Minutes07Dec2005

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    Meeting commenced approximately 3:45 with a round of jokes at the abesentee chair, Greg Kubica's, expense. Sue Deforest valiantly appropriated the position. Nobody heard her sotto voce "Hey! I was pushed." (right?). Matt unwisely brought a pad and pen and promptly found himself nominated as minute taker. It was unanimously decideded that we would be remiss if we did not allow Greg to sit as chair for the next meeting (which will be at Jason Adam's office on Wednesday February 1st).

    Noted that Neela and Sue were at the previous meeting and the minutes should be amended to reflect that. Neela should be added to the distribution list [action:Kaori].

     

    IMF update from Diedre and Amy: nothing significant to report yet. The first demo day is set for Dec 14th at which time we can all review and disect the first draft.

     


    Google Yukon demo: Matt showed GoogleEarth? with Yukon Parks & Protected Areas and First Nation R-Block Settlement Lands overlayed on the standard GE satellite backdrop. Clicking on an R-Block polygon, for example, in either the Places table of contents or in the main map window will popup an info window showing the R-Block's number, area and associated First Nation. 2x-clicking will zoom and center to that shape and show the info popup. screenshot of Google Earth showing Yukon Parks & FN R-Blocks

    The Parks and LS data shown is packaged in a .kmz file can be sent around at will through email or sneaker net or whatever. Polygons, lines, points and annotation are supported from any ArcMap-accessible data store (SDE, shape, coverages, etc.).

    The example files, 250k-FN-SL.kmz and 250k-Parks4.kmz were created with Arc2Earth, an ArcMap extension which exports the current data frame layers, selectively, labels and symbology to a .kmz file. At the current time the Arc2Earth program is in a closed beta cycle and not generally available. To apply to the beta program go to .... and email Brian Flood, the author. Matt doesn't know if he actually screens participants or just wants to guarantee he knows who they all are.

    Only a portion of A2E? 's features have been explored so far, but enough to turn up some problems. The biggest one so far being that there is a relatively low limit to how many features can be packed into a .kmz before GE starts behaving erratically and maybe even completely locking up the host system. On the user forum there are reports of this limit being around 10mb while Matt started experiencing problems at the 3.5mb mark (the Yukon 50k Road Network .kmz is 3.5mb). The cause is likely memory limitations on the computer running GE.

     


    Screenshot of World Wind showing animation of Yellowstone wildfires in 1988Matt also had a computer demo'ing NASA WorldWind. WW is similar to GE in initial impression - a window showing the globe covered in a full colour satellite image while clicking and dragging with the mouse seamlessly flies in and over any portion of the earth in ever increasing detail. The differences however are subtle and far reaching.

    GE has access to private high resolution and attribte rich data while WW is confined to that which is publicly available (which is still very good, e.g. Landsat7). GE of course has a very good integrated search while WW's Find Place is quite functional but not as polished or extensive.

    Again, Matt hasn't had time to do more than scratch the surface, but so far one of it's most significant features which GE lacks is the ability to show animations. For example watch the daily progression of the wild fires which ripped through Yellowstone National Park in 1988, or the snow accumulation over the northern hemisphere during the winter of 2002-2003, or the progressive earthquake activity from 1960 through 1995 over the entire globe; to name but 3 of the more than x hundred that already exist. Probably the biggest WOW difference is WW ability to model other worlds, at this time there are addon packs for Mars and the Moon.

    Unfortunately Matt had no time to use WW's load shapefile feature to show yukon data in-situ so we just watched a cycle or so of the afore-mentioned winter animation.

     


    Sue motioned that "munch... mmm, mumble ...all YGUG meetings should have food". Carried, four ayes and no dissenting grunts.

     


    Python Programming for ArcGIS: Jason reported that the his time at the two day ESRI course for python programming was well spent. He handed out info on how to find three most important documents[*] and offered to loan the course manual around for self study for those that were interested. Olwyn is first up, followed by Matt.
    • C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Documentation\Geoprocessor.pdf
    • ArcGIS Desktop Help > Writing Geoprocessing Scripts > Scripting Object: Properties and methods > IGPDispatch object
    • C:\ESRI_Library\ArcGis_Desktop\Writing_Geoprocessing_Scripts.pdf
    Something to watch for: the sample code in the docs doesn't always work! >:)

    In other news, Jason took Peter's 15m pan sharpened yukon L7 mosaick, colour balanced it and created true colour jpeg 2000 images from it. Contact GeomaticsYukon if ya wants 'em.

     


    Olwyn reported she has successfully built a mapbuilder-like application for ArcMap which automates a lot of the tasks for standard topo-style maps. She wrote it so can she can stop responding to the same questions from newbies every year. Under duress she's agreed to demo it for the March YGUG at her office.

     


    It's so simple I (almost) can't do it Matt had a client walk into his office at 20 after 4 on Friday saying "I need this gps point at s76 35 22.76, w130 22 14.5 on a map with rivers and creeks and roads and stuff for a court case on Monday"). Oh. Great. That's the simplest map request in the world, only I don't know how to do it. Take these 400,000 points, project into a common coordinate system and mosaik into a single file? Sure, no problem. ...tickety tackity slappity mumble ding! It's ready. One point? Uhh, let's see... where is that darn conversion spreadsheet? search this that and the other thing, clickity clackity mousity... you get the picture. 39.59 minutes later the client walks out the door, happy as punch, with a map that has what he wants but no scale bar or legend or id number or any of the other things that all "real" maps we make must have. Lying in bed that night Matt realises he could have created a near equivalent product in all of 5 seconds by using http://maps.google.com/ and typing: s76 35 22.76, w130 22 14.5 {enter} (and then zooming out to 50% or so).

    Other solutions presented from the group's experience are:

    and once you have that just input a graphic into a map frame, right-click > properties > size and position > and adjust as appropriate.

     


    Meeting adjourned about 4:45.

    -- MattWilkie - 08 Dec 2005

     

     

     

     

     

    I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
    elsekmz 250k-FN-SL.kmz manage 996.5 K 2005-12-08 - 16:03 MattWilkie Yukon First Nation 250k Settlement Lands layer for Google Earth
    elsekmz 250k-Parks4.kmz manage 289.1 K 2005-12-08 - 16:04 MattWilkie Yukon 250k Parks & Protected Areas layer for Google Earth

     

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