Ten-Second Tidy

Things have been a bit hectic the last few weeks and that’s left little time for blogging. Quite a bit has happened so I thought I’d do a little round-up (if for no other reason than to clear my own head).


In no particular order:

Steve Coast to Microsoft (I told you it had been a while) – Firstly, congratulations to Steve (#sincerity). Secondly, this clearly is the final proof that crowd-sourced data in general, and OpenStreetMaps (sic) in particular, has no real value when compared to “authoritative” data sources (#sarcasm).

Google Fusion Tables – The only real problem at this point is the size limitation but, otherwise, this will be a game-changer for storing and sharing data. In its current form, it’s already fairly easy to push your data up and expose it through Google’s APIs. It’ll be interesting to see if it gets easier. Support for spatial queries hints at some analytical capability, too. Speaking of which…

Analytics in GeoCommons – This is one to watch. They are debuting a new function each day on their blog. FortiusOne builds their platform API-first, UI-second so everything they are showing should be exposed through their APIs. This will be a huge step in moving cloud-based geospatial technology from the “bit-bucket” stage to having a more complete workflow on the cloud infrastructure.

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Geocoding with GeoCommons

One of the new features included in the latest release of GeoCommons is geocoding. Previous releases have provided the ability to upload non-spatial data (such as CSV files) and walk through a wizard-like interface to join that data with existing spatial data sets already in GeoCommons. This latest release brings the FortiusOne Geocoder to bear to give you the ability to upload data containing US addresses and generate point locations. In my opinion, this is a very powerful addition to GeoCommons.

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I spent the vast majority of my time at the 2010 ESRI User Conference working the Zekiah/Arc2Earth booth. That was fun as I got meet/reconnect with a lot of people but I didn’t see much of the conference itself. As a result, I haven’t really blogged it.

ESRI continued with the “cloud ready” theme that was rolled out at the Federal User Conference but with more details about how they are moving to “the cloud.” This generated a lot of buzz amongst many of the attendees from what I could tell. One of the big new features of Arc2Earth v3 (disclaimer: my company is an Arc2Earth reseller) is Cloud Services. As a result, we had a banner in our booth that had the word “cloud” on it, prompting lots of people to stop.

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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.

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