Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oberon Toolbar for ArcMap News

Last Septemeber, I asked the OberonGIS user group if anyone was still using the Oberon toolset for ArcMap: crickets chirped.

So we never updated the tools for ArcGIS 9.3, although they work most of the time in ArcGIS[ArcMap] 9.3. There have been some minor issues reported by users. Users that I didn't know existed who are not members of the Oberon user group). A lot of the Oberon user group members do not use the tools directly, but provide or install the tools for others to use. I suppose that explains the crickets. It also means the user base is a great deal larger than I originally thought.

We're going to take another look at the toolset, since we have done nothing with it since I asked the question last year. We may look at porting the toolset to .NET (we don't do much VB6 work anymore)

Here are my initial thoughts on each tool:
Zoom to Object ID
It's simple. It works. There isn't a button like in ArcMap; however the functionality is there (Find tool, select layer, select field name). The ability to just highlight a layer and press a button really speeds things along if you've got a list of OIDs to search.

Go To X,Y Coordinate
This command is now built into ArcMap, so I don't see this tool being updated any further.

Export Selected Features to CSV
I need to look closer at this tool and what is available in ArcMap. I know ArcMap can export to CSV, but I don't remember if it honors field visibility. I think it does and if that is the case, this tool will be left behind.

Copy Bounding Coordinates
This tool is still unique, but I haven't heard of anyone using it. Maybe we'll port it, but it won't be priority.

Remove Field Aliases
Sometimes, you just want the actual field names! Again, I need to do some research and figure out if this capability exists in ArcMap 9.3. If you know, please leave a comment.

One Selectable Layer
This might be the most popular tool in the Oberon toolbar, so we'll want to port this one over.

View in Google Maps
Keep this one

Google Directions Tool
But not this one.

Virtual Earth 2-D Map
Keep this one.

MXD Complete History
Keep this one.

ArcMap Redraw Timer
This tool has always been buggy, and I think it's actually turned off by default (it can only be turned on by a configuration setting).

That's all for now. I welcome any comments or suggestions.

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