zigGIS: The End of the Road

Abe Gillespie made it official today on the zigGIS Google Group: development on zigGIS will cease.

I’ve been meaning to make an announcement that zigGIS has officially reached its end-of-life since the next version of ArcGIS should support direct read / write interoperability with PostGIS (thereby rendering zigGIS moot). I was delaying the announcement because I was hoping we could test PgMap and, if it was any good, suggest it as an alternative during the interim. But we haven’t been able to test it yet.

In any case, PgMap is free, so why not give it a try? I’m sure the list would appreciate any feedback you could give.

This is obviously a something of a bittersweet, though expected, development for me. Although I ceased my involvement with zigGIS last year, I was still rooting for it. Abe had a lot of cool plans for it but the fact that ArcGIS will natively support direct read/write to its supported spatial databases really renders zigGIS unnecessary. Its primary value at this point would be support for earlier versions of ArcGIS but that’s not really enough to justify so much time and effort.

zigGIS is no more

In terms of ArcGIS, this is a good development. Direct read/write is a capability that always needed to be there and now it will be. When I first got involved with zigGIS, PostGIS wasn’t supported at all so it made a lot of sense. At the time, I was stuck in a windowless room building a personnel system, so working on zigGIS in the evenings helped be stay connected to the geospatial world. It enabled me to work with Abe and Paolo Corti; a fact that I will always treasure. Abe put a lot of sweat into zigGIS over its lifetime and I am honored to have helped him in some small way. zigGIS also brought me into contact with phenomenally supportive users, such as Regina Obe and Steven Citron-Pousty, from both of whom I learned a great deal.

Some of the first posts on this blog were about zigGIS. It’s hard to believe I’ve just written my last one.

The PgMap product that Abe mentions can be found here.

UPDATE: Later in the same discussion on the zigGIS group, Abe responded to a question about opening the latest version of the code (version 2.x) this way:

I’m planning on doing just that. But I didn’t want to
announce anything yet because I have very little free time right now
and don’t know when I can get to it.

The full discussion thread is here: http://groups.google.com/group/ziggis/browse_thread/thread/14ae8a351564de9e

  • Alex

    For real? At 10.1 we’ll be able to directly create and edit map layers stored in these high-caliber databases? So unless you need to edit topologies, networks or enable archiving then you can basically get rid of your SDE license? I don’t understand why ESRI would allow this. I wonder how many organizations will drop their SDE licenses?

    This is good news for those of us who want serve geo-data using OS server technology (PostGIS, GeoServer) and be able to maintain PostGIS layers in ArcMap without having to copy/export/migrate data every time we make an edit. I see a PostGIS server going online in my organization as soon as we get 10.1.


    • That’s my understanding. I can’t speak as to why but remember that ArcSDE hasn’t been separately licensed for a while now. To get ArcSDE, you license ArcGIS Server. So, if already have and use Server, you have the choice of removing a piece of technology from the stack (if you don’t use all of those other features). If you didn’t get Server by now in order to get ArcSDE, then you probably won’t. In the long run, I don’t think it’ll *cost* ESRI much and it may even benefit them in terms of customer experience. I didn’t go to the UC this year so I probably missed the rationale. Whatever the motivation, I’m glad they took this step. It’s been needed for a long time.

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