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.

Friday, February 27, 2009

ArcGIS Server 9.3 Woes

ESRI is "encouraging" us to not use the GEOMETRY data type in SQL Server 2008.  We are "encouraging" ESRI to figure it out!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

SQL Server 2008 Spatial Index Performance

I don't think this means that the SQLSERVER2008 spatial index is any faster, but I don't think it's going to be any slower than ESRI's:

You can also build multiple sql server 2008 spatial indexes on a geo* field.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Economy and GIS Jobs

The GIS Jobs Clearinghouse job postings appear steady and there are even a couple of fat days!

And there have been no shortage of recruiters calling for GIS positions over the past few weeks.  I know a lot engineering firms have taken a hit with the economy and that will affect their GIS positions.  There are a even a some brave souls who are starting companies (Superior GIS Solutions  and JSA GIServices come to mind).

It appears that large swaths of the GIS employment landscape are immune in this economy.  Perhaps even thriving because of it.

zigGIS & SQL Server 2008

I'm gettting excited!

How many ArcEditor/ArcInfo licenses exist in the world for the sole purpose of basic featureclass editing?  

I can speak from experience that it is not easy to "sell" a free RDBMS like PostgreSQL.  But a lot of organizations are comfortable with Microsoft and you know they will eventually end up on SQL Server 2008 (or higher).  So being able to edit GIS data in SQL Server 2008 with an ArcView license + zigGIS is very compelling (

zigGIS 2.0.2 isn't going to have SQL Server 2008, but it looks like they are heading in that direction.  I always thought that zigGIS was a good candidate for this sort of thing.  

Saturday, January 24, 2009

ArcGIS Version Confusion

Can you edit older geodatabases with newer ArcGIS clients?  

I thought 'yes'.   I learned 'no'.  At least for cases where you have a geometric network in your feature datasets.

I haven't had any issues writing to older sql server  or oracle 9.2 geodatabases, but replica check-outs to a file database don't fare as well.  The check-out goes well.  So does the check-in.  But reconcile attempts within the 9.2 geodatabase fail with geometry errors (even if no geometry is edited).   

ESRI Support used to instruct us to keep ArcGIS versions  and geodatabases versions matched when editing (e.g. edit 9.2 SP5 geodatabases with ArcMap 9.2 SP5).  

This is still the case in many situations despite what some may say.  The only question is: for which situations is this the case?  I have no idea. So if it's important data, match the application versions--just to be safe.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

SQL Server 2008 - Geometry Data Type

It's official.  ESRI has recommended that we don't use the GEOMETRY data type in SQL SERVER 2008 for versioned data.  Maybe they'll do a better job with it for ArcGIS 9.4.