Cutting Tiles for ArcGIS Server Using TileMill

There’s been a lot of talk about TileMill and CartoCSS lately, with good cause. TileMill makes it very easy generate beautiful map tiles using the Mapnik engine and CartoCSS provides a familiar method to author the cartographic representation of spatial data. As Brian Timoney points out, CartoCSS has the added bonus of making best practices shareable via copy-and-paste.

Naturally, the best way to take advantage of TileMill is to export your tiles to MBTiles and use MapBox hosting. If that’s not an option, you can pretty easily self-host with TileStream. That said, there are some organizations that, due to larger GIS workflows, IT policies, and a host of other legitimate reasons, need or choose to use ArcGIS Server to do map hosting. For those organizations, TileMill is still an option to create attractive basemaps, within certain constraints.

So I set out to see if I could bridge the gap between the two. Two blog posts pointed the way. A while back, Dan Dye blogged about how he had forked mb-util and added support for exporting WeoGeo tilepacks from MBTiles. Also, a co-worker of mine, Eric Mahaffey, had blogged some time ago about how to use Arc2Earth to manage tile caches across air-gapped networks. Using these posts for guidance, I was pretty sure I had all the pieces I needed. Continue reading “Cutting Tiles for ArcGIS Server Using TileMill”

Still Jonesing for zigGIS? Try this OGR Plug-In for ArcGIS.

So I’ve actually noticed a surprising uptick in traffic related to zigGIS lately? We also had someone asking about ST-Links on the zigGIS mailing list last week. Clearly, there’s still a level of interest out there for the problem that zigGIS was designed for.

ArcGIS and SpatiaLite

ArcGIS reading SpatiaLite natively, thanks to OGR and Ragi Burhum

Along those lines, Ragi Burhum posted an OGR Workspace plug-in for ArcGIS up on GitHub. Using OGR is really the magic ticket and the project is available under a BSD license (which Ragi explains very well). The only word to the wise is that pre-built binaries and installers aren’t available yet so you Windows/ArcGIS users will need to get your hands dirty.

I haven’t used it yet but I plan to within the next week or so. Stay tuned for a follow up post.