- Author: Shane Feirer
IGIS worked with UCANR Advisors Mike Jones, Rick Satomi, and Yana Valachovic to conduct two 2-day training workshops in Northern California the week of March 18th-23rd. These workshops were held in Santa Rosa, CA and Arcata, CA. and they were well attended by approximately 20 participants at each location. The intent of these workshops were to bring the participants up to speed on the latest GIS software (ArcGIS Pro, and ArcGIS Online), best practices in cartography, managing data, and spatial analysis, and mobile data collection (ArcGIS Collector, ArcGIS Survey 123, and Azenva).
IGIS will conduct these workshops two more times in the coming months. These workshops will be held at the following locations and dates:
- Lake Tahoe Community College, April 25 – 26
- Shasta College, May 10 – 11
For More Information: Please see the following website: http://ceshasta.ucanr.edu/Forestry/ForestGIS/
Register now at: UCANR.EDU/GISWORKSHOP
- Author: Shane Feirer
Day 3 of the ESRI User Conference, new tools, new story maps, and new ways to work with data.
New Tools, ESRI is supporting new tools with the python and R programming languages. With python they have integrated the ability to easily use 3rd party libraries within ArcGIS by integrating conda into the upcoming release of ArcGIS Pro 1.3 and they have also made it possible to use python to manage ArcGIS online content with the Python API. With R, ESRi has released a ArcGIS R Bridge that allows for the use use or esri data sets in R and the easy use or results from your R analyzes in ArcGIS.
New Story Maps, at the user conference last year, ESRI highlighted a new story map style called the cascade story map. I found out yesterday that they have developed an app builder for this new style of story map and they have also released another style called a crowdsource story map. I also reached out to the developers of story maps today and found out they are developing a new template, they are going to share this new template with us. I cannot wait to see how these storymaps will be used by UCANR in the coming months / year.
New ways to work with data, ESRI has developed new ways to work with data, these data may include Big Data or Multi-dimensional Data. In the case of Multi-dimensional Data they have highlighted new tools to work with netcdf data, but they also showed how that are using existing tools within ArcGIS to work with Multi-dimensional Data. These tools start by importing Multi-dimensional Data into raster mosaics and they using the full suite of ArcGIS tools on these data structures. When it comes to Big Data, they have created a new suite or tools and capabilities within ArcGIS that will allow us to perform big data analysis directly within ArcGIS. Multi-dimensional Data can be used now with ArcGIS and Big Data Analytics will be available in the coming months.
I look forward to seeing what the 4th day will bring.
The final day of the Dev Summit has come and gone. Some highlights:
Later, I had a look at JS optimization; in particular, ESRI's Web Optimizer. This is a really neat tool that's actually been around for a while, but which I had completely forgotten about. In a nutshell, it allows users to create a custom build of the API containing only the modules which are called in the code of their application. This drastically improves loading times and performance.
I finished out the day with two "road ahead" sessions outlining future development. Keeping with the theme of the day, one covered plans for the JS API, particularly the 4.0 release which should be entering beta in the coming months. Things to look forward to: 3D support, improved 2D performance, new classes, and script simplification.
The other "road ahead" session was billed as "ArcGIS Desktop and Pro" but only covered ArcGIS Pro. There are some pretty cool features like vector tile map and web scene authoring, lots of 3D functionality and range sliders for exploring multi-dimensional data. Overall, Pro looks like a really powerful application. However, at the end of the session, the first audience question was, "What about ArcGIS Desktop?" The answer: "ArcGIS Pro is part of the desktop environment." This was followed by a second question: "Is there a road ahead for Desktop?" After some hemming and hawing by the ESRI devs, we were told, "We'll cover that at the User Conference." Sounds like yet another hint at the inevitable demise of the traditional ArcGIS Desktop.
Overall, this was a great conference and an invaluable learning experience. I look forward to putting what I learned to good use and I hope to attend the Dev Summit again in the future.
It was another great day at the Dev Summit. The morning started off with a keynote address from John Tomizuka, Co-founder and CTO of Taqtile, a mobile app development company based in Seattle. John shared some of his successes and missteps in the world of app development and emphasized that two of the most important things to keep in mind when developing any app are a focus on the user and their needs as well as an in-depth understanding of the data you are working with.
I followed this with a session on UX/UI design for web apps. Good app design is something that many developers, myself included, don't always think about. I picked up some great tips like considering an app in the "empty state" rather than just going to a preconfigured template which may not really suit the task at hand and using task-focused workflows and UI patterns to really create clean, useful apps.
The afternoon was spent on sessions dealing with working with raster and feature data in Python as well as a more in-depth look at the Smart Mapping Initiative that was covered in yesterday's plenary. What I hadn't realized before is that the Smart Mapping interface has completely replaced the standard symbology tab in ArcGIS Online. All the full functionality is still there for users who are comfortable customizing all the options, but the default options are much more simple and driven by the data so that novice user can create great maps out of the box.
One more day to go. I'm looking forward to seeing more of ESRI's future devfelopment plans tomorrow.
ESRI's Developer Summit in Palm Springs is taking place this week. It is a much smaller, more tightly focused event than the User Conference which takes place later in the summer. While the UC covers everything ESRI has to offer, the Dev Summit is all about developing applications within the ArcGIS environment.
I am fortunate enough to be attending this year; here are some highlights from Day One:
The opening plenary session was jam-packed with updates to the ArcGIS platform, some recently implemented and others still in development. One of the most interesting from my point of view is the new Smart Mapping feature built into ArcGIS Online. Smart Mapping is a simple, yet powerful data symbolization tool which presents the user with a set of "smart" defaults driven by analysis of the data loaded into the map. Users with little to no experience in cartographic design can load a dataset into the map and then easily apply styling to that data to tell the story that they want. Heat maps, attribute based transparencies and continuous color ramps with variable range sliders are all available with just a click of the mouse. This is another step in the devlopment of ArcGIS Online to make it painless for anyone to create rich, meaningful maps.
Another great new technology showcased today are vector tile maps. Unlike tradition raster-based map tiles, vector tiles are subdivided based on data density rather than a fixed grid overlay. This allows for much smaller tile sets with near instantaneous draw speeds. Watching one of the ESRI devs pan and zoom around a vector tile based webmap and seeing almost no lag in data refresh was really incredible. ESRI plans on relaseing this technology progressively over the course of 2015.
One of the more interesting aspects of the conference so far was the way ESRI seem to be pushing ArcGIS Pro. They're still maintaining that it's not going to replace the traditional ArcGIS Desktop environment (which is scheduled for a new release at the end of the year) but the fact that they're pushing it so hard and that certain features (such as the aforementioned vector tile maps) are only available through Pro lead me to believe the traditional desktop environment is going to be slowly phased out.
All in all, this was a great start to the conference. I can't wait to see what else is in store for the next couple of days. Stay tuned!