Monthly Archives: June 2008

ESRI Remote Sensing and GIS Summit

Going to San Diego for the ESRI UC this year? If so then consider getting there on Friday or Sat to take in the Inaugural ESRI Remote Sensing and GIS Summit. From ESRI… “he summit will cover the exponential growth in the availability of remotely sensed imagery and how to effectively collect, manage, produce, and exploit the data.” See www.esri.com/uc

COGO to meet up in San Diego

Yes indeed, there’s another industry organization on the block… this one is a group of groups, the coalition of geospatial organizations (COGO). Membership so far is made up of execs from most of the popular Geo industry orgs that you may already be familiar with. Current member orgs include:
• American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM)
• American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS)
• Association of American Geographers (AAG)
• Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS)
• Geospatial Information Technology Association (GITA)
• GIS Certification Institute (GISCI)
• Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS)
– John Palatiello National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC)
• University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS)
• Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)

Members from other groups are invited to participate in the forum – see more at http://www.urisa.org/cogo

Note: The next meeting of the COGO Member and Advisory Organizations is scheduled on Monday, August 4, 2008 from 4:00-5:30 PM at the San Diego Convention Center. Thanks to the Twitter geo-gang for tipping me off on this!

ArcGIS Explorer update – more KML support, Geotagged photos, embed in web pages and more

The ESRI International UC is just around the corner so that means loads of product releases. We know that ArcGIS 9.3 will come very soon, but today the company has opted to announce the release of the latest update of ArcGIS Explorer, jam-packed with loads of new functionality.

The new version of ArcGIS Explorer offers

  • ArcGIS Explorer now supports connections to enterprise geodatabases and Geographically Encoded Objects for RSS feeds (GeoRSS) and allows you to import GPS eXchange Format (GPX) format data. ArcGIS Explorer default maps and layers have been updated including enhanced topographic map services and updated streets, boundaries, and places. ArcGIS Explorer also offers improved KML/KMZ support.
  • ArcGIS Explorer now provides direct e-mail capabilities, allowing users to easily share their maps, layers, and results with others.
  • ArcGIS Explorer offers more ways to control user interface elements such as auto-zoom to results and automatic display of saved or e-mailed pop-up windows. Also, ArcGIS Explorer can now be embedded in a Web page.
  • Additions to dashboarding capabilities include a new HTML-driven Quick Content task and a streamlined home server setup.
  • ArcGIS Explorer provides increased display performance for all layer types. Navigation speed has also been improved.
  • More options for map display—ArcGIS Explorer 480 adds support for graticules and reference grids (U.S. National Grid [USNG], Military Grid Reference System [MGRS]). It also offers the ability to set raster background transparency, new options for point symbols and symbol size, improved pop-up window capabilities, and easier access to feature attributes.
  • ArcGIS Explorer Software Developer Kit (SDK) now supports Visual Studio 2008 and includes an updated object model to support new features and enhancements.
  • Resource Center—New tasks, layers, and results are also available from the updated ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center. For example, you can download the Add Photo task directly from the Resource Center to add geotagged photos to ArcGIS Explorer.
  • ArcGIS Explorer now runs on Windows Vista, Service Pack 1, on specific graphics card/driver configurations.

To download ArcGIS Explorer and get more info see www.esri.com/arcgisexplorer.

This release should help you find what you’re looking for!

The case for GeoPDFs

James created a lively topic again recently by asking his readers what they felt GeoPDF does and essentially asking why would anyone want to use it. As could be expected this question prompted quick responses from the GeoPDF faithful… I actually thought it was a slightly odd question to ask, particularly since the data can be viewed in a PDF viewer that millions of people already have on their PC and are comfortable using – actually, there’s loads more you can do as well! I think the issue really is that power GIS users may not in fact have an immediate use for GeoPDF, however, they can easily distribute and share their work with others (non-GISers) via GeoPDF… that’s the real story here!

I piped in with the following response… Well, it is a useful format for large agencies to use to distribute and share their information.. think of the USGS serving up free GeoPDF formats of all their topos… would you rather have an SDTS format data file? This now enables any recreational user to easily grab a topo and use it immediately… that’s just for starts… I’ve used it loads and rarely use full blown Adobe for anything. I think asking this question James is akin to asking why would anyone use DWF… my 2 cents. FYI, you can get more details on it in this piece I did up last year.

A number of other comments followed but then a response from Ray Caputo came in and pretty much sums it all up… nice job Ray! He noted the following and more… “Just about anyone reading this is a GIS Pro so remember GeoPDFs are maps for masses, maps for non-mappers, maps for people who do not have big honking GIS/Mapping software on their “tricked” out PCs. Do me a favor ask your mailman (mailperson) next time you see them and ask them if they know what a GEOTIFF is when they say no ask them if they know what a PDF is I can bet you they say yes.” See this comment and more


Do you use GeoPDF? I have and I also love the fact that the USGS serves up all their topos as free, downloadable GeoPDFs. See See http://www.terragotech.com/solutions/map2pdf-reader.html

Datamap Intelligence housing market snapshots

An interesting new data product for the real estate professional… Datamap Intelligence has created a unique application that creates customized comprehensive snapshots of the entire new housing market across the United States. The application is powered by an extensive dataset that tracks all new home sites of the top 200+ builders (updated bi-monthly). Detailed search options place the interactive map of choice at ones fingertips. Cutting-edge features provide powerful visual analysis benefits which affords businesses the ability to expand to uncharted sites and stay inform about prime developing areas pertaining to their line of business. See Datamap’s application at www.datamapi.com which would allow one to perform a query to obtain desired results. the company has also JUST rolled out a new resource via www.nsdmaps.com where users can sample data via free SHP file download.. indeed this is a way interesting data product!

So, how does it work? NSD Maps aggregates new street / housing location data from hundreds of builders. The kicker here is that the service doesn’t wait until new streets and residential communities are added to official city or county base maps. Rather, NSD Maps tracks the precise location of the planned development and provides accurate imagery and vector data of the “under construction” developments so they can be immediately added to an existing basemap. Have you ever driven around a new or under-development community only to have no up-to-date street data appear on your map, PND, or other location-service provider? See more

Datamap Intelligence housing market snapshots

An interesting new data product for the real estate professional… Datamap Intelligence has created a unique application that creates customized comprehensive snapshots of the entire new housing market across the United States. The application is powered by an extensive dataset that tracks all new home sites of the top 200+ builders (updated bi-monthly). Detailed search options place the interactive map of choice at ones fingertips. Cutting-edge features provide powerful visual analysis benefits which affords businesses the ability to expand to uncharted sites and stay inform about prime developing areas pertaining to their line of business. See Datamap’s application at www.datamapi.com which would allow one to perform a query to obtain desired results. the company has also JUST rolled out a new resource via www.nsdmaps.com where users can sample data via free SHP file download.. indeed this is a way interesting data product!

NGA-Earth adds imagery of recently flooded areas of the American Midwest

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with unclassified commercial imagery of the recently flooded areas of the American Midwest and is also providing public access to some of the images. You can locate the imagery at www.nga-earth.org and Google Earth users can use their KML reflectors which provide access to the imagery directly in G.Earth.