Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cool Census Data App From ESRI Applications Prototype Lab

Here's a cool Silverlight app from the ESRI folks that like to live on the cutting edge. I really like the idea of using the physics engine to reposition the graphics. Obviously the app needs refining (what's with the tool bar on the left that looks disabled until you hover?), but the concept is cool. You can check out their related blog post here, or go right to the app to try it out yourself.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Modify Feature With Sketch

This was something that I really missed when I upgraded to 10. To install go to Customize -> Customize Mode -> Add from file... and select the ModifyWithSketch.tlb file in the folder ModifyWithSketch\bin\Debug. Then you will have a new tool in the Commands tab under "Developer Samples" called "Continue sketching an existing..". You can drag this to any toolbar. To use, just select an existing feature and then click on the tool.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Custom Bookmark Manager/Map Book Generator Add-in

When I first got to Sandy City, there were some mxd's set up to produce a map book of all of our work management areas. The problem with making a map book of these areas is that they are irregularly shaped requiring different map extents. So the only solution was to use map bookmarks. To print the map book you had to manually zoom to a bookmark, change the title to match the area, press print and repeat for 20 areas! This got old very quickly so I developed an extension for ArcMap that did the work for me. I called it, "Bookmark Manager" (this was before ArcMap had it's own bookmark manager). It worked well for me and I thought that it was generic enough that others might be interested so I posted it on ESRI's Code Gallery.

Almost 3,000 downloads later, I'm getting emails from people all over the world that are using it. I had no idea that it would be this popular! It's been really fun to talk with them and see how they are using it.

The most common problems that people have with it are related to installation. With the old 9.x COM customization model, I had to create a custom setup project to install my extension. It was complicated and not fool-proof. So when I found out about the new Add-in architecture that ESRI introduced at version 10 I couldn't wait to implement it with my Bookmark Manager. Over the last few days I had some time to work on this. I now have my entire extension packaged into one self-installing .ESRIaddin file. I'm hoping that this will make sharing it a lot easier. If you are interested you can check it out in the new Code Gallery.

Anyone else using Add-in's yet?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Aptana + JSLint = Better JavaScript & Hurt Feelings

JSLint is a tool developed by Douglas Crockford that searches for errors in your JavaScript code. From his site:
JavaScript is a sloppy language, but inside it there is an elegant, better language. JSLint helps you to program in that better language and to avoid most of the slop.
You can go to and paste your code into the box and it will help you find errors. However, there is a much better way to take advantage of JSLint built right into Aptana Studio. You can go to ESRI's ArcGIS Server Blog to find out how to implement it. Then try not to be offended when it tears apart your code!