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Is Surface a good choice for GIS application RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am a GIS Administrator for an electric utility.  We have central location where dispatch and field personnel utilize and markup paper maps of our distribution system.  Currently, we are moving to electronic maps using ESRI's ArcServer and ArcMap applications.  Very curious as to whether or not Surface could provide a better experience, as well as, better dissemination of information to our end users than a traditional desktop computer.  Also, maybe this is a better question for the GIS software vendor; with the use of a touchscreen would we maintain functionality such as Zoom-In and Zoom-Out within the GIS application?
    Thursday, September 30, 2010 6:41 PM

Answers

  • Hi danman16 ,
     
    A couple of GIS(-like) applications have seen daylight and (IMHO) Surface suits those very well. The machine is pretty powerful and using NUI to control maps and information on it is very comfortable.
     
    As a starting point go look for the Infostrat's InfoStrat.VE control for bing maps. That should give you some impression on that can be accomplished.
     
    Hope this helps a bit.
     
    Bye,

    --
    Bart Roozendaal, Sevensteps
    "danman16" schreef in bericht news:ca48c7c8-415d-43bc-8f12-a32916a488f7...
    I am a GIS Administrator for an electric utility.  We have central location where dispatch and field personnel utilize and markup paper maps of our distribution system.  Currently, we are moving to electronic maps using ESRI's ArcServer and ArcMap applications.  Very curious as to whether or not Surface could provide a better experience, as well as, better dissemination of information to our end users than a traditional desktop computer.  Also, maybe this is a better question for the GIS software vendor; with the use of a touchscreen would we maintain functionality such as Zoom-In and Zoom-Out within the GIS application?

    Bart Roozendaal, Sevensteps
    Saturday, October 2, 2010 3:27 PM
  • Hi danman16,

    I see that the post is pretty old but maybe this information can still be of use for you or someone else who is interested in this. Our (GIS) company uses the Surface table for workshops with GIS users and I am also working on an application for spatial designers. What we see is that the surface can be a very strong tool and very useful for GIS when used right, it is not possible to just run ArcMap on it since it is a Windows application with no touch support. It should be possible to recreate a similar application using ArcObjects but I highly doubt you want to do that. What I think the thing to do is create a Surface application based on the user needs but the question is if that’s possible. To do this you can make use of the ESRI WPF API http://resources.esri.com/arcgisserver/apis/silverlight/ in the samples section you can take a look at the possibilities with the API, offcourse you can extend this by using ArcObjects. You can easily use the WPF API in your Surface application, there is no touch support but it is not difficult to write some code to do this using the Affine2dManipulationProcessor. Our only problem with GIS on the surface is creating a 360 degree view, you can make a map rotatable but when we tried that we noted from the users that they get disoriented very fast.

     Here are some features I created/use for our spatial designer application:

    -          Adding different layers (WMS/TMS/ArcGIS/etc) served from ArcGIS Server, Mapserver, Geoserver

    -          Creating drawlayers and draw on it

    -          Exporting drawings as jpg, pdf, shapefile

    -          Measuring

    -          Using geoprocessing services

    -          Getting featureinfo from layers

    -          Managing layers

    -          ….

    Some video’s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTKQHf_i0xc  (SchetsGIS for spatial designers (showing a few features))
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdLcTaJzTmI (controlling a 2nd application from the surface)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpW6ekXIZ1Y (Wiekwiek control for switching between screnario’s)

    Saturday, January 8, 2011 2:43 PM

All replies

  • Hi danman16,
     
    A couple of GIS(-like) applications have seen daylight and (IMHO) Surface suits those very well. The machine is pretty powerful and using NUI to control maps and information on it is very comfortable.
     
    As a starting point go look for the Infostrat's InfoStrat.VE control for bing maps. That should give you some impression on that can be accomplished.
     
    Hope this helps a bit.
     
    Bye,

    --
    Bart Roozendaal, Sevensteps
    "danman16" schreef in bericht news:ca48c7c8-415d-43bc-8f12-a32916a488f7...
    I am a GIS Administrator for an electric utility.  We have central location where dispatch and field personnel utilize and markup paper maps of our distribution system.  Currently, we are moving to electronic maps using ESRI's ArcServer and ArcMap applications.  Very curious as to whether or not Surface could provide a better experience, as well as, better dissemination of information to our end users than a traditional desktop computer.  Also, maybe this is a better question for the GIS software vendor; with the use of a touchscreen would we maintain functionality such as Zoom-In and Zoom-Out within the GIS application?

    Bart Roozendaal, Sevensteps
    Saturday, October 2, 2010 6:17 AM
  • Hi danman16 ,
     
    A couple of GIS(-like) applications have seen daylight and (IMHO) Surface suits those very well. The machine is pretty powerful and using NUI to control maps and information on it is very comfortable.
     
    As a starting point go look for the Infostrat's InfoStrat.VE control for bing maps. That should give you some impression on that can be accomplished.
     
    Hope this helps a bit.
     
    Bye,

    --
    Bart Roozendaal, Sevensteps
    "danman16" schreef in bericht news:ca48c7c8-415d-43bc-8f12-a32916a488f7...
    I am a GIS Administrator for an electric utility.  We have central location where dispatch and field personnel utilize and markup paper maps of our distribution system.  Currently, we are moving to electronic maps using ESRI's ArcServer and ArcMap applications.  Very curious as to whether or not Surface could provide a better experience, as well as, better dissemination of information to our end users than a traditional desktop computer.  Also, maybe this is a better question for the GIS software vendor; with the use of a touchscreen would we maintain functionality such as Zoom-In and Zoom-Out within the GIS application?

    Bart Roozendaal, Sevensteps
    Saturday, October 2, 2010 3:27 PM
  • Hi danman16,

    I see that the post is pretty old but maybe this information can still be of use for you or someone else who is interested in this. Our (GIS) company uses the Surface table for workshops with GIS users and I am also working on an application for spatial designers. What we see is that the surface can be a very strong tool and very useful for GIS when used right, it is not possible to just run ArcMap on it since it is a Windows application with no touch support. It should be possible to recreate a similar application using ArcObjects but I highly doubt you want to do that. What I think the thing to do is create a Surface application based on the user needs but the question is if that’s possible. To do this you can make use of the ESRI WPF API http://resources.esri.com/arcgisserver/apis/silverlight/ in the samples section you can take a look at the possibilities with the API, offcourse you can extend this by using ArcObjects. You can easily use the WPF API in your Surface application, there is no touch support but it is not difficult to write some code to do this using the Affine2dManipulationProcessor. Our only problem with GIS on the surface is creating a 360 degree view, you can make a map rotatable but when we tried that we noted from the users that they get disoriented very fast.

     Here are some features I created/use for our spatial designer application:

    -          Adding different layers (WMS/TMS/ArcGIS/etc) served from ArcGIS Server, Mapserver, Geoserver

    -          Creating drawlayers and draw on it

    -          Exporting drawings as jpg, pdf, shapefile

    -          Measuring

    -          Using geoprocessing services

    -          Getting featureinfo from layers

    -          Managing layers

    -          ….

    Some video’s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTKQHf_i0xc  (SchetsGIS for spatial designers (showing a few features))
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdLcTaJzTmI (controlling a 2nd application from the surface)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpW6ekXIZ1Y (Wiekwiek control for switching between screnario’s)

    Saturday, January 8, 2011 2:43 PM