James Fee GIS Blog
I could drop a link to weather.gov1 and say living in Phoenix is simply wonderful. I could mention that we’re hiring developers with PostGIS experience2. I could mention we’re working in Node.js3. I could mention we’re working only in Leaflet.js4. Actually I could mention a lot of things but the bottom line is if you want to work with PostGIS/Node.js/Leaflet on projects around the world and enjoy 85 degree days in February, apply here.
I’m looking for entry level developers and those with more experience. Apply away if you want to work in Phoenix with PostGIS/Node.js/Leaflet.
Thanks to Dale and Don of Safe Software for joining me to talk about all the great new features of FME 2014, Safe’s new FME Cloud and the general state of file formats. The archived hangout is below.
Paul Ramsey sums up the situation very well:
Rather than avoiding a lengthy LIDAR format war, we are now entering one. In some respects, this will be healthy: the open LAS community now has to come up to feature parity faster than it might otherwise. But in most ways, it’s unhealthy: users will have data interchange issues, they’ll have to understand and install format translation software, and add extra steps to their processing chains.
Yuck right? LAS is still niche so it isn’t like FGDB where you have to convert it to old shapefiles to make it useful but working outside the community is not good for users. I’m glad I don’t work for a data marketplace anymore, these file formats are springing up like weeds1.
As a user, I don’t leave LIDAR data in LAS but convert it into other formats to use it. But it’s that interchange issue that keeps us stuck with old formats such as the shapefile. Sharing LAS is difficult to to huge file sizes. Binary point clouds with some sort of compression makes complete sense. Now you’ve got multiple file types to deal with. Enjoy…
Hard to keep track of them all↩
Well we’re back at it in 2014. The first hangout is with Dale and Don of Safe Software. FME 2014 is out and Dale and Don will talk about FME, formats, APIs, file types and anything else that interests us. We go live Thursday at 10am PST right here. You can also RSVP for updates.
If there is one area “professional GIS” has failed it is in the mobile arena. Crazy Windows CE, Java and other solutions just confuse and frustrate users. Heck after coming back into the GIS consulting world I’ve picked up these handheld ArcPad GPS units and failed to be able to get them to work1. There are some great Smartphone/Tablet solutions such as my favorite Fulcrum but they really fail on battery life2.
I’m always on the look out for better solutions to solve mobile GIS and the latest seems to be Windows Surface devices running Windows 8. I’ve been getting a lot of requests internally to test the devices for data collection. Most of it comes from the wish that users can run ArcGIS Desktop in the field. We’ve been fighting this on the mobile side for years, but maybe we should just sit back and let them have their day with a hacked up Surface Pro 2 with USB GPS and a checked out ArcGIS Desktop Basic3 and be done with.
Then again, what about standardizing on a PostGIS/QGIS field tool? This solves a couple of issues for me including the licensing implications of having floating licenses in the field for days at a time. I’m personally trying to reduce software licensing costs to a practical level and the unknown of who will check out extensions throws a wrench in it. The beauty of a PostGIS/QGIS solution is in the freedom to send people in the field for data collection and not have licensing bite us in the rear. I’m going to try to secure a Surface Pro 2 test-bed and see what such a PostGIS/QGIS field collection tool can do.
Plus once they get back into the office, sync the PostGIS data up and the GIS analysts can use it with their ArcGIS Desktop projects. Win/win, right?
So antiquated, so limiting, so dangerous…
Yet so important to our daily workflows. It’s the pinch-point on every project. Every year we make statements saying this is the year the shapefile goes away. Yet here in 2014 I’m dealing with the limitations of DBF 1 yet again. Shapefile, you drive me nuts yet I can’t quit you just yet. Here is to another “wonderful” year of .shp, .shx, .shp, .prj, .sbn, .sbx, .fbn, .fbx, .ain, .aih, .ixs, .mxs, .atx, .cpg and of course .shp.xml.
I know so much about DBF reserve words, sadly…↩
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