[ Ø ] Harsh Prakash's GIS Blog

Quiet Musings On Spatial Concerns (Health, Planning, Technology et al)

Archive for November, 2006

ESRI Ketchup!

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After months of wild speculations and foot-dragging, ESRI finally released ArcGIS Explorer- twice as big as Google Earth and a shade shy. Here is why:

Google Earth [googleearth.exe]
+ Searches better
– Does not offer native support for popular spatial data types

ESRI ArcGIS Explorer [E2.exe]
+ Offers native support for popular spatial data types
– Clunkier navigation and interface

• Both show comparable spatial data displays and memory usages. I am pleasantly surprised by how consenting NASA of World Wind fame, has been to all such uses, given the murky legal waters of the future when others start using this precedent to demand equal treatment.

Pi: Quiet Musing
ESRI ArcGIS Explorer: Adding content

Being true to the misplaced compulsions of most commercial companies, ESRI only lets you export your layers in E2’s markup language [*.nmf]. However, to piggy-back on the growing user community around GE and because ESRI has no current alternative to Google SketchUp, E2 allows you to import *.kml and *.kmz files. GE, on the other hand, also imports *.gpz and *.loc GPS files in its commerical flavor.

E2 can also create geoprocessing tasks, and styles and symbologies; export identification results; display attribute tables.

So what is the bottom-line: GE is better suited for consumers of spatial data, while E2 is targeted more at the creators and editors. And how close does E2 come to following the “if you are late, you better be better” mantra? Not quite, but then again, it is just a beta.

Now the waiting game begins for arguably the most innovative internet company in recent times, notwithstanding the acquired nature of GE and SketchUp- Google, to hit back after losing ground to Yahoo Maps- better driving directions planning, and Microsoft Virtual Earth- ability to add and save shapes, and browser-based GE-esque 3D and street level views.


I wonder how the good folks at Arc2Earth and Shape2Earth would maintain their rates of innovation in response?

• ArcGIS Explorer Overview Podcast
• ArcGIS Online Services
• Server Object Manager [SOM] Setup
• Sample *.nmf containing 1 point feature derived from feature class [e2.shp] in GCS_North_American_1983 coordinate system
• TerrainView
• Follow Up [4]: Graphic Software
• Follow Up [2]: Map Viewer and Google

Written by Harsh

November 29th, 2006 at 10:04 pm

Posted in GIS,Mashup

Tagged with ,