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    Thursday, June 30, 2005

    Earth at Night

    I was recently showing a friend some different maps and he was extremely interested in the Earth at Night image that shows night time light around the world. You can really see where people live based on the lights at night. I've seen this image for years but when I showed it to him and talked about what was going on, it reminded me how interesting maps can be and why I went into GIS.

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    Little Shake and Rain

    Inserting afternoon, we had another noticeable earthquake and a brief rain shower. I think the brief down-pour surprised more people then the 4.0 earthquake. We don't normally get rain in the summer here in Redlands.

    Here's a picture of the seismography...

    Friday, June 24, 2005

    Rise and Shout

    Hopefully everyone can see that I've changed the name of my blog a few times. And hopefully I can stick with the new title "Rise and Shout". It comes from the chorus of the BYU fight song, played after every touchdown by the BYU football team. All 65,000 fans in the stadium sit down to start the song but when the chorus hits, everyone stands and singings "Rise and Shout the Cougars are out”.

    I also had a college professor that commonly said "Rise and Shout" whenever students in the class started having little side conversations about the topic being discussed. When he would say "Rob, rise and shout", I would have to stand up and share my view with the entire class. "Rise and Shout" happened almost each class and resulted in some really good discussions that got everyone thinking about different views and opinions.

    Hopefully this blog will allow you and I to "rise and shout" about whatever is on our minds in a respectful yet open environment. It's hard to tell who is reading this so feel free to comment about any post and let me know you are there.

    Remember the views in this blog are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

    Thursday, June 23, 2005

    New feature of Blogger

    In making my last post, I noticed a new button for adding images when creating posts so here is my 1st attempt.

    Here's a photo of the building that I work in here on the ESRI campus.

    The use of video and audio online

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how we could use multi-media on the new EDN website. Here are some examples of how Microsoft is using video and audio to get information out to developers.

    Any suggestions?

    Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    Street through ESRI to close

    Street through ESRI to close
    The Redlands City Council approved plans to close a section of New York St. here in Redlands so that the ESRI campus can be expanded.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    ArcReader 9.1

    As I said a few weeks ago, the new ArcReader 9.1 is a really exciting release. And I’m not just saying that because I’m the PM. ArcReader 9.1 adds the ability to view not only 2D maps but 3D. The 3D maps (.pmf) are created in ArcGlobe using the Publisher extension. The 3D maps (Globes) can then be viewed in the free ArcReader application. 9.1 also gives you a swipe tool for easily viewing what’s under a layer in the map. ArcReader 9.1 is part of every ArcGIS Desktop and EDN box pus as a free download.

    The name game

    What's in a name?

    Great topic from wikipedia that we should all remember.

    EDN online updated for 9.1

    EDN’s Documentation Library and Code Exchange have been updated with ArcGIS 9.1 content. Over 60 samples have been added to the Code Exchange including many that are focused on server development. The Documentation Library now includes both new content for the most recent release of ArcGIS and archived content for previous releases. Some noteworthy articles that may be of interest to ArcObjects developers include What’s New at 9.1 and Securing ArcGIS Web Services. ArcIMS developers will find the updated ArcXML Programmer’s Reference Guide invaluable and ArcSDE C and Java programmers can now view both 9.1 and 9.0 versions of their API reference in the library.

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    Need a quick answer to an ArcGIS Desktop question?

    Brian's blog recently points out that the entire ArcGIS Desktop Help System is now online. I fyou don't follow Brian's blog, I highly recommend it.

    Free Book - Introducing Visual Basic 2005 for Developers

    Browsing around MSDN, I found that they are offering the new VB 2005 book free online. I'm looking for some time to train-up on 2005. Unfortunately I still feel more comfortable in classic VB 6 but know that the day will come when I won't have VB 6 and VS.Net both installed on my machine.

    Thursday, June 16, 2005

    Earthquake felt at ESRI

    This afternoon there was an earthquake in Yucaipa that we felt pretty good at work in Redlands. Yucaipa is just a few freeway exits east of Redlands and the home to many ESRI employees. It was a 4.9 magnitude and certain got everyone’s attention in the milestone review meeting I was in. A milestone review meeting at ESRI is when all the different teams come into a conference room and give a status on their development projects to the senior management (including Jack). This was a meeting to remember as this was the biggest earthquake this close to Redlands in several years.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Google in the early days of Search

    Google Stanford Hardware - This is all of Google, circa 1999. It's substantially less hardware than in a few offices here at ESRI.

    New books online at ESRI Support Center

    I came across some new content browsing around the ESRI Support Center.

    ESRI Software 9.1 Library - Managing Data with ArcGIS - These books introduce you to geographic and projected coordinate systems and to geodatabase concepts and shows how to use the ArcGIS Desktop products - ArcInfo, ArcEditor, and ArcView - to implement geographic database designs.

    This does require a free ESRI Global account.

    Phil is back

    As a life long LA Lakers fan, I was happy to hear the news that Phil Jackson was returning to the Purple and Gold. I don't expect him to take the LA to the Finals next year as the Lakesrs need a lot of help after losing Shaq but I do think this will be a lot better.

    Friday, June 10, 2005

    Going West

    TechED is over and I’m heading home… Currently I’m in Las Vegas (McCarran airport) waiting to catch a plane back to Southern California. I’m tired and my brain is full after a week of drinking from the Microsoft fire hose of information. I’m looking forward to spending this weekend with my family and then getting back to work as the ESRI User Conference is only 6 weeks away and I’ve got a lot to do.

    Just wanted to say thanks to all the Microsoft and TechED staff for putting on a great conference!

    More from TechED

    With seemingly everyone talking about SOA these days, I decided to attend session on the subject and find it very interesting as this is not as SOA is not just a Microsoft thing but can be applied to ESRI’s server products and many other enterprise solutions.

    The logical follow-up to going to the SOA session was Web Services and I attended a great session from Yasser Shohoud that went into the “what” and “why” of web services.

    Also went to a few sessions about the new Visual Studio Team System.
    But one of the highlights of the week was a lunchtime session with the famous Don Box. This session was standing room only as the very popular Box talking about his career over the years as his unique style of presenting technical information to large crowds.

    The final party was at Universal Studios and was a lot of fun. We had access to all the rides and there was tons of food and drink. The Mommy Revenge was my favorite ride.

    My step count for Thursday was 14,954

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    ArcFM based on ArcGIS Engine released

    ArcFM Solution 9.1

    ESRI Business Partner Miner and Miner recently released there version 9.1 of the ArcFM Solutions. ArcFM Viewer is an ArcGIS Engine application that I believe is developed with .Net.

    Here's Miner and Miner description...
    ArcFM Viewer for ArcGIS Engine is a powerful, yet inexpensive, visualization and analysis solution built with ArcGIS Engine. The multiple document user interface and broad array of network tracing tools are a few of the features that make for an intuitive and robust product. In addition, developers can customize ArcFM Viewer using industry-standard programming languages

    I'd like to get a demo of ArcFM Viewer as it was one of the first COTS products built on ArcGIS Engine. Can anyone from Miner and Miner get me a demo of ArcFM Viewer?

    9.1 licensing question

    Here is a question that I keep seeing as more and more are updating to 9.1 ArcGIS.

    When I move to 9.1 from 9.0, do I need a new license since some extensions are included for free or do the extension just activate when you are using the appropriate level of software?

    If you are using concurrent copy licenses (license manger with hardware key) then you do not need new keycode files for 9.1. The changes in the included extensions are incorporated in the software and do not require a new keycode file.

    Users using software requiring authorization files (ArcView & ArcEditor Single Use, ArcSDE, ArcIMS, ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Engine Dev Kit, and ArcGIS Engine Runtime) do need to reregister their software at 9.1 using the new registration numbers provided with the update.

    Day 3 (Wednesday Morning)

    No keynote today but lots of sessions... Here are some thoughts from the morning.

    Deploying Real-time tracking solutions with MapPoint Location Server
    A lot of questions about GPS but it appears that the tracking is done via cell phone

    What’s new in 2.0 Framework
    Performance and ASP.Net seem to be the big ticket items along with the fact that SQL Server 2005 is built on the 2.0 Framework

    After a quick lunch, I went to .Net Rocks! live here at TechEd. I’ve listened to a few episodes in past so it was kind of cool to be there live. The live audience was large because it was an open interview with the leads from the VS 2005 Team System.

    On the way across the convention center, I noticed signs saying that ice cream and other treats will be served this afternoon in the exhibit hall in addition to the hundreds of snack tables around every corner. Instead of the motto “learn * solve * grow”, it should be “eat + drink = grow”

    GIS to Speed Help to Domestic Violence Victims

    GIS to Speed Help to Domestic Violence Victims
    ESRI is partnering with several other technology companies to build a geographic information system (GIS) to provide a faster, more reliable response to victims of domestic violence.

    Great use of GIS, I hope it helps.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2005

    Day 2 Sessions

    Went to several good sessions today on several differnt topics and am now hanging out in the Cabana area for the Birds of Feathers (BOF) sessions. There are a lot of really good topics tonight... I just finished up a session on migrating VB6 to .Net and I was not alone. There was a lot of interest and questions in moving from VB Classic to VB.Net. I wish there would have been some other sessions on the topic.

    Up next is "Components: Buy vs. Build" and then finally at 9pm is the "Developer community and Microsoft's Role" session. Making Tuesday a very long day.

    On a different topic, one of the give-aways was a pedometer... I'm up to 8249 steps today.

    Paul F. Keynote part 2

    The keynote continued with a slick demo showing off some of the new features in VS 2005 by Brian Keller (Product Manager). Here are somethings I noted:

    - Good looking WinForms UI
    - New Data View Grid control
    - Smart Tags on controls
    - Code Snippets to make things easy
    - Easy connection and work with SQL
    - AutoCorrect (similar to Word)
    - ClickOnce deployment

    But the highlight was when a “BattleBot” running the .Net Compact Framework came on stage.

    Paul then announced a Developer Competition with the winner collecting $50,000

    And then I heard the news I was waiting for, the week of Nov 7th will be a launch of Visual Studio and SQL Server. Hopefully he means November 7th 2005!

    Tuesday Keynote with Paul Flessner - part 1

    Things started out with Samantha Bee – “Developer Psychology” interviews with attendees in the crowd. The crowd is smaller then yesterday's keynote but still big.

    TechieShow continued with Samantha Bee interviewing Paul from the behind a desk on stage.

    Getting Ready for Connected Systems was the title of Paul’s talk. He started out talking about the history of connectivity.

    1844 First Message sent via wire (Telegram)
    1858 First Transatlantic Cable
    1876 Telephone
    1902 First Radio and TV
    1944 1st use of computer to communicate
    1994 WWW
    2000 .Net
    2002 VS.Net (300 million people connected to internet)
    2005 over 500 million people connected to internet

    He then went through the journey of business application architecture
    - Mainframe – Monolithic multi function program
    - Client Server
    - Web Services

    Journey for connectivity continues today...
    Key learning
    - Service oriented
    - Federated identity
    - Rich user experience
    - Flow control
    - Federated data
    - Availability

    Need to make it easier to build connected systems

    Database Development
    • Database Development integrated w/ VS and .Net
    • SQL Server Service Broker
    • CachSync – High performance ASP.NET 2.0 apps
    • Native XML data type in database

    Business Process Integration
    BizTalk 2005

    Announced– RFID Infrastructure support from MS
    Attendees where asked to wear an RFID tag around during the first day of TechEd, many did not but those that did were enter in a raffle.

    Team Development a major theme in 2005
    VS was about the individual dev now VS Team System is all about the complete dev experience

    • Architect
    • Dev
    • Tester
    • Project Manager

    The goal is to reduce the amount of code needed with VS 2005

    Paul also noted in 2 years it will be tough to find a 64 bit machine
    Part 2 coming soon if the wireless holds up

    Day 1 Tech Sessions

    After the keynote I spend the rest on Monday attending the following sessions.

    What’s New in MapPoint Web Service
    I think most people were there to learn more about the recent announced Virtual Earth which will have a developer API but Microsoft wasn’t able to provide much information.

    Getting Ready for Visual Studio and SQL Server 2005

    Building Smart Client Applications with .Net

    Plus I spent some time in the exhibit hall and the community area where you can meet Microsoft dev team members.

    In the evening there was an expo / vender social with food and drink. I then made the trip back to the hotel and unfortunately watched the Heat lose game 7 to the Pistons.

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    Keynote with Steve B. part 3

    Steve continues talking about the worldwide momentum of .Net – He reports that 43% of developers use .Net as their primary dev environment. Java is second at 35% and third was non .Net Win32 development.

    2005 is a big year for Microsoft and it’s developers with the release of Sql Server and Visual Studio 2005. I noticed that that the “.Net” has been dropped from the product name; it’s now called “Visual Studio 2005”. He mentioned at beta testing of the .Net framework is showing 25% - 40% performance improvement over .Net 1.1

    BJ H. (VSTO Product Manager) then came out and showed a demo of everything in Outlook. Basically inside of having many apps to get your job done, everything can be made an Outlook add-in via VSTO. Nice demo but not a lot of excitement from the audience.

    Steve then announced that Office “12” will use XML as the default format.

    Then they showed some demos of management a cross platform network (Windows and Sun machines)

    And of course, he talked about security and said things are better but MSFT will do much more. Interesting stats that showed Red Hat and SUSE needing to be patched more then Windows 2003.

    Overall good keynote but it took forever to get out of the main hall. They need more then one entrances and exit.

    Keynote with Steve B. part 2

    Still can’t get wireless working but Steve continues with his talk about the new world of work…
    Talking about 3 steps
    1. Design and Build .Net apps
    2. Deploy and Operate those apps
    3. Works act and interact with the apps to get the job done.

    Windows Server 2003

    • #1 Server OS with 65% market share
    • A second release of 2003 coming later this year with several enhancements and support for clustering

    Steve then made some announcements about and update to Exchange 2003 and Windows Mobile to facilitate mobile devices always being update.

    Mike Hall (Product Manager) then came up stage with the brand new ThinkPad Tablet PC which Steve quickly took for himself. Next was a funny video about a CEO using and losing his Smart Phone. Mike then demo several Microsoft technologies in one quick demo. He showed:

    • Desktop Search to find a email
    • New searching for files in Longhorn desktop
    • Managing mobile devices with Exchange
    • New Virtual Earth and it’s nice hybrid mode between raster and vector data
    • New local Search and Scratch Pad feature of Virtual Earth

    To break things up, Samantha came back with a “Doctor” to talk about his “Meditation techniques to solve developer problems”. Which turned out to be a humorous puppet show?

    Part 3 coming soon...

    Keynote with Steve B. part 1

    I was good and only hit the snooze button once this morning as today is the big keynote with Steve Ballmer. I’ve been trying to eat healthier and workout more so I decided to skip the conference buffet breakfast and grab a low-fat yogurt. To my surprise there was a huge line to get into the keynote at 8:30am. The line moved fast and I got a pretty good seat.

    The keynote started with the delightful Samantha Bee (from the Daily Show) hosting the TechEd version called the TechieShow. She got everyone laughing…

    Steve came out to a hardy applause in the traditional Microsoft attire, long shelve blue dress shirt. Like always he was excited about everything and moved back and forth across the front of the stage pumping his fist. Here are a few notes I took from his presentation. I don’t calm for this to be completely accurate nor complete…

    Steve said there has never been a more exciting time to work in IT

    TechEd sold out in 6 weeks (over 11,000 this year)

    2005 is the 10 year anniversary of Windows 95 and noted that a lot has changed in 10 years

    • Dot COM boom and bust, Cell phones, Digital Music / Cameras and .Net

    The title of his talk was “Enabling People to Drive Success” and based his remarks on Bill Gates recent writings on “The New World of Work”

    • Better Customer interaction
    • Improved personal productivity
    • Unified Communication
    • Team Collaboration
    • Timely Rights Information
    • Engaging in business process
    • Spotting trend
    • etc

    Samantha Bee returned to the stage and went through the top 5 Requested request by Information Workers. (Very funny)

    Then they showed a video by Avanade about Connecting People and Information.

    By now I had given up getting the wireless to work for me.

    Part 2 coming soon.

    learn * solve * grow

    I’m here at TechEd 2005 in Orlando, Florida. The trip cross country was uneventful but it sure is tough getting up the first morning here on East Coast time. I tired to make my self go to bed but midnight here still felt like 9pm in California. I’m not having much like with wireless connection here in the convention center but I’m going to try and share some of my thoughts from the conference.

    Thursday, June 02, 2005


    A good friend of my is going through some potentially big decisions in his life and while contemplating the decisions before him he came across this great quote by Thomas Monson on the need for courage in making decisions.

    "Life's journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, 'No,' the courage to say, 'Yes,' Decisions do determine destiny. The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be."

    -Thomas S. Monson
    "The Call for Courage," Ensign, May 2004, 54-55

    My dad is a big fan of Monson and has always recommended his books. In college I had the chance to hear him speak a few times and was very impressed.

    Wednesday, June 01, 2005


    The ONE Campaign is a new effort to rally Americans to fight the emergency of global AIDS and extreme poverty. Each ONE of us can make a difference. Together as ONE we can change the world.We can beat:

    • AIDS
    • Starvation
    • Extreme poverty

    ONE billion people live on less than ONE dollar a day. Add your signature to The One Declaration

    I first heard about the ONE Campaign a few months ago at the U2 concert and now it looks like there are part of new "Live Aid" type concert this summer called LIVE 8.