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News From The 2001 ESRI International UC

SpatialNews > ESRI UC
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Hey Exhibitors... send us your announcements! We want to help you get the word out. Please forward us any offical news releases and announcements that you made at this year's ESRI User Conference.

Reports From The Show

More About ArcGIS

At this year's user conference the buzz is definitely surrounding ArcGIS 8.1, the latest release of the new COM-based suite of products. Rich Turner, ArcGIS product Manager noted that the focus of ArcGIS 8.1 is to ensure a similar user experience, regardless of the product license in place. Turner points out that users have asked for, and received the following in this major release:
- improved label management
- reprojection on the fly
- better data integration
- batch data editing
- cartographic enhancements
- 1000;s of new symbols
- map layout rotation (this is very cool!)
- map templates
- the ability to edit multiple datasets concurrently
- snap-to features
- and much more!

Registering high marks on the "coolness" meter is the ability to interactively rotate maps within the Map Layout Window. Imagine a map layout being oriented in a direction not suitable for output. This is now easily rectified by clicking on the layout window, rotating (the entire map contents will then rotate similar to the way you would rotate an object in another Windows-based product like MS Word or PowerPoint) and letting go once the map has been spun around to the desired rotation angle. This will also rotate the north arrow so that geographic reference point is retained.

As I previously mentioned, all "Arc" products are now built using the same COM-based architecture, resulting in a similar experience and common look and feel for the user. What this means is whether your ArcGIS license is for ArcView, ArcEditor, or ArcInfo, you will be working in a similar environment. What differs is the functionality available to you. A new product also having the similar look and feel was announced this week. ArcReader, coming some time in the near future is a free (that's right… FREE) mapping product that will give users the ability to view, query, and print data. Similar to the current ArcExplorer product, ArcReader will be freely distributable and will enable ArcGIS users to share data with non-ArcGIS users by providing the Reader with data. Users will also be able to access and view data from Geodatabases as well as from the Internet (like the Geographynetwork). ESRI compares the product to the popular Adobe Reader which is a free viewer and enables users to view data that was created using the commercial Adobe Distiller. On another [interesting] note, word on the "street" has it that the ArcReader product was actually conceived only last week when ESRI staff were preparing for the User Conference. Easy to believe since the product is basically ArcView, minus most of the functionality… excellent idea though!

ArcPad 6 QuikTake

Another product announced at this year's show is ArcPad 6. The product is currently in Beta release (for one more month) and should be available in late September. What exactly is ArcPad you might ask. In a nutshell, ArcPad helps users to mobilize their data and take it with them in the field. According to ArcPad product manager Shane Clark, anyone currently using a pen in the field is a potential user of ArcPad.

ArcPad facilities real-time mapping using a Windows CE mobile device and is another piece of the puzzle otherwise known as the total enterprise ArcGIS solution. ArcPad provides users with a rich GIS toolset and map navigation accessible from a wireless PDA and supports a number of data formats.

What can you do with it? Users of ArcPad 6.0 have the ability to query, collect data, capture GPS data, edit, and update data. Potential applications and uses include inventory, inspection, surveying, fire hazard mapping, and a host of other mobile mapping applications.

Some of the common tasks that users will be able to accomplish include:
- point, line, and polygon entry
- edit features
- use pen on GPS
- integrate with ArcGIS
- pan/zoom
- zoom to bookmark
- auto scale bar
- custom data forms
- add data from ArcIMS client

Supported data formats include:
MrSID, JPG, BMP, CADRG
SHP
ArcIMS services
GPS Support: NMEA worldwide and Rockwell PLGR. This is a huge addition from 5.0 as GPS data could only be accessed from Trimble, Ashtec, and Magellan units.
Look for full internationalization and support for double byte languages I this release.

Supporting products for ArcPad include:
ArcPad tools for ArcView
ArcPad tools for ArcGIS
ArcPad 6 application builder

Requirements:
- Win CE
- CE 2.11, 2.12, or 3
- CPU chips: Hitachi SH3 or SH4, MIPS, StrongARM, x86
- 16 MB RAM min, 32 recommended

Telematics News

Another LBS newsmaker at the show is Response Services Center LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the AAA (the auto club). The Columbia, MD based division was established in 1999 and is preparing to launch a telematics service offering to AAA members commencing later this year. Response will be offering emergency response, roadside assistance, routing services, points of interest information, and personal location-based services to subscribers.

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