Last week was a busy week for the entire Explorer team, with lots of interesting things happening and lots of great discussions in the Showcase area and elsewhere at Palm Springs. We appreciate all of your comments and feedback. We’ll be highlighting some of the presentations and those discussions in a series of posts beginning this week.
First, here’s a few things that were shown during the ESRI Business Partner Conference and Developer Summit plenaries. We’ve covered some of the general things that we typically demonstrate in previous posts on the ESRI Federal User Conference, Petroleum User Group meeting, and GITA, so we’ll focus on some of the different things that were shown last week.
One of the custom tasks demonstrated is one you’ll find on the Explorer Resource Center. Just choose File > Resource Center and choose the Tasks tab.
The one we chose is the Weather Finder task authored by Michael Waltuch, one of the lead designers on the ArcGIS Explorer development team. Just click to open the NMF file, which will add the task to your current session. To learn more about this task click the Description link on the Resource Center entry, or choose About Weather Finder on the task UI. You’ll learn the following:
Weather Finder locates the nearest weather station to a specified location and reports its most recent weather observations. The task is based on a reverse geocoding web service located at GeoNames.org. To learn more about GeoNames go to their web site and see the service description.
The popup window associated with the weather station includes a link to the National Weather Service’s Telecommunication Operations Center which lists more information and a 24 hour summary for the weather station.
This is a good example of a custom task which has been written using the ArcGIS Explorer SDK to work against an existing Web service – In other words it’s a mashup.
Using one of the Portland bookmarks, we right-clicked the pushpin to use the Send To capability to use this location as the starting point for the Weather Finder task. The bookmark itself is the result of a task (the Create Notes task in this case), and when you take the result of one task and send it to another we refer to that as task chaining, and you can read more about that in the Help.
Here’s the result of the Weather Finder task, the closest weather station to our Portland bookmark. In this case it’s located at the airport. If we click the result pushpin you’ll see the latest weather information in the popup, including links to the NOAA site providing more detailed information and historic data for this location.
We also used a task we obtained from the Showcase area on the Explorer Resource Center. The showcase is a place where anyone can contribute tasks, results, or other items they want to share with the Explorer community. We chose the Flickr Task authored by Rob Dunfey, a member of the ArcGIS Explorer SDK team who also authored a blog post with more details about the custom task. This task is another good example of a mashup with other existing Web-based APIs, in this case it uses the Fickr API.
Here we typed in “portland” to return the first 20 Flickr photos tagged with that keyword. Each of the results can be clicked to open a popup displaying the photo.
Another task that was shown was a custom geoprocessing task, authored using the Model Builder in ArcGIS Desktop and published using ArcGIS Server. The task’s UI was automatically generated by ArcGIS Server, based on parameters specified by the task author. The ArcGIS Explorer SDK can be used to modify its UI, but we just used the default, automatically generated one.
Here we’ve used Send To again to use our Portland bookmark as the input location for a 1 and 3 minute drive time analysis.
In upcoming posts we’ll cover more of what was shown, including some of the technical details of the plenary and workshop presentations, and also cover some of the things we showed that are coming in future releases.