Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kentucky's ArcGIS Online Map Portal

Kentucky's geospatial data clearinghouse, Kygeonet, is a great example of a geographic information mart, offering a wide variety of data and maps as downloads or online applications. Recently KyGovMaps published a new page on the the site, one that leverages ArcGIS Online as a platform for delivering maps and apps, including iPhone/iPad apps. Here's the KyGovMaps site:

The site leverages the map viewer - a free, hosted application that's built into - and it's used to enable anyone to view a variety of layers from farmer's markets to landuse. It also leverages some of the template applications from the map viewer's template gallery.

I recently posted on the ArcGIS Online blog about how organizations can leverage ArcGIS Online as a platform for their map publishing and viewing needs. There's a number of things in the works that will be announced at the 2011 Esri International User Conference that will really make a difference for organizations, and potentially change the landscape of how people use maps and publish geographic information.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ArcGIS Explorer Desktop Release History

A new version of ArcGIS Explorer desktop was released earlier this afternoon, marking the 12th public iteration of what is arguably the best and most popular GIS viewer on the planet (and free to boot!).

Explorer releases occur on an independent release schedule (different than ArcGIS Desktop and Server) and rather than go by versions Explorer is tagged by its build number. The goal here is to simply have everyone install the latest, and never mind the version. But the build number helps to differentiate between releases and the functionality delivered, and for those organizations that need to verify enterprise-wide installations it serves as a useful tag.

Every now and then I'm asked when the first release occurred, and I came across an old slide that I've updated to include the most recent releases (shown below).

You'll see that the very first release was at the tail end of 2006, with more frequent releases in the early going as the product rapidly evolved, then slowing down as Explorer matured.

For an overview of this latest release see the What's New in ArcGIS Explorer Desktop (build 1700) blog post.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Adding CSV Files To The Map Viewer (coming soon!)

Here's a sneak peek at something that we've been working on and will release very soon. It's the ability to drag and drop a CSV file onto your ArcGIS Online webmap.

This capability is already supported via one of the JavaScript sample applications (check it out) and will be part of the next round of updates to the webmap spec, meaning that it's supported in the map viewer and also ArcGIS Explorer Online. Your saved maps using CSV data can also be opened on your iPhone or iPad, and can be embedded in any website.

Here's our CSV file - it's a spreadsheet containing traffic cam locations with links to traffic cam snapshots that are updated every few minutes in Lincoln, Nebraska. Note that we've got the latitude and longitude for each cam, as well as the URL link to the latest cam snapshot.

To add the CSV file to the map, just drag and drop it:

The coordinates are automatically read from the CSV file, and instantly we have the locations on our map with the ability to click each of them to view other data from the CSV. This includes the link (the More info link shown in the pop-up) to the cam snapshot.

Configuring the pop-up window properties in the map viewer we can improve on the default. Below we've changed the symbols and also configured the pop-up window to display the current webcam snapshot directly in the pop-up.

And we can do everything else we can do with our map, including share it via a link,use it in an app template, or embed it in a website or blog post as shown below:

The above screenshots were made using the current development version of the map viewer, scheduled for public release prior to the upcoming Esri User Conference in early July. There's many other new features and capabilities which we'll cover on the ArcGIS Online blog and perhaps provide more previews of here.