ToGeoJson and ToWKT for the Esri FGDB API

In support of some of our ongoing PIM work, we’ve been integrating the Esri File Geodatabase (FGDB) API into some tools. Without going into a level of detail that would hijack this post, one of the many functions performed by some of the tools is to validate physical spatial databases against established data models to analyze compliance and identify differences. These databases may be in Esri or non-Esri formats and we have traditionally handled Esri geodatabases through ArcObjects since it provides a relatively uniform interface across the various flavors of geodatabase.

Of course, ArcObjects requires an ArcGIS license of some sort and we are finding out that this is not always available to users in the field under many situations so the FGDB API gets past that for file geodatabases, at least. Continue reading “ToGeoJson and ToWKT for the Esri FGDB API”

Using GeoIQ Analytics in .Net Applications

A few weeks ago, I posted about some .Net wrappers I created for the GeoIQ API. Due to ongoing project work, I have continued to extend them by adding methods to wrap GeoIQ analytical capabilities. Despite the recent acquistion of GeoIQ by Esri, it’s my understanding that GeoCommons and existing GeoIQ installations will continue for some time. That’s good, because analytics on the GeoIQ platform are powerful and fairly easy to use. This post will demonstrate how to use analytics in a .Net application.

As previously posted, the .Net wrappers can be found on github here.

The GeoIQ platform offers several functions to analyze data sets hosted on a GeoIQ instance or GeoCommons. I have not yet wrapped all of the functions but am working my way through them as I can.

For this post, I will intersect the locations of US GISPs as of 1/26/2011 with the Maryland Zip Code Boundaries to produce a data set containing the locations of GISPs in Maryland, depicted in the map below.

Don’t worry, none of these are me.

Continue reading “Using GeoIQ Analytics in .Net Applications”

GeoIQ API Wrappers for .Net

A while back, I built a small interface between GeoIQ/GeoCommons and ArcGIS Desktop. From there, it became more of a full-fledged toolbar for ArcGIS. During that effort, I began developing some .Net classes to wrap the GeoIQ RESTful API. As we progressed with the toolbar, my colleague Hugo Estrada also contributed to the library.

The original intent was to wrap the entire API but it turns out that we were undertaking this in the middle of GeoIQ’s upgrade to version 2.0. In the intervening time, we got some projects implementing the GeoIQ platform for end users (such as the Climascope portal that Andrew Turner recently blogged about). Continue reading “GeoIQ API Wrappers for .Net”

ESRI Dev Meetup, Silver Spring, MD

Another ESRI Dev Meetup is happening in the DC area on November 10th. This time, it’s at Fire Station One in Silver Spring, MD (kudos to Nick Furness for doing a good job of moving them around the DMV). These are generally a good time and ESRI doesn’t actually try to drive the content train too much. As a result, you can hear about the some interesting integration use cases. I can even attest that ESRI doesn’t check your current maintenance status at the door!

No drink tickets needed

I *think* they are still looking for lightning talks. Please sign up to do one or they’ll have to fill in the open slots with technical marketing speak! Mine has been tentatively approved by Nick under the guidance “Don’t say anything that’ll get me fired.”

I hope to see you there.

Piling On About Python

First and foremost, I am not a Python expert. I am not even sure I could effectively play one on TV. As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, I am trying to beef up my Python skills.

Secondly, what I have to say in this post isn’t particularly original or unique. Others have said it before.

So I am posting this because I have fielded some form of this question at least ten times (no exaggeration) in the past couple of months: “What skill do you recommend most for someone getting into GIS today?” Continue reading “Piling On About Python”

Working with the GeoIQ Features API

I find myself pointing people to GeoCommons for data more often these days. With over 50,000 data sets, there’s a lot there. The people I work with seem to usually be able to find data of value there so I’ve been putting a little time into making it easier to get data from GeoCommons. As I’ve mentioned before, many of them are long-standing ESRI users. While they are becoming more aware of alternate tools and data sources, it is still important for them to be able to get data into the ESRI environment where their custom tools reside.

Given the content of my recent posts, it’s no secret that my recent project work has involved the ESRI Silverlight API so I decided extend it to more easily access data from GeoCommons.

Recently, GeoIQ pubished an update to their RESTful API that includes a “Features API,” which gives you a little more direct access to the features in a GeoIQ data set (GeoIQ is the platform upon which GeoCommons is built). Previously, if I needed to access data from GeoCommons in the ESRI Silverlight API, I would just access it as KML using the native KmlLayer class. The GeoIQ Features API, however, offers more fine-grained control over how much data we return in the form of various query parameters. Currently, the API only returns JSON (GeoIQ’s own syntax or GeoJSON) so it was time to do something different.

Continue reading “Working with the GeoIQ Features API”

Looking For Something To Do In March April?

The second annual Southern Maryland GiveCamp will be held on March 25 April 1, 2011. Once again, it will occur on the campus of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. One of a number of GiveCamps that occur around the country, this one will benefit several non-profits of all stripes in the Southern Maryland area.

Maryland's original State House in St. Mary's City

The concept behind GiveCamp is simple and elegant: “GiveCamp is a weekend-long event where software developers, designers, and database administrators donate their time to create custom software for non-profit organizations.”

Last year’s event drew volunteers from up and down the East Coast. The organizers are still looking for volunteers for this year’s event. As a lifelong resident of Southern Maryland, I’d like to encourage my colleagues in the software development community, especially in the greater DC area, to consider coming down in March to lend a hand.

Having spoken to a few people that participated last year, I understand that requirements ranged from simple to rather challenging. Regardless of the complexity of a requirement to those of us who develop software professionally, the value of a working web site or database or other such thing to a small organization with limited resources cannot be overstated.

And if Southern Maryland is a bit far for you but you like the concept, there may be a GiveCamp in your area.

Thanks to Jim Pendarvis and the rest of the planning committee for putting this together.