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Archive for the ‘GeoMedia 6.1 Beta’ Category

Answer to a Question

Posted by jeffhobbs on November 6, 2007

A reader by the name of
Panos Elias contacted me recently asking a question about Oracle 11g support with GeoMedia. I replied to the email but the email bounced. So, I thought I’d post the reply here. The basic question was "do GeoMedia 6.0 and/or 6.0 read Oracle 11g data"? So, I talked to a contact of mine at Intergraph, and received the following answer:

11g released too late to be certified but I have been testing with the 6.1 beta for a few months. Oracle broke the ANYINTERACT spatial operator in the released version of 11g but they did fix some spatial filter problems.

So, although 6.1 will NOT be certified against 11g, it has, and will continue to be tested against 11g. I would have to guess that an upcoming 6.1 hotfix will actually be certified against 11g.

For those that are unaware, one of the biggest additions to 11g was the native support for text in the Oracle database. What does this mean? Basically, if you store your text as an Oracle text object (not sure of the proper terminology), you should be able to see that text in ANY client that will read the standard Oracle text object. GREAT for those multi-GIS/CADD client agencies that need to look at GIS data in multiple applications like Bentley Microstation and Intergraph GeoMedia.

Unfortunately, 6.1 is not taking advantage of this new functionality. However, I’m hoping that we’ll see the support for Oracle native text before the release of 6.2.

On a side note, Intergraph did recently release an expansion pack to support Oracle’s GeoRaster datatype. For those that aren’t aware, with the release of Oracle 10g, you can now store imagery (think orthophotos) in the database. Very cool if you have the storage space and Oracle Spatial. The expansion pack can be downloaded from the Intergraph web site (requires a login).

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Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Oracle Database | Comments Off on Answer to a Question

Productivity in GeoMedia 6.1

Posted by jeffhobbs on August 29, 2007

At this point, I’ve covered what I think are the majority of the "core" feature upgrades. One final thing I did want to cover on the issue was general productivity. Although I don’t have any numbers to quote, here are a few of the productivity enhancements that have been highlighted:

  1. Updated Oracle data server – With this new data server, graphics are supposed to draw much faster
  2. Updated spatial filter command – Filtering performance has gone up dramatically
  3. A new selection tool – Where before you could only select in a square/rectangular fashion, you now have a polygonal select option as well

  4. Geocoding tools – They’ve rolled the geocoding engine into the core product (no longer an expansion pack)
  5. New Construction Aid – You can now place a deflection angle construction aid

    Additionally, the move command now supports construction aids as well
  6. Picklists – Picklists can now be used in the data window
  7. Categories – Categories have been implemented throughout the application. As opposed to 6.0 where Categories where in most of the product but were still missing from certain area
  8. Keyboard navigation with the QuickPick command
  9. The define symbol utility can now be used in batch

I haven’t had a chance to use the beta in quite sometime. However I believe I’ve covered the majority of the key points on 6.1 that I’ve read about or personally experienced. We’ll be organizing a GeoMedia Pro 6.1 product launch through NCIGUC once 6.1 is released to manufacturing (hopefully sometime soon). Once we have the launch, I’ll be able to provide additional information.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | 9 Comments »

GeoMedia 6.1 "Footnote"

Posted by jeffhobbs on August 28, 2007

I was asked by Intergraph today to “add a footnote” to all of the GeoMedia 6.1 postings that have gone on to this point. Intergraph wanted me to inform you all that although the functionality I’ve discussed up to this point has been discussed and for the most part is in 6.1, things can always change from beta to the initial release. In other words there’s always the possibility that a piece of functionality will be bounced from the initial release (or from release at all).

That’s not to say that things aren’t going as planned and documented. But I was asked to let you all know that nothing is set in stone until the product is released to manufacturing.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | Comments Off on GeoMedia 6.1 "Footnote"

Select and Edit Text Command Inside of GeoMedia 6.1

Posted by jeffhobbs on August 17, 2007

With GeoMedia 6.1 you’re now able to do a find on a text feature class based on the symbology (color, font, size, style, etc.) or contents (literal value of the text). Then you can edit the text to match different business needs. For instance, you might have created rich text that is 14pt and red. You can use this command to find all of this text and change it to 12pt green.

I’ve since this before in products like Adobe Illustrator and the former Macromedia Freehand. Though they probably aren’t too useful strictly in a "GIS" sense, they can be very useful when looking at cartographic output.

I’ve uploaded a video showing the functionality to YouTube.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | Comments Off on Select and Edit Text Command Inside of GeoMedia 6.1

GeoMedia Viewer 6.1

Posted by jeffhobbs on August 14, 2007

One of my favorite changes to the 6.1 line is with GeoMedia Viewer. After a lot of discussions, Intergraph has FINALLY decided to roll the Oracle Read-Only and SQL Server Read Only data servers into GeoMedia Viewer! I was a big proponent of this and am so happy this has finally been implemented.

Although I plan on having my primary source for data viewing to be GeoMedia WebMap and GeoMedia WebMap Publisher, I still want to be able to provide client access through a heavy client like GeoMedia Viewer to some people. Additionally, since it’s free, there’s really no reason to not install it on every machine in the company. Finally, it will also now provide access to enterprise libraries stored in Oracle and SQL Server. Very cool…can’t wait!
It should also be noted that theoretically, since Oracle XE has such a small footprint, you should be able to run GeoMedia Viewer and Oracle XE on a disconnected system. This might be useful for GIS Administrators that need to support people that are typically not online e.g. maintenance crews, operations, etc. I’ve done quite a bit of testing with Oracle XE and the footprint is very small. So, if done correctly, I am thinking/hoping that I can use Oracle XE on field laptops and write materialized views to sync the Oracle data nightly. Sounds doable …assuming the Oracle process stays reasonable.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | 4 Comments »

Demonstration on GeoMedia 6.1 Nearest Neighbor Command

Posted by jeffhobbs on August 13, 2007

Just uploaded the video demonstrating the new nearest neighbor aggregation in GeoMedia 6.1. If you recall, I had an entry on this towards then end of June.

Here’s a link to the movie.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | 1 Comment »

New Text Placement Commands

Posted by jeffhobbs on August 13, 2007

With 6.1 Intergraph has redone some of the text placement functionality. They now provide the following orientations in the Insert Interactive Label command:

  • Place at angle
  • Rotate dynamically
  • Orient to geometry
  • Place along arc
  • Place along existing geometry

For those that are familiar with the command, the Place along existing geometry is new. With this orientation method, you’re able to get the text to nicely follow the respective linework. Take a look at these examples to see what I mean:

Additionally, as you move the text, it continues to follow the linework. Very neat. Reminds me of MapText’s Label-Edit product.

It should also be noted that the same functionality was rolled into the Insert Text command.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | 2 Comments »

After GeoMedia 6.1

Posted by jeffhobbs on August 9, 2007

One of the presentations at yesterday’s NCIGUC meeting was by Steve Hoffman of Intergraph. He discussed some of the upcoming features in GeoMedia 6.1. I’ve covered quite a few of them here. I will attempt to cover more over the next few weeks.

Did want to point out that one of the "post-6.1" but before 6.2 enhancements will be tighter integrations with Google Earth, Google Maps, and Microsoft Virtual Earth.

On the Google Earth side, there will be a finalized Export to KML command. I say finalized because there’s a beta version of the command that’s been floating around in different circles for the last six+ months.

There will also be a KML Data Server…very cool if you ask me! 

Finally, Intergraph will also be doing a lot more with Microsoft Virtual Earth. In fact, looking at an AVI, it appears that you will be able to load Virtual Earth inside of the legend window inside of GeoMedia. Then, you can interact with Virtual Earth and your map window will move pan and zoom as you pan and zoom in Virtual Earth. Looks very cool.

I’ve placed an AVI of the Virtual Earth/GeoMedia demonstration on YouTube. It can be viewed here.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | 17 Comments »

Batch Plotting – Part 2

Posted by jeffhobbs on August 6, 2007

To continue on from last week. Overall I’ve been very pleased with batch plotting. It does have its quirks, but overall, it works very, very well.

In the past, with Intergraph, I’ve developed a couple of mapbooks for different customers. In these past cases, the mapbooks have all had a large number of layers, but have all been referencing an Oracle database. This makes it nice because you can build a lot of the logic into the Oracle database. Furthermore, you don’t need to hunt and peck to try and find the right data.

With my most recent mapbook for San Jose Water Company, I needed to use data from a number of different sources including MGE, SmartStore, CAD, Access, and Oracle Locator. Additionally, I probably have over 100 different feature classes in the legend. Now, although the mapbook design is relatively straightforward, there are still 672 maps that make up the mapbook. Before this mapbook, the most sheets I had ever created was approximately 300.

Here are some of my findings from getting this kind of output from the Batch Plotting Utility:

  1. Depending on the volume of the data, you may need to look at working with multiple geoworkspaces with different spatial filters. GeoMedia is known for being a bit of a RAM hog. Typically I find that if my geoworkspace gets over 1gb, then things start to get a bit volatile. With the shear volume of data, whenever I’d try and batch plot all 672 maps at once (sequentially), GeoMedia’s RAM usage would get to about 1.2gb and then GeoMedia would crash. As a result, I eventually needed to break my data (most of Santa Clara County) into three geoworkspaces and create five batch plotting files. With this breakdown, I’m able to keep the RAM usage below 1gb and this seems to keep GeoMedia happier. It should be noted (and I have experienced it personally) that Intergraph has really reduced the amount of RAM GeoMedia 6.1 uses for many things. As a result, I hope to be able to reduce the number of .gws when I move my mapbook to 6.1 later this year.
  2. PDF Output can be tricky. In one of my previous mapbooks, all of maps printed out fine except for one page where I was getting about 99% of the map, but the PDF would come up with an error before drawing the marginalia. Worse yet, when printing to TIFF or another raster format…no errors! When working on the SJWC mapbook, many of the maps would print fine but there were a handful that did not. And, when they didn’t, it was the same problem of an invalid PDF. Again – all printed out fine when printing to a TIFF.
    In case number one, the error was resolved by trial and error. Once the offending graphic was identified, it was redrawn and all was fixed. In the case with my current mapbook, it wasn’t that easy. I found the offending layer (it was more than one map), but even after redrawing the graphics, nothing was fixed. It wasn’t until I started playing with the symbology that I finally found the problem. Basically, I was using a dashed line style. When the dashes had a flat cap,

    I was getting the error. As soon as I changed the cap to triangle,



    the error went away. How’s that for debugging! Believe me, that took some time to figure out!
  3. There are a few bugs in both GeoMedia Pro 5.2 and 6.0 that prevent you from reliably scheduling the utility to run at night. I say reliably because I’ve heard that some people have had success. In fact, when Intergraph tested my issue, they reported it working fine for them. The basic problem I’ve encountered is that when you set the printer with the default settings (in printing preferences) like a landscape layout, 24×36 size sheet of paper, best output, etc.; the page will still print portrait. Now, this is NOT a problem when printing manually – ONLY when using the task scheduler. I have filed a worksheet against this problem and I’m told it will be resolved before GeoMedia Pro 6.1 is released.
  4. When a column that is being used for variable text string substitution is empty (null), the variable (the column name enclosed in brackets) will print instead of nothing. In other words, if I wanted the name of a zone to print when the map fell in a zone, I would use the variable [zone_name]. Now, if that zone_name column were populated (not null), I’d get the respective zone name. However if the zone_name column is null, then the utility is giving me back the variable "[zone_name]" where it should really be null. I’ve filed this worksheet and believe this bug should also be fixed before the release of 6.1.
  5. Tomorrow I’ll get into creating PDFs from the batch plotting utility.

Posted in GeoMedia, GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | 3 Comments »

Few Interesting Findings Today

Posted by jeffhobbs on July 25, 2007

Had a few interesting findings today when trying to do some aggregation. My end goal is to simply move a primary key from a bunch of geocoded points (geocoded to my parcels) to respective lines that touch the parcels.

My first attempt to do this was with GeoMedia Pro 6.0. This worked GREAT when working with spatial filters. However as soon as I removed the filter and tried to do the entire data sets (approx 150,000 parcels being aggregated to 225,000 lines), GeoMedia starts to crash OR the values it returns are all NULL. I’ve filed the issue as a worksheet. It’s apparently a known problem that they’re trying very hard to resolve in 6.1. Unfortunately with my beta of 6.1, it’s not yet fixed 😦 .

So off to "Plan B". I decided to do it in Oracle using the Oracle Locator functions. To keep things more simple… at least in my mind, I decided to break this up into two steps:

1) Aggregate the geocoded points to my parcel boundary. I then created a materialized view to store the result data set. The view took maybe two or three hours to create.

2) I then aggregated of few of the attributes from the parcel boundary (from step 1) to my lines (waiting on this to complete as I write this). Again, I’m expecting this to take probably two or three hours. And again, I’m creating a materialized view to make interacting with the result much faster.

On a side note, Simon Greener wrote a FANTASTIC blog entry titled "Fast Refreshing of Oracle Materialized Views Containing SDO_GEOMETRY Columns". If you have any interest in using materialized views inside of the GeoMedia environment (or really anywhere for that matter; this is a MUST read).

Anyhow, when I first tried to do step 2, I kept getting an error about needing to create a spatial filter on my line feature. Now…it was confusing because I KNEW there was already a valid spatial index on this line feature…. So, after playing with my query some, I finally figured out the problem. Apparently you can not run spatial queries between tables that are located in two different databases. This is important to note for those looking to do this in the future.

Basically, I had created an Oracle database link to the database that contained my line feature/table. I was then referencing the linked table through my query. When doing this (at least with Oracle 10GR2), Oracle can not read the spatial index. As a result, the spatial query will not work. As a workaround, I imported the line table into the same database as my parcel table. Then…all of the sudden the query worked!

If anybody is interested, I can post the queries; just let me know.

Will be heading to BAAMA tomorrow if anybody else is going – hope to see you in Oakland, CA!

Posted in GeoMedia, GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph, Oracle Database | 2 Comments »

Queued Editing in GeoMedia Pro 6.1

Posted by jeffhobbs on July 23, 2007

For those that use GeoMedia Fusion, this will all be familiar. For those that have never used GeoMedia Fusion, it’s a fantastic tool designed in large part to clean and validate data. With Fusion, all of your validation issues are loaded into a queue. In the queue you’re able to go through the edits one at a time, and do many different things including:

  • Make changes to the geometry
  • Add comments to the anomaly
  • Clean up the anomaly and add comments
  • Ignore the anomaly

With GeoMedia Pro 6.1, Intergraph has introduced this functionality into the core product as opposed to it only being available in GeoMedia Fusion. This means that if you have GeoMedia Fusion on one machine, you can create a queue and save it into a warehouse. Then you can hand off this queue (warehouse) to other people and they can review the anomalies identified by GeoMedia Fusion without tying up a license of GeoMedia Fusion.

Furthermore, Intergraph has begun to use the queue for other things like the new search command. I will try and cover this command later this week, but in general, it gives you a way to search through a feature class looking for an attribute. It’s basically a query without having to write any SQL.

With time I can see Intergraph use the queue for more and more functionality. In fact, I could have sworn they were using it for both the Validate Geometry and Validate Connectivity commands. HOWEVER, after reviewing GeoMedia Pro 6.1 while writing this post, I didn’t see the queue used anywhere in the two commands.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | 4 Comments »

Loading Named Styles Automatically in 6.1

Posted by jeffhobbs on July 13, 2007

One of my favorite changes that came in 5.2 (I think) was the ability to name a style (at the time they were called GeoMedia Style Definitions or .gsd) files with the same name as a feature class. Then, as long as the style was in a set folder (identified in Tools > Options), when the feature class was loaded into the legend, it would default to the style definition. I used this ALL THE TIME.
Then, when Intergraph introduced 6.0, the .gsd was eliminated because styles are now saved either in a geoworkspace or a library. With the elimination of the .gsd also came the elimination of the feature classes loading with predetermined styles. Well…I’m happy to report that Intergraph has re-introduced the this functionality in 6.1! So, if you have a style named "Airport" that is in your geoworkspace styles, when you load the feature class named "Airport", it will default to the "Airport" style. Very cool!

Now, a few notes on the functionality.

1) If I understand the specifications correctly (haven’t tried it myself), this functionality only works with styles that are in the geoworkspace. As a result, make sure to have your styles either in a geoworkspace template or make sure to move the styles from your library BEFORE loading feature class. It would be nice if the feature class would look in a library as well, but reading the specifications, it doesn’t appear that this happens.

2) When using Oracle, you need to ensure that the style is named CONNECTION.FEATURE CLASS NAME. In other words, if your data are in an Oracle schema named "GISDATA", your feature class, when first loaded in the legend, will be named GISDATA.MY_FEATURE_CLASS_NAME. You need to make sure the style has the "GISDATA." prefix in the name of the style. I’ve filed this as a change request as this was also a problem with the .gsd files. It’s not a showstopper, but it would be nice if that restriction were removed.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | Comments Off on Loading Named Styles Automatically in 6.1

New Functional Attributes in GeoMedia Pro 6.1

Posted by jeffhobbs on July 12, 2007

Haven’t had much chance to work with the GeoMedia Pro 6.1 Beta this week. But did want to pass on a list of the new functional attributes and their descriptions – straight out of the GeoMedia Pro 6.1 Release Contents documentation:

ALIGNMENT function

This new function returns the alignment of a text point geometry.

CONVERTTEXTCOLLECTION function

This new function converts a standard text collection composed of single-character and zero-character text point geometries, into a composite text collection representing a single string.

CREATETEXTPOINT function

This new function creates and returns a text point geometry given a point geometry, text string, alignment, and orientation.

DISTANCE function

This new function computes the minimum distance between two geometries.

FORMATATTRIBUTE function

This new function formats an attribute value into a string according to the display format and display precision settings in the extended GeoMedia client metadata for the attribute.  It yields the same presentation of the attribute used throughout the GeoMedia client.  It is applicable only for attributes, not for intermediate expression results or literal operands, as it is dependent upon the attribute metadata.  For other attribute formatting needs, the TEXT function should be used.

MBR function

This new function returns a polygon representing the minimum bounding rectangle of a geometry, orthogonal to the X-axis.

NEWGUID function

This new function creates and returns a unique value of type GUID (globally unique identifier).

NEWLINE constant

This new constant represents a text literal string containing a carriage return and a line feed.

I haven’t had a chance to play with any of them yet. Just reading the descriptions off the top of my head, to me, the three that have the most value are DISTANCE, NEWLINE, and NEWGUID.

For those that use functional attributes – what do you think is the best addition?

Posted in Functional Attributes, GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | 2 Comments »

Edit Text Command in GeoMedia 6.0!?!?

Posted by jeffhobbs on July 9, 2007

Is it just me or did somebody sneak the Edit Text command in the Edit menu of GeoMedia 6.0 when I wasn’t looking???? I was so excited that it was part of GeoMedia 6.1. I had NO idea it was part of 6.0.

On the bright side, with 6.1, they’ve apparently really enhanced the functionality. You now have an Edit > Text submenu. In there you’ve go three commands:

  1. Select Text – This allows you to find a text string inside of a piece of text geometry. You can even get into the rich text characteristics like color, font, etc.
  2. Edit Text – Like the command in 6.0
  3. Redigitize Text – You can actually modify the text and have it follow a river, street, or other linear feature. The kerning is MUCH improved over 6.0…much improved indeed. It kinda reminds me of MapText’s Label-Edit software.

Posted in GeoMedia, GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | 2 Comments »

Nearest Neighbor Aggregation in GeoMedia 6.1

Posted by jeffhobbs on June 27, 2007

Started playing with the two new aggregation operators (pipes) in GeoMedia 6.1 today. There appear to be a few bugs, but overall it looks very promising.

For my testing I used the US Sample data set and aggregated the cities and the highways. My summary feature was the cities feature class while my detail feature was the interstates feature class.

Aggregation Dialog

Operators

The first operator is labeled "are nearest to". From what I can tell (no documentation yet), this operator will aggregate ONLY the first summary graphic to its respective detail graphic. In other words, if I have 20 cities that are near one highway segment (not the overall highway, but the individual segment), then only one city will receive the respective highway number from the highway segment. Looking at the screen shot below, you’ll notice that each highway number (the second column that’s highlighted) has a respective unique identifier (third column), however no unique identifier is repeated for the same highway number.

Now, when comparing this to the second operator, "accumulate nearest", the opposite is true. With this operator EVERY city has a respective nearest highway. As a result, you DO get repeating highway numbers (second column) for each unique identifier.

The Value

Now the value…that can be a little harder to understand. I personally have never had a need (that I can think of) for an operator like "are nearest to". Anybody have any ideas?

However with the "accumulate nearest", this to me makes a lot more sense. Often times I’ll want to bulk update a set of geometries in feature class B with information from feature class A. For instance, you might want to update your fire hydrants with the nearest one or two street names. In the past, if you’re an Oracle Spatial kinda user, this can be done at the SQL level. However for those that would rather do it in the client GIS, this makes it a lot easier.

Until tomorrow…..

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1 Beta, Intergraph | 6 Comments »