Thoughts on Editing with ArcGIS Server

The editing tools offered by Google My Maps have raised the bar for user experience. Moving, adding and deleting vertices is so simple.

The user experience of tools in the Editor Task of ArcGIS Server does not compare favorably. Better thin client (javascript) editing tools are needed.

If you don’t like the Editor Task, you’ll need to purchase ArcEditor or 3rd party tools that use the ArcGIS Engine editor extension in order to edit ArcSDE. After purchasing ArcGIS Server Enterprise, upper management may question the need for this.

Even if ESRI provided better javascript though, I still wonder if ArcSDE could hold up on the back end in a crowdsourcing scenario. Perhaps an alternative editing workflow is needed – a Task that supports editing and saving GraphicsLayers in the web tier. The GUI could be like My Maps, but with lots of ADO.NET niceness.

That way after someone in the crowd edits and saves a graphicslayer, a “GIS professional” pulls the saved graphicslayer into an ArcMap (ArcEditor) edit session, cleans it up, blesses it, and loads it into ArcSDE. The tools to do this don’t exist AFAIK, but it doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult to develop them.

Note that either a new graphicslayer is needed, TextElementLayer, or maybe just a new FeatureSymbol based class (TextSymbol?). Even if this isn’t done with the intent to support crowdsourced editing, it’s still needed just to provide some equivalent to the Draw toolbar in Arcmap.

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1 comment so far

  1. […] Elements in an ElementGraphicsLayer In a previous post I incorrectly implied there is no textelement for […]


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