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."

Analyze Geometry

Posted by jeffhobbs on May 6, 2009

Sorry about the long time between posts. I’m not giving up on blogging, but, believe it or not, it does take a lot of time….

Anyhow, I’ve been playing a little with the Analysis > Analyze Geometry command. I can’t say I use it all the time, so I’m not sure when this changed. It may have been a long time ago. I’ve always found it hard to get lat/long coordinates from my state plane coordinates. Yes, I can do this one off by just clicking on the map and getting a coordinate readout from the “Precision Coordinates” dialog, but what if I wanted to have lat/long for 10,000 points. That was much harder.

You can do this with functional attributes. In fact, I posted an article on www.geomediawiki.org on how to do it. It was actually copied for the most part out of the GeoMedia online help. However you can also do this with the Analyze Geometry command.

  1. Launch the command (Analysis > Analyze Geometry)
  2. Choose a point feature class. If you have lines or polygons, use the CENTERPOINT functional attribute to create points from the line/area geometry.
  3. When you select the point feature class, you will see the “Analysis Options” dialog populate. In the dialog you will see “Geographic Coordinate” and “Projection Coordinate”
    analysis_options
  4. If you check “Geographic” you will get lat/long. If you check “Projection” you’ll typically get easting/northing. NOTE: you can set the output coordinate format in the “Units and Formats…” dialog in the same Analyze Geometry dialog.
  5. For points you have options for Azimuth, Bearing, Geographic Coordinates, Projection Coordinates, and Height. Height assumes you have the Z elevation populated in your geometry
  6. If you work with lines, you’ll have options for Length, Azimuth, and Bearing
  7. If you work with areas, you’ll have options for Area, Perimeter, and Area/Perimeter ^2

All in all, this is much easier than having to write a functional attribute.

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Posted in GeoMedia, geomediawiki.org | Tagged: | Comments Off on Analyze Geometry

Upcoming NCIGUC Meeting

Posted by jeffhobbs on October 10, 2008

All – Sorry about the long time between posts. Hope to start posting again soon. Anyhow, did want to mention the upcoming Northern California Intergraph Geospatial User’s Community (NCIGUC) meeting. It will be on October 22 from 10:00 – 3:00 at the City of Livermore, CA City Council Chambers. You can find out all the information by going to the NCIGUC web site.

Hope to see you all there!

Posted in NCIGUC, User Groups | 5 Comments »

Intergraph Schema Remodeler

Posted by jeffhobbs on July 1, 2008

With the last blog post on Safe Software’s FME suite, I would be remiss to not discuss Intergraph’s own Schema Remodeler utility. The Schema Remodeler utility comes as part of GeoMedia Fusion.

[RANT]On a complete side note…IF Intergraph would NOT hide their marketing information behind a login and password, then I’d have links to the products. The last I heard, David Holmes had said that he hoped to have at least the splash pages out from login/password shortly after the end of the conference. We’re going on almost a month now…anytime soon would certainly be nice. Actually, I found what I think is a hidden link to a bit of literature on the software.[/RANT]

Anyhow, GeoMedia Fusion is a great tool for doing data cleanup, attribute validation,  and conflation. The schema remodeler utility comes with GeoMedia Fusion and is a stand alone utility that provides you with the ability to migrate data from one source to another and to bulk export from the GeoMedia environment. For those that have heard of Intergraph’s Data Warehousing Tools, the schema remodeler utility is the re-branded (and enhanced) Data Warehousing Tools. Schema Remodeler is one of my favorite Intergraph tools and I almost always use it at least once a week.. As of late I’ve set it up to take my Trimble GPS text files and load them into my Oracle Locator database. In the schema remodeler utility, you can do a number of things including re-mapping and reordering columns from one source to another (think migrating a database from Access to Oracle or SQL Server); exporting a seamless Access feature class into a gridded Bentley Microstation V7 environment; and updating columns using functional attributes, creating a subset of the the data using temporal and attribute queries, and modifying the source geometry using an analytical merge so you can export the Oracle data to create a shapefile (all in one transaction).

When you look at the functionality of Schema Remodeler, it’s really pretty amazing at how much you can do with the utility. Now, how do I compare it to FME? It’s hard to say as I’ve used Schema Remodeler off and on for the last five years and I’ve only use FME a handful of times. In my eyes, they both attempt to do similar things. The biggest difference in my eyes has to do with the number of file formats supported (Schema Remodeler only supports the standard GM data server while FME supports at least 150 different GIS data types) and how detailed you need to get. Schema Remodeler is great for many things, however it’s only a utility. FME on the other hand is a complete software solution. Its so goal is “spatial ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load”. It should also be mentioned that since you can’t buy Schema Remodeler by itself (it only comes with GeoMedia Fusion), FME is actually quite a bit cheaper than Schema Remodeler. So, if you’re looking exclusively for “spatial ETL” functionality, I personally would go with FME. However if you need to do some pretty advanced conflation, a lot of automated data cleanup, and attribute validation, you really should be looking at GeoMedia Fusion. If you do that, it’s really nice to know that Schema Remodeler comes as part of Fusion and may answer many of your ETL needs.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph | 6 Comments »

Safe Software’s FME Suite for GeoMedia

Posted by jeffhobbs on July 1, 2008

I attended a very good presentation at the Intergraph 2008 user’s conference given by Dale Lutz on FME – Intergraph Edition. I have it on my list to discuss the presentation. However, in the last GISCafe.com weekly newsletter, Susan Smith had a great write-up of Dale’s presentation.

For those that haven’t heard of FME, in short (very short), it’s a spatial ETL tool. In other words, it’s designed to Extract data from one (or many) sources, Transform the data (this can include adding columns, modifying geometry, calculating values, renaming columns, etc), and then Loading the data (or exporting it) into another source. Long story short, for everybody that needs to move data from one source or data type to another, this is the industry leading tool on the market.

With that said, Safe has many different editions of their product. The edition they were demonstrating at Intergraph 2008 (strangely enough) was the Intergraph edition. This basically allows you to load data into an Intergraph SQL Server warehouse. It should be noted that Safe also has a version that will load data into Oracle Locator/Spatial. This is (logically enough) named FME – Oracle Edition.

As part of the Intergraph edition, FME installs a data server into GeoMedia. This data server is named “FME”. When you load this data server you are given access to read any of what must be 200 different GIS data types right inside of GeoMedia…and you thought GeoMedia natively supported a lot of different types of data. And yes, before you ask, if you have the FME data server, you CAN read that ESRI personal geodatabase…with one caveat. You must have ArcGIS installed on the same machine as I believe FME uses the ESRI ArcObjects to read the proprietary personal geodatabase. However, nonetheless, it can be done. Furthermore, if you have an ESRI ArcSDE controlled database, the FME data server will allow you to EDIT the data in the database…with a few caveats. Namely, the ArcSDE database must not be using any of the proprietary functionality like versioning, network routing, etc. However for a simple ArcSDE database, it works very well. In fact, you can watch a video showing the functionality on Safe web site.

In the end, if you find yourself doing a lot of importing, exporting, and data migration, FME is a fantastic tool which will save you a lot of time and energy.

Posted in Intergraph 2008 Conference | Comments Off on Safe Software’s FME Suite for GeoMedia

What’s the Number Two GIS Vendor

Posted by jeffhobbs on June 25, 2008

Directions Magazine is running a poll on their web site. From the web site: “Daratech recently offered that Bentley Systems is the #2 GIS company (ESRI is #1). Based on your usage of GIS technology at your organization, what GIS company is second to ESRI?” Since you are all (I assume) Intergraph users, take a minute and vote for your product of choice. The poll is located on the lower right hand corner of the home page.

FYI – I just voted and Intergraph was towards the bottom (after MapInfo).

Directions Magazine Poll

Posted in Web Site | 6 Comments »

Issues with GeoMedia WebMap 6.1

Posted by jeffhobbs on June 20, 2008

Over the last few days on the Directions Magazine email list, there have been a couple of mentions of a few different problems people are encountering with GeoMedia WebMap 6.1.

1) Rendering speed – With the release of 6.1, Intergraph merged much of the missing GeoMedia 6.0 functionality in GeoMedia WebMap 6.1. One of these new additions was with enterprise libraries. Now, although I haven’t received too much feedback on the issue, it sounds as if GeoMedia WebMap Publisher (WebPub) will now automatically check the library for a style. If the named style is in the library, that named style will overwrite what has been symbolized in GeoMedia. Long story short, if my line is symbolized as red in GeoMedia (WebPub Admin), but I have a green named style in my library (the named style name must match the name of the legend entry), than my line will appear green in my WebPub site. Well apparently, this checking is really slowing down the rendering performance of GeoMedia WebMap.

Now, I will say that if my understanding is correct, this seems pretty cool. However, after thinking about it some, I’m not really sure I would have that functionality at the top of my requirements list. Personally, I find that my symbology is fairly standardized. Once I have things symbolized a certain way, it’s not changing too much if at all. It has been my experience that people like consistency with the look and feel of their maps. What do others think here? With that said, I would much rather have rendering speed rather than something that would make my job a little easier on a very rare occasion.

2) Remote publishing with an Oracle Connection – There have also been reported issues where if you publish your geoworkspace remotely and you have an Oracle connection in your geoworkspace, then you will encounter issues with hotspots, select by, and other commands where you interact with vectors on the map.

All in all, both are frustrating. The latest word is that these issues should be addressed as part of the first GeoMedia WebMap minor release due out in the August/September time frame. With that said, it really looks like Intergraph pushed to get the GeoMedia WebMap 6.1 suite out fairly soon after the GeoMedia suite was released. This was most likely due to both internal and customer driven pressure. After all, how many users would’ve been happy to hear that GeoMedia Pro was released early this year but we won’t see GeoMedia WebMap/Pro released until September? That wouldn’t fly with anybody. So, Intergraph made a tough decision, but I think one that makes sense. After all, I’m sure there are quite a few customers out there where the two issues above won’t greatly impact them. Of course, it would’ve been useful if Intergraph had made it a bit more clear to the users of the current limitations of the GMWM release.

In the meantime, for those customers that will be impacted by this, I would heavily suggest you hold off until the first minor release. And even after the first minor release, make sure to test on a development server before going production. After all, that’s why Intergraph gives you the free development license ;-).

UPDATE I received a correction from one of my contacts in support at Intergraph soon after making the post. Apparently my initial understanding above (now crossed out) was incorrect. Apparently, Intergraph has only changed the way the symbology data are stored. Before they were stored as part of the metadatabase in a separate table. It is now stored in the LIBRARY table that’s part of any Library Connection. With that said, it seems (at least in my eyes) unlikely that that change is really causing the slowness. However, it’s very likely that the 6.0 GeoMedia symbology functionality that was rolled into GMWM 6.1 could be causing this slowness.

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1, Intergraph | 5 Comments »

GeoMedia Wiki Officially Launched at the Intergraph User’s Conference

Posted by jeffhobbs on June 10, 2008

After quite a bit of coordination with Intergraph on this matter, Intergraph officially launched geomediawiki.org today. We’ve actually had the site up and running for a month or so now. However it’s only in the last few weeks when Intergraph began looking at contributing Intergraph staff time to the project. As it stands now, the wiki is hosted on a 3rd party wiki server (wikispaces.com). The URL is owned by me and Intergraph is sponsoring the site both at a financial and also a staffing level. All of the content on the site is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.

So, for everybody that read and posted on the GeoMedia Wiki entry from April 24, here’s your chance to start contributing! The wiki has been setup where anybody and read the wiki and people that sign-up and login can edit any piece of the wiki. Once you sign-up on Wikispaces, you must request contributor access to GeoMedia Wiki. Once you request access, the wiki organizers are emailed and then we approve your access. It’s that simple!

With the wiki we are welcoming all contributions. If you have something you feel others would benefit from; it belongs on the wiki!

Last but not least, with the creation of the wiki you will see less tutorial-based content posted on my blog. Instead I will be posting more Intergraph and GIS related content which I think might be useful for my readers. I WILL still be creating tutorials and work flows, however much more of this will be going on the wiki as it’s really a much better place to house such content.

Posted in geomediawiki.org, Intergraph 2008 Conference | 1 Comment »

Intergraph 2008 – Day 1

Posted by jeffhobbs on June 5, 2008

There wasn’t much going on tonight besides the opening night reception. Overall the conference seems to be very well attended. I haven’t attended a conference since Intergraph transitioned from the annual “GeoSpatial World” conference to the generic “Intergraph” conference. With the transition, it’s very obvious how much more time and money Intergraph puts into the conference. Just an enormous amount of subtle details. From the “Intergraph 2008” hotel room keys, to the “Intergraph 2008″ lining on the escalators…Intergraph really seems to have gone all out in making the conference feel big. Even the conference bag and the 3” conference outline “book” that that goes in every bag is very impressive.

Got a chance to talk to a few different people during the opening reception. I was curious to find out about the potential support for SQL Server Spatial (available with SQL Server 2008). Although there has been some definite discussions on developing a data server, as far as I understand it, there is nothing definitively planned at this point. I found this to be somewhat surprising. Especially since in many ways Intergraph is really tying themselves to the Microsoft platform. The way it sounds, GeoMedia users might need to look at the FME Data Server for GeoMedia if they want near-term SQL Server Spatial support inside of GeoMedia. Update: In a surprising turn of events, Intergraph released a press release yesterday (June 4) announcing their support for Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 spatial enhancements. Although it should be noted that no time frame was provided for this new data server.

As I believe I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, Intergraph is really trying to merge the functionality of their public safety CAD (computer aided dispatch…NOT computer aided drafting and design), their G/Technology suite (used for primarily managing gas, electric, and communication networks), and the GeoMedia platform. With this humongous merger (which will likely take many years), Intergraph users will see this “best of breed” solution for many GIS disciplines. Well, believe it or not, some of the current GeoMedia solutions may not completely fit into this “best of breed” solution. Two such solutions may be GeoMedia Public Works Manager and also GeoMedia Transaction Manager. G/Tech is designed to deal with utility networks from the ground up. GeoMedia Public Works Manager is simply a rather small add on to the GeoMedia suite. So, I think it’s very likely that we’ll see Public Works Manager eventually replaced with similar (yet much more robust functionality) currently available in G/Tech. This in itself I think it is a very good thing…again “best of breed” makes a lot of sense. However, I’m looking at implementing GeoMedia Public Works Manager in the next year or so. Unfortunately, although no one could provide me with even a rough date, it seems very unlikely that we’ll have this G/Tech Public Works Manager replacement within the next year. So…where does that leave me? Do I implement Public Works Manager or hold off and see what Intergraph has to offer down the road? Not totally sure yet.

GeoMedia Transaction Manager may be in a similar boat. G/Tech already has a very fast and efficient transaction manager…unfortunately, is isn’t built off of Oracle Workspace Manager (the Oracle tool that drives the GTM functionality). I understand that the G/Tech transaction manager tool is very fast; this is very important for G/Tech customers. For those that have used GTM, I think most would agree that it’s not the fastest tool. HOWEVER, again, it does rely on Oracle Workspace Manager. For those Oracle customers, this is a good thing. Especially because it provides many ways to get at your versioned data. And, also very importantly, any vendor that supports Oracle Workspace Manager (and there are quite a few) can create a transaction and retire data in your GIS database. This is great…especially from an interoperability stand point. Along with Public Works Manager, I’m also looking at implementing GTM. From a GIS stand point, I think GTM is a strong solution and I do still plan on implementing it…soon. I’m really hoping Intergraph doesn’t give up on the Oracle Workspace Manager…as I really like this solution.

One last note, for those that currently use GTM and/or GeoMedia Public Works Manager. Although Intergraph wouldn’t promise anything, I’m fairly certain there will be upgrade/migration paths as the software consolidation continues. That’s not to say it won’t be some work to get from Point A to Point B…however, nonetheless, there should be a path.

Posted in Intergraph 2008 Conference | 5 Comments »

Intergraph 2008 Conference

Posted by jeffhobbs on June 4, 2008

I have been writing up some posts while at the conference. I plan to being posting them this Friday…so stay tuned.

So far, very good conference.

Posted in Intergraph 2008 Conference | Comments Off on Intergraph 2008 Conference

Intergraph 2008 Meet-up

Posted by jeffhobbs on May 29, 2008

I know a few of you said you were going to the Intergraph 2008 conference. I’m suggesting a meet-up after the welcome reception (from 5:30 – 7:30) on Monday, June 2. How about we meet at 7:45 pm in front of the welcome reception area…it looks like the TechExpo area? We can find a bar and have a few drinks….

Thoughts?

Posted in Intergraph 2008 Conference | 2 Comments »

National Geodetic Survey Web Site

Posted by jeffhobbs on May 29, 2008

For a while I’ve been wanting to sanity check my GPS points against a known entity. So, I’ve been looking for a set of survey monuments for Santa Clara County. Up to now, I haven’t been able to find them. My plan is to simply shoot the monument with each of my GPS units and compare the results I receive from the unit to the survey monument coordinates. HOPEFULLY they’ll be very similar….

Anyhow, today I finally got the bright idea to contact the county surveyor’s office. They pointed me to the NGS web site. As it turns out, they host survey monuments for the entire nation on this site. Even better, they allow you to download a shapefile with the control points. So next I’ll be loading the shapefile into GeoMedia and then writing a couple of simple functional attributes to translate from lat/long to California State Plane coordinates. After that, I’ll be able to shoot the survey monuments and finally double check the horizontal accuracy of my GPS systems.

Not very GeoMedia related, but did want to pass the site along to others looking to do something similar.

Posted in Intergraph, Trimble, Web Site | 1 Comment »

Couple of Cool Utilities

Posted by jeffhobbs on May 13, 2008

A little while ago, I was passed a couple of utilities that I wanted to share with the community.

1) CSF2ASCII.exe – This tool will read any .csf file and write out the contents (projection information out to a a ASCII text file or an HTML file. This is also available in the download widget on the left hand side of the screen.

2) Database Inventory – This will analyze any warehouse connection and provide a complete list of the GeoMedia objects that are available in the connection. I found this one a bit hard to use…but it could definitely be useful if you needed to get a better feel for the contents of a new connection…especially a database. Great for documentation and learning. This too can be downloaded from the widget on the left hand side of the screen.

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph | 5 Comments »

Few New GeoMedia 6.1 Movies on Youtube

Posted by jeffhobbs on May 8, 2008

I’ve pushed all of the AVIs that were shown at the GeoMedia 6.1 product launch on to YouTube.com. I’ve been working on an internal wiki (not GeoMedia related) for work lately. So I haven’t been updating the blog much. However I still do want to get writing about what I found out at the 6.1 product launch. Additionally, I’m hoping to have more information after attending Intergraph 2008. So keep reading 🙂

Posted in GeoMedia 6.1, Intergraph | 9 Comments »

A New Book I Just Received

Posted by jeffhobbs on May 8, 2008

I just received a book in the mail today from ESRI Press titled “Thinking About GIS – Geographic Information System Planning for Managers – Third Edition” by Roger Tomlinson. I like to keep an eye on what ESRI Press has since they have such a broad selection. Anyhow, began scanning the book and really think it has a lot to offer – especially for a technical GIS Manager (like many of the readers of my blog). Thought I’d pass along the link. Overall, it looks to be a fantastic resource for those people that are looking to start their first GIS program or migrate from one system to another (think MGE to GeoMedia).

Posted in Book | 1 Comment »

Heading to Intergraph 2008

Posted by jeffhobbs on May 8, 2008

Just found out my travel for Intergraph 2008 has been approved! So, I’ll be heading out to Las Vegas, NV probably on Monday, June 1. Who else is going? Maybe some folks want to get together for drinks one night?

Reply and let me know!

Posted in GeoMedia, Intergraph | 5 Comments »