zigGIS Hotfix Available

Abe announced the availability of hotfix 3 for zigGIS 2.0.5. From the announcement:

Hotfix 3 fixes an issue that prevented point layers from being
editable; it also includes all prior hotfixes. The hotfix is a free
upgrade and is highly recommended for all users. Please go to
http://pub.obtusesoft.com > My Order. After logging in you’ll see a
link to the patch.

Abe is working hard on version 3.0 but obviously is continuing to support 2.x as well. Improvements include a new provider model which will better enable support for other data sources. A roadmap should be available soon.

A Couple of Updates

Shortly after my previous post, about browsing and downloading data from GeoCommons, hit the wires, I got quite a few back-channel requests for the code. I sent it out via e-mail to a number of people and then posted it via DropBox. I have finally gotten around to posting it up on Google Code, making things much more manageable. It is now available here.

I have made a few updates since the original post. Some were administrative but were functional. They are:

1. The code was updated to replace SharpZipLib with DotNetZip for handling zip files.
2. The code now attempts to identify the default KML handler on the user’s system and pass KML directly to it for previewing.
3. The user now gets a wait cursor when the tool is processing downloads and such. This should make it a little more usable.
4. The code headers had been pasted in from SharpMap and I missed some references to SharpMap in the text. Those have been corrected.

Anyway, thanks for all the interest. It sort of caught me off guard but at least the code is more accessible now. I’ve got a few more updates planned so this should streamline things.

Importing Data From GeoCommons Into ArcMap

UPDATE: The code for this post is available at the bottom of the page.

I have been doing a lot of development with the ESRI Silverlight API recently. One of the requirements of my project is to be able to dynamically add KML data at runtime. The incorporation of KML was handled for us through one of the ESRI samples on the resource center so we pretty much just had to integrate that code and test against our use cases. For testing, I typically reached out to GeoCommons since any data set available there can be streamed as KML.

Obviously, this is not my first exposure to GeoCommons but, when discussing it, I found that many of the analysts I spoke with were not aware of it and did not use it much. So I decided to tackle developing a simple ArcMap extension to allow a user to search GeoCommons and then download/add data to ArcMap without the need to manually download, unzip and add the data themselves. Continue reading “Importing Data From GeoCommons Into ArcMap”

First Thoughts on ArcGIS 10.0

The announcement that ArcGIS 9.4 is being re-christened as 10.0 leaves me feeling somewhat bemused. I have seen the new version of Desktop and it is nice and will finally update the current Office-97-feeling UI. The list of changes coming in 10.0 (published so far) is impressive but I haven’t seen any discussion of the changes coming to the ArcGIS architecture, which is of greater interest to me as a developer and integrator. Given the past history of ArcGIS, calling this release 10.0, in my mind, implies a significant architectural shift. ArcGIS 8 was a clear departure from the previous releases of ARC/INFO. Indeed, it not only came with a new version but introduced the name “ArcGIS.” Continue reading “First Thoughts on ArcGIS 10.0”

zigGIS 2.0.2 Getting Closer

Abe announced via Twitter today that zigGIS 2.0.2 will be available in about a month. This a small but significant release becuase zigGIS will now support the generic PostGIS “GEOMETRY” type. Because ArcGIS expects homogenous feaure classes, zigGIS will ask the user to choose a geometry type for the the specified GEOMETRY-typed column. So, if your table has mixed geometry types, you will need to specify one (like polygon for example) and zigGIS will present only records of that type to ArcGIS.

Secondly, zigGIS will no longer expect your primary key to be called “gid”. This should reduce the instances where tables need to be modified for use with zigGIS.

In previous releases, a few enterprising users had figured out how to get zigGIS to see views as layers by manually hacking them into the geometry_columns table. This was one way to get around the “gid” and GEOMETRY limitations. In 2.0.2, views will be fully supported so that no such hacking will be necessary.

Abe, Paolo and I had a chat session a while back about the zigGIS roadmap and this represents the first step down that road. More information will be forthcoming as we flesh out the details of further changes.

ArcSDE: Time For a Change

Thoughts on where ArcSDE should go.

I view ArcSDE (and its predecessor, SDE) as something of a seminal technology. In my quest for true enterprise integration of GIS, ArcSDE fills filled a crucial gap by providing the ability to store, manage and analyze spatial data in the same RDBMS used for everything else. Long gone are the days when I had to manage relates between INFO tables or shapefiles and that’s a good thing. I have since accomplished similar tasks with PostGIS and Oracle Spatial but SDE was the first product I ever used that offered the capability to bring my GIS in from the cold.

At version 9.3, ArcSDE will support PostgreSQL as a back-end, meaning you don’t also need to license an expensive RDBMS in addition to ArcGIS to take advantage of everything ArcGIS Server has to offer. This gives us another option and options are good.

I have blogged before about my involvment with zigGIS, which has given me a lot of exposure to PostGIS. I’ve also done a good bit of work with Oracle Spatial. Both experiences have given me experience with, and a love of, spatial SQL (as each has implemented it). Having all of the data types and methods necessary to store, manage and analyze spatial data completely encapsulated in the RDBMS is a huge advantage. Building an n-tier or services-oriented system is so much easier because all I really need to interact with my spatial data is an OLEDB provider (we’re a .NET shop). This encapsulation serves to further expose the disadvantages of the current middleware approach of ArcSDE. Continue reading “ArcSDE: Time For a Change”

Exporting ArcObjects Feature Class to PGSQL

The same project that has me working with WPF has me busy on a few fronts. I’ve been spending the last few days writing a tool to export data out of an ArcObjects feature class and dump it to a pgsql .sql file. ArcGIS acts as a serviceable generic data accessor to many vector data types and ArcCatalog provides a decent UI for the user community I’m targeting (also, they already have it). As a result, I’ve been developing an ArcCatalog command that exports a selected feature class.

As the title of this post suggests, I didn’t have a lot of time in which to accomplish this task.
Continue reading “Exporting ArcObjects Feature Class to PGSQL”