Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Silverlight Mapcontrols, XAML, and GeoProcessing

Last week I dug into the Virtual Earth Silverlight CTP mapcontrol. Since most of my work involves C#, I like being able to write web apps without shifting gears to code in javascript. Silverlight lets me do this, plus it offers a performance advantage over javascript.

While the VE mapcontrol has some good samples, I couldn’t find what I wanted: a simple sample showing me how to interactively draw a polygon on a map. So I downloaded the ArcGIS Silverlight Beta mapcontrol. I found the sample I needed right here. I’m really curious what the equivalent code would look like for the VESL mapcontrol.

I was recently working with XML deserialization of Geoprocessor tools. I was trying to determine (and override) the logic used by the UI controls in the IMdElementEditor. I hit a dead end though. After working a bit with Silverlight, I think it would be great if the Geoprocessor were re-written around XAML.

If this were done, it seems like a silverlight version of modelbuilder could be offered. I would like to connect to my account at ArcGIS Online and use modelbuilder to create/edit and run models that operate on layer packages located on the server. The geoprocessing would occur in a sandbox on the server, with an option for the modeloutput to be a layer package on the server, or streamed back to me as an Element Layer. This sort of capability would help differentiate ArcGIS from Virtual Earth.


Planetary Skin, Astronomical Numbers

Living on Earth had a segment on the radio yesterday mentioning Planetary Skin. Cisco and NASA are teaming to form yet another contender for stimulus funding, with a mission sounding a lot like that of UNEP GRID.

Trillions of Gigabits Every Day
The radio program said “the amount of data from space sensors monitoring the earth is measured in the trillions of gigabits a day and shared internationally.”

I don’t follow remote sensing that closely, but this seems a bit (or two) high. One weeks’ data would be a trillion gigabytes, which equals a billion exabytes. Then again, maybe that explains why Cisco is on the team. Or maybe deficit spending has somehow trivialized trillion.

Billions of Decisions Every Day
Listen to the BBC inflected narrator in the video channeling Carl Sagan. Notice how UAVs in the video are “re-purposed”. Perhaps the military industrial complex will buy into environmental monitoring.

Planetary Skin will directly address this situation by providing a common platform for integrating data; scientific, economic and risk models; data processing and communication networks; and visualization and collaboration tools. – Planetary Skin
A Global Platform for a New Era of Collaboration

Two Trillion Currently Owed to China
I wonder how receptive China will be to having us monitoring them. As our largest creditor, their leader has expressed concern over our debt. I hope they don’t mind loaning us money for this.

Kundra, the Cloud and National GIS

It doesn’t sound like Vivek Kundra, the new federal CIO, is the kinda guy we’d expect to support something like the National GIS.

Kundra also wants to use technology such as cloud computing to attack the government’s culture of big contract boondoggles and its hiring of contractors who end up “on the payroll indefinitely.”

If we are going to sell Kundra on the National GIS, we should emphasize innovation instead of job protection, perhaps by focusing on Cloud based GIS. As I’ve said before, ESRI should enhance the “Author, Serve, Use” paradigm to allow the authoring of geoprocessing tools to be performed outside the firewall.