Archive Page 2


Stealing Google Earth Imagery…

You just have to love this:

 You can save the displayed view in Google Earth by using the File=> Save => Save Image command (Ctrl-Alt-S is the shortcut), which saves the contents of the view window as a JPG file. But in order to use this image in a GIS program, it has to be georeferenced, i.e. coordinates assigned to the pixels. There are free image georeferencing options out there, and I’ll cover some of those soon, but that’s not necessary in this case – there’s a simpler way to get the georeferencing data for an image exported from Google Earth.   

pilferingAre you kidding me?  You can throw that little disclaimer in the end and talk about “fair use”, but plain and simple, you are stealing imagery that doesn’t belong to you.  I personally love the hypocrisy of pilfering copyrighted data from Google (I guess because they are so big and impersonal), yet throwing up that horrible red, “please donate money to my blog because I’m in it for the money” advertisement at the top.  Is this what the little kids do now with GIS?  Steal data that doesn’t belong to you because they are used to stealing music via the internet.  Remind me to keep an eye on our interns a little more.  I’m embarrassed to be a GIS professional after reading that chicanery.  


Find the latest lost rich white guy with Mechanical Turk and imagery

Call me cynical, but this latest effort to find a rich white guy doing something only rich white guys can do (like fly one of their many personal airplanes or take their yacht out to the open ocean) really pisses me off. All this effort to find someone who has more money than sense is a waste of everyone’s time when there are better efforts out there for folks to invest their time.

We should be looking for little boys and girls like Sofia Kabany;

and not this old stupid man:

He had his chance for a full life, why not help those who need helping. Not a 63 year old man who drinks champagne with Richard Branson. I’m sorry, he doesn’t need our help.


Note to GIS bloggers

We’ve all seen the Miss America contestant talk about Geography in America. Not everyone needs to link to the YouTube movie.  Its cute, but talk about beating a dead horse.



With a friend like ESRI, who needs enemies

So I’ve been checking out MapDotNet since James posted on it last week.  It isn’t for me as we don’t do .NET, but I like it in the sense that it is close enough to Mapserver that some folks might actually use it as a stepping stone to go open source totally.  Well beyond that I was reading through their blog and noticed this little gem:

By the way, I’d be less compelled to jump on the bandwagon here if ESRI hadn’t kicked us out of their partner program, then let us know that we were ‘not approved’ to attend one of their user group conferences.  What gives?  We still write software that web-enables their geodatabase technologies.  ESRI’s ArcSDE is a staple in our customer base.

This is so typical.  I’ve heard this over and over again from ex-ESRI business partners.  If you even think of competing against ESRI, they’ll kick you out of the program.  I bet you Brian Flood has been getting the cold shoulder from ESRI in the past year with his Arc2Earth program.  Logic would dictate that anything that sells more ESRI server software would be welcomed.  That isn’t the case, they’d rather see customers go PostGIS than stay with their ArcGIS line if that means allowing a competing product in the stack.  Freaking amazing if you ask me.  I’m just sitting back and waiting for ESRI to send James a “we regret to inform you that you are no longer part of the Business Partner program” because of his insistence to avoid using ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Engine.

If those at ESRI could look beyond ArcGIS Server and see the big picture here with ArcSDE, they’d see there is a huge market for that product (given all the press on PostGIS, Oracle Spatial and even SQL Server 2008).  Why they would want to limit its use to the horrible ArcIMS (I say this with love because I learned how to develop web mapping sites on ArcIMS and CF) and the slow and overly expensive ArcGIS Server (note to ESRI, 26 page object models is not a good thing).

We’ve already seen GIS folks being pushed aside because “ordinary” programmers are now doing the work that GIS pros used to do.  ESRI is destined to have the same problem as their users.  I mean lets get realistic here, do any of you out there ever forsee a time where ESRI severs will be powering the web?  Of course not and those who invest in closed platform products from ESRI are leading to their own obsolescence.  If ESRI doesn’t want folks using ArcSDE without ArcGIS server products tell them fine.  Just go to PostGIS and Mapserver (or MapDotNet if you swing that way) and enjoy being liberated from the noose.


How to fix SlashGeo

So SlashGeo is back, but its fallen into its old habbits. It is so easy to fix this thing that I’m willing to offer up the solution. Take this latest “article“.

Directions Magazine has an interesting interview with Paul Ramsey of Refractions Research and Tyler Mitchell of OSGeo on the upcoming Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference in Victoria, British Columbia. In addition to some of the highlights coming at FOSS4G, they provide an overview some general trends in the development and adoption of open source geospatial technologies.

SlashGeo is claiming that this interview is “interesting” and backs it up with “overview of some general trends…”. Come one now man, tell us why it is interesting. Overview of general trends is like watching paint dry. Just write why it was interesting to you and maybe in turn you’ll save SlashGeo. I’d say the biggest statement was by Paul and his:

…the demand for the simple things ArcView 3 does – data capture, data editing, querying, selection sets, sorting, some scripting – is huge, and the new ESRI desktop alternatives are too expensive for the kinds of folks just scraping by with ArcView 3 now. They want a new option, it has to do all the things ArcView 3 does now, and they want it to interoperate with the new technology available – spatial databases like PostGIS and Oracle, Web services, and so on. Watch for it, it’ll be a tsunami when it happens.

Now that is interesting stuff!  Generating discussion is easy to do if you give people something to talk about.  Right now I just don’t see that happening at SlashGeo and its pretty much falling back into old habits.  Too bad because I actually had high hopes that new blood would change things.


James Fee is leaving blogging?

Lets recap:

  1. James posts suspect news of ESRI Marketing dude leaving.
  2. Dude emails James, probably pissed
  3. James retracts post and writes an apology
  4. James’ blog disappears



Manifold’s GUI is horrible

I used to have comments on my blog, but I’ve turned them off because there is only room for one wacko on this blog (me). Take a look at this nutjob:

Look, I am simply thinking that your links and words grossly misrepresent Manifold. I don’t know if you do the same for other software products, but I don’t care about them and so I don’t try to defend them. But Manifold I do care about, and so sometimes when I see what I perceive to be unjustified criticism of Manifold, I raise to their defense. So, either make your criticism of Manifold constructive (and for that, you would have to learn it) or refrain from criticising. Simple as that.

I love when users feel the need to defend the honor of the products they use. I can only imagine how he/she must look at their computer screen while composing such drivel.


Plus we all know Manifold’s GUI is its biggest drawback.  Getting all bratty about it won’t change a thing.