ArcGIS Earth, Misses the Mark

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10-26-2015 06:14 AM
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New Contributor

At work we use both ArcGIS (10.2) and Google Earth, for different but related tasks.

With the depreciation of Google Earth and the announcement of ArcGIS Earth we were hopeful that ArcGIS Earth would provide similar capabilities, but sadly I didn't see some of the core functionality that we used Google Earth for in the new ArcGIS Earth:

- We use a Perl script to convert massive amounts of geospatial data into KML track files. The KML that is generated uses the animation features (time slider) on Google Earth to allow a user to quickly and easily scroll through time and view interactions between several hundred tracks at the same time.

- It is not possible to drop points, create lines and then save the overlay as a KML to share with associates.

The animation/time slider feature on Google Earth was one of the most useful features for viewing temporal relationships of several hundred tracks.

ArcGIS Earth does not currently have this functionality, is there plans to add something like this in the future?

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Regular Contributor

Wowzers.  Yeah wouldn't be the first time when users have well functioning scripts and procedures in place and ESRI decides to change things up; "VBA -> SDK and .Net".  In this case although the learning curve was steep, the benefits outweigh the inconveniences in the end. However, ArcGIS Pro will bring some other SDK and development platform and a framework that's complacently incompatible with legacy version and this time not only will users encounter a learning curve to SDK / development environment but also "no more ArcObjects?" Will we have to re-write our tools ground up? So instead of focusing on GIS work and how to do things more efficiently we will be waste time on migration strategies.

My questions, in addition to the points you already made, is: What about imagery?  In our remote area of interest ArcGIS Earth has the same old crappy medley of inferior ESRI, and mostly winter and black and white, imagery rather that the up to date and superior imagery Google Earth offers.  Will this be an additional paid service?

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Esri Contributor

Thanks for the question. In fact, we do have plans to add both export and time slider capability in Earth, though these will come in a subsequent release.  Our first priority was to get out a basic, solid experience to build upon.   Google Earth took over 10 years to build up to where it is today and we're not yet in release.  We appreciate all the suggestions.

Regarding Imagery, we are looking at different strategies to provide the best imagery we can.  We don't have the library or collection capabilities that Google does, but we likely will find some ways to improve upon what is available with partner content.  That will take time, but demand from users will help.