Ask the Right Questions

If you’re about to embark on a requirements drill or needs assessment focused on “web GIS,” it is important to be sure to answer one question as you proceed: Do you actually need any specialized mapping server at all?

If “none” isn’t one of the choices in your analysis of alternatives, then you are doing it wrong in 2014 and you may be doing a disservice to your users. The state of current technology makes it perfectly feasible to publish interactive mapping products as static content, using nothing more than your current web server. Given the complexity of today’s IT environments, including requirements for FISMA compliance on Federal systems, it is irresponsible not to consider this option before recommending yet another specialized server product (or hosted cloud solution) for your user’s IT architecture.

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File Geodatabase Schema Compare Tool

In my work supporting various aspects of geospatial data modeling, I’ve spent a lot of time delving into concepts around configuration management of such data models. We’ve been able to apply a core tool set to perform various functions such as version managment, profiling, version-to-version migration, and validation in conjunction with a system we call the platform independent model (PIM). I gave quick overview of the PIM in this post over on the Zekiah blog and the complete series on it can be found here.

I’ve recently spent a bit of time consolidating code after a recent data delivery and decided to post a utility that was an outgrowth of that effort: a tool to compare schemas of two Esri file geodatabases and report differences. This lent itself to general use because it does not require any connection to a PIM.

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