The 2008 ESRI Developer Summit

We’re days away from the annual ESRI Developer Summit down in Palm Springs. A lot of team members from the geodatabase team are going to be there presenting technical sessions. We’ll also be able to meet one on one with you to talk about projects that you’re working on and answer questions.

Team members will be floating around our designated island in the showcase area in between sessions, so you can come and find us there. We’ll be more than happy to talk and there will be lots of team members with varied areas of expertise, so we can direct specific questions to the right person.

Perhaps the best time to mingle with the geodatabase team is during the ‘Meet the Development Team’ session. This is being held on Wednesday from 1:30 – 2:30 in the showcase area.


Our team is giving 5 technical sessions and 1 pre-conference seminar this year:

·        Developer’s Guide to the Geodatabase : Monday afternoon

·        Effective Geodatabase Programming : Tuesday 2:45 – 4:00, Thursday 1:30 – 2:45

·        Working with the geodatabase effectively using SQL : Tuesday 4:30 – 5:45

·        Implementing Enterprise Applications with the Geodatabase : Wednesday 2:45 – 4:00

·        Distributed Geodatabase Development : Wednesday 4:30 – 5:45, Thursday 8:30 – 9:45

·        Developing with Rasters in ArcGIS : Thursday 8:30 – 9:45

Members of the development team will be on location and posting to the blog throughout the Dev Summit, so check back for updates and info from each day of the conference. 

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Welcome Inside the Geodatabase

We’re excited to be launching this new Geodatabase-centric blog (unofficially titled ‘Inside the Geodatabase’).


The scope of this blog will range from introductory information regarding general Geodatabase functionality to some more advanced topics and developer related material. We’ll be blogging on things like best practices, new and existing Geodatabase functionality, example workflows and updates from events team members are part of.


Also, when new help documentation or SDK content is written we’ll throw it on here first, not only so that you’ll know it’s available, but also to give users a fresh first glance.


On top of this there will be other media content such as:


  • Code Examples
  • Graphics
  • Instructional Videos
  • Power Point Presentations
  • Podcasts
  • Etc…

This blog is written by the Geodatabase Development Team and we’re hoping that it grows into a valuable resource for the user community so stay tuned …

Posted in Geodata | Tagged | 3 Comments

Eclipse plug-in for debugging ArcObjects code

Divesh Goyal, a Product Engineer on the ArcGIS Server Java team, contributed this post:

As we approach another Developer Summit, I am glad to announce the availability of an Eclipse plug-in for ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Engine Java developers that will greatly simplify debugging ArcObjects code.

About the plug-in

One of the most valuable tools that developers have at their disposal is a debugger through which they can step through code one statement at a time and inspect objects in the application. As many of you may already know, Java classes in the ArcObjects API are really only proxies to underlying COM ArcObjects. As a result, examining these proxies in the debugger only reveals their internal details and not the state of the ArcObjects. This makes it difficult to find out information such as the coordinates of a geometry, or the layers in a map service. Consequently, developers have to sprinkle their code with System.out.printlns and analyze traces on the console to get this information. This approach can be inconvenient and time consuming.

With this new Eclipse plug-in, Java developers can examine the state of the underlying ArcObjects right in Eclipse IDE’s Debug Perspective by enabling the “Show Logical Structure” option on the Expression and Variables window. Here’s an example of a Point object without the “Show Logical Structure” option enabled.

Without "Show Logical Structure"

This information provides little insight into the underlying ArcObject and is not helpful in reasoning through a workflow while debugging. Now here’s the logical representation of the same object with the “Show Logical Structure” option enabled.

With "Show Logical Structure"

The logical representation presents more comprehensible information about the underlying ArcObject’s state. This state is defined by the no-argument getter methods on it. You might sometimes see exception messages like “Exception Occurred: com.sun.jdi.InvocationException occurred invoking method” in the logical representation. This is normal and happens when some property of the ArcObject is not valid in the current context of the application.

The underlying ArcObjects could be running remotely in a separate process as in the case of ArcGIS Server web applications, or in the same process like in ArcGIS Engine applications. Thus, both Engine and Server developers can take advantage of this plug-in to debug their applications. I am very excited to share this plug-in with you, and look forward to your feedback. Code on!

How to get the plug-in

Follow these steps to download and install the plug-in from the EDN Website:

  1. In the Eclipse workbench, go to Help > Software Updates > Find and Install
  2. Select Search for new features to install, and click Next
  3. Create a New Remote Site for the URL “”
  4. Enable this remote site and click Finish.
  5. Expand the EDN tree in Search Results, and select the ArcGIS Debug feature.
  6. Proceed to install the plug-in, and restart the workbench when prompted.
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What to do when your label doesn't draw

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

So, you have just spent a few minutes deep in concentration setting up your labeling rules and applied them.  ArcMap’s little globe is spinning, spinning… spinning… and nothing.  Several of your labels didn’t draw. Panic and go to MappingCenter. Right?

Not exactly.

There are a few things we always do when diagnosing the “where’s my label” scenarios, no matter what’s being labeled or what labeling engine is being used.  Continue reading

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Explorer for Measuring Roof Size

An interesting use of ArcGIS Explorer for estimating roof size is covered in an ESRI Education Community blog post.

We’ll be at the upcoming National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference in Boston later this month. If you’re heading there, make sure to stop by the ESRI booth to learn more about using ArcGIS Explorer in education.

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Explorer at GITA

Over the last couple of posts we’ve covered ArcGIS Explorer at the Petroleum User Group (PUG) Conference and also the Federal User Conference (FedUC). We’re now at GITA, and here’s a quick recap of what was presented at last night’s ESRI dinner reception, and what will be hightlighted in the ESRI booth on the showroom floor.

Once again Explorer’s ability to add a variety of internet content and local data sources was highlighted. For many users this is essential, as many already publish services using ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server, and have wide variety of local data that must be integrated.

The City of Riverside is shown below with a 3D model of a substation. The substation is part of a citywide 3D landscape that was authored in ArcGlobe and published as an ArcGIS Server globe service. Also shown is part of the street scene, showing some of the 3D objects (trees, cars, poles) from the ArcGlobe 3D library, as well as several buildings designed using Sketchup.

Utility assets such as hydrants, poles, pipes, valves, and others can be linked to files like geo-tagged photos shown below. These linked and integrated documents can includes videos, diagrams, work orders, and other files.

A geoprocessing tool was authored that performs network tracing on the electrical network based on a trouble call location, identifying upstream and downstream infrastructure and devices that may be affected.

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Meet the development teams at the 2008 ESRI Developer Summit

The ESRI Developer Summit is just days away and we are very excited to visit with you in person and learn about your ArcGIS Server projects. Many of us will be presenting technical sessions throughout the conference, but a good place to catch us all together is in the ESRI Showcase area during the “Meet the Development Teams” event. This is a time for us to informally mingle and hear about your experiences with ArcGIS Server. It’s a great time to ask questions because we can easily introduce you to the team members whose expertise matches your area of interest.

You can meet these ArcGIS Server-related teams at the following times:

  • ArcGIS Mobile: Tuesday, March 18, 1:30 PM
  • ArcGIS JavaScript and REST APIs: Wednesday, March 19, 10:30 AM
  • ArcGIS Server .NET: Wednesday, March 19, 11:30 AM
  • ArcGIS Explorer: Wednesday, March 19, 2:30 PM
  • ArcGIS Server Java: Wednesday, March 19, 3:30 PM
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Having problems keeping your mobile service up and running?

A few of you have reported to us that all of a sudden your mobile service will just stop responding, and that even ping’ing the wsdl will not yield a result. However in each case, no one has been able to isolate a set of steps that would consistently reproduce the issue. It would simply stop working after a week, sometimes after two weeks and the only way to recover was to restart IIS!

Well we are fairly confident that we have isolated the problem. In all reported cases so far, services are alive and running strong. 

The links below detail the cause of the issue and how you can work around it:
Windows Server 2003
Windows XP

If you are experiencing problems with your mobile service – we want to hear about it! Contact your support representative or reply to this blog posting directly! Thank you for your patience and continued support!

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Cartographic design: Legends

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

Example of items in a legend

We recently received a question about legends on Ask a Cartographer, so I thought we should post a blog describing some of the cartographic guidelines for legends that may help you make decisions about their design.  Here are some tips — first related to page titles and legend titles, then some that are more general, and finally related to grouping items in legends: Continue reading

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Cartographic design: Inset maps

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

Recently we were asked if there are any cartographic standards for inset maps. Here are a few guidelines:


First, consider why the inset map is needed. Inset maps are sometimes used to show related themes of data at smaller scales, for example: Continue reading

Posted in Mapping | Tagged , | 1 Comment