GeoMedia GIS Blog

"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 ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Interview with GISCafe and Mark Doherty, CTO of Intergraph SG&I

Posted by jeffhobbs on September 7, 2010

Mark conducted a brief 10 minute interview with Some of the topics he covered are:

Posted in Intergraph, Intergraph 2010 Conference, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Interview with GISCafe and Mark Doherty, CTO of Intergraph SG&I

GeoMedia’s New Search Tool

Posted by adamlodge on September 22, 2009

Fast Note by Jeff Hobbs: The functionality that Adam describes below was has been in the product for some time. Maybe as far back as 6.0. I just wanted to make sure the readers all understand that you do NOT need to upgrade to 6.1.6 to use this functionality.

The folks at Intergraph recently introduced a new search tool in GeoMedia that brings my ability to develop data maintenance workflows of this sort to a new level.  It is often the case that the most difficult part of a data maintenance or integration workflow is not in linking the records after you find the right place on the map, or in digitizing the geometry, but in actually searching and/or panning and zooming the map to where it needs to be to allow entry of the new spatial data record.

Here is an example… I have a spreadsheet that I acquired from the local power company that specifies locations (in non-standard English descriptions) for every light pole in my client’s city.  All that my client wants to do is create a GIS point feature that is attributed with the unique ID for each light pole from the spreadsheet and inherit the other attributes from the spreadsheet.  It is easy to digitize a point for each pole once you know where to put it.  The difficult part of the workflow is to turn this English descriptive location into a meaningful location on the map  for each record.

In the old paradigm, I would use the attribute query tool to predefine a SQL statement in which someone can search for a parcel or a street to help the person doing the data entry find the location of interest.  This was difficult for the user because in order to find anything at all, the user cannot do anything to the SQL that would mess it up – like forget to put the closing apostrophe at the end of the statement if it is a text field.  However, with the new search tool, (available in version, I can predefine a search, pin wildcards to each side of the user-input search term, and GeoMedia will provide an input box for the user to enter the search string.  The result is that it is easy for a person completely unversed in SQL to reliably execute a search query in GeoMedia against an available table or feature class.

This may seem pedestrian to GIS veterans, but I really think that this is a huge leap forward in the usability of GeoMedia workflows for folks less versed in database.  And let’s face it – it means that us GIS veterans have to do less of the drudgery of data creation.  So… create those workflows, pass them off to the interns, and go have yourself some shrimp cocktail.

For more details on exactly how to use the search tool, open up GeoMedia , go to Help –> GeoMedia Help Topics, and type ‘search’ on the index tab.


Posted in GeoMedia, GeoMedia 6.1, NCIGUC, Product Release, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Bulk, Automated Geomedia Editting: split a lot of polys based on a line layer

Posted by adamlodge on June 3, 2009

A little more than a year ago, I did a project for a left leaning political organization that had an interest in developing an automated means to create (and recreate) a national layer of election precincts to support activities like political canvasing.  Click here for a more complete case study on my company’s website.

One of the basic challenges in this project was to find an efficient way to split hundreds of thousands of polygons (census blocks) using a separate, and rather large layer of line geometry – in this case, statewide commercial street data.  Although I had the option to do this work with custom code in Oracle Spatial, I wanted to use Geomedia in order to avoid the Oracle customization time sink.  How to do it in Geomedia?  The solution is easy, but not at all obvious (at least to me).  Here is the recipe I came up with:

1. Load the feature class that you want to split (in my case, census blocks), and the features that you want to split by (in my case, streets). Also, and this is important, make sure that the “Display Properties Dialog for New Features” button is unpressed.

2. Select the census blocks and initiate the split tool in Geomedia.  Notice that a new toolbar appears with four buttons on it… split by point, split by line, split by polygon, and split by selected features.  Click on “split by selected features”.

3. Turn OFF locatability on the census blocks layer (the layer to be split).  Be sure to do this without unselecting those features.

4. Turn on locatability for the streets layer, and select the features that you want to use as a basis for splitting census blocks.

5. Double-click somewhere – anywhere – on the map window and let Geomedia do its thing.  Depending on the complexity of the features that it is analyzing and the sheer number of records, it may take a little time to complete.  If you didnt take my advice from step one and ignored the “Display Properties Dialog for New Features” button, then it might force you to click OK for every newly split feature.

The result in my case is census blocks seemlessly split based on a seperate layer of line work.  Perfect geometry, perfect topology between features, with no slivers or gaps… a thing of beauty.

Posted in GeoMedia, Oracle Database, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bulk, Automated Geomedia Editting: split a lot of polys based on a line layer

Adam’s Self Introduction

Posted by adamlodge on May 19, 2009

Thanks to Jeff for letting me participate in the Geomedia community in this way.  I asked Jeff if I can do this for the simple reason that I feel pretty strongly that Geomedia technology is really the best desktop GIS currently on the market.  Geomedia’s primary drawback, however,  is that it is undersupported in my corner of the world (The San Francisco Bay Area), and it is therefore hard to justify as a viable solution for organizations that require rock-solid support.  My participation here is my attempt to be a part of the solution to this travesty.

In case you are interested, here are a few highlights on my career:
-graduated from Humboldt State University in Geography, 1997
-spent a few years attempting rockstardom as a bass player in various touring bands
-finally decided to get a real job at San Mateo County in late 2000, helping to implement their Enterprise GIS (remember that term?)
-held increasingly responsible positions there until late 2006 when I moved to Farallon Geographics (a geospatial consulting firm in San Francisco)
-My current official title is “Geospatial Systems Analyst”, but basically I do projects to help clients of all sorts (but mostly local government) solve business problems using spatial data and related software tools.  I’m a problem solver.

As far as GIS technology goes, Geomedia is my first love. Unlike most GIS Geeks, I learned with it, and feel most comfortable and at home when developing workflows with it rather than the “other” guys.  It was my knowledge of Geomedia that got me a gig with San Mateo County back in the day.  Becuase of the County’s commitment to Geomedia, I have inevitably been exposed to various offshoots such as Grid, Transportation Manager, the Geomedia-Hansen Interface, and AFM.  From a technical perspective, what makes Geomedia exceptional are twofold:  1. The concept of pipe technology – dynamic queries upon queries, and 2. functional attributes.   In my opinion, no other GIS software has anything that touches it.

Partly as a result of the Geomedia approach to GIS, I have also become very fluent in relational database, and spatial sql language.  I have tons of experience with Oracle Spatial and Postgis, and I am now ramping up my fluency with the new Sql Server geometric (and geographic) data type.  Other interests are FME, open source GIS, particularly geoserver, qgis, udig.  Lastly, I have been forced to ramp up in ESRI technologies (mostly desktop and the former SDE stuff) to keep myself employable, so I am able to talk that talk as well.  Hopefully, I am a well-rounded GIS practicioner.

Bottom line is that I am here to help, both in terms of providing answers and in facilitating conversation among the Geomedia community.  Please dont be shy about contacting me through this forum.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Happy 2008! and an Invite to All

Posted by jeffhobbs on January 2, 2008

After a month or so hiatus, I’m back. I want to wish all a Happy New Year and hope you all had a great holiday season. Although I will definitely continue to update the blog on a (semi) regular basis, it really is quite a bit of work. With that said, I invite anybody else to help contribute to the blog. If you are interested, please contact me using the contact page. I can setup an account for you and you can create your own content. Alternatively, you can submit content to me and I can post.

So…if anybody is interested, please contact me….

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Changes in Google Earth Licensing Terms

Posted by jeffhobbs on September 13, 2007

Google recently changed the licensing agreement for Google Earth Free. In the past, their agreement has stated that the free version of Google Earth should NOT be installed on any business machine. Although many have ignored the restrictions in the past (after all, who really reads those things???), this was in fact a restriction. As a result, if you installed Google Earth on a machine at work (even if you were using it for personal use), you were in fact breaking the agreement.

With the latest release of Google Earth, Google has changed the agreement. From the new agreement:


Use of Software. For an individual end user, the Software is made available to and may be used by you only for your personal, non-commercial use according to these Terms of Service and the Software documentation. For a business entity user, the Software may be used by you and your employees for internal use according to these Terms of Service and the Software documentation (individual end users and business end users are collectively referred to as “You” herein).

Restrictions. You agree not to use the Software in connection with or in conjunction with a system in a vehicle that offers real-time route guidance or turn-by-turn maneuvers. You agree not to use the Software for any bulk printing or downloading of imagery, data or other content

Although I don’t have the old agreement to compare the wording, "business entity user" is definitely new. James Fee has an interesting entry about the change in agreement on his blog. There’s also an interesting post on the Google Earth Blog where I guess a person from the blog actually wrote to Google directly and received Google’s feedback on the change in the agreement.

Personally, I couldn’t be more excited. The world is already using Google Earth (as are many businesses). Additionally, more and more products are able to create KML. It’s really about time that anybody can (legally) view the KML with Google Earth at work. Now that it’s legal, I’m looking forward to trying out Justin Lokitz’s GeoServer/Google Earth tutorial in greater detail.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Changes in Google Earth Licensing Terms

Looking for Suggestions

Posted by jeffhobbs on September 6, 2007

I’ve been working on next year’s budget a lot lately. As a result, I haven’t had a lot of time to work with GIS. As my budget tasks wind down, I’m looking for some new things to cover here on Since I haven’t been doing a lot with GeoMedia in the last few weeks – at least not things that I haven’t already covered; I thought I ask you all what you think you’d like me to cover. So, if you can post some comments, I’ll see what I can cover over the next few weeks.

In part, I’m looking to get more into Oracle 11g and its new spatial components. So, for lack of other suggestions, I might head in that direction.

On a side note, recently purchased a book Yahoo Maps Mashups from as we’ve been looking at possibly jumping on the band wagon and seeing if a mashup might serve our sister company in Texas well. Anyway, I have an intern that’s been doing the majority of the leg work. She’s been working with the Yahoo Maps API in conjunction with GeoServer. Although I’m definitely not sure if anything will come out of the testing, the book is really very good for introducing you to Yahoo Maps development.

Will be off on Friday, but will checking the blog…looking for suggestions.

Until Monday….

Posted in Oracle Database, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

General Update

Posted by jeffhobbs on August 23, 2007

Been a very busy week thus far. Sorry I haven’t been able to do any updates. Will attempt to do one or two tomorrow. But should be back on track with four or five updates a week starting next week.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on General Update

Comments, Comments, Comments

Posted by jeffhobbs on August 1, 2007

All – I really do welcome comments to any of the postings. It make the blog that much more interesting. Please feel free to comment on any topic. I’d really like to get a dialog going on some of these entries!


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Comments, Comments, Comments