Importing Raster Imagery into ArcMap with Arc2Earth
As I mentioned in my last post, we are in the process of creating a new e-learning course covering the Arc2Earth V2 ArcGIS Extension. Arc2Earth was originally created as an efficient tool for exporting existing ArcGIS data to Google Earth. However, Arc2Earth has evolved into a much more robust tool capable of advanced export and import functions between ArcGIS, Google Earth, Google Maps, and Microsoft Virtual Earth. In addition to being able to export your existing data from ArcGIS, Arc2Earth also provides import tools that give you the ability to import imagery and hybrid raster tiles from Microsoft, Yahoo, and Ask.com as custom layers in ArcMap. What this does is give you the ability to add in background aerial imagery to your ArcMap data or layout view similar to the figure you see below.
In this figure we’ve added Microsoft Aerial imagery in the form of a new raster layer (Microsoft – Aerials) that has been added to the ArcMap table of contents. As mentioned earlier, you can also add imagery layers from Yahoo or Ask.com in addition to Microsoft.
The loading of these custom raster layers is accomplished through the use of the Map Tile Layer toolbar which can be loaded by selecting “Show Map Tiles Toolbar” from the Import menu on the main Arc2Earth toolbar.
The Map Tiles toolbar has a number of buttons and tools that allow you to turn the custom aerial imagery layer on/off, automatically refresh the tiles, change the map source specification (Microsoft, Yahoo, Ask) as well as the type (street, aerial, hybrid), set the zoom level, and open the Tile Download Status window.
Arc2Earth downloads the raster tiles over the Internet in small chunks, and seams them together for display in ArcMap. In addition, Arc2Earth monitors the current map extent and downloads the appropriate tiles to display for the current map extent. Tiles are automatically georeferenced so that they will display no matter what spatial reference you have set in your map.
The Arc2Earth Tile Download Status window tracks the map tiles that have been downloaded from the Internet. This window lists the status, Url of the tile, tile level, and download duration. The status of each tile can be either cached, complete, or error. You can also preview each downloaded image by clicking the item.
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