Thursday, August 7, 2008

ESRI international user conference 2008

ESRI UC is in the full swing and it is a big one, as usual. This time I am not there so I'll point to some other blogs and sources of information about it.

For start there is the ESRI's UC blog with plenty of information and screenshots, photos (where applicable).

Some of the highlights of the conference so far are:

  • Conference proceedings are available on-line
  • Top 10 usability tips in ArgGIS 9.3
  • 10. Bookmarks are now accessible at the top level menu to make visiting common places faster and easier. Additionally, the bookmark manager has been redesigned allowing you to rearrange the bookmarks in the order you want, and you can save and load your bookmarks to a file to share between map documents with other users.

    9. Pause labeling allows you to temporally suspend drawing of labels while you navigate about the map and perform other tasks. You can return to labeling with a single click of the button on the toolbar.

    8. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to step through time series data; for example, just hold the ALT key as you turn on a layer and it turns off the previous layer, or you can use the same functionality to switch to a completely different map and a different set of layers.

    7. Clipping a raster or an image to a graphic shape can be useful for defining a study area as a graphic shape-then use that shape to extract or clip a terrain model to your study area.

    6. Working with transparent legends in 9.3-transparency is often used to improve the cartography of the map, when the brightness of the map does not match the brightness legend-there is a new option in the dataframe properties to simulate the layer transparency for all legends.

    5. Regarding table sorting, aliases, and joins, there's a new sorting option which allows for the sorting of multiple columns. Table joins now have aliases persisted-you no longer have to recreate field aliases after you perform a join.

    4. On the Geocoding toolbar is a new option called the Address Inspector, which allows you to move your mouse and hold it down as you move around the map. It will automatically calculate the nearest address to that location and mark it and the address on the map. It also works for cross streets and intersections. For those who are using addresses and want to label addresses on a map, this process has been automated and streamlined.

    3. On the drawing tool bar, you can now take graphics and automatically convert them to features. You can choose which graphics you'd like to convert, and they will now be converted to a feature class with all the attributes and symbology intact. This means that you don't have to go out and create a feature class before adding feature-you can add graphics and convert them after the fact.

    2. Identify shortcuts and HTML popups by using the identify tool to change the color of a building footprint. For example, rather than searching the TOC for a particular layer, you can now select a feature on the layer, right-mouse click on the identify properties and get right to the layer symbology. HTML popups can be turned on for any layer, and they allow you to see the attribute information in a nicely formatted window-along with a leader line, which always updates to the map location. This can be used for custom content like Web pages as well.

    1. Quality is always a focus for ESRI but with 9.3 a new error reporting system has been implemented that allows users to send error reports directly and anonymously to the development team. The system also identifies where in the software a random crash occurred. ESRI has spent a lot of time reducing the number of crashes, but if you should encounter a crash, please send the report so we can continuously improve our software.

  • Discover what is WebGIS - WebGIS is a platform that can be used to connect all your GIS business systems and this framework allows you to consume real-time information from multiple business systems, so emergency responders can make time-sensitive decisions in critical situations.
  • Demonstrations of mashups
  • ICA awards Jack Dangermond with Mannerfelt Gold Medal. This is ICA's highest honor, first awarded in 1980 to recognize extraordinary merits in cartography including the conception, production, dissemination, and study of maps. Dangermond is only the 11th recipient of the medal.


ArcGIS Explorer

There is plenty of information about AGX on the blog especially about the upcoming release - 600. This release will include a new user interface from Microsoft Office 2007 - the Ribbon. Here is an example.




There are some interesting maps, like this UC Route Finder. This is very handy because the Convention Centre is huge and it is easy to get lost if you are there for the first time.



There is also an Attendee Map - if you want to find out how many visitors are coming from a certain city...



For more detailed updates on the conference have a look at the Jithen's blog.

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