Tag: xml

The Military Features template is now available

Military Features in ArcMap

The Military Features Template is now available for download from ArcGIS.com. The Military Features Template is an Esri Defense template for importing and exporting military features symbolized according to MIL-STD-2525C for planning, operations, and intelligence use. View a brief video … Continue reading

Posted in Defense | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dev Meet Up – Raleigh Up

Jim (@jimbarry) and I (@AmyNiessen) flew out of Ontario International Airport (yes international…I think because they go to Mexico) to head to Houston, TX and then from Houston to Raleigh, NC where we would be hosting a Dev Meet Up the next evening. The flights were good, on time, and still refusing to give out food. That’s OK; I always bring snacks along. Upon arriving, we drove to the hotel to unwind and rest a bit. Downtown Raleigh was not what I was expecting. Let’s just say I think downtown Redlands could stand up in a competition. Does that say enough?

After an evening of pre-prepping and checking out the hotel gym (four machines, one functional), we hit the bed so as to get a good night’s rest.

The next day, I decided to do a run around the North Carolina State University at Raleigh campus. It was absolutely gorgeous. This was the opposite direction of downtown and I’m really glad I got a chance to see it, because it really did wonders for the city. (OK Bruegger’s Bagels had a little something to do with my giddiness as well.) Later on in the evening, I would meet Curtis Belyea, a biologist at NCSU, who was not only attending the Dev Meet Up, but also presenting as well.

Having some time before prepping for the Dev Meet Up, we met up with some folks at a place called The Pit Authentic Barbeque. It’s a barbeque joint, and strangely enough, they did have something on the menu called “Barbequed Tofu”. I had to try it. Not bad. I think the barbeque sauce was pretty much what made it.

After our lunch and regrouping, we headed to The Flying Saucer where the Dev Meet Up would take place. The place looked pretty awesome and gave off a really good vibe. The staff was super friendly and definitely came through, especially in the AV department. The Flying Saucer had a bit of a British pub vibe going, but of course they hadn’t seen or experienced anything like the Esri Dev Meet Ups before!

As I’m greeting people and Jim is setting up, I meet Curtis (see above if you forgot) from the Biodiversity and Spatial Info Center at NCSU, who sits down and begins to talk to me as though we’re old friends (even though this is the first time I’m meeting him). I think to myself, “Should I compliment him on the nail polish color he selected for his nails?” He later informs me that it is part of a bet. Ah.

The next to arrive is our keynote speaker, Scott Gonzalez (@scott_gonzalez), who is a dev lead for jQuery UI from appendTo, which is a company dedicated to the growth and usefulness of the jQuery JavaScript library. Scott has been contributing to the jQuery library since 2007 and is currently the development lead for jQuery UI, which is jQuery’s official user interface library.
He also co-authored the jQuery Cookbook along with about 18 other authors. I think Jim scared him a little bit by showing him a picture he dug up from a video Scott was recorded in. As we waited for the meet up to get started, the staff started to bring out some wonderful appetizers including the best one I have had yet: Bavarian soft pretzels with the spiciest hot mustard I’ve ever had.

So now it was time for Scott to present his keynote speech. In a very visually appealing slideshow, Scott’s presentation covered the process of building applications. He begins by offering the advice to start out simple, expand and adapt, find users, ask others for help, and repeat. He states that “you don’t need to understand everything because chances are, someone else already knows how, and you can pay them for it.” Here is his presentation in a nutshell for those of you who missed it:

“How I Got Started as a Coder and How You Can Too”


1. Stare blankly at the monitor

2. Build something, anything (even something that already exists, just to accomplish something)

3. Expand the app with new ideas

4. Find users

5. Ask for help

6. Repeat

7. Repeat again

8. Raw talent doesn’t matter

9. Great ideas evolve

10. You don’t need knowledge, you need to know how to find knowledge

11. Code quality doesn’t matter if it works

12. Sometimes good enough is good enough


Overall, Scott gave an inspirational keynote and got people excited about getting out there and creating some new applications.

We took a short break before starting the lightning talks. People got a chance to ask Scott questions, as well as introduce themselves to one another. Starting with Marc Stanard from NCEM (North Carolina Emergency Management), we began the lightning talks. He discussed their Floodplain Mapping Information System (FMIS).

Next up was Tyler Waring from the City of Durham, who wants to get more people involved in coding. (Am I seeing a theme here with this Dev Meet Up? Very inspirational!) He shares a flexible app that he created for clients using XML. Soon after, when he switches to a demo, he runs into a little snag, but thankfully Jim was able to help him back up and running. Tyler was able to then show us his widgets using the demo.

Finally, it was time for my buddy Curtis to present his lightning talk. He came in completely empty-handed, so I thought he was just going to perform in a very animated way; however, I saw that he pulled out a thumb drive. Before he began, he revealed to everyone the story behind his nail polish. He gave his presentation on urbanization analyses he performed on some land use raster data using Geoprocessing tools and Python scripting.

Before we began the raffle, and after the final lightning talk, Tyler stood up and threw out a couple of questions to the crowd on how he can close a widget in Flex Viewer 2.2. This got people involved in suggesting workarounds that he could use.

For the raffle, Joe Weyl and Mike Ping both won passes to 2012′s Dev Summit event in Palm Springs. They were both super stoked. Can’t wait to see you guys there!

We had a great Dev Meet Up in Raleigh! There was such a good turnout, and we hope to see you guys again. Now on to Charlotte…

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ArcGIS API for JavaScript Tips-n-Tricks: Parsing GeoRSS with jQuery

There are quite a few reasons why GeoRSS feeds can be tricky to parse. The reasons include confusing child-parent tag relationships, and some parsers simply don’t work with namespaces (e.g. <geo:lat>) depending on which browser you are using. This is where jQuery comes in very handy, especially if you want your app to function well across the major browsers. The pattern that you can use looks like this:

//Look for the tag <geo:lat> 

Feel free to click here to see a live example and view the source code. Or just download the source and try it out on your machine.



Posted in Developer | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Xray for ArcGIS 10 Updated

ESRI, in conjunction with Vertex3, has released revised versions of Xray for ArcGIS 10.  The Xray Add-In for ArcCatalog can be used to develop, refine and document your geodatabase designs.  The Xray Add-In for ArcMap can be used to document the properties of your map documents (MXDs).

This release includes the following enhancements:

  • Added support for Dataset, Field, and Domain Descriptions. These tools will create spreadsheets where you can document all descriptions in one place.
  • Added support for SDE and Workgroup Geodatabases. You can now select .gds and .sde connection files in ArcCatalog to export/import XML Workspaces.
  • Default SVG settings/options can now be changed in an XML Document.
  • FGDC Metadata support (ESRI patch for ArcGIS Desktop).

This release also addressed the following bugs:

  • File locking error messages that were caused by a file reader object not being closed correctly in the application.
  • The SVG settings menu was not updating correctly when the “Visio” option was selected or checked.
  • Improved automatic layout of SVG graphics in Visio.

We hope you’ll find these tools valuable when developing and sharing your ArcGIS 10 geodatabases and map documents and look forward to your feedback.

Posted in Local Government | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Xray for ArcGIS 10 Beta Available for Download

ESRI, in conjunction with Vertex3, has released Xray for ArcGIS 10 Beta.  This update of the Xray tools you’ve found previously on ArcScripts, provides two ArcGIS 10 Add-Ins you can use natively in ArcCatalog or ArcMap.    

The Xray Add-In for ArcCatalog can be used to develop, refine and document your geodatabase designs.  The Xray Add-In for ArcMap can be used to document the properties of your map documents (MXDs).

This release of Xray for ArcGIS 10 requires ArcGIS Desktop 10 and works with Personal and File Geodatabases.  Future releases will support Workgroup and Enterprise Geodatabases.  Xml workspace documents from earlier releases of ArcGIS can be opened, but users should upgrade their geodatabase to ArcGIS 10 before using Xray.  Installation help and additional release notes can be found in the attached.

We hope you’ll find these tools valuable when developing and sharing your ArcGIS 10 geodatabases and map documents and look forward to your feedback.  

Posted in Local Government | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Handling XML with Python in ArcGIS

The Python language offers a variety of ways to handle and parse XML. Lots of GIS data can be stored in an XML schema. For example, KML is made up of a well known XML structure. Another well known structure includes GPX, the native format that GPS devices typically save too. By using Python and ArcPy, you can create features from XML.

One of my teammates on the Geoprocessing team recently invested in a GPS sports watch. In addition to telling time, his watch could track movement and monitor heart rate. Since we love geography, programming, geoprocessing and fitness so much, another teammate, Ghislain, took to writing a tool to turn the GPX (XML) into feature classes for display on a map. A closer inspection of the GPS output and a look into the schema provided by topographix (http://www.topografix.com/gpx/1/1/) shows that the XML follows a standard format on how latitude, longitude, elevation and time are saved. This particular schema is enhanced to save the heart rate information. Since the information is saved in an expected way, one Python script could be written to handle many different GPS outputs.

Ghislain looked into the Python class ElementTree. ElementTree has many easy to use functions to parse through XML. Python also has other objects like Minidom or XPath which can be used to read XML; however, for this script ElementTree was used. The script looks for the values mentioned previously and hands this information over to an ArcPy cursor which writes the information into a point feature class. 

The complete script is available in the Model and Script Gallery: GPS to Layer. Feel free to take it and use it simply to convert your GPX points into a feature class, or break it open and look at how Python can be used in your ArcGIS workflows. Use the comments section here or on the page itself to leave any feedback on this tool.

Well, what good would this GPS to Points tool be if we didn’t use it to evaluate the fitness level of our co-worker? Based on the map show below there is a lot of orange and red, and I’m concerned with a heart rate of 200 beats per minute on the uphill, but according to Wikipedia, he just must be giving his “maximum effort”. At least his maximum effort is an honest effort!

Additional Resources:
• An excellent blog post by Doug Hellmann http://blog.doughellmann.com/2010/03/pymotw-parsing-xml-documents-with.html explains different ways to walk through XML.
• Python 2.6.x XML ElementTree documentation, http://docs.python.org/library/xml.etree.elementtree.html
• Element Tree Overview from effbot.org, http://effbot.org/zone/element-index.htm

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment