Google Maps has been getting in both the traditional media and the blogsphere has been huge, but in the end all you have is a product that is much more similar to TOPO! (think DRGs rather than satellite photos) than ESRI ArcGIS. If one looks at what has happened with Picasa since Google bought them, you’d see that Adobe hasn’t been hurt too much by their sales of Photoshop Elements. I think when the press dies down and users begin to see what Google Earth offers them, they’ll enjoy the eye candy and move on to the next great Google offering. The rest of us will be enjoying ArcGIS 9.2, or so we hope.

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Thoughts

Tracking GIS Across the Blogosphere

Trying to find GIS information on the Internet can be like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. Well lucky for us we have a couple tools that enable us to see what other users are saying about topics we care about. I use my RSS aggregator to read the blogs that I feel keep me up to date the most, but what about the thousands that mention GIS?

Enter Technorati, PubSub and Feedster. These three tools allow me to use keywords or “tags” to find blog postings that match terms that I want to follow. What is ever better about them is you can subscribe to them with your RSS aggregator. I will use the keyword/tag “ESRI” to show you how each of them finds and displays blog entries.

PubSub is a little different than those two as you really need to create the keywords yourself, but I think I get better results with PubSub than Technorati or Feedster.

I’ve got PubSub feeds for ESRI, ArcGIS, PostGIS, Oracle, MapServer, Ka Map, Cartography and Geospatial. I don’t have one for GIS because you get many results for GIs (think Iraq). Any time almost anyone posts about the above terms on their blog, I get to read the post. I know many users know about these services, but if you don’t you should really check them out.

Categories
Thoughts

Roger Tomlinson’s Book, Thinking About GIS, Details GIS Planning for Managers

Think_gis

Roger Tomlinson’s Book, Thinking About GIS, Details GIS Planning for Managers

The revised and updated second edition of this book, which provides planning wisdom for implementing a GIS, is now available from ESRI Press.

If you haven’t read this book and work in the GIS industry, you should go ahead and buy it now. Heck, now it is in paperback making it an even better deal.

Categories
Thoughts

Roger Tomlinson’s Book, Thinking About GIS, Details GIS Planning for Managers

Think_gis

Roger Tomlinson’s Book, Thinking About GIS, Details GIS Planning for Managers

The revised and updated second edition of this book, which provides planning wisdom for implementing a GIS, is now available from ESRI Press.

If you haven’t read this book and work in the GIS industry, you should go ahead and buy it now. Heck, now it is in paperback making it an even better deal.

Categories
Thoughts

Roger Tomlinson’s Book, Thinking About GIS, Details GIS Planning for Managers

Think_gis

Roger Tomlinson’s Book, Thinking About GIS, Details GIS Planning for Managers

The revised and updated second edition of this book, which provides planning wisdom for implementing a GIS, is now available from ESRI Press.

If you haven’t read this book and work in the GIS industry, you should go ahead and buy it now. Heck, now it is in paperback making it an even better deal.

Categories
Thoughts

Why Blogging about GIS works

I posted a blog entry moving to a .NET development environment last month and questioned what the possible licensing issues were with ArcGIS Engine. I had searched ESRI’s site to see if there was a definitive answer, but couldn’t really find much. Lucky for me ESRI Product Manager Rob Elkins saw what I wrote and offered to answer my questions. I’ve taken him up on it and he cleared up every question I had, thanks Rob!

Weblogs are great tools for everyone. We can talk about issues that concern us in an open forum and get reaction from other bloggers and just people in general. I decided to start blogging about GIS again because our company was moving our GIS work in two new directions, from COM to .NET and into open source server side GIS. In a closed development environment I wouldn’t have had the great suggestions people have given me about connection to PostGIS and I sure wouldn’t have learned as much as I have about ArcGIS Engine.

ESRI has a couple of bloggers that are in my blogroll, but I sure wish there were more. I’d love to see every ESRI Product Manager have a weblog to interact with users. Forums are nice, but I don’t think you get the kind of feedback that weblogs can give you. Microsoft has jumped on the weblog bandwagon and I think this gives employees better feedback than they would get with surveys such as the annual ESRI User Conference questionnaire.

Categories
Thoughts

Why Blogging about GIS works

I posted a blog entry moving to a .NET development environment last month and questioned what the possible licensing issues were with ArcGIS Engine. I had searched ESRI’s site to see if there was a definitive answer, but couldn’t really find much. Lucky for me ESRI Product Manager Rob Elkins saw what I wrote and offered to answer my questions. I’ve taken him up on it and he cleared up every question I had, thanks Rob!

Weblogs are great tools for everyone. We can talk about issues that concern us in an open forum and get reaction from other bloggers and just people in general. I decided to start blogging about GIS again because our company was moving our GIS work in two new directions, from COM to .NET and into open source server side GIS. In a closed development environment I wouldn’t have had the great suggestions people have given me about connection to PostGIS and I sure wouldn’t have learned as much as I have about ArcGIS Engine.

ESRI has a couple of bloggers that are in my blogroll, but I sure wish there were more. I’d love to see every ESRI Product Manager have a weblog to interact with users. Forums are nice, but I don’t think you get the kind of feedback that weblogs can give you. Microsoft has jumped on the weblog bandwagon and I think this gives employees better feedback than they would get with surveys such as the annual ESRI User Conference questionnaire.