ArcEngine : Raise High the Cross!

Cross of Google

Google Cross

It started in the Church of Google, then quickly spread throughout the GeoWeb: the cross of spatial navigation. I’m still waiting for missionaries to reach the shores of ArcEngine-land though.

Generate Tile Cache for ArcEngine
I’m working on a project that uses StreetMap Premium data as background to a vehicle tracking system. The refresh rate is way too slow. Dynamic layers make the images too fuzzy (plus some other drawbacks). Why can’t I generate a tile cache using an ArcEngine license? It appears this is command is restricted to ArcGIS Server. The tracking app uses very low bandwidth connection (SATCOM), so http is not an option. Even though all data being rendered is local, it is still a lot slower than, say, Google Maps. Explaining why it is slower is sometimes a challenge, especially during a demo to upper managers.

Overturn the Mosaic Law
I would also need a custom layer to render tiles without tying up the UI thread. Current layers seem to expect raster mosaics. ArcGISExplorer provides multithreading – and it’s free. Seems like purchasers of ArcEngine should get multithreading too. If COM restrictions on threading prevent this, maybe it’s time for ESRI to offer a pure .NET version of the mapcontrol, fully leveraging WPF.

CADRG – LOD have Mercy
Maybe the military can bring the cross to us ArcEngine heathens, kinda like what Constantine did. Since I’m [also] using CADRG files, I’d like the option to have it generate a tile schema using LOD’s from the RPF TOC. The CADRG specification was intended to allow “moving map” applications to be written to run on limited hardware. Falcon View is the only app I’ve seen that does this. ESRI Military Analyst CADRG layers handle tiles using image catalogs. Maybe the obvious way to do it has been patented. Still, I wonder if there’s something in Image Server that could be re-used for this. Maybe ESRI could even get the government to pay for it.

Subversion for Tiles
I’ve become a Subversion fan lately. I’d be curious if there might be a way to use a subversion repository to distribute updates to tile caches. We’d like to disseminate only tiles that have changed. I wonder if the tile generator could diff images it generates against the previous version before deciding to overwrite. This would prevent subversion from thinking tiles have changed when they really haven’t. Or is subversion smart enough to diff binary files?

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