A collection of various GIS related links, information and other GIS blogs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New ESRI Press Book - Designed Maps

Designed Maps
A Sourcebook for GIS Users Click image for a larger image of Designed Maps cover

This sequel to the highly successful Designing Better Maps, offers a graphics-intensive presentation of published maps, providing cartographic examples that GIS users can then adapt for their own needs. Each chapter characterizes a common design decision and includes a demonstration map, which is annotated with specific information needed to reproduce the design, such as text fonts, sizes and styles; line weights, colors, and patterns; marker symbol fonts, sizes, and colors; and fill colors and patterns. Visual hierarchies and the purpose of each map are considered with the audience in mind, drawing a clear connection between intent and design. The book also includes a valuable task index that explains what ArcGIS 9 tools to use for desired cartographic effects. From experienced cartographers to those who make GIS maps only occasionally, all GIS users will find this book to be an indispensable resource.

About the author:

Cynthia A. Brewer is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at The Pennsylvania State University, where she teaches introductory cartography and map design courses and advises graduate students working in cartography. She has worked as a map and atlas design consultant for the U.S. Census Bureau, National Cancer Institute, National Center for Health Statistics, and National Park Service. She is the co-author of Mapping Census 2000: The Geography of U.S. Diversity, and author of Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users.

ISBN: 978-1-58948-160-2    2008   184 pages   $39.95

2008 ArcGIS Server Code Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2008 ArcGIS Server Code Challenge.

The developer community, ESRI Developer Network (EDN) subscribers, and registered attendees for the 2008 Developer Summit voted for the top three samples that best represented creativity, applicability, and originality.


First Place: $15,000

Display Geospatial Analysis results in Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth with ArcGIS Server
John Waterman, Vice President of Geospatial Solutions
East Burke, Vermont, USA

Second Place: $7,500

ArcGIS Server Virtual Tile Server
Dave Bouwman, Senior Software Architect
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Third Place: $2,500

SDE Web Catalog
Loganathan Vijay Sambandhan, GIS Developer
Buffalo, New York, USA

Honorable Mention

Google Maps Adapter to ArcGIS Server Map Cache
Nianwei Liu, Senior System Analyst Programmer
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA


More info here

ESRI Careers Blog Now Available

This was new to me, so thought I'd share with you.


ESRI Careers blog. Posts about lectures, new job postings, resume advice, and events like recruiting fairs.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Free Pre-Conference Seminar at CalGIS

Heading to Modesto for this year's CalGIS Conference? You might want to think about coming in a bit early to take advantage of a free pre-conference seminar from ESRI. This is modeled after the Desktop Tips & Tricks seminars that folks had to pay for last year.


Be sure to register for this event.


Please note that you must be registered for CalGIS to attend the pre-conference seminar.


From the CalGIS site:

ESRI is pleased to invite you to attend a pre-conference “ArcGIS Desktop Productivity Tips Workshop” presented by ESRI technical staff. This workshop is intended for intermediate skilled users of ArcGIS Desktop who are looking to learn productivity tips and techniques to improve efficiency with ArcGIS Desktop 9.2. The attendees will be provided handouts of the presentation materials in order to follow along with the workshop lecture and demonstrations. This workshop does NOT include hands-on computer workstations. Topics covered in the presentation and demonstrations will include:

  • Tips and tricks for working with Excel files in ArcMap
  • Working with CAD data
  • Managing map documents, layers, and other ArcMap “hidden” settings
  • Time-saving tips for cartography and working with symbols
  • Exporting and printing from ArcMap tips
  • Shortcuts and techniques for modifying feature data with the ArcMap Editor
  • Plenty of time for Questions & Answers!

Click here to register

This workshop will be in Salons I & II of the rooms in the Grand Ballroom, signage will be posted by each door.

April 22, 2008 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Q & A from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

GIS Education Community Blog : Using Callout Labels in ArcMap

I thought this posting on using callout labels was pretty helpful. Beginner tips really, but weren't we all beginners once!?!


Saturday, March 22, 2008 2:51 AM - tbaker

Using Callout Labels in ArcMap

The ArcMap application within ArcGIS allows you to create an amazing variety of fonts, colors, and types of labels that identify point, line, and area features. One of the most useful types of labels is the callout label. This label “calls out” from the label to an off-site location that is typically not on the feature itself, and sometimes helps make maps that are more clearly understood by students. Consider the following example for a lesson I created about the Philippines. Here, if the labels were placed on the islands, they would obscure the data I wanted the students to explore, which was the human development index by administrative area (province). Therefore, I used callout labels so that they would be offset in the ocean.



How did I create these labels? Under the Layer Properties, under Labels, I selected a “Banner” style label. Under Properties for the banner style, I selected Properties once again, and then bumped up the x offset to 45 and the y offset to 30. You will have to experiment with your own data set for the optimal offset, depending on your map units and the feature shapes that you wish to label. I set the colors for the background and for the text.


I did something else to create the above labels. Many provinces are split up into hundreds of islands. To prevent every single island from receiving a label, I accessed the Placement Properties tool under the Label tab in the Layer Properties.

More on the blog...


READ MORE: GIS Education Community Blog : Using Callout Labels in ArcMap

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Doing a GIS Day event?

November 19th is the date for GIS Day 2008.


This posting on Geography Matters announces that GIS Day focused web sites can be submitted to be included on this collection of GIS Day web sites for the public to access. If you would like some help in creating your GIS Day webs site, take a look at these templates to get you started (download .zip file here)! Get lots of information on GIS Day materials as well.


There is a lot of useful information about setting up and planning for a GIS Day event on the GIS Day web site at http://www.gisday.com.


Hope you have a fun and successful GIS Day event!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Creating a ArcGIS Server legend from Multiple Map Resources

I ran across this posting from Vish about some code he wrote and is sharing that will do some nice things. So if you are programming in .NET for ArcGIS Server and are pulling map resources from a number of places, you may want to check out this code.


From his posting:


The features of the code snippet are:

  • Generates images at the required DPI
  • Customizable legend title
  • Handles group layers
  • Handles symbol groups
  • Creates a legend image of the desired height and width. If the legend entries overflow the height specified, they will be omitted. If all legend entries are required in the images, it should only involve a small change in code to remove the check for overflow.

Here is an example of a legend generated by the snippet.

Sample Legend


READ FULL POST: http://viswaug.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/dynamic-legend-generation-through-the-adf/

Friday, March 14, 2008

Assemblymember Jose Solorio's Bill Threatens Public Access to Government Geodata - Articles

This is a big topic in California - has been for years. Should public agencies be allowed to sell digital data that are created and maintained by staff paid with public funds - or should those data have to be provided at no cost (or just the cost of reproduction) under the Public Records Act. It has been an ongoing debate for many years.

Assemblymember Jose Solorio's Bill Threatens Public Access to Government Geodata

By Bruce Joffe , GIS Consultants
March 04, 2008

On February 14, 2008, California State Assemblymember Jose Solorio introduced a bill, AB1978, to amend Government Code Section 6254.9 of the California Public Records Act (CPRA). As stated in the "Computer Mapping Systems Fact Sheet" issued by his office, the bill seeks to improve the current definition of what constitutes a “computer mapping system.” In fact, the bill distorts the definition of "computer mapping system" further from reality. Moreover, if enacted, this bill would severely weaken the CPRA and reduce the public's access to its governments' records.

The CPRA ensures the public's ability to hold our governmental agencies accountable by guaranteeing access to public records at no more than the direct cost of reproduction. "Public records" include government data and records stored in electronic format. Public records also include computerized maps and associated data, such as those stored in GISs. All government records and data are subject to the CPRA except those types specifically exempted in the CPRA (to protect individual privacy and public safety). Computer software developed by a state or local agency is exempted. "Software" means the programs that instruct computers to manipulate data. Data, the information manipulated by computer software, is not software and is not exempt from the CPRA.

Assemblymember Solorio proposed a new paragraph to add to the CPRA which would exempt "assembled model data, metadata, and listings of metadata" from public records access by the public. I am not sure what meaning he intended by these terms, but my 30 years of experience working as a geographic information consultant to many cities, counties, and state agencies offers the following definitions:


READ THE FULL ARTICLE: Assemblymember Jose Solorio's Bill Threatens Public Access to Government Geodata - Articles


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wine and Location Mapping

Corked a bottle of wine the other evening. We end up with a wide variety of wines because my wife likes to buy based on how fun or interesting the labels are. Hey, what do I care - I end up with a lot of bottles to enjoy!

So, pulled out this cork - a man-made cork - and showed it to my wife because there was a graphic of El Capitan on it. She grew up backpacking in Yosemite so I thought she'd get a kick out of it.

Wasn't I surprised when she handed it back to me and said I should look at it again.

Under the Half Dome graphics it says "Adventure Tool #12"
Then "GPS Hike" and the coordinates for the base of El Capitan.

Here are the directions:

  1. 37* 43' 30" Latitude
  2. 115* 38' 00" Longitude
  3. Look up at El Capitan

That's kind of fun. I wonder what the other 11 are and if they are all GPS related.

This wine is from Red Wood Creek - www.redwoodcreek.com

Ahh - the website answers my question from above. Some of the corks are GPS (probably a lot of them), one is a fishing bobber, etc... More here: http://www.redwoodcreek.com/consumer.html

Mapping Center : What to do when your label doesn't draw

Some good tips here on what to do if you are getting unexpected results with your labels. That never happens to you, right?


What to do when your label doesn't draw

So, you have just spent a few minutes deep in concentration setting up your labeling rules and applied them.  ArcMap's little globe is spinning, spinning... spinning... and nothing.  Several of your labels didn't draw. Panic and go to MappingCenter. Right?

Not exactly. 

There are a few things we always do when diagnosing the "where's my label" scenarios, no matter what's being labeled or what labeling engine is being used.


READ MORE: Mapping Center : What to do when your label doesn't draw

Wiley::Geo-Business: GIS in the Digital Organization

Here's a new book focused on GIS in Business. Looks interesting.

Geo-Business: GIS in the Digital Organization

James B. Pick

ISBN: 978-0-471-72998-3
416 pages
January 2008

Exploit the advantages of Geographic Information Systems in your business

Once the domain of cartographers and other specialists, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are increasingly being employed by the business community. Location-based services, supply chain management, management of field-distributed equipment, geographical marketing and promotion, and the spatial web are some of the current business applications which make use of GIS principles.


LEARN MORE: Wiley::Geo-Business: GIS in the Digital Organization

Question About What’s Coming in ArcGIS 9.3?

More info is coming out about the 9.3 release (see post below) - but I am sure folks still have a number of questions.  ESRI has posted a form for you to do just that - ask questions about what is coming in 9.3. To take advantage of this opportunity, follow the link below.


Question About What’s Coming in ArcGIS 9.3

Ask a question about what’s coming in ArcGIS 9.3 in the questions field provided below, and click "Submit Question" at the bottom of the page.

QUESTION FORM: Question About What’s Coming in ArcGIS 9.3

What's Coming in ArcGIS 9.3

Interested in ArcGIS 9.3? Of course you are. Take a peek at this site to see some of what has been worked on for this next release. 

What's Coming in ArcGIS 9.3

ArcGIS 9.3 continues to expand the use of GIS throughout the enterprise. From GIS professionals to decision makers, clients, and the public, GIS information and analysis can be made available wherever it is needed.

ArcGIS 9.3 is supported on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2003, and Windows 2000.

ArcGIS 9.3 is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2008.


READ MORE: What's Coming in ArcGIS 9.3

ArcGIS Explorer Blog : Explorer at the FedUC

There are some interesting items in this post on the ArcGIS Explorer blog, so thought I'd link to it here. 

Explorer at the FedUC

Last week [early Feb 2008] marked ESRI's Federal User Conference in Washington, D.C. During the plenary on Tuesday a variety of ESRI software and applications were showcased, including ArcGIS Explorer. We've had a few requests to recap what was shown in a little more detail, so here's the overview of the ArcGIS Explorer plenary presentation.

Read More: ArcGIS Explorer Blog : Explorer at the FedUC

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Google Earth Blog: Pentagon Did NOT Ban Google Earth

Pentagon Did NOT Ban Google Earth

The Pentagon did NOT ban Google Earth! This is just to clarify the many erroneous news and blog reports which started circulating yesterday. The stories were based on an AP report that came out which actually involved Google's Street View photos.

The story is kind of amusing. As most of you know, Google has been driving cars around with special video cameras which take panoramic photos which are then placed in Google Maps. The intent is to help you get a look at places and get a feel for your surroundings before you go. The service is called Street View and was first released last May.

One of the Google drivers of a Street View car drove up to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX and asked for permission to go on the base to do his work - and the request was granted. Then, the photos appeared in Street View until some military personnel noticed and realized it probably isn't a good idea to have photos of a military base shared with the world. The photos could show locations of guards, barricades, and other sensitive information. The Pentagon contacted Google and requested they take the photos down, which Google did immediately within 24 hours. Google also said it was against their policy for their drivers to go to restricted areas. The Pentagon sent a message to all bases telling them to not allow such crews with big cameras on the top to drive all over the base taking pictures. Duh.

Read more: Google Earth Blog: Pentagon Did NOT Ban Google Earth

San Diego emergency dispatchers to handle Chula Vista calls

CHULA VISTA – Fire and medical dispatch calls for Chula Vista will soon be handled by dispatchers in San Diego under an arrangement officials say will save money and improve response times to emergency calls.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox announced the partnership, which begins March 4, at a Chula Vista fire station Wednesday.

“This is another key step forward to regionalizing emergency response services,” Sanders said. “All in all, this is just a great opportunity for both cities.”

Officials said the system will allow San Diego and Chula Vista to communicate instantly, rather than having to pass information through multiple dispatch centers. Both cities will benefit by sharing resources including fire engines, ladder trucks, brush engines and personnel, officials said.

Chula Vista decided to outsource its fire dispatch in December to save money as part of $15.5 million in budget reductions.

The city's dispatch center costs $1.2 million a year to operate, employing 11 dispatchers. Under the outsourcing contract, Chula Vista will pay San Diego $420,000 a year for five years. The net savings is $780,000 a year.

San Diego now provides dispatch service to 47 fire stations within San Diego and three within Poway, handling calls for an estimated 108,500 incidents a year.

Chula Vista's nine fire stations respond to 15,400 incidents a year. San Diego plans to hire four dispatchers to handle the additional workload.

San Diego emergency dispatchers to handle Chula Vista calls


San Diego Fire-Rescue makes use of Computer Aided Dispatch software from local firm TriTech.

Road centerline data are maintained by staff at SanGIS with oversight and review by the City of San Diego Fire-Rescue.

Press Release -- New Technical Support Director Joins ESRI Staff

New Technical Support Director Joins ESRI Staff

Redlands, California—ESRI recently welcomed Michael Kim to head its Technical Support Division. Kim comes to ESRI as a customer relationship management (CRM) and contact center senior executive with more than 15 years' experience servicing Fortune 100 clients in the United States and Asia-Pacific. He has proven executive-level experience implementing the design of enterprise-level CRM and contact center infrastructures in global organizations. Kim's responsibilities as technical support director include management of support services operations with the goal of maintaining and growing ESRI's world-class customer service.

Kim is a recognized leader in the contact center management field as well as a member of the Genesys Executive Global CTI Advisory Board. His accomplishments in the industry have been covered internationally and documented by major media groups including CIO Magazine, E-week, and BNI Media Group. In CIO Magazine, Kim was recognized as one of the top 50 technologists of the decade. He has also personally launched and delivered CRM and contact center solutions for some of the largest global software releases in the world at Microsoft, Priceline.com, and Samsung Corporation.

"My professional goal is to create the best possible infrastructure to make the most out of each customer contact," says Kim. "ESRI's strong international presence and reputation for quality technical support both domestically and abroad is the perfect platform from which to do that."

Says ESRI president Jack Dangermond, "We are pleased to welcome Michael Kim to the ESRI family. Kim's wide experience and visionary drive for technical innovation in contact center management made him the obvious choice to lead our Technical Support Division."

Press Release -- New Technical Support Director Joins ESRI Staff

Friday, March 07, 2008

Patches and Service Packs - ESRI Support

Head's up - Another patch is on it's way:

ArcGIS 9.2 Service Pack 5 - Announcement - Patches and Service Packs - ESRI Support

ArcGIS 9.2 service pack 5 is planned to be available for download later this month March, 2008.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

GIS News:Encinitas, California, Brings GIS-Centric Asset Management to the Forefront

Encinitas, California, Brings GIS-Centric Asset Management to the Forefront City Implements Cityworks in Stages and Continues to Experience Great Results 4 March 2008

Sandy, UT — Since 2002, the City of Encinitas, California, has been deploying Cityworks in a methodical, phased process throughout its various departments and divisions. As a result, the City has experienced an array of significant improvements in streamlining maintenance operations. In 2002, the Water Department implemented the first phase for managing more than 60,000 water infrastructure features in Cityworks, including water meters and service lines. The following year, in combination with a detailed data collection exercise, the City deployed Cityworks to manage the storm drainage system for the Public Works Street Maintenance and Waste Water Collection Divisions, and are also using Cityworks to administer the City’s Clean Water Program and Commercial Site Inspections for the Engineering Stormwater Division. Encinitas continued the phased process adding street asset and sewer infrastructure inventory and work order tracking for the City’s Streets and Wastewater Divisions. Today, Encinitas hosts more than 70 Cityworks users across five departments and is currently implementing Cityworks to manage parks assets. In addition, the City has developed an in-house training program to keep existing staff up-to-date and train new staff. Future plans include adding hydrant inspections and Commercial Site Inspections for the Fire Department, and deploying units for field staff. “The City of Encinitas has made great strides toward having a highly functional and robust asset management program,” stated Wendy Flynn, GIS Supervisor at the City of Encinitas. “The success of our program is the result of well thought-out processes combined with thorough data. As a result, our staff is happy and productive and we enjoy the full support of our management – as they see its many benefits. The following comment from a staff member of our Public Works Street Maintenance Division says it all: ‘The (Cityworks) program is user friendly, easy to navigate, and the results are fantastic!’” “Encinitas is an excellent example of how Cityworks can easily be deployed throughout a local government, utility, or other agency,” said Brian Haslam, President of Azteca Systems. “A non-modular system, Cityworks can manage literally anything – capital assets, infrastructure, property, outdoors, or indoors. The City of Encinitas – like most of our customers – quickly discovered the ease in which a site can achieve a mature maintenance management program for infrastructure and other important assets, and in this case, over a period of time and without straining budgets or taking on a huge project.” Source : http://cityworks.com/

GIS News:Encinitas, California, Brings GIS-Centric Asset Management to the Forefront

Press Release -- ESRI Opens Office in California State Capital

Redlands, California—Geographic information system (GIS) industry leader ESRI officially opened the doors to its Sacramento, California, satellite office on January 15, 2008. The new location will allow ESRI to better support its users in central and northern California and Nevada and will provide a convenient site for agencies, to spend time learning how to leverage GIS.

"As ESRI and the GIS community grow, the Sacramento satellite office gives us the ability to better connect with our users in the region and provide GIS training, support, and services," says Nate Johnson, ESRI regional manager for California, Nevada, and Hawaii. "Its location near the state capitol will provide government and private agencies using ESRI software with the opportunity to work in close proximity with our GIS experts. Our new training lab will offer ESRI's complete curriculum of instructor-led classes, and the new enterprise lab will provide a place for GIS knowledge to be shared among different user groups."

Sacramento joins several other major U.S. cities such as Washington, D.C.; Boston; Minneapolis; and Denver with ESRI office locations where staff and GIS software users can attend technical workshops and seminars, host meetings and project briefings, and participate in additional ESRI-authorized training.

Adds ESRI president Jack Dangermond, "GIS provides a geographic approach to doing business. Its ability to share, store, and visualize information gives utility companies; private industry; and federal, state, and local governments the power to streamline workflows, improve decision making, reduce costs, and better model and communicate strategies. We believe that the Sacramento satellite office will help ESRI serve its users in the area to ensure that their businesses remain productive, effective, and profitable."

The ESRI Sacramento satellite office is located at 1600 K Street, Suite 4C, Sacramento, CA 95814 tel.; 916-448-2412; fax: 909-307-3025.

Press Release -- ESRI Opens Office in California State Capital

Press Release -- ESRI Recognizes San Diego County Officials for GIS Work during Wildfires

ESRI Recognizes San Diego County Officials for GIS Work during Wildfires


GIS Use Improved Communications, Saved Infrastructure, and Assisted in Evacuations

Redlands, California—San Diego County officials were recently recognized for their work using geographic information system (GIS) software behind the scenes during recent wildfires that consumed tens of thousands of acres in Southern California this past fall. ESRI, the world's leading GIS software company, presented Paul Hardwick, GIS unit leader, Office of Emergency Services, with the Making a Difference Award at the ESRI California Regional User Group Meeting held in Sacramento, California, last month. This award is given to people and organizations that use GIS in exceptional ways.


During the 2007 fires, Hardwick and his team used ESRI software to manage a wide range of data and create maps that were critical for directing strategic operations. "Paul's team epitomizes ESRI's vision of how people can use technology to more effectively and responsively run their organizations," says Jack Dangermond, president, ESRI. "They are using it to serve the community in the best ways possible. Their efforts during the San Diego fires were exemplary; lives and property were saved because they had the foresight to apply their past experiences to this crisis, making a significant impact on the outcome of the fires."


GIS is a computer software technology that links geography to information, giving users a much clearer picture of data and allowing many types of analysis to be done. During the fires, this technology helped officials monitor fire activities and share essential information among response agencies and with the public. "With five major fires burning throughout the county, the timely and detailed maps our GIS team was able to produce were critical in our ability to not only coordinate our emergency responders but also provide critical information to the public," says Ron Lane, director of the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services. "The GIS maps we provided to the media and on our Web site were instrumental in helping citizens make the life-or-death decision of whether to evacuate."


"It was rewarding to see ArcGIS being used in real time to aid in the decision-making process throughout this emergency including in the policy room at the Emergency Operations Center," says Tim Craig, ESRI account executive for the San Diego area. "The county's work on a standard operating procedure [SOP] in the wake of the 2003 wildfires led to the efficient use of resources at all levels, from staffing and data capture to analysis and even to plotter paper. The maps being produced showed what was happening in the entire region and served as useful public notification tools. They were ready this time, and it showed in their well-coordinated response effort."


Communication among departments and organizations was much improved with the county's GIS, since the software integrates different information technology systems by ensuring the data is consistent. "GIS-based predictive modeling and mapping led to the evacuation of 2,100 medically fragile, special-needs individuals as well as the containment and removal of hazardous waste before the fire became a danger," says Hardwick. "Using GIS helped us communicate in a more timely and accurate fashion to both the public and other agencies. GIS was instrumental in forming a common understanding of events between all parties involved."


Evacuating people from their homes is not a simple or inexpensive task; using the county's GIS, which combined evacuation data with county demographic data, helped decision makers better understand the true number of people evacuated—an overwhelming 515,000—and their underlying characteristics. "The county developed reentry and recovery plans and assessed the impact of the fires in a remarkable way," says Nate Johnson, manager, California-Hawaii-Nevada region, ESRI. "GIS map images allowed county staff to assess damage to property, assets, and habitat even while the wildfires were still burning. Using a geographic approach to forecast the effects from the fires made it easier to see how best to prioritize efforts in the aftermath of the disaster. Maps provided immediate and vital information such as flood risk, habitat loss, and burned structures. This information proved essential for developing the course for post disaster efforts."


Press Release -- ESRI Recognizes San Diego County Officials for GIS Work during Wildfires


Also seen over on GISUser.com

Press Release -- ESRI Received "Strong Positive" Rating in Leading Analyst Firm's MarketScope for Public Safety Geographic Information S

ESRI Received "Strong Positive" Rating in Leading Analyst Firm's MarketScope for Public Safety Geographic Information Systems

Redlands, California—ESRI received a Strong Positive rating, the highest possible, from Gartner, Inc., the leading provider of research and analysis on the global information technology industry. ESRI received this rating in the report entitled MarketScope for Public Safety Geographic Information Systems, 2H07 by Bradley Williams and Jeff Vining and published October 31, 2007. Gartner considers companies receiving a Strong Positive rating to be "providers of strategic products, services or solutions" and recommends that existing customers "continue investments" while potential customers "consider the vendor a strong strategic choice."

Gartner states in the report, "By the end of 2009, 90% of all state and local government public safety organizations in North America will either use or be supported by geographic information systems. Moreover, GIS [geographic information system] technology is becoming a foundation for data management to drive other core applications through interfaces and links to such things as independent devices, including mobile devices, spatial planning and the Internet. As a result, the purpose of this MarketScope is to better understand what GIS providers are currently offering public safety organizations in order to give our clients a better understanding, because many GIS providers produce general-purpose software and then sell it to various vertical markets."

As populations and building development increase, the responsibilities of public safety agencies become more demanding and complex. At the same time, agencies are being called upon to deliver services with greater efficiency and economy.

Organizations' data, including files from legacy systems, can be stored in a GIS geodatabase and used to visualize spatial relationships, revealing trends critical to public safety response and planning.

Solutions from ESRI, including the ArcGIS family of products, enable users to employ one platform to provide a common operating picture for public safety agencies. This platform can be deployed to desktop, mobile, or Web-based clients.

"ESRI’s range of products and commitment to interoperability are proven standards for public safety departments in local and national governments," states Russ Johnson, public safety solutions manager, ESRI. "ESRI technology gives public safety personnel the capability to access and analyze spatial data to support critical decision making quickly when and where it’s needed."

Information and maps can be shared quickly and easily across networks and the Internet using ESRI technology. This maximizes coordination efforts and resources among agencies, giving public safety personnel the ability to manage and analyze large amounts of location-based information. For more information on ESRI’s solutions for public safety, visit http://www.esri.com/publicsafety.

Press Release -- ESRI Received "Strong Positive" Rating in Leading Analyst Firm's MarketScope for Public Safety Geographic Information Systems

Press Release -- ESRI Software Gives Residential Real Estate Agents and Brokers a Better Look at Houses

ESRI Software Gives Residential Real Estate Agents and Brokers a Better Look at Houses

RouteMAP IMS Provides YourMLSsearch.com with an Affordable, Robust Solution for Hosting Property Information for Multiple Listing Services

Redlands, California—YourMLSsearch.com has integrated ESRI's RouteMAP IMS into its Web hosting services for multiple listing service (MLS) agencies throughout the United States. YourMLSsearch.com provides Internet solutions for real estate agents and brokers including Internet data exchange (IDX), Web site hosting, and Web site development. RouteMAP IMS is incorporated into YourMLSsearch.com's iMapRES, allowing the company to host interactive mapping and residential data searches for more than 80 MLSs in 20 states.

"RouteMAP IMS was the ideal solution for providing this service at a great price to our customers," says Alain Nisam, chief operating officer, YourMLSsearch.com. "We looked at other solutions to power iMapRES and found RouteMAP IMS to be the best choice, since it resides on in-house servers and provides a robust API to create the right look and feel for our clients' Web sites. We are also able to create millions of listings from coordinate data instead of relying on street addresses, unlike any other software in this venue. This allows us to give our customers bulk real estate lookups, saving them the time and cost of frequent updates."

YourMLSsearch.com also finds the data, such as points of interest, bundled with the software to be advantageous in the marketplace. "When you look for a house, you want to know about the neighborhood, for example, what churches, restaurants, and banks are in the area," says Nisam. "We can rely on the data that comes with RouteMAP to give a clear picture of surrounding areas."

RouteMAP IMS data options allow YourMLSsearch.com to provide complete mapping, driving directions, and location information for the United States. Data for North America is provided with the software including Tele Atlas' Dynamap Transportation covering the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. North American datasets support street-level routing as well as geocoding by address, postal code, and latitude-longitude.

"We are pleased to be able to offer the solution YourMLSsearch.com was looking for," says Jay Hoffman, RouteMAP IMS product manager, ESRI. "By using this software, the company can provide all the information it needs, including mapping data, to others for the cost of the application instead of by subscription. This means YourMLSsearch.com and its clients can budget effectively year after year and know exactly what their costs will be."

Clients including Sky Sotheby's International Realty use the RouteMAP IMS service provided by YourMLSsearch.com.

Press Release -- ESRI Software Gives Residential Real Estate Agents and Brokers a Better Look at Houses

Press Release -- Florida Property Appraiser Speeds Valuation Process with ESRI ArcGIS Server

Florida Property Appraiser Speeds Valuation Process with ESRI ArcGIS Server

Web-Based GIS Delivers Geoprocessing Services and Property Information Online

Redlands, California–Retrieving property information in Orange County, Florida, is more convenient than ever thanks to a new Web site based on ArcGIS Server. The Orange County Property Appraiser (OCPA) created an interactive map tool that allows residents, realtors, investors, and anyone who needs Orange County parcel information to get the data they need via an easy-to-use interface. With it, users can search by owner, parcel number, street intersections, and coordinates in addition to generating buffer/mailing lists and creating comparable sales reports. The Web site was designed to meet the needs of today’s high-speed users by quickly delivering the information they need.

OCPA is responsible for determining the value of real estate and tangible personal property in Orange County for the purpose of ad valorem taxation and land records management. Prior to creating the ArcGIS Server Web site, OCPA used ArcIMS to deliver cadastral information online. Although a success, with upwards of 5,000 unique visitors a day, the site required five spatial servers and an application server to manage it. With ArcGIS Server, both the data and application can reside on just one server thanks to the image-caching functionality of ArcGIS Server. ArcGIS Server technology’s multilevel map caching ability makes it possible to display detailed maps with complex rendering in an environment where data needs to be displayed fast. In addition, ArcGIS Server has much improved scalability to accommodate a growing number of users.

Obtaining parcel information is integral to the work of the fire, insurance, and real-estate sectors in our economy. Realtors, land surveyors, insurance companies, mortgage companies, real-estate attorneys, and departments tasked with zoning and permitting all use the online mapping tool on a regular basis. The site gets visitors from about 60 different countries, although the bulk of visitors are from Florida, followed by New York.

Because of the demand from so many professions, OCPA needed technology that could meet the needs of its wide range of customers. The improved rendering ability of ArcGIS Server makes the site better equipped to handle the increased volume of visitors. The Web site allows advanced searches of the property database through multiple user-selected parameters. Advanced searches can be made using criteria specific to residential, commercial, and vacant land properties. Sales analysis of properties using parameters such as use code, year built, and square footage can pinpoint comparative sales. Properties can even be searched for specific site amenities such as lake frontage. Users can simply click on the Orange County map and instantly zoom to an area of interest, or they can select by parcel ID, name, address, or tax account number fields. In response to a query, the coordinates for the appropriate area are retrieved and graphically displayed in the mapping frame, along with a street-level photo of the property and attribute data.

"ArcGIS was a natural progression from ArcIMS because of the caching ability," says Manish Bhatt, IT director for OCPA. "ArcGIS Server’s ability to display precached images was perfect for our needs because of the speed we require to handle the large volume of visitors to the site. The rendering capabilities are lightning fast, which translates to improved customer service." The upgrade was also useful to OCPA because it was in line with its goal of .NET standardization.

For more information, visit the OCPA Map Inquiry System at www.ocpafl.org/disclaimer_map.html.

Press Release -- Florida Property Appraiser Speeds Valuation Process with ESRI ArcGIS Server

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Press Release -- ESRI Shows SQL Server 2008 Spatial Support at Microsoft Launch

ESRI Shows SQL Server 2008 Spatial Support at Microsoft Launch

ArcGIS 9.3 to Fully Support New Data Types

Redlands, California—ESRI, the leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology, announces its participation in the launch of Microsoft SQL Server 2008, beginning with Microsoft's premier launch event in Los Angeles, California, on February 27. ESRI was the only business partner to demonstrate integration with SQL Server 2008 on stage with Microsoft presenters. This support is the result of a close, multiyear collaboration between ESRI and Microsoft in the development of SQL spatial extensions to SQL Server 2008.

During the Microsoft event, ESRI demonstrated ArcGIS software working in concert with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 to perform business site selection analysis. ESRI will continue to participate in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 launch events throughout the United States.

"ESRI is taking full advantage of SQL Server 2008 to help our government, utilities, and commercial enterprise customers take the geographic approach to improving their business processes," says ESRI president Jack Dangermond. "ESRI and Microsoft together provide the platform to organize and manage geographic information, leading to improved methods for analyzing and using information more effectively to make better decisions."

ESRI offers a complete suite of geospatial software solutions that can operate as clients to SQL Server 2008. The combination of ESRI's extensive geodata management capabilities and SQL Server 2008 will provide customers with the tools they need to seamlessly consume, use, and extend location-based analysis for enterprise-scale computing and Web collaboration.

ESRI's ArcGIS 9.3 software, the next scheduled release of ESRI's ArcGIS suite, will take full advantage of the new spatial technology in the upcoming release of SQL Server 2008. Microsoft will introduce two spatial types: Geography and Geometry.

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Press Release -- ESRI Shows SQL Server 2008 Spatial Support at Microsoft Launch