Archive for November, 2006
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.
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.
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
Follow Up : Graphic Software
Follow Up : Map Viewer and Google