Monday, October 08, 2012

Apple Maps forgot the ocean

Thus far all the rub about Apple Maps has been it's problems on land. If that weren't enough take a look at how they did in the ocean.  In my work I deal with many aspects of oceans and mapping, with a focus on fishing lately.  I know a few fishermen that use the iOS5 version of maps (with the Google Basemap) regularly because the bathymetry is so good.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Is north always up?

I feel a little silly asking this but is it wrong to assume north is always up when looking at maps on the web? This Google LatLong post threw me off. In this case it might be only because there is no north arrow on the photograph.


Is it finally here? I might be late to the game but I had my first experience with it from an Evite. Apparently Walgreens sponsored the invitation . I think I saw Mike Liebhold talk about this at Where 2.0 in 2007 with a very similar Google Map packed with McDonald's icons. This is interesting because my wife's first reaction was "damn there are a lot of Walgreens in SF". Yikes it worked.

Has anyone else spotted this in the wild?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Running ArcSDE on Amazon EC2

Running ArcSDE on Amazon EC2

I have a project where I’m trying to setup 2-way geodata replication using ESRI ArcSDE with the parent database housed on Amazon EC2. In order to run ArcSDE on the amazon server I had to make a few tweaks. I set up an ArcSDE database on SQL Server 2008 Standard and found that I could not reconnect after I would stop and restart the instance. This seemed to be due to the new server name assigned each time you turn off/on an amazon instance. That name is used to reference the SQL Server instance by the esri_sde service. I worked around this by creating a new ArcSDE service and configured it to point to localhost for the database instance name. The database has functioned normally since the tweak. Here are the steps:

1. create a new esri_sde01 service
sdeservice -o create -d SQLSERVER,localhost -p ### -i esri_sde01 -H "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\ArcSDE\sqlexe"

2. edit c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\services to show esri_sde01 service - should look exactly like esri_sde service

esri_sde01 5151/tcp #ArcSDE for sqlserver

3. alter the registry so the service references sde as SDE_DBA_USER and Admin_database

sdeservice -o register -d SQLSERVER -r ADMIN_DATABASE -v sde -i esri_sde01 -p PASSWORD
sdeservice -o register -d SQLSERVER -r SDE_DBA_USER -v sde -i esri_sde01 -p PASSWORD

4. list the services to make sure everything is copacetic

sdeservice -o list

SDE service Information
Name: ArcSde Service(esri_sde)
SDEHOME: C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\ArcSDE\sqlexe
Datasource: IP-0AA1198D\SQLEXPRESS
Admin_database: sde
Version: 9.3.0

Name: ArcSde Service(esri_sde01)
SDEHOME: C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\ArcSDE\sqlexe
Admin_database: sde
Version: 9.3.0

5. Start the esri_sde01 service
sdemon -o start -i esri_sde01 -p ###

6. alter the startup settings for the esri_sde01 serivce in

computer:manage:configure:services:ArcSde service(esri_sde01)

Now you should be able to start and stop your Amazon instance and reconnect to your sde database no problem. If you have more than one elastic IP make sure you use the same one to reference your server. This doesn’t matter to the ArcSDE service but it is held in your connection settings in catalog.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hua Hua

So I had my pinnacle cultural experience yesterday evening. After dinner (11:30pm) we meet up with some friends of Deni's downtown and go up to the ninth floor of this totally nondescript building. There's like 10 guys on the bottom floor frisking us and we have to go through a metal detector. Deni told me that likely only one of them had a job and the rest of his buddies just hang out to birddog chicks. Upstairs is the total club scene - re pleat with bumping base and neon strobes - not all that different from anything in the U.S. but really cool to see downtown Belgrade from some elevation. So we have one drink and head over to this island on the Danube. Everyone in the group keeps telling me how different these clubs are - how the the people from the island club would never hang out at the downtown club and vice versa and that I have to see it to believe it. The name of the place is pronounced "hua hua".

So we caravan over there, its me Deni, Jelena, Mileta (the GIS guy), Mitcha and his girlfriend, and Sasha (who is a plastic surgeon of all things) - and he's the one that gets us on "the list" to get in. We get to this island and there's cars everywhere we park in the mud amongst totally ru down buildings and dogs - broken windows with bars - totally decrepit. We walk over the levee and out this platform walkway floating on the river to essentially a huge houseboat. There are a lot of restaurants and clubs like this out floating on the Danube. We get there and its packed - o the inside it looks like a place you might see in the Delta area of California. Fishing nets in the rafters, antlers on the walls, kinda hunt club rustic with pinic tables and red check table cloths.

The people on the other hand are decked out sitting around these tables typically with a whole bottle of whatever and bunch of glasses and ice and everyone is smoking cigarettes and cigars. The crowd is mostly early 30's and its basically Deni's generation who have done well professionally, he kept introducing me to people and saying yea so and so works downtown - one guy has a dogfood manufacturing their probably not rich by US standards but they are seemingly well off. There's band and its kinda cheesy loungy music, nothing that a foreigner would immediate like. I still can't figure out if Belgrade is way ahead in its embrace of American music from the 80's (and all its stylistic elements) or still stuck there. But the dichotomy is intense here's all these people sitting around rather sophisticated in this kinda tacky place with so so music (to my ears at least). Sasha gets us a table and it is PACKED I mean nowhere to be if you are not sitting. The fact that waiters can deliver drinks is a feat unto itself.

Anyway its pretty subdued and Deni tells me the band is playing contemporary Yugoslavian pop tunes from every state (Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia etc). So they keep telling me "just wait". We have a couple drinks, I'm drinking straight bourbon on the rocks they drink corona's and mojitos and redbull with vodka. The music starts to pick up and people are getting into it singing the lyrics (its like 2am) and it just keeps getting more intense. Each new song is clearly getting people totally emotional and passionate and their all singing along and slowly people start getting up on chairs and on the tables and singing and dancing and before I know the
entire place is blowing up. The place is literally bobbing up and town ('cause its a houseboat) and totally erupts into everyone singing along the band is jamming and you can't help but get caught up in the moment. This music is filled with very passionate choruses and the bridges have all these sorts of middle eastern motifs. This is because the area was controlled by Turkey at one point and some of those middle eastern influences have stuck. Deni keeps telling me yeah these are songs from every place in the former Yugoslavia and to see the energy in the room made me feel like this generation wants a united nation and wants to get along. And that's when it
clicked - its really hard to explain - but the stuff that happened here a month ago makes sense. The war in the mid 90's really made things factional. Since it ended people have slowly come to accept a new more regionalized nationalism, good or bad with their economies slowly starting to recover. And then the find out Kosovo wants to be independent of Serbia and its just another blow to that national pride. McDonalds and the US embassy are easy targets, and the sentiments expressed during the rioting is not the attitude of the people I met.

I'm here to help set an agenda for conservation of biodiversity in the region using some science and mapping. In order for this to succeed regional cooperation is essential. Deni told me that the states cooperate on three things, music, movies and nature conservation. Maybe he's optimistic, but seeing people in this bar belting out songs that night gave me hope.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I like working better than talking

Meetings are important, but being a technical person I'm particularly prone to meeting fatigue, not to mention the 8hr time difference. So after much talk yesterday, today I actually get to do some GIS modeling. The map is a combination of slope and elevation classes that are relevant breaks for freshwater in the region. The next step will be to overlay this map with the hydrography of Dinaric Arc to create a modeled classification of those features. This is little more informative that just total stream length. The output streams will have classes like "Low elevation river on steep slopes". The assumption is that these various stream types are habitat for different types of species, for example trout like streams on steep slopes while some invertebrates prefer larger rivers on flats. Boris will vet the map with experts in the region.

A Traditional Song

So we took some time out from working at Deni's house to hear a traditional Serbian song. This is Deni singing, sorry about the sideways shot, forgot video doesn't rotate.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Dinner in Belgrade

After about 20 hours of travel I finally arrived in Belgrade, Serbia. Deni met me at the airport and took me up to some old castle ramparts that overlook the Danube River. I'm here to discuss the technical details of a large scale GAP analysis for habitats in the Dinaric Arc ecoregion in eastern Europe. More on that later. Tonight is just strategy discussion over dinner of shopska salad, white wine mixed with mineral water and fried goat cheese. The ramparts are beautiful, you can check out some more pictures here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Geotagged YouTube layer in Google Earth

I know this is late but awhile back the GoogleEarth launched the YouTube layer. Does anyone else have a problem with how poorly most of these videos are georeferrenced? We had discussed this idea a bunch working on the California MLPA. After browsing the layer in GE while looking at the layer that GreenInfo put together I was bummed. There's some pretty good stuff but most of it is noise landing way out in the ocean. Take a look at Pt Reyes - lots of concert footage...that's neat. Just the type of thing to make people who are inherently skeptical of the usefulness of this to write it off. Not mention that I geotagged my video of Bolinas almost two years ago and its not picked up by the layer. What's up?