August 10, 2006

A few notes from the exhibition hall floor at the ESRI UC

On the exhibition hall floor at the ESRI UC there were a number familiar faces, as well as some unfamiliar faces. A couple of new names in the exhibitor list included Google (they were showing off SketchUp not Google Earth) and Adobe… many other new, less familiar names were also visible. Loads of interesting apps and services were seen – too many to list, however, a few that I got up and close with on Wednesday follow:
Englewood Co based Sanz had a crew on hand promoting Earthware and more specifically, Earthware Pro for ArcGIS. If you’re not familiar with the Earthware product suite, it’s been developed to help users “consume” imagery and, more specifically, to automate their workflow processes. Simply put, Earthware helps users realize the benefits of cataloging and provisioning. Automated cataloging enables a user to have fast access to imagery assets – essentially, fast access to the data you need. Provisioning enables users to perform a number of imaging processes like merge, mosaic, color correct, reproject, clip, and other commonly required imaging processes. Earthware Pro for ArcGIS is a component of EarthWare Pro that adds support for the direct provisioning from within the ArcGIS environment – use the tools you’re familiar with but leverage the provisioning capabilities of Earthware. Under the category of “new” is EarthWare Pro for ESRI Image server (and Pro for ArcSDE). Users configure an Image service (via a handy wizard-driven interface), add updates, and serve imagery to their users across the enterprise. Some of the features of Earthware are as follows:
- automated cataloging and watch folders: index imagery and monitor file repositories for updates and additions
- Find imagery: use a we search interface or ArcGIS
- Provision Imagery for new uses: create new datasets from existing data and load into image analysis workflows
- Web-based admin: create user groups and control/manage data access
- Users can license EarthWare Pro by Terrabyte or by CPU
- See

Also on the floor… Oce – high-quality, wide format plotting and printing solutions. Front and center on display was the Oce TCS 500, a lightning fast, quiet, efficient, printing power horse sporting a whopping 80 GB hard disk… sweet! Imagine this:
- print an E-size color plot in 60 seconds or a monochrome plot in less than 40
- Print, copy and scan simultaneously
- One touch copying and scanning
- Can handle up to 200 E size plots in a run!
- Emulate the color output of other printing devices
- Select color profiles that adhere to international standards
- Sophisticated queue management and administration
- Fast and simple changing of media
- Rapid production of check plots
- Multi- roll support (load 3 or 4 different media types or sizes at the same time)
I was drawn into the Oce booth by the very personable crew and have to admit that I easily spent about 45 minutes with them getting the low-down. After watching the plotter in action I was sold… that is, if I needed a plotter I would have been sold! Thank goodness my old employer back in College didn’t have one of these badboys or I never would have accrued all that over time watching the plotter, changing paper rolls etc…. for those big, time sensitive print jobs! See

Pushpin from Placebase – offers developers a Javascript API for creating Google-map-like applications. Perhaps a bit of a surprise, the company was on hand promoting their new API. Using the company’s tools, developers can create highly functional interactive maps for the web. Data is pre-rendered for swift performance and developers can easily plug-in their own data. The company makes available API docs and samples and those that contact the company can get a demo key to take a test drive. See

Geospatial Experts & GPS Photo Link – simply put, this is software that enables users to map their photos (within ArcGIS). Provides for creation of ESRI SHP files, google earth views, photos marked with GPS position. GPS-Photo Link works with most digital cameras and GPS devices (direct support for Trimble, Garmin, Magellen, and Leica). See

Trimble & ESRI -- Interested in a GPS, software bundle? Trimble had the solution with the GeoCollector field data bundle bringing the user a rugged handheld device, integrated GPS, and the latest release of ArcPad – this solution is designed to be a turn-key mobile GIS solution. For more on this see Keep in mind that there are numerous other hardware devices available for your mobile mapping needs – and yes, many of them will run ArcPad – for example, the Thales MobileMapper CE (see attendees of the ESRI UC got a chance to see this device and had some chances to win one (Actually about a dozen of them) by wearing a button with a number and locating their mate… once again one of the best promotional gimmicks at the show!

Maple leaf fan Ted, with his crew from Avenza Systems Inc., was showing off the recently released MAPublisher 7.0 for Adobe Illustrator (speaking of Adobe, they were also exhibiting – this is a first at ESRI UC I believe). Released last month, 7.0 is the latest version of the company’s cartographic application suite, designed to enable users to produce high-quality maps from their GIS data. Recall new functionality shipping with this latest release include an “intelligent” labeling engine, new grid, graticule, and scalebar generators, a new and improved MAP attribute engine, advanced selection filters, and much more. Some more features in this release:
- new scale bar generator
- new expression builder
- new import table functionality
- auto centering
- support for double byte and international character sets
- to see numerous examples of professional maps produced with MAPublisher all you need to do is flip through a copy of the ESRI Press Map Book! See

And of course, the ArcGIS 9.2 Island
I’ve already covered off a number of the enhancements that you’ll find in ArcGIS later this fall when 9.2 ships (note: if you’re waiting for ArcGIS Explorer it will be available once the shrink wrap is taken off ArcGIS 9.2).

Recall the focus of this major release will include:- Improve the quality and usability of ArcGIS via customer driven improvements.- Extended the ArcGIS platform- Better documentation
Other general improvements include:
- new keyboard shortcuts, mouse wheel support
- numerous new and improved tools, including a my places tool, measure tool, and go to XY tool
- faster geocoding
- HUGE, integrated help utility
- Direct read Miccrosoft Excel files
- New COGO tools

If you can’t wait to get your hands on 9.2 then you may be able to catch a preview when the ESRI crew goes on the road with the ArcGIS 9.2 Nationwide seminar series. The seminars will cover off the latest enhancements inn the following products: ArcGIS (ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcInfo), Server, EDN, ArcSDE, ArcIMS, ArcPad, and MapObjects. Between September and November tour stops will be made in Anchorage, Vegas, Pasadena, Atlanta, Austin, Orlando, New York, and many places in between. See for details... oh, I forgot to mention that the seminars are Free!

I could go on and on about what was on the floor… maybe later!

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