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Thoughts

A GIS Degree

My son decided to change majors from biodesign to GIS. I had a short moment when I almost told him not to bring all this on himself but then thought differently. I could use my years of experience to help him get the perfect degree in GIS and get a great job and still do what he wants.

He’s one semester into the program so he really hasn’t taken too many classes. There has been the typical Esri, SPSS and Google Maps discussion, but nothing getting into the weeds. Plus he’s taking Geography courses as well so he’s got that going for him. Since he’s at Arizona State University, he’s going through the same program as I did, but it’s a bit different. When I was at ASU, Planning was in the Architectural College. Now it’s tied with Geography in a new School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning.

I have to be honest, this is smart, I started my GIS career working for a planning department at a large city. The other thing I noticed is a ton of my professors are still teaching. I mean how awesome is that? I suddenly don’t feel so old anymore.

I’ve stayed out of his classes for the past semester in hopes that he can form his own thoughts on GIS and its applicability. I probably will continue to help him focus on where to spend his electives (more Computer Science and less History of the German Empire 1894-1910). He’s such a smart kid, I know he’s going to do a great job and he was one who spent time in that Esri UC Kids Fair back when I used to go to the User Conference. Now he could be getting paid to use Esri software or whatever tool best accomplishes his goals.

I plan to show him the Safe FME Minecraft Reader/Writer.

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Are Conferences Important Anymore?

Hey SOTM is going on, didn’t even know. The last SOTM I went to was in 2013 which was a blast. But I have to be honest, not only did this slip my mind, none of my feeds highlighted it to me. Not only that, apparently Esri is having a conference soon. (wait for me to go ask Google when it is) OK, they are having it next week. I used to be the person who went to as much as I could, either through attending or invited to keynote. The last Esri UC I went to was in 2015, 6 years ago. As I said SOTM was in 2013. FOSS4G, 2011. I had to look up, the last conference that had any GIS in it was the 2018 Barcelona Smart City Expo.

So with the world opening back up, or maybe not given whatever greek letter variant we are dealing with right now, I’ve started to think about what I might want to attend and the subject matter. At the end of the day, I feel like I got more value out of the conversations outside the convention center than inside. So probably where I see a good subset of smart people hanging out. That’s why those old GeoWeb conferences that Ron Lake put on were so amazing. Meeting a ton of smart people and enjoying the conversations, rather than reading Powerpoint slides in a darkly lit room.

Hopefully we can get back to that, just need to keep my eye out.

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Reading Material for a GIS Professional

Just a little something for me to read while traveling back east next week, twice…

Uc2005 cd

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What Didn’t I hear at the ESRI 2005 User Conference

Well I posted about things I liked, now what about two things I didn’t hear?

  1. PostgreSQL support in ArcSDE I was really hoping to hear this, but no one I talked to would admit it was going to happen. The cost of SDE is so high because you need to pay for an commercial enterprise RDBMS. PostgreSQL is perfect for ArcSDE, but I guess I’ll have to continue looking at working with PostGIS.

  2. Public ArcWeb Services It looks like the ArcWeb Services team got caught off guard with the announcement of Public (free) ArcWeb Services. They didn’t seem ready to answer questions, that I had other than to say they’ll look into it. As long as this is all figured out by AWS 2005 I’ll be happy, but it was a little disappointing to not learn more than I already knew.

Both of these were of strong interest to me going into the conference and I’m sure I’m in the minority in thinking that they are important, but they did dampen my enthusiasm just a little.

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Thoughts

Reflections on the ESRI 2005 User Conference

So now that I’ve been back for a couple days from the ESRI UC, what do I think about what I saw and heard?

  1. Developers are back. It had been quite some time since I really felt that ESRI was supporting developers of their software. Every couple years we get some cool new tools to play with, but they always seem to be put on the back burner to analysis. This year with EDN, developers really had a place to hang out and coupled with the Embedded, Mobile and Server Islands, most of the ESRI floorspace was devoted to developers. The first .NET Special Interest Group meeting was great because we got so many bright minds into one room (then they forgot to lock the door before I got in) and we got to talk one on one with some of the best developer minds at ESRI about what we’d like to see. I know Art wrote down quite a bit so we’ll have to see how quickly any of it can be implemented (If I had to chose only two I’d would like to see the “gotdotnet” type portal for ESRI developers and a ESRI Developer Summit).
  2. ArcWeb Services for the masses. The big stealth announcement was Public ArcWeb Services are now available. This should really start helping ESRI develop their GIS Services business, but I don’t think we’ll really see it take off until ArcWeb Services 2005 arrives. The demos I saw with the flash interface streaming vector files was very impressive. I’ve started playing with Public ArcWeb Services, but I’ve got no public ASP/JSP hosting site so most of this will probably just be internal or playing at work. REST support with AWS 2005 will change everything.
  3. Common Application Development Framework (ADF). Might not seem like much to some, but this should make development much easier because we’ll have one framework for all ESRI server products. Coupled with IDE integration with .NET and Java, developing applications should be much quicker and easier as we won’t have to get down in the weeds programming toolbars anymore and focus on the actual application. I’m going to be counting the days until I can get my hands on ArcGIS Server and ArcIMS 9.2 Betas.
  4. Cartography in ArcMap. In the past you could either have it one of two ways. A map in dynamic map in GIS or a cartographic map in Adobe Illustrator. The new cartographic representation in 9.2 will allow you to perform “Illustrator” enhancements right in ArcMap. The power of these cartographic representations really needs to be seen to appreciated.
  5. Workflows, workflows, workflows. Over and over again in almost every technical workshop and even on the ESRI Showcase floor we heard about workflows. This has always been a big deal for me as I’ve had to manage more and more people. ESRI has listened to users and what their workflows are and made changes to the software in 9.2 to make our lives easier. A simple example would be the cartography enhancements above. Being able to leave everything in Geodatabases should save much time and not require trips between ArcMap and Illustrator anymore.
  6. Changes to ArcSDE. I never had enough time to learn more about the specifics of the changes at 9.2 to SDE, but we will have more options rather than just the current enterprise SDE that we have at 9.1. I’m unsure of what this will mean to users, but a free SDE (I assume this is the new file Geodatabase?) should help people better understand Geodatabases and I suspect these will be adopted more readily than the Personal Geodatabase that is currently so limited.
  7. ArcExplorer is back. Both the web based ArcExplorer (built with DHTML) and the windows version looked great. All that wonderful AJAX that makes Google Maps so easy to use is now in ESRI’s web client. In fact the demos I saw blew anything that Google or MSN has with their maps. I hope the long lead time to 9.2 won’t allow the competition to catch up. Many thought this was a reaction to Google or MSN and I don’t think that was the case. While I’m sure ArcExplorer has been influenced by Google Maps and Earth, there is no way even ESRI could have gotten the program I saw running as well as it did. There might have been smoke and mirrors to make it run better than it did, but even though couldn’t hide a mock-up and what I saw wasn’t.
  8. Sun has set on the UC? I guess the days of Sun, Oracle, Informix and Bentley having huge booths are over. The big booths these days are for GPS and Satellite Imagery companies. IBM and HP were there in force and Dell was back again after a little absence.
  9. ESRI Image Server If you’ve ever had to deal with rasters in ArcSDE you’ll know why this announcement is so important. I have no clue about price, but I can’t imagine it costing too much as you can already do this for “free” with UMN Mapserver. RDBMS are great, but not for storing images and finally ESRI has a solution to handle them.
  10. The Usability Release ArcGIS 9.2 is going to be one of those great ESRI software releases. Rather than cram tons of new features into ArcGIS, they are focusing on usability and bug fixes. This should make 9.2 work really well for all users. Going off what I saw, you’ll want to make sure you maintenance is up to date so you’ll get the 9.2 upgrade. ArcGIS 9.2 is too good to miss out on. Until then look for that service pack in the fall for 9.1!
Categories
Thoughts

Reflections on the ESRI 2005 User Conference

So now that I’ve been back for a couple days from the ESRI UC, what do I think about what I saw and heard?

  1. Developers are back. It had been quite some time since I really felt that ESRI was supporting developers of their software. Every couple years we get some cool new tools to play with, but they always seem to be put on the back burner to analysis. This year with EDN, developers really had a place to hang out and coupled with the Embedded, Mobile and Server Islands, most of the ESRI floorspace was devoted to developers. The first .NET Special Interest Group meeting was great because we got so many bright minds into one room (then they forgot to lock the door before I got in) and we got to talk one on one with some of the best developer minds at ESRI about what we’d like to see. I know Art wrote down quite a bit so we’ll have to see how quickly any of it can be implemented (If I had to chose only two I’d would like to see the “gotdotnet” type portal for ESRI developers and a ESRI Developer Summit).
  2. ArcWeb Services for the masses. The big stealth announcement was Public ArcWeb Services are now available. This should really start helping ESRI develop their GIS Services business, but I don’t think we’ll really see it take off until ArcWeb Services 2005 arrives. The demos I saw with the flash interface streaming vector files was very impressive. I’ve started playing with Public ArcWeb Services, but I’ve got no public ASP/JSP hosting site so most of this will probably just be internal or playing at work. REST support with AWS 2005 will change everything.
  3. Common Application Development Framework (ADF). Might not seem like much to some, but this should make development much easier because we’ll have one framework for all ESRI server products. Coupled with IDE integration with .NET and Java, developing applications should be much quicker and easier as we won’t have to get down in the weeds programming toolbars anymore and focus on the actual application. I’m going to be counting the days until I can get my hands on ArcGIS Server and ArcIMS 9.2 Betas.
  4. Cartography in ArcMap. In the past you could either have it one of two ways. A map in dynamic map in GIS or a cartographic map in Adobe Illustrator. The new cartographic representation in 9.2 will allow you to perform “Illustrator” enhancements right in ArcMap. The power of these cartographic representations really needs to be seen to appreciated.
  5. Workflows, workflows, workflows. Over and over again in almost every technical workshop and even on the ESRI Showcase floor we heard about workflows. This has always been a big deal for me as I’ve had to manage more and more people. ESRI has listened to users and what their workflows are and made changes to the software in 9.2 to make our lives easier. A simple example would be the cartography enhancements above. Being able to leave everything in Geodatabases should save much time and not require trips between ArcMap and Illustrator anymore.
  6. Changes to ArcSDE. I never had enough time to learn more about the specifics of the changes at 9.2 to SDE, but we will have more options rather than just the current enterprise SDE that we have at 9.1. I’m unsure of what this will mean to users, but a free SDE (I assume this is the new file Geodatabase?) should help people better understand Geodatabases and I suspect these will be adopted more readily than the Personal Geodatabase that is currently so limited.
  7. ArcExplorer is back. Both the web based ArcExplorer (built with DHTML) and the windows version looked great. All that wonderful AJAX that makes Google Maps so easy to use is now in ESRI’s web client. In fact the demos I saw blew anything that Google or MSN has with their maps. I hope the long lead time to 9.2 won’t allow the competition to catch up. Many thought this was a reaction to Google or MSN and I don’t think that was the case. While I’m sure ArcExplorer has been influenced by Google Maps and Earth, there is no way even ESRI could have gotten the program I saw running as well as it did. There might have been smoke and mirrors to make it run better than it did, but even though couldn’t hide a mock-up and what I saw wasn’t.
  8. Sun has set on the UC? I guess the days of Sun, Oracle, Informix and Bentley having huge booths are over. The big booths these days are for GPS and Satellite Imagery companies. IBM and HP were there in force and Dell was back again after a little absence.
  9. ESRI Image Server If you’ve ever had to deal with rasters in ArcSDE you’ll know why this announcement is so important. I have no clue about price, but I can’t imagine it costing too much as you can already do this for “free” with UMN Mapserver. RDBMS are great, but not for storing images and finally ESRI has a solution to handle them.
  10. The Usability Release ArcGIS 9.2 is going to be one of those great ESRI software releases. Rather than cram tons of new features into ArcGIS, they are focusing on usability and bug fixes. This should make 9.2 work really well for all users. Going off what I saw, you’ll want to make sure you maintenance is up to date so you’ll get the 9.2 upgrade. ArcGIS 9.2 is too good to miss out on. Until then look for that service pack in the fall for 9.1!
Categories
Thoughts

Reflections on the ESRI 2005 User Conference

So now that I’ve been back for a couple days from the ESRI UC, what do I think about what I saw and heard?

  1. Developers are back. It had been quite some time since I really felt that ESRI was supporting developers of their software. Every couple years we get some cool new tools to play with, but they always seem to be put on the back burner to analysis. This year with EDN, developers really had a place to hang out and coupled with the Embedded, Mobile and Server Islands, most of the ESRI floorspace was devoted to developers. The first .NET Special Interest Group meeting was great because we got so many bright minds into one room (then they forgot to lock the door before I got in) and we got to talk one on one with some of the best developer minds at ESRI about what we’d like to see. I know Art wrote down quite a bit so we’ll have to see how quickly any of it can be implemented (If I had to chose only two I’d would like to see the “gotdotnet” type portal for ESRI developers and a ESRI Developer Summit).
  2. ArcWeb Services for the masses. The big stealth announcement was Public ArcWeb Services are now available. This should really start helping ESRI develop their GIS Services business, but I don’t think we’ll really see it take off until ArcWeb Services 2005 arrives. The demos I saw with the flash interface streaming vector files was very impressive. I’ve started playing with Public ArcWeb Services, but I’ve got no public ASP/JSP hosting site so most of this will probably just be internal or playing at work. REST support with AWS 2005 will change everything.
  3. Common Application Development Framework (ADF). Might not seem like much to some, but this should make development much easier because we’ll have one framework for all ESRI server products. Coupled with IDE integration with .NET and Java, developing applications should be much quicker and easier as we won’t have to get down in the weeds programming toolbars anymore and focus on the actual application. I’m going to be counting the days until I can get my hands on ArcGIS Server and ArcIMS 9.2 Betas.
  4. Cartography in ArcMap. In the past you could either have it one of two ways. A map in dynamic map in GIS or a cartographic map in Adobe Illustrator. The new cartographic representation in 9.2 will allow you to perform “Illustrator” enhancements right in ArcMap. The power of these cartographic representations really needs to be seen to appreciated.
  5. Workflows, workflows, workflows. Over and over again in almost every technical workshop and even on the ESRI Showcase floor we heard about workflows. This has always been a big deal for me as I’ve had to manage more and more people. ESRI has listened to users and what their workflows are and made changes to the software in 9.2 to make our lives easier. A simple example would be the cartography enhancements above. Being able to leave everything in Geodatabases should save much time and not require trips between ArcMap and Illustrator anymore.
  6. Changes to ArcSDE. I never had enough time to learn more about the specifics of the changes at 9.2 to SDE, but we will have more options rather than just the current enterprise SDE that we have at 9.1. I’m unsure of what this will mean to users, but a free SDE (I assume this is the new file Geodatabase?) should help people better understand Geodatabases and I suspect these will be adopted more readily than the Personal Geodatabase that is currently so limited.
  7. ArcExplorer is back. Both the web based ArcExplorer (built with DHTML) and the windows version looked great. All that wonderful AJAX that makes Google Maps so easy to use is now in ESRI’s web client. In fact the demos I saw blew anything that Google or MSN has with their maps. I hope the long lead time to 9.2 won’t allow the competition to catch up. Many thought this was a reaction to Google or MSN and I don’t think that was the case. While I’m sure ArcExplorer has been influenced by Google Maps and Earth, there is no way even ESRI could have gotten the program I saw running as well as it did. There might have been smoke and mirrors to make it run better than it did, but even though couldn’t hide a mock-up and what I saw wasn’t.
  8. Sun has set on the UC? I guess the days of Sun, Oracle, Informix and Bentley having huge booths are over. The big booths these days are for GPS and Satellite Imagery companies. IBM and HP were there in force and Dell was back again after a little absence.
  9. ESRI Image Server If you’ve ever had to deal with rasters in ArcSDE you’ll know why this announcement is so important. I have no clue about price, but I can’t imagine it costing too much as you can already do this for “free” with UMN Mapserver. RDBMS are great, but not for storing images and finally ESRI has a solution to handle them.
  10. The Usability Release ArcGIS 9.2 is going to be one of those great ESRI software releases. Rather than cram tons of new features into ArcGIS, they are focusing on usability and bug fixes. This should make 9.2 work really well for all users. Going off what I saw, you’ll want to make sure you maintenance is up to date so you’ll get the 9.2 upgrade. ArcGIS 9.2 is too good to miss out on. Until then look for that service pack in the fall for 9.1!
Categories
Thoughts

My Son at the 2005 ESRI User Conference Thursday Night Dinner

It is safe to say he had a blast Thursday night as we all did. He did enjoy dancing to GRIDLOCK with this nice little girl. She did dance him under the table though, but not bad for a 2 year old.

29595497 3a3a4a28db o

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ESRI User Conference 2005 Blog Survey

Link – ESRI UC Blog Feedback

We hope you’ve found the ESRI UC Blog useful and relevant. Please take a few minutes to give us feedback by completing a short survey.

Looks like ESRI is looking for opinions about their UC Blog and Blogging in general. Anyone who is interesting is seeing ESRI blog more should take some time and fill out the survey (yea, yet another one, but it seems ESRI works better with them).

User Conference 2005 Blog Survey

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Thursday Night Celebration at ESRI User Conference

The family and I had a blast tonight at the Thursday night party. I’ll post some pictures of my son dancing with a little girl to GRIDLOCK. It was nice meeting Steve’s family and his little boy is just a riot. I also bumped into many of people I hadn’t seen in years and a ton of new friends I’ve made over the course of this UC.

I’d also like to let J know that his work on the New Zealand Post ArcGIS Server project is just about the most impressive GIS programming work I have ever seen given the scope, time-line and requirement. Everyone at Eagle should be really proud of the work they did. A couple of us bloggers were at the presentation and we all were really happy to see such a large implementation of ArcGIS Server, not done by ESRI. Great work guys (and wouldn’t you know I still owe J lunch, catch you at the Developer Summit).