Archive for January, 2010

2010 Spring Schedule – Geospatial Training Services

Posted on January 25, 2010. Filed under: GeoSpatial Training Services |

Our schedule for instructor facilitated, Internet based courses over the next few months is as follows:

Programming the ArcGIS Server API for Flex
March 1st – April 9th

Programming ArcObjects with .NET
March 1st – March 26th

GIS Programming 101: Mastering Python for Geoprocessing in ArcGIS
March 8th – April 2nd

Working with Geodatabases and Linear Referencing
March 29th – April 9th

Mastering the ArcGIS Server JavaScript API
April 5th – May 14th

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How to Use CAD Annotation in ArcPad

Posted on January 23, 2010. Filed under: ArcPad, Geodatabase, GPS |

This is a guest post by Michele Mattix of Geomattix, LLC.  Michele is the excellent author of several e-learning courses that we sell including: GPS Mapping with ArcPad, Integrating GPS Data with GIS, Introduction to GPS Technology, Adding Digital Photos to GIS, Working with Coordinate Systems in GIS and GPS, GPS Mapping with Trimble’s TerraSync and Pathfinder Office, and the GPS Bundle.

CAD users beware!  While ArcGIS supports the mapping of CAD data, ArcPad – ESRI’s field software – does not.  Though it is no problem to convert CAD data into the geodatabase format, the handling of CAD annotation can present challenges.  In this article, I will walk you through a problem one of my clients was having and the solution I came up with.


My client has a Trimble GeoXH GPS unit on which they use ArcPad to collect field data.  I was contacted to help them clean up their GIS data.  In addition to maintaining GIS data, they also had several CAD files.  They wanted to consolidate all of the data into one efficient geodatabase.  I designed and created a new geodatabase for them and converted/imported the CAD data into it.  Among the CAD data were very detailed roads data that my client wanted to use as background data in ArcPad.  In CAD format, the roads were stored as lines and the road names were stored in a CAD annotation feature class.  When I converted the CAD data into the geodatabase format, two feature classes were created:  Roads – which contains the line data, and Roads_Annotation – a point feature class that contains the road names.  See the figure below.

When viewed in ArcMap, the raw CAD Polyline (roads) and Annotation layers appear as roads with labels, see below.  My client wanted to reproduce this same look with the geodatabase data.

Using the newly created geodatabase Roads_Annotation layer – which contains point data with road names as attributes — overwhelms the map with unnecessary points.  Also, the labels will not necessarily be oriented along the roads, as show below.

It would be nice to use the road names from the Roads_Annotation layer as labels in the Roads layer.  I could accomplish this by joining the two tables if only there were a key field.  Alas, there is not.

There is an Import CAD Annotation tool available in ArcToolbox that will convert a CAD annotation feature class into a geodatabase annotation feature class.  The annotation will look exactly as it does in the raw CAD data.  I used this tool to create the Annotation_rds feature class that works great in ArcMap.   ArcPad, however, does not support annotation feature classes.

The Problem

My client wanted both the roads and the road names to appear in ArcPad.  With no other options, I needed to find a way to use the Roads_Annotation point feature class to label the roads properly.

The Solution

Here’s how I made the Roads_Annotation point layer mimic the raw CAD annotation.  First, I symbolized the points so that they do not appear on the map.  I did this by choosing a basic ESRI point symbol that does not contain an outline, such as Circle 1, and then shrinking the size down to 7 points – any small size will work.  In the color palette selector, I chose “no color”, see below.

The effect is that the points do not appear even though the layer is turned on.

Next, I needed to make the labels orient with the roads.  Upon inspection, I discovered that the Roads_Annotation feature class contains an attribute field called TxtAngle.  The values range between 0 and 90 and represent the orientation angle of the original CAD annotation.

The default behavior for labels of point features in ArcMap is for the labels to be placed horizontally at a designated location around the point.  This works for point data, but not for my line data.  Fortunately, the default behavior can be changed.  From the labels tab in the layer properties, I chose the option to place the labels at an angle specified by a field in the table.  This allows ArcMap to position the labels as they were originally designed in CAD, see below.

Voila!  I now have labeled roads, see below.  The label font, color, and size can be adjusted to match the CAD annotation, see below.

Now when my client checks data out for use in ArcPad, the Roads and Roads_Annotation layers both can be checked out as reference data.  This is an easy way to provide a light-weight and detailed labeled roads layer in ArcPad.

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ArcGIS Online Maps Migrated to Google Maps/Bing Maps Tiling Scheme

Posted on January 21, 2010. Filed under: ArcGIS Online, ESRI, Google Maps, Virtual Earth |

Good news!  Looks like ESRI has finished the migration of ArcGIS Online Maps to a Google Maps/Bing Maps tiling scheme.  According to ESRI:

ArcGIS Online map services have been migrated to the Google Maps/Bing Maps tiling scheme in Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere. This enables Web developers to more easily combine ArcGIS Online map services with other popular Web map services including those from Bing Maps, Google Maps, and other providers using the same Web map tiling scheme.

The existing services in the ArcGIS Online tiling scheme will remain available for at least the next six months and, depending on demand, may remain available longer. Although the services will remain available, the content will no longer be updated.

For more details, see Migrating map tiling schemes in the ArcGIS Online Help.

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GeoSpatial Developers – Plan to Attend Google I/O 2010

Posted on January 14, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

It appears as though the 2010 version of Google I/O will feature some great Google Maps and Google Earth sessions.

Here is the full current Geo session listing.

Some of the more interesting sessions include:

More information on Google I/O which is scheduled for May 19-20 at the Moscone Center, San Francisco.

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Arc2Earth V3 Coming Soon!

Posted on January 13, 2010. Filed under: Arc2Earth, GeoSpatial Training Services, Google Earth, Google Maps, OpenLayers |

The folks at Arc2Earth have been busy working on V3 of their popular Arc2Earth software for converting and publishing your ArcGIS data to view in Google Earth, Google Maps, Bing, and OpenLayers.

V3, which will be released in beta soon, will include many exciting new features including the new Arc2Earth Cloud Services, a new free Community version of the software, as well as much more functionality.

Community Edition
V3 will include a Free version of Arc2Earth called Community Edition.  You will be able to use this edition for both commercial and non-commercial projects alike as well as install it on as many computers as needed.

This version has limits on what can imported and exported but we feel that it will be very functional for many of your projects.

This version can also be used to edit Arc2Earth based Cloud Layers.

Arc2Earth Cloud (beta)
Each A2E Enterprise user can create their own Google AppEngine accounts for hosting their data. Arc2Earth maintains the software on these clouds but the billing is handled directly through the user and Google.

Each A2E Cloud instance contains APIs for vector and raster storage and querying as well as partial compatibility with ESRI ArcGIS Server REST API (9.3, 9.4 when its released). There will be limits on the number of maps and layers you can load with each A2E Enterprise serial number however it will be easy to add serial numbers to existing clouds for more capacity.

Each Cloud contains Datasources, Tilesets and Viewers that represent your vector, map tile and application files. All of the data is accessible from a login controlled RESTful API. For example, you can create a new Datasource and immediately start populating it with Feature data. ArcMap users that have your Datasource loaded as a Cloud Layer will see your edits as they happen. Datasource API

Google AppEngine is designed for instant scalability as well as true utility based billing (only pay for what you use in addition to generous free daily limits). We believe the significance of the Cloud is mainly the extensive CapEx/OpEx savings for users. For instance, this simple Parcel Mapplet has been running for over a month with an OpEx cost of $0.00 (OpEx includes CPU time, storage, bandwidth and most importantly, IT personnel to keep it running)

Google Maps Data API
In addition to A2E Clouds, we will also be enabling editing from other providers as well. The first are Google MyMaps layers powered by the new Google Maps Data API.

Users can import/export directly into any new or existing MyMap and also perform live edits on any loaded layer as well. Live edits are handled as an interactive graphics annotation layer in ArcMap. If a Google Map only includes features of the same type, they can also be edited using the Cloud Layers interface above.

Other New Features of V3

  • Arc2Earth Cloud Explorer and Cloud Layers
    A new toolbar and explorer window in ArcMap to manage, upload and download your data from the Cloud. It also includes built-in functionality for live editing your Cloud layers (or other Cloud layers you have been granted write access to). Cloud Layers automatically syncronizes a local cache with the online datasource as the user pans/zooms around the map. The layer can then be edited directly in the ArcMap editor and all changes are then saved to back to the Cloud.
  • Google Earth Enterprise Layer Support
    A new feature to convert any ArcGIS layer’s symbology/definition into a GEE Fusion definition. Currently, many GEE users must perform this operation by hand for every change of styling in their ArcGIS systems.
  • Accounts
    Store and use multiple Amazon S3 and Google Accounts for use with your exports and the Cloud. For Amazon Accounts, define the exact Bucket name to use in exports.
  • Embedded Globes (beta)
    A new ActiveView manager takes over the main ArcMap map/layout section and embeds both Microsoft and Google’s maps. Layers in the TOC can then be displayed in real time over the 2D/3D maps (as images only). The new views can also be used on the Page Layout and higher resolution versions of the view can be printed/exported.
  • Map Tile Layer
    The MTL has many bug fixes and enhancements. Yahoo Maps have been added back into the default configuration. Any Cloud tile layer can also be used in the MTL. Also, a new Offline Cache tool has been added so users can download all tile images for a given extent and levels.
  • New Search Window in ArcMap
    Users can type any street address or place location and it will zoom to that area on the map or embedded globe. The initial search window in V3 will be limited to this simple geocoding but there are many enhancements planned.
  • New Command Line
    The Command Line exporter (A2EExporter.exe) has been rewritten and includes many new features for creating batch exports and including them in your own workflows. The Map Tile exporter also includes a cutter parameter to specify how many workers for the export and then automatically splits the extent for each worker.

More Information
GeoSpatial Training Services
is an authorized reseller of Arc2Earth software.  For more information please visit our site or contact us directly at sales at

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ArcGIS 9.4 Renamed to ArcGIS 10

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

This is a guest post provided by Tripp Corbin of Keck & Wood, Inc.  Keck & Wood delivers a wide range of GIS and mapping services and products including training, data creation and maintenance, needs analysis and database design, software and hardware sales, and more. For more information contact tcorbin at

As many of you know ESRI was planning to release ArcGIS 9.4 during the second quarter of this year.  Well that is not happening, they are instead releasing ArcGIS 10. ESRI has decided that the level of changes and improvements planned for ArcGIS 9.4 warrant more than just a new dot release. It needs to be a full new version.  To hear Jack talk more about why the name changed click here:

 So what are some of the planned improvements for ArcGIS 10:

  •  Improved rendering engine for better performance when panning and zooming
  • The geoprocessing wizard is back after a fashion
  • ArcCatalog window is added in ArcMap
  • Simplified Geocoding
  •  Improved map creation tools such as new tools for multiscale maps, support for multipage layouts, and dynamic text in layouts (basically they incorporated the DSMapbook routine we all use into the core product)
  • Simplified editing including sketch based editing using palettes in both the desktop and web, easier access to common tools in ArcMap, ArcScene, & Globe
  • Integration of time data and analysis including the ability to create and publish animation.
  •  Improve raster handling performance
  • Ability to check out licenses for use in the field or temporary offices
  • Enhanced interface using enhanced resolution icons and such. (Looks very much like the newest versions of AutoCAD to me)

I have been beta testing ArcGIS Desktop 9.4 (now ArcGIS 10) now for a couple of months. It definitely has a different look and feel from ArcGIS 9.3 and earlier. The performance does seem to be better especially when working with raster. Having the Geoprocessing Wizard back is great since I never really understood why it was removed from the beginning.  It has been fairly stable especially for an initial beta release. Beta 2 is due out any day so I am interested in seeing what they have done with it.

 I am still trying to find out of ArcGIS desktop 10 will be 64 bit enabled. Maybe someone else knows. All in all I would have to say ArcGIS 10 looks like it will be a winner.

 On a related note, the release of ArcGIS 10 will mean changes to ESRI’s training classes. Exactly what those changes will be, no one seems to know. I have heard it will be similar to what happened with the release of 9.3. That was when they replaced the old Introduction I & II classes with the new ArcGIS Desktop I, II, and III classes. ESRI promises they will release training classes for ArcGIS 10 at the same time as the release of the software. What that will mean to those of us that are Authorized Instructors is anyone’s guess at this moment.

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New Course: Programming the Flex API for ArcGIS Server

Posted on January 8, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

GeoSpatial Training Services is pleased to announce the availability of a new instructor facilitated, Internet based Virtual GIS Classroom course entitled “Programming the Flex API for ArcGIS Server“. How fast can you learn to build Web 2.0 mapping applications with ESRI’s ArcGIS Server? With our unique combination of hands-on exercises, Flash based lecture materials containing audio, video, code samples, and demonstrations you will be creating next generation web-based GIS applications in a matter of days using the new ArcGIS Server Flex API.

Course Modules

  • Introduction to ArcGIS Server
  • Building Flex Applications with Flex Builder 
  • ActionScript Basics
  • Introduction to the Flex API for ArcGIS Server
  • Advanced Techniques for the Flex API for ArcGIS Server
  • Using Bing Maps with the Flex API
  • Capstone Project

The first session of this course is March 1st – April 9th.

Currently course registration is $500 through January 21st.  The regular price for this course will be $715 (government/educational/non-profit) and $795 (commercial).  Take advantage of this opportunity before the price goes up.

Upcoming Instructor Facilitated, Internet Based Schedule

Other News From GeoSpatial Training Services

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