Welcome to GISWeekly! For those of you just tuning into GISWeekly for the first time - it is a weekly newsletter available at your desktop every Monday morning - and GISCafe's new offering for 2003. GISWeekly will examine select current topics, top news each week, pick out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature an interview with Jeff Shaner of ESRI on ArcPad, ArcGIS and the Tablet PC; an article entitled “Imagery Maps Arctic Tundra Environment” from Imaging Notes Magazine; Industry News, Alliances/Acquisitions, Awards, New Products, Announcements, Downloads and Calendar.
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
ArcPAD and ArcGIS Meet the Tablet PC
Last week the article The Notebook of the Future: Focus on the Tablet PC focused on the Compaq Tablet PC TC 1000 and Autodesk's plans for the Tablet PC with its Onsite technology.
This week GISWeekly spoke with Jeff Shaner, Lead Product Specialist for the Tablet PC and Lead Product Specialist for Topology and Editing in ArcGIS who has been with ESRI seven years. Jeff filled us in on ESRI software operating on the Tablet PC.
Is ESRI doing anything to optimize their software solutions for use on the Tablet PC?
JS: The operating system for the Tablet PC is called Windows XP Tablet PC edition. Since it's already a Windows operating system all the ESRI software will run on it.
ArcPAD is one application that runs both on Windows CE devices and on Windows so the Windows platform with the Tablet PC is just another platform that is supported for the field use of ArcPAD. We haven't done anything specific for the ArcPAD software to work with the Tablet PC, but we have with ArcGIS.
ArcGIS is a COM-based system and ArcMap is one application within the ArcGIS framework. ArcMap is an application that lets you view and create maps and edit GIS data as well as capture GIS data. For ArcMap we have a download that's available on our website that's free of charge, that adds the inking functionality as a part of the Tablet PC to ArcMap. What really makes the Tablet PC stand out is the inking experience.
A Tablet PC is just another laptop computer, with this Tablet that you can ink on top of. It supports different widths and the addition to the operating system lets you recognize handwriting as text.
We took the Tablet inking SDK and built this extension that you can download and add on to ArcGIS. Either in the field or office, if you're running ArcMap, you can use that pen and ink on top of a map, and it will recognize that difference and give you the same experience. You can use that ink to either capture notes on top of the map and store them as graphics inside of your map, or you can draw with ink and make features with it. What really sets our inking capabilities apart from other ink technology, is that when you create that ink it's actually stored inside the coordinate system of the map, so we handle all the projection issues and store projection information with ink.
In the office perhaps you have several urban planners inking on top of existing maps and sharing them across their enterprise database. That's one potential use of inking inside of ArcMap.
In the field, the latest version of ArcGIS, 8.3, which will be released really soon, will support what's called disconnected editing of the geodatabase. I can take a piece of my enterprise database, disconnect that piece from the main enterprise and go into the field with the Tablet, capture notes using ink or features using ink, and then store the ink in the database and bring it back and share that ink with other users.
There have been concerns that some of the Tablet PCs are hard to use in the field because they aren't easy to see in daylight. Can you comment on that?
There are Tablets made for the office and Tablets made for the field. A company that makes a really nice illuminating screen for the field is Walkabout Computers. They make a ruggedized version of the Tablet with a 'transflective' display. They showed us one that had been run over by a truck at 20 mph.
ArcGIS extension for the Tablet PC
Earth Resource Mapping announced that Research Systems, Inc. (RSI) has incorporated native Enhanced Compressed Wavelet (ECW) support in their latest release of their image processing software - ENVI v3.6. ENVI users now have the ability to access ECW image datasets and can therefore work with very large images. The ECW format can compress images with high quality and in a timely manner.
Landata Group Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Information Services Corp. , has merged two operating entities to form Stewart Geo Technologies, a multifaceted international provider of geospatial solutions with product lines in mapping services, geographic information systems (GIS) application development, GIS consulting, and Internet data integration and publication.
Stewart Geo Technologies also has acquired the assets of GlobeXplorer Inc., provider of satellite images and aerial photography via the Internet.
Group president for Stewart real estate information (REI) says that the merger gives the newly formed company a technology and systems platform “designed to deliver on our vision of an Internet accessible real estate information portal -- a single Internet site where the real estate professional and consumer can access a wide variety of critical real estate information.”
The former firms' business models will be consolidated and refocused into an end-to-end geospatial solutions provider. The hope is that by combining forces the professionals in each organization will be able to complement one another better and better serve customers.
Navigation Technologies announced the receipts of 30 patent awards in 2002. To date, the company has received 84 United States patents and several non-US patents that cover diverse aspects of digital cartography and its applications from map data collection to delivery and use.
MapQuest® announced the launch of MapQuest Enterprise v2.0 for mapping and location-based businesses. With the locally hosted MapQuest Enterprise v2.0 businesses will be able to map and route-enable their Web sites, extranets and wireless applications, utilizing the product's mapping, routing, geocoding and spatial searching engine that fully integrates and leverages the highest quality geographic data available.
MapQuest Enterprise v2.0 makes use of APIs and geographic data in order to deliver greater security options, and integration flexibility. MapQuest Enterprise allows customer mapping software and geographic data to reside on the client company's own network environment, so that businesses have control over their applications and servers. Developers can customize the mapping and routing functionality themselves as well as the look and feel of applications to streamline them to a given company's requirements.
Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions' (Nasdaq: INGR) IntelliWhere division announced IntelliWhere LocationServer 5.0's availability. IntelliWhere LocationServer, a server-side software development platform based on Intergraph's GeoMedia®, location-enables and automates data delivery to an organization's mobile workforce.
Version 5.0 takes advantage of features in the latest version of Intergraph's suite of geospatial solutions to streamline enterprise workflows. IntelliWhere LocationServer 5.0 allows field crews or dispatch staff to request mapping and asset data and have it delivered to a hand-held device for use with IntelliWhere OnDemand.
CartêGraph released MAPdirector® for ArcGIS® to provide ESRI clients with an integrated and powerful extension to CartêGraph's series of transportation and utilities infrastructure management applications. This ArcGIS extension is CartêGraph's GIS component for its line of applications to manage inventories and maintenance activities for public works assets.