Archive for the ‘ArcPad’ Category

Integrate Lego Mindstorm NXT with Arcpad?

I wonder how hard it would be to put ArcPad on a PDA, strap it onto a Lego Mindstorm robot and have it run a data collection mission. If you had a swarm of these all tied to a control station, it seems like you could use this as a testbed for hardened robots for serious applications like fire detection.

ArcPad and XAML

At the ESRI UC there was a Microsoft .NET SIG meeting. A rep from Microsoft showed off some slick looking stuff based on XAML. It’s basically a declarative way of programming. It reminds me more of the programming experience presented by Arcpad studio than Visual Studio.

Even though ArcPad 7 ships in a box that says “ArcGIS 9”, it presents a very different sort of developer experience. At first I was thinking how much simpler it would be if Arcpad became more like the rest of ArcGIS. But now I think I had it backwards. If XAML is the future then Arcpad should be the trailblazer. ESRI has been criticized for not having much new to show off in this conference. Maybe what we need is to see how ArcGIS will move away from COM and towards .NET and XAML.

Perhaps a demo of Arcpad 8.0 customized via WPF/E, and how it all fits into the full blown ArcGIS customized via WPF ?

UC 2006 Arcpad session

Arcpad Voice Recognition

The session on Arcpad was pretty good. I’m excited about how the Mobile SDK works with arcpad. The only awkward time in the demo was when attribute data were being entered (very slowly) for a tree trimming request.

Since the theme from this year’s conference is “Communicating our World”, I think ESRI should incorporate voice recognition into Arcpad. I would like to be able to train arcpad so when I say “tree here needs trimming”, arcpad would add a tree at my current location with appropriate attributes.

To train it maybe I would push a button (“start recording”) and manually add a tree for trimming, then hit another button and speak into arcpad saying “tree here needs trimming”. Arcpad would then associate that voice command with the recorded macro.

I think this capability would also work on smart phones too. I’d like to say “report pothole here” and have my phone grab my gps position, call the pothole reporting phone#, and key in the lat/long as key presses. The IVR on the backend would then parse and load the request into the geodatabase.

Maybe arcpad could even recognize prepositions so I could say “tree across the street needs trimming” and it would find the street I’m next to, then create a report for a tree across the street. So much inventory is relative to a street it seems like a good position could be determined based on offset along the polyline. Or even an intersection … “tree catty corner from me needs trimming”.

For tablets that save redlining as blobs, seems like the audio description could be saved with it too so that it could be played back in the office to help guide the technician responsible for the geodatabase update.

Arcpad TDOA

Since my badge says “Defense Intel Executive” I suppose I should offer a defense related suggestion too. Imagine a group of 4 soldiers on patrol separated from each other by a few hundred yards, each with Arcpad tied to GPS. Suddenly, a shot rings out. Each arcpad hears the shot (with something similar to voice recognition) and reports to a server the time that the shot was heard. Remember, a nice thing about GPS is the common clock. The server then performs Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) to determine the location where the shot originated. This position is then sent to each arcpad device for display. Perhaps no server would be needed, maybe each pda could do the TDOA for itself.