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"A picture is only worth a thousand words. A map may be worth a thousand numbers. But a GIS is worth a thousand tables."

Archive for the ‘Intergraph’ Category

Proportional Circle Maps in GeoMedia

Posted by jeffhobbs on March 26, 2008

Had a very interesting question today on the Directions Magazine GeoMedia list.

Hi fellow ‘GeoMediars‘.
One of my colleagues has asked me about the possibility of doing proportional circles maps in GeoMedia.
Since I don’t know if/how it’s possible, I come once more seeking your help, asking if anyone has ever done this kind of maps?
Best regards
Jorge

There were a few replies. However I did want to highlight one from Phil Hardy as I thought his attached diagrams were very good. He did make sure to let me know that he didn’t create the images himself…so he can’t take all the credit 🙂

1) OK, by Proportional Circle map I assume you mean something like this.

1

2) First, use Functional Attributes to create centerpoints.

2

3) Then use the legend to change the style of the centerpoints.  In this case I assigned size based on the Population attribute.

3

4) And the end result:

4

Simple, but I thought very well diagrammed. It should also be noted that a nice example of this can be seen on the USSample.gws that comes with every version of GeoMedia and GeoMedia Professional  in the GeoWorkspaces folder.

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Posted in Functional Attributes, GeoMedia, Intergraph | 4 Comments »

Today’s NCIGUC Meeting

Posted by jeffhobbs on March 25, 2008

Got back from today’s Northern California Intergraph Geospatial User’s Community (NCIGUC) meeting. We had Vince Smith, the product manager for GeoMedia Desktop solutions out to do an “unofficial” GeoMedia 6.1 product launch. I’m hopefully going to be obtaining the slides and .avis from Vince in the next couple of days. I’ll post the slides on the http://www.nciguc.org web site and will post the .avis on everyone’s favorite http://www.youtube.com.

Vince really went over a lot of stuff and asked for a lot of feedback from the users. He took a lot of time to discuss Intergraph’s plans with the consolidation of the Intergraph GeoMedia, G/Tech, and CAD (computer aided dispatch) lines of products. I’ll get into much more detail over the days to come. However I can really say that Intergraph’s plans sound very interesting and very promising…if things go as planned.

Finally, I really want to commend Vince personally for coming out to the user’s group meeting. The NCIGUC was formed in September, 2001. However this is the first time we’ve actually had someone from Huntsville actually fly out and present. It really showed a dedication to the Bay Area users. Furthermore, Vince did his best to answer all questions (and there were plenty), take plenty of notes, and interact with the users. He wasn’t at all defensive and took feedback from the users. All in all, I really think it was a strong event.

BTW – congratulations to Leena Gautam for winning the free version of GeoMedia 6.1. The software is in the mail 🙂

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1, Intergraph, NCIGUC, User Groups | Comments Off on Today’s NCIGUC Meeting

The Future of SVG and GeoMedia WebMap

Posted by jeffhobbs on March 20, 2008

As many of you are aware, SVG (scalable vector graphics) is currently Intergraph’s preferred way to render vector graphics in a GeoMedia WebMap (GWM) site. There has been a lot of discussion as of late in the comments section reference this post as an example discussing what Intergraph will do now that Adobe (the largest maker of a SVG plug-in) has announced that they will no longer support the SVG Viewer plug-in as of January 1, 2009. Additionally, as far as I know, Adobe is no longer developing the plug-in. I believe this decision was made soon after Adobe completed their purchase of Macromedia and Macromedia’s web technologies (namely Flash, Dreamweaver, and ColdFusion). Well, with Adobe’s decision left Intergraph in a bit of a bind…what to do now that the SVG Viewer has been discontinued??

After talking with a few folks at the GITA booth, I can say that Intergraph looks very close to adopting Microsoft Silverlight as their next vector engine. With the pending release of Silverlight 2.0, Microsoft has come a long way in expanding the flexibility and functionality of Silverlight. In fact, version 1 was very much designed for delivering movies over the web (think Youtube’s use of Flash to serve all of the movies on www.youtube.com). Version 2 is being designed with the idea of building rich internet applications using XAML, .NET, and other technologies. You can take a look at roadmap I found on Silverlight 2.0 here if your curious to see just what Microsoft is planning for this eventual “Flash killer”.

So…what does this means for GMWM users? Well…initially (hopefully before January 1, 2009) it means that we should see Silverlight as a replacement (or addition) to the choices we have for rendering the actual map object window. This probably won’t be a giant enhancement by itself EXCEPT for the cross-browser (think Firefox and Safari) and cross platform support (think Mac and Linux). However down the road, I’m hoping we’ll begin to see a much better overall user experience. This will include more intuitive tools, better user feedback, and an overall much better “web 2.0” interface. With time, we might even have the flexibility to more easily develop those “web 2.0” dashboards (the Oakland Explorer demo is very cool) that more and more of us our seeing at conferences and other demonstrations.

Personally, I was hoping Intergraph would adopt Adobe’s Flex technology. In large part because it’s a much more mature technology. Not to mention Flash is  really at this point almost ubiquitous with any modern computer and browser. But, Silverlight does look very promising and Microsoft is really coming on strong. In other words…life could be much worse.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph | 26 Comments »

One-to-Many Table Relationships

Posted by jeffhobbs on February 21, 2008

I recently had a conversation with a blog reader via email. I haven’t asked the gentleman’s permission to post his letter, so I won’t use names. However here is what he wrote:

Jeff, I am contacting you because I am frustrated that GeoMedia Pro 6.1 appears to have no way of creating a one-to-many relationship between records in two tables based on a unique identifier without generating more features in the feature table. An example of this would be eg. a tax parcel has more than one deed, each showing the succession of ownership, and by selecting the parcel I would like to see all deeds related to this parcel by selecting this parcel in the map window or from the record in the feature table. I do not want to join the tables because I do not want an overlapping polygon parcel for each deed record.

I have filed a request with Intergraph each year since version 5.2 of GeoMedia Pro requesting some kind of one-to-many relate and they can not tell me how to do it and don’t seem to be interested in adding it to GeoMedia. This can be achieved in MS Access 97 and above and I was using it in ArcView back in 1994 as “linked tables”, and now I use it in ArcMap as the “relate tables” command, but GeoMedia Pro 6.1 appears still to have no way of implementing such a basic database concept.

And here was reply:

I’ve run into that issue before as well. You basically want a parent (polygon) child relationship type of implementation. I don’t believe there’s a way to do that without customization in GM 6.1. Although I don’t have GeoMedia Parcel Manager, I do believe it’s in that product. That maybe the reason why they don’t put it in the core.

Not sure if you’re looking for workarounds, but you could probably do something with hyperlinks and calling a web page or outside application.
For instance, click on a link in the GM properties dialog and that will call a web page that shows the information. Not ideal I realize, but a possible workaround nonetheless.

I then forwarded on the email trail to someone I know at Intergraph. The person would not confirm, but did offer the following feedback to me:

I hear there may be a data modeling initiative involving all three of Intergraph’s SG&I product families, GeoMedia, G-Technology and CAD/Security, that will allow this type of relationship to be defined and used with the next major release of GeoMedia.

So, like any product; until you can see the functionality in the product, don’t rely on it being in the product. However it does look somewhat promising that we’ll see (finally) a way to handle this type of relationship in the GeoMedia core.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph | 3 Comments »

GeoMedia Desktop Suite Released to Manufacturing

Posted by jeffhobbs on February 21, 2008

Was talking to a couple of people today at Intergraph. Found out that the entire GeoMedia 6.1 Desktop suite was released towards the end of January. Apparently the release date coincided in part with the reorganization of product and solution marketing. As a result, there hasn’t been much hype about the release up to this point. I’ve been told that a formal roll-out will occur. Knowing Intergraph, I’m assuming this will happen right around the Intergraph 2008 conference.

Just a reminder, Intergraph is no longer shipping product updates by default. So, to get your copy of 6.1, make sure to file a support request.

Also, another FYI – apparently Intergraph has moved towards releasing the entire product suite together. In the past, you would typically see the release of GeoMedia Pro, then have a short wait, then see the release of GeoMedia, then have a short wait, then see the release of GeoMedia Viewer, then have a short wait, etc. Well, Intergraph is now releasing the entire desktop suite altogether. So, GeoMedia, GeoMedia Pro, GeoMedia Viewer (now with both an Oracle and SQL Server Read-Only data server), GeoMedia Objects, and the stand alone Oracle Read-Write data server have all be released. I must say, this is very cool. Although it’s not happening with 6.1, I’m hoping with time, we’ll also see them release some of the common industry products like GeoMedia Transaction Manager and GeoMedia Public Works Manager with the rest of the GeoMedia product suite.

Finally, I also inquired as to the release date for the GeoMedia Web core – I’ve been told that it’s tentatively scheduled for the entire of March.

One last note. Like all other version of GeoMedia, Intergraph doesn’t support the mixing and matching of version. So, for you GeoMedia WebMap Publisher users, make sure to stay on 6.0 until you receive the entire line of 6.1 products. In other words, you do not want to be running a 6.0 WebPub client on GeoMedia 6.1.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1, Intergraph | Comments Off on GeoMedia Desktop Suite Released to Manufacturing

Using the Define Text File Server Format Utility

Posted by jeffhobbs on January 16, 2008

I do want to get back to my MapText discussions, but thought I’d first discuss the Define Text File Server Format Utility. For those that haven’t used it, it’s the utility used to create the .tfd file for the Text Data Server inside of GeoMedia. I’ve used it a number of times over the years. Initially to create data from a matrix I developed in Excel. However more recently (the last couple of years) I use it quite often to move data from the GPS.

In the past I’ve worked with Leica’s GIS DataPRO software and very recently have begun working with Trimble’s Pathfinder Office software. Both work much the same way. Both will output the GPS data in a myriad of formats including .dgn, .shp, and .txt. Although a shapefile is the most common way to move data between different GIS environments. In fact, I’d argue that it’s really the de facto standard for sharing GIS data files for points, lines, and polygons (areas). The biggest challenge I have with shapefiles is their limitation of ten-character column names. Sure, that’s not a showstopper, but it can get annoying. Additionally I like the flexibility of being able to “fine-tune” the data to exactly how I want to see it in GeoMedia. So, instead of shapefile, I use the export to text file option. So, after setting up Pathfinder Office to export the text file with the columns that I want to capture, I exported this test text file. Here’s the output from the test text file:

“MSLINK”|”SIO_NUMBER”|”SIZE”|”DATE_CAPTURED”|”TIME_CAPTURED”|”PHOTO_NAME_1″|”PHOTO_NAME_2″|”PHOTO_NAME_3″|”PHOTO_NAME_4″|”PHOTO_NAME_5″|”PHOTO_NAME_6″|”PHOTO_NAME_7″|”PHOTO_NAME_8″|”PHOTO_NAME_9″|”PHOTO_NAME_10″|”COMMENTS”|”Max PDOP”|”Max HDOP”|”Corr Type”|”Rcvr Type”|”Datafile”|”Unfilt Pos”|”Data Dictionary Name”|”Vert Prec”|”Horz Prec”
“ID”
“Easting”|”Northing”|”MSL”
“thhuj”|”123456″|”1.5″|”01/09/08″|”14:58:25″|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|2.5|1.2|”Postprocessed Carrier Float”|”GeoXH 2005″|”R010914AIM.cor”|238|”SJWC_GPS”|0.4|0.2
76
6144978.736932|1935684.581430|174
“”|”123456″|”.75″|”01/09/08″|”15:10:47″|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|2.5|1.2|”Postprocessed Carrier Float”|”GeoXH 2005″|”R010914AIM.cor”|345|”SJWC_GPS”|0.5|0.3
77
6144982.060934|1935722.122493|173
“”|”123457″|”.75″|”01/09/08″|”15:17:22″|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|2.5|1.2|”Postprocessed Carrier Float”|”GeoXH 2005″|”R010914AIM.cor”|51|”SJWC_GPS”|0.5|0.3
78
6144961.530386|1935706.585739|174
“23456”|”123456″|”1″|”01/09/08″|”15:20:41″|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|””|4.2|2.1|”Postprocessed Carrier Float”|”GeoXH 2005″|”R010914AIM.cor”|150|”SJWC_GPS”|0.5|0.3
79
6144983.516451|1935710.679456|171

So, once I had the text file output in a delimited format (pipe delimited in this case), I began the creation of my .tfd file using the Define Text File Server Format Utility.

So the first screen asks you to browse for your sample text file. Furthermore, it want to know how the columns are formatted, and the row from which the actual text values begin (this is useful if you have column headers at the start of the file like in the example). I also selected a non-uniform row format since I have attributes (not including coordinates) on two separate rows.

tfd1

Once you hit the Next button, you’re brought to the non-uniform row definition dialog. Note: This only comes up if you selected Non-uniform row in the first screen. Here I tell the utility that I have two rows of attributes (not including geometry) for every point shot.

tfd2

After hitting the next button, I’m brought to the third screen. here I define the type of delimiter used in the text file. In my case it’s an “Other” delimiter because I use the pipe (|).

tfd3

After hitting the next button I’m brought to the fourth screen. This screen just simply want me to define my easting (long)/Northing (lat) and optionally an elevation value.

tfd4

Finally on the last screen I begin to define my attributes. Here I can define column names and data types. This is what I really like about the the Define Text File Server Format utility. I can really customize the what I’m going to see in GeoMedia. A couple of notes about the interface. In my opinion, the GUI is a little awkward. It wants you to select the column, give it a name, give it a data type, and then make sure to push the Set attribute definition button. If you don’t push that button, the definition will not be saved and the column will default back to <skip>. Note: This <skip> can be useful. Especially if you’re not totally sure what types of values are going to come out of the GPS software. You might export more values than you actually might want. Instead of modifying the Trimble side, you can easily just tell the utility to skip the column and not show it in GeoMedia. I could also see this being of great value if you’re being provided a text file from a third party.

tfd5

So, after you’ve defined all of your attributes, push the Finish button and save your .tfd.

Now it’s time to read the .tfd into GeoMedia. In GeoMedia go to Warehouse > New Connection. Choose Text File. That will bring up the following dialog

Text Data Server dialog

In the first text box, navigate to your text file. This is the text file that you used to create your.tfd file.

In the second text box, navigate to your .tfd file.

In the third text box, navigate to a coordinate system file that defines the coordinates in the text file.

After that, hit OK button. Then add your feature class using Legend > Add Legend Entries…. If all went well you should see the points in the correct position.

My Points in GeoMedia

All in all, the functionality isn’t going to make or break a purchase of GeoMedia, but I do really think it’s a valuable tool to have in the GeoMedia toolbox.

You can download my tfd, csf, and .txt files to try it yourself.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph, Trimble | Comments Off on Using the Define Text File Server Format Utility

GeoMedia Professional 6.1 – To Be Released Soon

Posted by jeffhobbs on January 7, 2008

I’ve gotten a couple of inquiries into the release date for GeoMedia Pro 6.1. I don’t have an exact release date, but I’ve bee told that it should be sometime within the next month. I hope to get a more firm data soon and will post it here.

On a side note, I hope to get the Northern California Intergraph Geospatial User’s Community (NCIGUC) to host a 6.1 product launch. I’m thinking this would happen in early to mid March. I’ll post more on the product launch as January moves forward.

Posted in GeoMedia, GeoMedia 6.1, Intergraph, NCIGUC | 7 Comments »

MapText Label-Web

Posted by jeffhobbs on January 3, 2008

When I first heard about Label-Web probably four years ago, I really thought it was a must-have application. Back then, if I recall correctly, the native GeoMedia WebMap labeling wasn’t available. So, outside of creating the labels for the site manually, there was absolutely no way to get a GMWM site labeled. And even if you created the labels manually, since a web site has a endless number of different views, you really couldn’t do a decent job of labeling the map on the screen in all instances. Not to mention, there’s a giant overhead in creating the different labels for the different scales, the labels constantly need to be updated, etc.

Back with the release of GeoMedia WebMap 5.2 (I believe), Intergraph introduce the annotation rule (I think that’s the correct name). Anyhow this object can be called when writing a custom GeoMedia WebMap site and will do an alright job of labeling the map. So…when Intergraph introduced the annotation rule I was excited. Finally a way to get my maps labeled without having to maintain a myriad of text feature classes. But alas, the annotation rule does NOT work with GeoMedia WebMap Publisher. Now, for the life of me, I have NO idea why it hasn’t been integrated in GMWM Publisher…but it’s not. So, once I decided to go with GeoMedia WebMap, I needed to once again figure out how to get my GeoMedia WebMap Publisher maps labeled without maintaining the text feature classes. As it turns out Label-Web works with GeoMedia WebMap Publisher. Better yet – it’s extremely easy to integrate it into any WebPub site. Better yet, the output it produces is fantastic. Although I’ve only played with it for maybe an hour, I got it working against the WPDemo site in the Overview map under the General section. Here’s a sample of very simple output that’s been generated with Label-Web:

labelweb1

labelweb2

labelweb3

The setup is quite easy. You just need to place the rule file in the System folder of the WebPub site. They deliver a very nice rule editor that allows you to control how the map is labeled, what features are labeled, etc. There’s very little learning curve and the results are really tremendous.

A couple of final notes:

  1. Although the labels are being generated dynamically, the labeling engine is extremely efficient. As a result there is VERY little time (way under a second) that’s added to the map generation process.
  2. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to compare the output from GeoMedia WebMap’s annotation rule to the output from Label-Web. As you’d expect the output is better…much better. The annotation rule does an alright job of labeling the map. And to be honest, if you aren’t going to be using WebPub at all, you might be able to get by just with the native GMWM labeling. However if you are going to be using WebPub, this piece of software really is a must have.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph, MapText | 5 Comments »

A Few New Purchases Towards the End of Last Year

Posted by jeffhobbs on January 2, 2008

Towards the end of last year I received quite a bit of new software and hardware. On the hardware side were a couple of new Trimble GeoXH GPS units. These can deliver sub-foot GPS points once post-processed. With time, the goal is to slowly but surely adjust our maps to be GPS quality. This will definitely take at least three years and a lot of learning. So…expect some postings on GPS usage in the future….

On the software side, I purchased the following:

  1. GeoMedia WebMap (finally)
  2. Oracle Spatial upgrade
  3. MapText Label-Web
  4. MapText Label-EZ
  5. MapText Label-Edit

I’ve spent time on #1 and #2 before on my blog, but don’t think I’ve ever touched on the MapText products. So, over the next couple of days I’m going to spend some time on both products. Needless to say, if you haven’t heard of the company or its products, I HIGHLY encourage you to take a look at their web site and a few of their samples. To put it simply, MapText produces the best software on the market (without a doubt) for the labeling of maps – both on the web (via Label-Web and GeoMedia WebMap) or on paper (via Label-EZ and Label-Edit).

Tomorrow I’ll go over Label-Web and then I’ll touch on Label-EZ and Label-Edit next week.

Until then…

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph, Oracle Database, Trimble | 2 Comments »

Creating a Symbol That Can be Used in GeoMedia – Part 2

Posted by jeffhobbs on November 20, 2007

Now that you have the symbol file created (.sym), you can place it into a GeoMedia Feature Symbol File (.fsm). To do this:

1) Launch the Define Symbol File Utility in Start > Programs > GeoMedia Professional > Utilities

2) Here you can either open up an existing .fsm or you can create a new .fsm. For organization sake, I would recommend storing all of your .sym files in one .fsm. If you don’t already have a .fsm for your organization, then create a new .fsm at this step. If you have an existing .fsm for your organization, use the Open button and navigate to the existing .fsm. In my case, I’ll open up our .fsm.

3) I would now recommend playing with the different buttons to get a better fell for what they do. Most are pretty self-explanatory, but spend a few minutes getting accustomed to the utility.

4) In this tutorial, I’ll just show you how to add the .sym you create in Part 1 to your existing .fsm.

5) Push the “Add” button. This will launch the Add From File dialog box

6) You will notice that if you push the drop-down for the “Files of type” section (see screen shot above), you can insert four different types of symbols into a .fsm file

a) GeoMedia Feature Symbol File – This mean you can select a symbol from a single symbol from an existing .fsm and bring that symbol into your new .fsm. (Reference #2 above for additional feedback on that option). It should also be noted that you can create a “master” .fsm by copying .sym files from the different .fsm files delivered with the GeoMedia product and placing them into your organization’s .fsm.

b) GeoMedia Layout Symbol File – This is what we’ll use to import the symbol file we create in the layout window in part 1 and exported to .sym. Note: This is the option that you’re most likely to use if you need to create symbols from scratch.

c) Microstation Cell Library – This allows you to import individual cells from a cell library.

d) AutoCAD Drawing File – Although I have never used this one, I believe this allows you to import individual symbols from a AutoCAD block file.

It’s important to note that the only type of symbol that can actually be edited in GeoMedia is a GeoMedia Layout Symbol File (.sym). I mention this because you’ll need the source applications (AutoCAD or Microstation) if you want to edit a block or cell library. This is important because often times the cells and blocks don’t import into a .fsm all that well. So it might take a lot of tweaking in the native application before you’re happy with the results. Alternatively, if I recall correctly, the Intergraph product SmartSketch can actually create .sym files from any .fsm file. So, if you import all of your blocks or cells into a .fsm, you should theoretically be able to have SmartSketch translate all of the different symbols in the .fsm into individual .sym files. These individual .sym files can then be imported into the GeoMedia layout window and modified one at a time. You can then re-export the graphics in the layout window back to individual .sym files. Yes, the workflow is a bit painful. But, to be honest, it’s probably a better option over drawing the symbols from scratch in the GeoMedia layout window.

7) To import the .sym created in Part 1, select GeoMedia Layout Symbol file from the file type section, and then navigate to the .sym file you create in Part 1.

8 ) Select the .sym file and hit the Open button. This will bring up the following dialog box

9) Here you can push the Insert button and it will insert the symbol you created into your active .fsm file.

10) Finally, you can use the Edit button to rename and provide comments about the symbol. This can be very useful if you have many symbols that look similar or only differ by color or other very minute details.

11) After you’re through, save your new .fsm. Your new .fsm can then be used in GeoMedia to symbolize any point feature.

It should also be noted that you can convert your .fsm file to .svg using the Save As button. SVG does have its benefits over an .fsm file. You can search the “Working with GeoMedia Professional” book if you’d like additional information on SVG symbols.

I bring it up here because you can theoretically create .svg symbols using a free product like Inkscape. Although I’ve never done it myself, I’ve heard of a few people that have tried this method of symbology creation. The biggest benefit I can see is that you have a much more robust editing tool to create your symbols. Not to mention SVG is an open standard as opposed to the proprietary .fsm file format. This, with time, could prove to be an advantage if you’re ever looking to share your symbol files among different applications (all of which support the open standard).

If anybody is looking to work with SVG symbols and decides to try a product like Inkscape, please let me know as I’d be interested to hear about your findings.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph | 12 Comments »

Creating a Symbol That Can be Used in GeoMedia – Part 1

Posted by jeffhobbs on November 15, 2007

,,

Saw a posting on the GeoMedia email list today inquiring on how to create a symbol that can be used for a point in the map window. I provided a brief answer on the list, but thought I’d run through a quick tutorial here as well.

1) Go to the layout window in GeoMedia.

2) Using the standard drawing tools available in the Draw toolbar, create your symbol.

In my case, I’ve drawn a symbol for a fire hydrant.

3) Select the symbol using the Select Tool

4) Group the symbol using the Draw toolbar

5) With the grouped graphic still selected, use the Create Symbol command in the Draw toolbar.

6) The command will then prompt you to define the symbol’s origin. The origin is the exact location where the point would appear if the symbol were removed and only the point remained. This origin is most often the center of the symbol.

7) As soon as you define the origin, you get a Save As dialog box prompting you for the location to save your new symbol. The symbol will have a .sym extension.

8 ) After you’ve created the symbol, you can place it in a GeoMedia symbol library or in an SVG file. I’ll go over those steps tomorrow.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph | 2 Comments »

Inserting an Object into the Layout Window

Posted by jeffhobbs on November 13, 2007

I’ve run into this problem many, many times. In fact, I’ve filed a worksheet in the past and gotten mixed results as to the answer. Basically, I want to use the Insert > Object command in the Layout Window to insert my oh so fancy logo into my map. In the past I’ve been told that it’s an OLE association issue (or something that sounds like that) on my computer. However, to be honest, I’ve NEVER gotten it to work..and I’ve replaced my computer MANY times since that answer. So, how have I gotten around the issue for the last five years?

1) Launch Internet Explorer

2) File > Open and navigate to your logo (in my case a .gif). However it should work just fine for any "common" file format. Note, you can also drag the logo on top of a Internet Explorer window if you’d prefer.

3) Right-click on the image and select "Copy"

4) Open the Layout Window in GeoMedia

5) Select Edit > Paste

Voila! – your logo appears in the layout window. You then just need to shrink, move, etc. I’ve also noticed that by default, the pasted image has a box or neat line around it. This only makes sense as I’m sure most folks want an ugly box around their logo. Anyhow, just right click on the logo and select "Properties". Then go to the General tab and uncheck the "Display boundary" box.

After that, you’re all set.

On a side note, if you’re going to be using the same template time and time again, you might be better off saving your layout window sheet off to a GeoMedia Layout Template. This can be easily done by using the Sheets > Export Layout command. Just choose the GeoMedia Layout Template (*.glt) format before you export the sheet.

That way you can use the Sheets > Import Layout command to re-use the template whenever you’d like.

One more quick note. If you’re going to be using a template, Intergraph delivers quite a few nice scale bars that can be imported into a layout sheet and will be exported as part of a .glt. They are NOT dynamic so they assume you know your scale ahead of time (and are plotting the scale shown on the scale bar). They can be found in "C:\Program Files\GeoMedia Professional\Symbols\Layout\Scale Bars" folder. You will also see the north arrows in the folder next to the scale bars folder. All of the .sym files can be placed in the layout window using the "Set Active Symbol" command in the Draw toolbar.

Then use the "Symbol" tool in the same Draw toolbar to place the active symbol (the .sym file you just selected using the "Set Active Symbol" command.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph | 11 Comments »

Correction to a Previous Post — Good News

Posted by jeffhobbs on November 9, 2007

I wrote in a post a few months ago about Oracle XE and the fact that it doesn’t come with Oracle Workspace Manager. I was talking to Intergraph a few days ago and was corrected on that issue. Apparently, although Workspace Manager does NOT come pre-installed with Oracle XE, you can use Oracle Workspace Manager with XE. You just need to install it manually. For example, you can download the Oracle Workspace Manager 10.2.0.3.1 kit off of the Oracle Metalink web site, connect to XE as SYS/ AS SYSDA, and run the OWMINST.plb script. This will install OWM in the Oracle XE database and you’ll be able to use GeoMedia Transaction Manager with Oracle XE. Very cool.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph, Oracle Database | 1 Comment »

Intergraph’s Updated Web Site for Support

Posted by jeffhobbs on November 6, 2007

I went to the Intergraph web site to obtain a URL for the GeoRaster expansion pack. While looking for the URL, I just found out that Intergraph has put all of their expansion packs, hotfixes, etc. behind a secure login. Not sure what the thinking was in doing this. But, thought I’d pass along the information.

My old support login allowed me to access the downloads section. So, if you have a login to file worksheets with Intergraph, you should be able to access the support section very easily. If you don’t have a login, the site provides an email address you can use to request a login and password.

Thought I’d pass along the information. So, if you don’t have a login, you might want to make the request from Intergraph now so that you can download the next hotfix or expansion pack when its released.

Posted in Intergraph | 5 Comments »

Forcing a User to Login When Loading a Geoworkspace with an Oracle Connection

Posted by jeffhobbs on October 19, 2007

For those have connected to an MGE connection using an Oracle database, you’ll recognize this screenshot:

This comes up whenever you open/close a connection or open a geoworkspace. Personally, even though the MGE connection to an Oracle database is read-only, I think this is a valuable option. On a side note, on some machines you can save the user name and password into the ODBC DNS setup and this will eliminate the need for entering a password at this dialog. This can be done my just embedding the password with the user name like this:

user/password

Anyhow, I’ve always been surprised that Intergraph doesn’t force something similar for an Oracle Object Model connection…ESPECIALLY since this connection can be read/write! For those that don’t use Oracle with GeoMedia, by default GeoMedia will save the password (hidden) in the .gws. As a result, whenever you load the .gws, GeoMedia will connect to the Oracle database with the user name and password saved in the .gws. Yes, this is convenient. However, it’s not ideal from a security standpoint. Especially if you actually use unique logins in Oracle where User A may only have read/write to TABLE A while User B may have read-only to TABLE A. To be honest, even from a non-security standpoint, it’s still a bad idea. It’s fairly easy to make a mistake when you’re not paying attention or not expecting to be able to do something to the data.

So, there is a workaround to force a similar type of login restriction. This can be found in the "Working with GeoMedia Professional" PDF in Appendix B, page B-2. However I’ll post it here as well:

By default, GeoMedia stores the Oracle connection password in the GeoWorkspace. This is meant as a convenience and allows users to open existing GeoWorkspaces containing Oracle connections without having to re-enter connection passwords. However, this is a drawback to those users wanting higher levels of security. The option to turn off password persistence is in the registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\GDO\Oracle Object Read-Only\1.0\Store Password
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\GDO\Oracle Object Read-Write\1.0\Store Password
The default setting is 1, which means that connection passwords will be stored. To force the user to enter a password for each Oracle connection, change the (default) setting to 0.
Password persistence is not an issue if you are using Windows Domain authentication for your connections.

When you set these registry entries, you get the following dialog when you open a .gws, or close/open the connection:

You notice that it just sets the password to a single asterisk. Usability-wise, it’s not as easy as the MGE dialog, but it’s not bad.

It’s interesting to note that you have the option to not save the password for the Oracle Object Model Read-Only data server, the Oracle Object Model Read-Write data server, or both. I would heavily recommend setting it for read-write. If you’re not concerned with other people having read-only access to your data, you can keep GeoMedia saving the user’s password for read-only connections. Incidentally, this is what I prefer.

Now, since I’m not a big fan of editing the registry manually, I wrote a small executable using AutoIt – a FANTASTIC piece of freeware that allows you to script many different mundane Windows tasks and save the scripts off as standalone executables. I’ve uploaded my registry modification script (both source and executable). You can download it from the left hand side of the screen or from here. The script will force the login screen for read-write connections but will store read-only connections. You can modify the source quite easily (just reference my comments in the script) if you’d like to force the login screen both both read-write and also read-only.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph, Oracle Database | Comments Off on Forcing a User to Login When Loading a Geoworkspace with an Oracle Connection