(submitted by Jonathan Fisk, GIS Solutions Engineer, ESRI Charlotte)
Part of my job is to discover Web based content and services, mash them up, and then show these to others. Many of them don’t realize how easy these are to mashup in this Web 2.0 world. ArcGIS Explorer is a great platform for doing these kinds of things, and I have assembled collections of real time feeds, map views of organizational resources and emergency plans, and tasks that answer timely and relevant questions using Explorer. And sharing is as easy as exporting a result or saving a map.
I’ve recently discovered that ArcGIS Explorer’s result popups can bring more than just an HTML page to life on your map. Below is an example where I call Microsoft Virtual Earth’s API from the popup window when I click on the map to create a yellow map note. The popup window displays the Bird’s Eye view of the location.
Why does this excite me? Well, just like the next person, I love to see my house in high resolution from 4 directions (that’s not my house above!). But this content can also be used to visually add to more practical applications, and can be combined with other content and tasks in ArcGIS Explorer. By authoring this as a custom task I can create results that can be shared with others or included as part of my map, and I can also enable others to use the Bird’s Eye view popup easily. Here’s what my task UI looks like currently – just click on the map to create a VE result, then click the result to open its popup window to see the Bird’s Eye view.
The first time I tried this I used the brute force method – I went to Microsoft’s Virtual Earth API documentation and tried to make their example Birds Eye view of the Seattle Space Needle pop up in a browser.
Here’s what the code looks like in the popup window properties for an already placed VE result. The lat/long coordinates of for VELatLong() are always obtained from where you click the mouse:
I now have a custom task that I use quite frequently to spruce up a map with Virtual Earth content. And best of all my map content rides along with the NMF document and I can e-mail or post it for others to use.
I have shared my custom task on ArcScripts – Enjoy!