Posts Tagged ‘Google Earth’

Our city in 3D (Google Lat-Long Blog)

Friday, July 18th, 2008

 [Editor's note: Local interest to DC but promising in sharing of public GIS data.]

Reprinted from the Google Lat-Long Blog. Published: July 16, 2008

The District of Columbia government has submitted more than 84,000 3D models to Google Earth via the Cities in 3D program. But why would a city, let alone one that is known as a horizontal city because of a strictly enforced height limit, be so eager to participate? Here’s a glimpse into our thinking in the District’s GIS department.

1. It is the right thing to do. Fundamentally, the District Government believes that data created with public funds should be available to the public. Making this data now available via Google Earth is an important step in making our data truly accessible to the public at large.

2. Because every neighborhood can benefit from 3D. Instead of modeling just a select few landmarks in exquisite detail, we wanted to model every building in every neighborhood. Economic development was a primary driver behind development of the dataset. The buildings provide the context in which to plan and debate proposed new developments. Despite our aforementioned reputation as a horizontal city, we are also a city of spires, penthouses and domes, as you can now see. As public sector mappers, we put the entire city on Google Earth, not just downtown, because every neighborhood needs planning and development. We hope that the private sector will follow suit and create rich 3D models of proposed developments as KML downloads in the future.

3. We get better 3D performance from the cloud and we don’t pay for it. Some GIS users in the DC government, have made excellent use of the data, but with the city’s current technology, the 3D data had to be used locally on high-end desktops. Frankly, the District did not have the technical capabilities for distributing nearly 100,000 3D building across the enterprise. With the data now hosted on Google Earth 4.3, we expect DC Government users to turn to Google Earth just like the public. And using the same tools as our citizens is another powerful way to connect with them and ensure the quality of their experience.

4. We want to communicate with our residents. It is important to us that citizens, particularly DC taxpayers, understand what we do. We posted the “coolest” data set DC GIS has, because now that we have your attention we want to show you all of the other stuff we do. As part of Mayor Adrian Fenty’s drive for transparency, the DC government now makes more than 200 geospatial data sets publically available. So admire the thousands of 3D buildings, but also extend your virtual tour. You can add these datasets as layers on Google Earth, and view things like wards, trails, parks, museums, building permits, fire hydrants, zoning and even things the city isn’t proud of, like calls for rodent abatement.

ESRI ArcMap Web Mashup Services (Recap)

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

The Spring edition of ArcNews recaps some important ESRI announcements about version 9.3′s ability to create mashups on par with Google Maps that were announced at the 2008 ESRI Developer Summit. More than 1,200 developers representing 69 organizations in 49 countries attended the conference. Images and summaries below from ESRI. [ ] enclose my comments.

esri 2008 conf 1

“The ArcGIS 9.3 platform places a much greater emphasis on the Web,” said [Scott] Morehouse [director of Software Development at ESRI]. “The technology platform for GIS has evolved over the years. Initially, the focus was on leveraging minicomputers and workstations with an emphasis on high-performance computing and end-user interactivity. Then, the focus shifted to the database with an emphasis on information modeling and transactional data management. Now, the focus is on the Web. We have been working to put the Web at the center of everything that we’re doing with the ArcGIS system.”

JavaScript and REST APIs

The new APIs were showcased at the Plenary Session and in technical sessions presented by the ArcGIS engineers who developed them. In the REST API session, there were demonstrations of how to use JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and Yahoo! Pipes to access backend REST services powered and published by ArcGIS Server. All resources and operations exposed by the REST API are accessible through a URL.

In the ArcGIS JavaScript APIs session, there were demonstrations on how mashups can be built using JavaScript with REST that add map layers and tasks from ArcGIS Server to Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth. The JavaScript API comes in three flavors: ArcGIS JavaScript API, ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for Microsoft Virtual Earth, and ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for Google Maps. [A Flash based API is also planned].

ArcGIS Server 9.3 Offers New and Enhanced Support for OGC Standards

At 9.3, ArcGIS Server provides enhanced support for the three leading Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web standards: Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Web Coverage Service (WCS). In addition, with the recent announcement from OGC that Keyhole Markup Language (KML) 2.2 is now an official OGC standard, ArcGIS Server at 9.3 will comply with the OGC KML specification by allowing users to publish their geographic data as KML 2.2. Read more.

esri 2008 conf 3

New Features in ArcGIS Engine 9.3 Coming Soon

ArcGIS Engine developers can also now use the integrated Eclipse 3.3 plug-in to inspect the state of ArcObjects. In addition, ArcGIS Engine 9.3 supports the Java Development Kit version 6 on the latest platforms. Read more.

Virginia Road Work Plans Are Halted (Mashup)

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

va transport road funding cuts

(Editor: I published this mashup for The Washington Post on Thursday, updated Friday. View here. It features custom Wash.-Post-style map markers, KML integration for the linear features, and a table listing out the same cut and delayed projects below the map in text format. The entries in the table are hyperlinked back into the map where a more detailed listing on each entry is found in the info window.)

The Commonwealth Transportation Board voted Thursday to approve a six-year spending plan that cuts hundreds of projects statewide. Below is a sampling of key projects that will be delayed or eliminated. Related article here.

Reporting by Robert Thomson; Interactive by Nathaniel V. Kelso — The Washington Post. Updated June 20, 2008

Geography Awareness Week, 2007 Edition

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Google and National Geographic are getting into the spirit and have released one of the best Google Earth KMLs I have seen to commemorate Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 11th-17th). Disclosure: I used to work at National Geographic.

The map loads quite a few individual markers but zooms into just one and expands it’s “bubble” (providing an entry point into the graphic) and then proceeds thru the markers as the reader answers quiz questions on a variety of topics about Asia, this year’s featured continent. A far cry from the franticness of NG’s Ivory Wars KML data dump. You will need version 4.2 or better of Google Earth.

Check out the Asia Quiz KML: http://ngsednet.org/documents/ultimate_gaw07.kmz
General info: http://www.google.com/educators/gaw2007.html

Geog Awareness 2007