September 24, 2007
Working with Cross Sections in ArcGIS
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| by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Working with Cross Sections in ArcGIS
by Susan Smith
CrossView Earth Surfaces for ArcGIS from A-Prime Software, is a new cartographic tool for ArcGIS users that allows users to do topographical and subterranean cross sections at a cost effective price point. A-Prime Software is a newly launched division of DPRA with a focus on developing unique technologies to assist with their outreach, production management, and data analysis that work directly within the ESRI platform. DPRA is a government contractor tasked to aid in large-scale environmental restoration efforts.
According to the press release, A-Prime’s pilot product, CrossView Earth Surfaces, provides detailed cross-section views of the earth’s surface and sub-surfaces to GIS users worldwide. A simple and intuitive platform, CrossView is also the first among many wizard-based upgrades to the ArcGIS platforms that A-Prime Software has planned for the future.
Vice president of DPRA and A-Prime vice president Scott David said, “Our new CrossView plug-in now lets GIS users create stunning cross sections diagrams or profile views directly within the ArcGIS platform to give more intimate and robust information about terrains and subsurfaces. And since we’re GIS professionals engineering software for other GIS professionals, we’ve paid close attention to the flexibility and functionality we all need to work faster and more cost effectively,” David said.
Whether it was creating a topographical profile or actually show the subterranean layers water layers, DPRA found there was no workflow within the ArcGIS workflow, so they created internally a piece of software to optimize their operations, according to marketing manager for A-Prime Software, Matt Gale.
To simplify what had become a laborious analysis process, the company took what they had in their GIS platform such as editing tools, symbolizations, coloring, labeling, etc., and changed the perspective for the user, adding functionality around it. The resulting CrossView Earth Surfaces for ArcGIS is a wizard based system.
Gale said the ESRI ArcObjects interface allows companies to come in and create some value added features and functions to advance the platform, offer more tools and make it easier.
“Mapping is about making and representing spatial relationships – sure, across a map is interesting but also up and down the terrain is interesting,” Gale pointed out. “CrossView is more than just a subsurface product, more than just a topographical product, it’s a spatial presentation product, and gives you a new perspective that should be part of everyone’s toolkit. We don’t expect people to use it every day all the time. There are great products for you if you need to do subsurface analysis all the time, that are specific to workflows.”
Example of Topographic and Subsurface Presentation Within ArcGIS
Rather, A-Prime’s core customer is someone who is in oil and gas and who has a subsurface analysis tool, but they just want to create a quick little cross section in ArcGIS without jumping to another, more complex, platform. It would also be useful for someone like a park ranger who wants to plot and show the ascent of the trail, what the vertical relief is and what wildlife and birds seen.
The user of CrossView Earth Surfaces for ArcGIS must have ArcGIS. When using CrossView, the GIS professional does not have to turn the project over to a CAD person who doesn’t understand the spatial relationships. A GIS professional can take their geodata and their geodatabase, press a few buttons with CrossView in ArcGIS, and get an output dataframe that is spatially adjusted and attaches to all the geodatabase data. “All the tough work has been done for them, they can export into a map dataframe and then just save that file out to a DXF file. They send it in email to their CAD person. The CAD person doesn’t have to worry about the spatial part, it’s all done,
they can go in and do labeling and symbolization,” explained Gale.
Some user comments:
“As a geographer, my research field is the Niagara Escarpment in Niagara, Orleans & Munroe Counties of westerrn NYS. I am most interested in its topography, microclimates, glacial drainage and current river valley profiles. ProfileView [eds. note: precursor to CrossView] was able to give me more detail from the DEMs that I will be able to use in my classes and in my research. I plan to make more use of it once school starts at NCCC and classes settle in . . . “
-Robert Lord (Geographer)
“After using the sample data I loaded a DEM into a fresh map and drew a graphic line. I used ProfileView to make a quick and easy profile. It worked well. And now I do believe I would like to own this software since I got it to work and have ideas of interesting things to do with it.
“I like it because it attaches to ArcGIS. I have been trying to coerce Arc into making profiles and it really does not work. Then I try to do it in Excel, which is not the greatest for that. Then I think I should use CAD but I don't know how to do it in any reasonable amount of time, I'd have to invest a lot in training. We also have RiverMorph but I prefer to do my work in Arc.
This is what I have been looking for . . .
“The program is very good and straightforward in generating the 2D cross-sectional view of the dataset and I find it very easy to use and manipulate the output shapefile.
“ . . . Direct and simple to use and generate profile or crossing view of the data.
It works under the ArcMap environment that makes it easy to integrate and manipulating the output data within ArcGIS. With the price tag, it's really a very good bargain for this software.”
CrossView Earth Surfaces for ArcGIS retails for $499 and is a downloadable software purchased directly from
Top News of the Week
DigitalGlobe announced that the launch of WorldView-1 was broadcast live over the Internet. The live launch could be visited at the
Boeing WorldView-1 website
on Tuesday, September 18 at approximately 11:20 AM PDT. The launch was scheduled for 11:35 AM PDT.
“This is an exciting event for not only the companies involved with the launch, but also the growing number of consumers and businesspeople using satellite imagery in their daily lives,” said Jill Smith, CEO of DigitalGlobe. “We’re pleased to share this experience through the live video webcast.”
New BlackBerry models that have cameras and trackballs also run GIS software that displays ESRI mapping data and live enterprise databases forms.
The new BlackBerry 8300 comes with a built-in 2 megapixel camera and trackball navigation device. Add any Bluetooth GPS puck and the BlackBerry 8300 is ready to head out into the field with the latest Freeance Mobile software. Freeance Mobile release 1.2 takes advantage of the new BlackBerry smart phones and allows any organization to field automate with live database forms and enterprise GIS.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has licensed the Microsoft(R) Virtual Earth(TM) platform on which to develop its mission-critical geospatial and mapping applications. The commitment to Virtual Earth will improve data sharing, analysis and insight for partner agencies, citizens and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on topics ranging from superfund sites and oil spills to waterways and the quality of beach water.
The Carbon Project announced that it is expanding its presence in the US Government Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) market through a reseller partnership with Great-Circle Technologies, Inc. (GCT).
Two global technology innovators have collaborated to put the power of geographic information system (GIS) technology into the hands of decision makers. ESi, the leader in crisis information management technology, and ESRI announced the release of WebEOC Mapper Professional (WebEOC Mapper). This Web-enabled emergency management communications system was designed for public and private organizations involved in homeland security and emergency operations. WebEOC Mapper provides users with powerful technology tools to create a dynamic, geographically based common operating picture and the ability to view data from multiple WebEOC screens simultaneously on
a centralized map. It allows fast data access and dissemination critical to all phases of preparedness and response to both commanders working in an emergency operations center and first responders in the field.
The use of LIDAR in forestry applications has been relatively slow to develop operationally. However, increasingly forest products companies are finding that high-accuracy, high-density aerial LIDAR data combined with multispectral, ortho imagery is particularly suitable for forest inventory and monitoring, harvesting forecasts and timber growth as well as optimization of transportation routes.
One of the leading forest products companies in South America is making a major commitment to the use of LIDAR and imagery and realizing significant benefits to their operations.
Forestal Arauco S.A.
is the world’s second largest cellulose producer and one of the largest forestry enterprises in Latin America in terms of surface area and yield of its plantations.
Governor Edward G. Rendell said that Pennsylvania is making a major investment to improve and maintain its coastal zones by reducing shoreline erosion and non-source pollution that can stem from development and educating residents, as well as expanding the public's access to these areas.
Intermap Technologies Corp. announced that it has been awarded a new $2.2 million radar mapping contract. Under the agreement, the Company will collect and deliver 3D digital elevation models (DEMs) and orthorectified radar images (ORIs) utilizing Intermap's interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) mapping technology. Data will be collected and delivered in 2007.
The FloodServer, a novel platform designed to provide extensive flood risk information for the whole of Europe quickly, reliably and easily accessible for everybody is now available online at www.floodrisk.eu. The geo-information service providers Infoterra GmbH and geomer GmbH present detailed maps and information about past and potential future flood events at the rivers Rhine, Elbe and lower Weser.
IDELIX Software Inc. announced the launch of lat49, a new mapvertising network that opens a whole new online territory to advertisers who want precise, intuitive geo-targeting to a large and relatively untapped online audience. The patents-pending ad serving solution is optimized for online, interactive maps and provides map-site publishers with a viable revenue model suited to their user behavior and site traffic.
ORBIT Geospatial Technologies announced the availability of the Orbit GIS 4.1 desktop product range for Mac OSX platforms
Orbit Geospatial Technologies is proud to announce that there’s finally a full GIS product available for the Apple community, including the free Orbit Explorer.
The Mac version of Orbit GIS, Orbit Explorer Plus and the free Orbit Explorer are available from the
Optech Incorporated is proud to announce the launch of the LYNX Mobile Mapper. Over three years in development, the LYNX Mobile Mapper represents the next generation of lidar technology. The lidar is bundled into a mobile mapping solution with the accuracy, robustness and support that Optech users have come to expect.
- a powerful Google Desktop gadget that has integrated NAC Enhanced Google Maps, Google Local Search and Google Driving Directions onto one simple user interface, and brings the ease and power of Universal Addresses and Google Maps directly onto your desktop. You can immediately get any of these services not only with lat/lon pairs, street addresses, street intersections, POIs and postcodes/ZIPs, but also with Universal Addresses.
Placebase, Inc. announced the availability ProView maps, a fresh look for Pushpin, its advanced online mapping platform. ProView maps offer more control over the display of map layers than any other smoothly draggable mapping API.
Pushpin ProView maps offer a softer color palette for streets that distract less from other map features. Pushpin map developers now have a choice between the new map style and the more ubiquitous cartoonish look available on the old style orange and yellow maps.
Pushpin ProView maps can be combined with any of the over 10,000 layers available in
Pushpin ProView maps are available immediately and an interactive demo can be seen at
Date : September 24 - 27, 2007
Place : Victoria Convention Center
The 2007 Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference gathers developers and users of open source geo-spatial software from around the world to discuss new directions, exciting implementations, and growing business opportunities in the field of open source geo-spatial software. Focused on the practical "make it work, get it done" world of open source application development, this annual conference boasts a very high concentration of geo-spatial technical opinion leaders
Date : September 25 - 28, 2007
Place : The Peabody Hotel
Three Statehouse Plaza, Little Rock, AR 72201 USA
The Annual Conference is designed to provide topics of current interest to Board members and staff involved in the regulation of contractors. The conference also provides a forum for participants to interact and exchange information on licensing issues.
Date : September 25 - 27, 2007
Place : Leiptzig, Germany
GeoERP is the first GIS-ERP integrated solution for the management of Land, Properties, Roads and Underground Infrastructures (Water, Gas/Oil, Cables, Electricity etc.). - A powerful GIS environment; each main spatial data (Land, Road or Pipe) is located on the regional map and linked to its data- User friendly windows-based application running over the internet or in a Local Area Network- All data items are correlated and accessible through a unique quick navigation interface- Modifiable meta-data – all menus, data objects, data fields & tabs are dynamically loaded from the database, enabling complete flexibility in modifying the application - simultaneous multi user
functionality - Unlimited storage capacity
Date : September 25 - 27, 2007
Place : Leipzig, Germany
The annual change of venue is an important factor in the success of the INTERGEO. Running the 13. INTERGEO conference and trade fair in Leipzig gives the event an even greater international importance.
Date : September 26 - 28, 2007
Place : Stockholm, Sweden
We welcome you to the ESRI European User Conference 2007! We are committed to making this a very special event, not just another conference. If you attend ONE conference 2007, make this the ONE!
Date : October 1 - 3, 2007
Place : Kansas City, MO USA
The 2007 GBA Master Series Annual Conference & Training (ACT) will take place October 1-3 in Kansas City, Missouri. We're headed back to our home town this year and we're excited to show it off.
Date : October 1 - 2, 2007
Place : 219 Bray Hall, SUNY-ESF
1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210 USA
The conference has a long standing tradition of providing attendees with an opportunity to meet fellow New Yorkers active in the GIS field, exchange information and real experiences, and seek solutions to your geographic data management needs. Professional networking opportunities help you develop a network of fellow GIS users which will continue through the years. In the exhibit area, GIS vendors and consultants display the latest in GIS hardware, software, analytical techniques, and services.
Date : October 2 - 3, 2007
Place : Missoula, MT USA
Visual Learning Systems cordially invites you to take part in the VLS Users Conference to exchange ideas and experiences related to the VLS software: Feature Analyst®, LIDAR Analyst®, and Urban Analyst. This fourth annual event will be held October 2-3, 2007 in scenic Missoula, Montana.
Date : October 4 - 5, 2007
Place : Palm Beach County Convention Center
650 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 USA
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a horizontal technology that intersects all industries. It blends the geographic sciences with information technology. This conference is for the novice to the analyst, the technologist to the executive. Disciplines of interest include:Regional, municipal and county government agencies Environmental resources Engineering - Surveying Land management Information technology
Date : October 7 - 10, 2007
Place : Firesky Resort & Spa
Scottsdale, AZ USA
The Health GIS Conference October 7-10, 2007, in Scottsdale, Arizona, brings health and human services professionals together to share and discuss successful approaches to using geography to improve research, management, policy decisions, public health and hospital preparedness, and health care delivery.The ESRI Health GIS Conference provides a forum for you to examine specialized capabilities and opportunities for managing and sharing geospatial data and analysis in a GIS framework for community health programs, health care delivery, hospitals, epidemiology, disease surveillance, health research, and more.
Date : October 8 - 11, 2007
Place : Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Nashville, TN USA
Be part of the 2007 EGUG annual meeting October 8–11, 2007 in Nashville, Tennessee, to explore how GIS serves electric and gas utilities. Discussions will examine desktop usability, spatial data management, server-based GIS, mobile solutions, and Web services.
Date : October 10 - 12, 2007
Place : Mayo Civic Center
Rochester, MN USA
The event will feature structured workshops, technical sessions, panel discussions, technology demonstrations, project updates and local and national speakers. All are geared toward professionals interested in learning more about geographic information systems and land information systems technology in Minnesota and beyond.The objective of the conference is to provide GIS/LIS related informational and educational opportunities for anyone in business, government, or education interested in spatial analysis technologies.
You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here
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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.
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- October 09, 2008
Reviewed by 'G.Stemler'
I have played around with this software and the simplicity of the concept is what is so awesome here. By rotating the axis and allowing the user to make use of all the standard ArcMAP tools in cross-section view, A-prime software have give us access to the 3rd dimension of our data.
I am an Environmental Geologist, and CrossView has tremendous value OUTSIDE of the oil and gas industry. Every one from hydrologists to geomorphologists, and likely even biologists can find a place for this tool in their GIS projects.
2 of 10 found this review helpful.
- October 09, 2008
Reviewed by 'Marketing @ A-Prime Software'
Just a quick note to a common question - What “level” of ArcGIS Desktop is required to use CrossView?
A: CrossView will work with ArcGIS ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo. It can also work in combination with Spatial Analyst or 3D Analyst.
A-Prime Software Marketing
2 of 3 found this review helpful.