This month the Esri Defense team launched a series of ArcGIS for the Military GitHub Repositiories to share source code for our web, desktop, and mobile applications. For those that aren’t familiar with GitHub, it is a code sharing and … Continue reading
You may not know this, but the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex source code has been on GitHub since version 2.5 of the viewer. The ArcGIS API for Flex samples source code were also recently published to GitHub. The Esri Flex … Continue reading
In a recent blog post we released a code sample for integrating MongoDB data with the ArcGIS system. This blog entry will help you use the code sample with an existing Mongo DB database in three steps: downloading and compiling the code sample, pre-processing your data, and preparing your MongoDB database for use with ArcGIS.
To build on the success of recent Developer Summit in California, we’ve decided to take the event on the road. Esri will be hosting 3 Dev Summits in Europe this September.
I hope developers from all over Europe and the world will come together in Rotterdam, Berlin or London (all 3 if you want). The technical sessions will focus on becoming more effective at building web, mobile and desktop applications. Senior Esri development staff will be presenting so you’ll get a chance to see what’s coming next. Registration information will be available soon but mark your calendar now and plan to join us in Europe.
Unhackathon #2: TED Prize City 2.0 Equality Challenge: Esri Promotes Spreading Economic Opportunity To All
On April 6th and 7th 2012, Mix and Stir Studio hosted its second Unhackathon. The ambitious target: Use design-driven technology to spread economic growth created by small businesses throughout an entire city, and better connect social services with citizens who need them most. Together with TED City 2.0, the Equal Justice Initiative, officials from the City of San Francisco, and California College of the Arts, Mix and Stir brought people together to emphasize the distinctive approach to solving problems from the design-first angle. Technical Professionals, Business Strategists, and Designers brainstormed for two days to conceptualize solutions that might create more awareness among underserved populations of various government services and opportunities available to them.
The event kicked off Friday night with a social gathering for folks to mingle and introduce themselves. An experienced panel of professionals then discussed what they have learned from working closely with people living near poverty level.
The panel outlined various characteristics that develop amongst people living under these conditions. Daily life at the povery level is fluid – unstable and unpredictable. Uncertainty about the next meal or the next address makes it very difficult to meet appointments to learn about government servces. No fresh food. No health clinics. No open spaces. No green spaces. No affordable housing. No safety. Impoverished neighborhoods suffer from a lack of resources. Residents want security, a neighborhood where they don’t have to worry about being shot. They want what most people want: affordable housing, reliable means to pay bills and educate their children, and good health. These obstacles do not create just hopelessness or desperation, but also genuine community. People show extreme courageousness to keep going; creativeity to solve problems; collective pain and loss leading to strength and sense of kinship; extraordinary ability to communicate at the neighborhood level. Their own stories excite them. They have passion for each other and each other’s families.
In the context of creating solutions, the panel explained the difficulty making data from different agencies available to low-income residents and the complexity of utilizing it. It’s out there, but there’s no consistency or uniformity with it. Visualizing it or traversing it at a one-stop-shop is impossible. People providing it lack knowledge to present it so it’s easy to retrieve answers to the questions underserved populations have: Where do I get affordable housing? Where is affordable health care? Where can I get healthy food?
Unhackathon #2 brought people together and set the stage for creative minds to conceptualize solutions to this information gap. Designers, Business People, and City Officials have attempted this before, and often. Commonly designers fail because they approach problems from their own perspectives. Approaching problems from the daily poverty perspective differs than coming at them from a position of security like most folks in the center of designing solutions. And the perpetual enemy that often accompanies people trying to serve those in need rears its head often: Expectation of gratitude. The Perspective Disparity can lead to solutions that don’t fit and may lack vision, empathy, and understanding of people’s wants and needs.
So the Unhackathon attendees went to work. They formed teams and developed concepts. Proposed solutions considered what people living in poverty want, have and have access to. Esri sent professional representatives to participate as team members in developing possible solutions: Brenda Wolfe, a Product Manger working with Community Analyst; Amadea Azerki, a Solution Engineer with the California Regional Office, Shannon McElvaney a Consultant/Project Manager with GeoDesign Services; and John Yaist, a Technical Lead with the EDN Group. These Esri employees with their experience and backgrounds in location information helped incorporate spatial thinking to influence the business and design aspects of potential solutions.
Solutions focused on easing major pains for low-income populations – getting information and getting to places to investigate available government services. Design solutions ranged from text-based systems to mobile classrooms and service vehicles to local partnering networks. The judges chose to award three concepts with focused mentoring to further present the ideas for a chance at $10,000 TED City 2.0 Grant.
These 3 concepts were:
- Ping –Think TaskRabbit meets Avon Online. This software platform allows a community leader to organize, manage and provide contracts to home-based entrepreneurs via text message.
- Pop-Up Skill Shop – This concept pairs the owners of vacant, rundown buildings with a green design/build contracting service that apprentices low income youth in an equity share arrangement.
- Mobile Services Mall – Think Taco truck meets City Hall. This van comes outfitted with externally mounted computer terminals and will drive and park at central locations like neighborhood churches to provide the low income community with access to city, county, or federal services they might not know about or be able to find.
These winning ideas focused on making it easy for residents to access the service. The problems the Unhackathon addressed often focused on location: Where could someone find what they need? The event allowed Esri to demonstrate its practical approach to solving problems to an audience inexperienced in application of spatial software, tools, and data. An event like this provides a forum to open minds and increase awareness of how maps and a person’s sense of place can be critical components in the design of solutions that are widely applicable and easy to implement against real problems. Unhackathon attendees seemed excited about the possibility maps provide for visualization in the design process. Esri’s support of these Unhackathons will prove valuable for exposing what maps can do as problem-solving tools.
Written by John Yaist
The Defense & Intelligence Development team will be at the 2012 Esri Developer Summit.
Don’t miss the Introduction to ArcGIS for Defense pre-summit seminar, Monday, March 26 (1:15pm – 2:30pm). This seminar is a chance to learn about ArcGIS for Defense and the downloadable maps and apps we’ve built to meet the needs of defense organizations.
This is the developer event for ArcGIS. Plan now to attend and get the inside developer details on ArcGIS 10.1
For the second year in a row, Esri won in the Mapping and GIS Components category of Visual StudioMagazine’s (VSM’s) Readers Choice Awards for its ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight/Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). In addition, Esri received merit awards for ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS for SharePoint.
Esri created the ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight/WPF for developers who want to create web-based mapping applications quickly and easily with minimal coding. Many governments and businesses use the API because it provides an intuitive framework for creating GIS web applications, such as data portals and interactive map viewers, and combines multiple technologies into a single development platform. Esri received the same recognition for the API in the 2010 VSM Readers Choice Awards.
This is the first year Esri received merit for ArcGIS for Desktop in the GIS and Components category. ArcGIS for Desktop is a complete system for managing, analyzing, and serving maps and geographic information. Esri also won its first merit award in the SharePoint Tools and Components category for ArcGIS for SharePoint, an out-of-the-box software solution that helps users quickly create, display, and share tabular information on dynamic interactive maps within SharePoint.
“It is gratifying to see our mapping tools being widely adopted and used by the developer community,” says Jack Dangermond, Esri president.
The VSM Readers Choice Awards are based on the responses of hundreds of select VSM subscribers. The online ballot, which was compiled by the editors of VSM, included more than 400 products.
“We’re honored to have been recognized by the Visual Studio Magazine community for the second year in a row,” says Art Haddad, lead software architect at Esri. “It’s great to be recognized for ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight/WPF and especially to see the complete ArcGIS system receive meritorious recognition in the GIS and Components category.”
The winners are highlighted in the November issue of Visual Studio Magazine. Visit Visual Studio Magazine to see the full list of award recipients.
ArcGIS 10 provides a new Python
mapping module (arcpy.mapping) that allows you to interact with the contents of
map documents and layer files without necessarily needing to interactively open an
ArcMap session. The methods, properties and functions available in this
new map scripting API enable you, for example, to automate changing data
sources, modify layer properties, export and print maps, as well as automate the
thematic maps and map series. Because the new mapping module is part of
the ArcPy geoprocessing framework, scripts can be used within ArcGIS Desktop
but can also be published to ArcGIS Server as geoprocessing services making
it much easier to make mapping and printing capabilities available on the
The following links are resources
that will help you learn more about arcpy.mapping, get access to popular
sample scripts available for download, and
links to new training resources:
A new Introduction to
arcpy.mapping help topic is a great starting point. It includes
links to a new arcpy.mapping tutorial and general guidelines for working with
arcpy.mapping. ArcGIS Desktop help has a complete section
dedicated to the ArcPy mapping module. Embedded within the help topics
are over 100 different, practical help samples that can be copied/pasted into your applications. Be
sure to review the “Best ways to get started” section.
A video presentation called Python Scripting for
Map Automation in ArcGIS 10 presented at the 2011 Developer’s Summit is an excellent way
to get started. This presentation not only introduces arcpy.mapping but
also demonstrates many of its use cases.
presentation called Arcpy.mapping: Export a map in PDF format from a web
browser that demonstrates how arcpy.mapping scripts can be published as
geoprocessing services and published to web applications.
- Approximately 20
script tools that perform routine map and layer management tasks, printing and
exporting, as well as basic cartographic operations.
This is an excellent download because it
includes many practical code samples that perform a variety of tasks and they
are easy enough to modify for your own purposes.
- A script
tool that combines Data Driven Pages, arcpy.mapping, and the ReportLab site package to generate a reference map book that includes street index
pages. It demonstrates how arcpy.mapping can be used to extend Data
Driven Pages capabilities.
- A script
that incorporates Data Driven Pages and arcpy.mapping to build a map series
that includes dynamic graphic tables. There is a very complete README.doc file
included with the download that also addresses other useful tips and tricks
that go along with the application.
Basics of Python (for ArcGIS 10).
This course teaches fundamental concepts you need to know to create
Python scripts in ArcGIS. You will learn guidelines for proper Python syntax,
techniques to troubleshoot common errors, and how to use loops to test for
conditions and execute different code based on the result.
Python Scripting for Map Automation in
ArcGIS 10. This course teaches how to automate map production and
related data management tasks that would be time-consuming and tedious to
perform manually. You will learn how to work with the mapping module of the
ArcPy site package to quickly and easily update map layers and map document
properties, modify map content, and produce individual maps and map books.
Special thanks to David from the Mapping Team for sharing these links.