Archive for March, 2010

Using Wildcards in Query Builder

Posted on March 30, 2010. Filed under: ESRI, Geodatabase |

This is a guest post from John Schaeffer of Juniper GIS.  John is the creator and instructor for our Working with Geodatabase and Linear Referencing e-learning course (self-paced and instructor led).

In this example, you can see that we have addresses for 100 East Cascade Avenue and 1001 East Cascade Avenue. If I used the expression above, I would get all the addresses in both blocks. But here is how to use the space holder wildcard to get only those meters in the 100 block. I start the expression above, but tell ArcGIS I only want addresses that start with 1 and have two more characters by putting two ?? after the 1.

Let’s try one more example. What if I want all the meters for the 100 block of East Cascade and West Cascade avenues? (If you ever drive through Sisters, Oregon these are the two blocks on the main street in the center of town.) I could just take the query above and change it to: [Address] LIKE ‘1?? * CASCADE AVE’

Understanding how to use these wildcards will make it a lot easier to query pieces of information out of any table. For more information on using the Query Builder, look for the Using the Query Builder PDF at

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Spring Course Schedule

Posted on March 15, 2010. Filed under: AGIS Server API for Flex, GeoSpatial Training Services |

We have several Internet based, instructor led courses scheduled to begin in the next few weeks.  Seating is limited and we’re running out of spaces for the ArcGIS Server JavaScript and Flex API courses so register soon to reserve your spot.  You also qualify for a discount on these courses if you register by the end of this week.

Mastering the ArcGIS Server JavaScript API
April 5th – May 14th
$615 if you register by March 19th.  $715 (government/educational/non-profit) and $795 commercial after March 19th.

Programming the ArcGIS Server API for Flex
April 19th – May 28th
$615 if you register by March 19th.

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

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Google Public Data Explorer

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: Google Maps, Google Visualization API |

Another fantastic data visualization tool has been released by Google.  The Google Public Data Explorer (currently in labs) makes large publicly available datasets available for exploration, visualization, and communication. 

Visualizations of public data can be explored, linked to, or embedded on a web page. 

Note the ability to animate data over time as seen in the figures below.

In addition to visualizing data in a map format you can also mash up data using line graphs, bar graphs, and bubble charts.  As I mentioned visualizations can display data over time, but you can also change topics, highlight different entries and change the scale.  Once you have created the chart you can share the results by embedding on your website or blog. 

Data source include the World Bank, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Organization of Economic Co-Operation and Development, California Dept. of Education, Eurostat, U.S. Center for Disease Control, and the U.S. bureau of Economic Analysis.

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New Google Geocoding Web Service

Posted on March 10, 2010. Filed under: Google Maps |

Google has announced a new Geocoding Web Service  which contains a number of improvements over its previous version  including the following:

  • A flatter response format for address components that is easier to parse
  • The ability to tag an address component with multiple types
  • Both full names and abbreviations for countries and states
  • Differentiation between rooftop and interpolated geocoder results
  • Both the bounding box and recommended viewport for each result

The geocoding web service enables pre-caching of geocoded results for commonly used addresses in your application.  Results are cached on your server and any additional requests for these addresses will be served out of the cache rather than having to be geocoded each time.

Other items of interest from the announcement

  • Google also announce the deprecation of its previous geocoding service. 
  • Requests no longer require a Maps API key
  • CSV output not supported
  • 2,500 requests per day from a single IP address
  • Service must be used in conjunction with maps generated by Google Maps APIs or Google Earth API
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Heat Mapping with Google Fusion Tables?

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: Google Fusion Tables, Google Maps |

I’ve written previously on Google Fusion Tables and its potential for creating dynamic mapping and visualization applications.  As I mentioned last time…….

the compelling thing about Fusion Tables is its integration with the Google Maps API and Google Visualization API.  Visualizations are also real time as Fusion Tables automatically updates data as it is updated or corrected.  With the Fusion Tables API you can also update or query the database programmatically.  Data can also be imported from various data sources including text files and relational database management systems.

Well, Google recently announced some exciting new additions to the API.  According to the announcement you can now upload and map large amounts of geographic data.  This used to require a developer, but now you can do it yourself. You can also now hide and show different data depending on your own criteria.

The folks at detailed their use of the new capabilities in a blog post.  Some of the screen shots from their application can be seen below.  The data driving their application is stored in a Fusion Table.  I’m particularly impressed with the capability of creating heat maps as seen in the second figure.

Here the heat map shows the density of bike tracks in a certain area.

Google is continuing to push the envelope in the mapping and visualization space.  Fusion Tables isn’t getting the press is deserves at this time, but I think that is going to change rapidly as people get a better understanding of how it can be used.

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New ESRI World Topographic Basemap

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: ArcGIS Server, ESRI |

I’m really impressed with the recently announced World Topographic base map from ESRI.  As James Fee noted on his his blog, “the cartography just catches your eye.”  According to ESRI the map is designed to be used as a basemap by GIS professionals and as a reference map.  The map includes administrative boundaries, cities, water features, physiographic features, parks, landmarks, highways, roads, railways, airports, and buildings overlaid on land cover and shaded relief imagery for added context.

The map includes detailed maps for selected cities in the United States including New York, Pasadena and Redlands, California, Philadelphia, Portland, and Washington D.C. as well as a detailed map of Yosemite Park in California.  These areas are a demonstration of how the topographic map can and will be extended with more detailed data sets for local areas.

Data sources used in the creation of the map include USGS, FAO, NPS, EPA, ESRI, DeLorme, TANA, and others.

The topographic map can be used in your custom REST or SOAP web applications as well as ArcGIS Desktop.  The tiling scheme is based on Google Maps/Bing Maps.

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