Timely information via GeoRSS – Sneak peek at Explorer 480

Cyclones in Myanmar. Fires in Florida. Earthquakes in China. Timely information is critical for learning about events as they happen, and subsequently how to respond and what to do in their aftermath. One of the ways that timely geographic information is published is via GeoRSS feeds.

In the upcoming Explorer 480 release GeoRSS feeds are one of the supported connections, joining ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, and WMS.

Here we’ve connected to the USGS Shake Map feed, and we’re showing the popup content for the 7.9 quake that hit China on Monday, May 12.

Below we’ve connected to another USGS GeoRSS feed publishing all the magnitude 5+ quakes worldwide. Again we’re in China, in the vicinity of the disastrous 7.9 quake. You can see the strong aftershocks that followed the original temblor.


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Explorer at Where 2.0

Earlier this morning here at Where 2.0 in San Francisco, John Hanke, Director of Google Earth and Maps, and Jack Dangermond, ESRI President, partnered in a presentation which showcased some of the capabilities of ArcGIS Server 9.3. ArcGIS Server was used to publish KML that was viewed in Google Earth. The KML showed the result of a fire model with predicted burn times from the current fire perimeter (red line at right).

While ArcGIS Explorer is tightly coupled with ArcGIS Server, and has been designed specifically to leverage ArcGIS Server capabilities, ESRI’s open architecture also provides support for Google Earth, Google Maps, Virtual Earth, and other custom viewers.

In the ESRI booth at the Where 2.0 conference we’re using the same KML and ArcGIS Server-based maps in Explorer. Here we’ve taken things a little further with the use of the topo map service available from the Explorer Resource Center and the swipe tool. We used the swipe behavior option to swipe just the selected layer. You can set this option by choosing Tools > Options, and then clicking Layer Appearance.

Here’s what the single layer swipe looks like:




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Color ramps reorganized

By Jaynya Richards, Esri Research Cartographer

We recently made some changes to the color ramp styles on Mapping Center under the ArcGIS Resources tab. You will now find a single ZIP file that contains a variety of color ramps. Our purpose in reorganizing the color ramps was to make it easier to find and use the color ramps.   The way we did that was to organize all the color ramps of a particular theme into a separate style file.  Then we gave each of the style file a name that better describes the purpose of the color ramps. Continue reading

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View technical workshops from the 2008 ESRI Developer Summit

Videos from the 2008 ESRI Developer Summit technical workshops are available on the EDN Conferences page for everyone to view. Select a session and in the right-hand menu you’ll see links to slides, video, and in some cases sample code.

These workshops are presented primarily by ESRI development staff and include best practices, examples, and tips.

Below are direct links to some of the ArcGIS Server session pages:

General ArcGIS Server development topics

Developer’s Road Map to ArcGIS Server 9.3
Using the ArcGIS Server REST API
Building Mashups Using the ArcGIS JavaScript APIs
Working with ArcGIS Server Services Using the SOAP API
ArcGIS Server for ArcIMS Developers
Moving Desktop Applications to ArcGIS Server

.NET development topics

Building .NET Applications Using the ArcGIS Server Web ADF and ASP.NET AJAX
Building and Extending Tasks for .NET Web Applications
Implementing Security for ArcGIS Server .NET Solutions

Java development topics

Building Java Applications Using the ArcGIS Server Web ADF and AJAX
Building and Extending Tasks for ArcGIS Server—Java Web Applications
Implementing Security for ArcGIS Server—Java Solutions
Developing Advanced Java Web Applications
Architecting ArcGIS Server Solutions for Linux and Solaris

Administration and performance topics

Leveraging the OGC Capabilities of ArcGIS Server
Building and Optimizing Geoprocessing Services for ArcGIS Server
Implementing and Optimizing ArcGIS Server Map Caches
Architecting ArcGIS Server Solutions for Performance and Scalability
Using and Managing Raster Data in Server Applications

Feedback or questions about the videos are welcome as comments to this post.

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Road Ahead – Version Changes Viewer

Ever connect to a version of a Geodatabase and ask “How is this Version different” ? At ArcGIS 9.3 we added the Version Changes Viewer to the Versioning Toolbar to answer this very question. The Version Changes Viewer provides the capability to view the changes made to a version since it was created or last reconciled with an ancestor version.

This is useful because:

  • You can quickly see all the changes in a version without doing a Reconcile.
  • The tool can be used to see the changes just within the current edit session or current map extent.
  • You do not have to be editing to see what has changed in the version

How it works:

When the dialog is opened you select a version to compare changes with. The dialog lists all modified classes, inserts, updates and deletes, and allows you to view these in a similar experience to the interactive Conflicts Resolution dialog. It also allows you to view the changes made during your current edit session.

The Version Changes dialog will list all the changes made to the version for all layers in the map document based on the selected workspace. If the layer is not currently visible, changes on that layer will still be present in the dialog. Optionally, the changes can be restricted to only those changes in the present map extent by selecting the “filter changes using map extent” check box in the initial Version Selection dialog.

The Version Changes dialog box displays the number of changes that have been made to the version from the time it and the chosen target version were identical. The number of changes is subdivided by class, and then further subdivided into Insert, Delete, and Update categories. Clicking an ObjectID number shows its changes in the right window. All the attribute values for the two versions being compared and for their common ancestor are displayed. Attribute values displayed in bold signify that a change has been made to the version for that attribute.

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Hypsometric tinting

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

Hypso Tinting - Thumb

Hypsometric tinting (also called layer tinting, elevation tinting, elevation coloring or hypsometric coloring) is used to enhance elevation zones so map readers can better see differences in relief. You can think of it as “coloring between the lines” where the lines are contours (lines of equal elevation) or isobaths (lines of equal depth below the surface of a body of water). Hypsometric tints are often laid transparently over a hillshaded surface. Continue reading

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A Ringside Seat to Plate Tectonics in Action

Just about 15 minutes ago, as the Explorer team was winding down from a series of meetings this week in a 3rd floor conference room, we felt the building shake – an earthquake!

This was a relatively minor one, only a 3.1 according to the USGS, but it was interesting to learn that its epicenter was located only 3.5 miles away from where we sat. We visited the USGS site, clicked the earthquake KML, and discovered that it was located 2.8 miles below what looks like the 3rd hole at the Redlands Country Club.

Here’s a map showing the location of ESRI and the earthquake epicenter from the USGS, and the distance derived using Explorer’s measure task. The quake information was updated on the USGS site just a few minutes from when we felt it.

The yellow dots are recent, but minor, quakes in the same area, the largest of which were a 2.1 and 2.2 that happened just a couple of days ago. Hmmm…

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Myanmar Cyclone Response

For GIS users involved in the Myanmar disaster and recovery, ESRI maintains a web site that lists a variety of GIS data resources. At that site those seeking software, data, or services and consulting help can find an online request form that will enable responders to obtain the needed resources. The site also includes a link to send email directly to the ESRI Disaster Help Coordination Team.

We’ll also be spinning up some additional services via ArcGIS Online which we’ll include on the Explorer Resource Center, and we’ll publish info about those as soon as they are ready. Those ArcGIS Online resource will also be available to use in ArcGIS Desktop.

Many of the currently listed sources publish Myanmar map information as PDF documents. Here we’ve added a note and created a link to one of those online maps.

We took a look at the Google Lat Long Blog and found a post with a link to a UNOSAT KML with information about the cyclone. Here’s the KML with the National Geographic political map from Explorer’s Resource Center.

Here’s the same KML and you can see that as the cyclone approached land it was a category 4, then dropping to category 2, and eventually dropping down to a tropical storm as it moved across the southern tip of Myanmar.


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Geodatabase Essentials – Enterprise Geodatabases

Derek Law has written an article titled Enterprise Geodatabase 101 which was recently posted on ArcUser Online. The article provides a general overview of the enterprise geodatabase looking at key features, architecture, and implementation. It is geared towards GIS managers and database administrators.

The article is full of good info, you can check it out HERE

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Tips for getting better map drawing performance

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

If you’re making a map that is either a large format print map or a map that will be served via ArcGIS Server, squeezing every bit of wasted time out of drawing performance is critical.  Don’t get tired of sitting there drinking extra cups of coffee watching the word “Drawing”, all your layer names, and that little blue globe. If you’re finding it stressful to explain when updates will be coming, or the timing for caching the map you are serving, or your map services generate complaints about poor performance, then try the two tips in this entry. Continue reading

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