Blogging the ESRI UC 2008

Posted on August 4, 2008. Filed under: ESRI, Google Maps |

It’s always good to be back in San Diego for the annual ESRI International User Conference!  Getting out of the 100 degree heat of south Texas for a week is a bonus as well.  I’ve always been impressed by the energy and focus of the conference, and this year is no different.   I’ll be blogging this week on some of the more interesting developments to come out of the conference.

ArcGIS Server JavaScript API and Google Maps/Virtual Earth Extensions
Yesterday I attended a pre-conference seminar on the new ArcGIS Server JavaScript API released at version 9.3, and I have to say that I am really impressed.  Prior to this release I had worked with the .NET Web ADF on a few projects and found the experience incredibly frustrating to the point that I didn’t want to have anything to do with ArcGIS Server.  However,  I suspect that the new JavaScript API and the extenders for Google Maps and Virtual Earth will bring a lot of renewed interest to ArcGIS Server, and will undoubtedly bring a lot of new developers to the platform.  I suspect that we’ll see a lot more legacy ArcIMS applications moved to ArcGIS Server due to the ease with which simple applications can be built.   The JavaScript API makes development work so much easier than anything that I have experienced with the .NET Web ADF.  Not only can you access the ESRI product stack, but the ability to integrate your maps and geoprocessing with Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth is something that I am particulary happy to see.  For some time I have maintained that you should use ArcGIS for your analysis, geoprocessing, and map creation and then migrate the results to the new geographic visualization products (Google Earth/Google Maps/Virtual Earth).   The thought being that you let each platform do what it does best.  The ESRI platform is great for analysis and geoprocessing, but in terms of presentation of that data the GE/GMaps/VE platforms are, in my opinion, superior in terms of ease of use and data display.  Now, with the 9.3 release of ArcGIS Server, the integration of these tools makes for a great team.

See below for some related links to the the new JavaScript API, Google Maps Extension

Later this week I’ll post some code examples that show you how easy it is to create these applications.  For now, back to the opening session.  Jack has made his entry!

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