I have downloaded the new ArcGIS Earth and using a Windows 7, core 2 machine with 4GB of Ram. One of the appealing things about this new application is that you can load Shapefiles directly without the need to convert them into some other format (e.g. KML).
I've just loaded a Shapefile with 8,657 polygons representing SSSI areas (protected areas) in the UK and ArcGIS Earth ground to a halt, to the point that it became completely unresponsive and unusable.
I was unable to find any advice on the on-line help for any limitations imposed by this application on Shapefiles. It would be a good idea to document these and provide best practise:
- Does ArcGIS Earth make use of spatial indices, if so you should warn users to ensure these are created?
- Does ArcGIS Earth have limitations on the number of vertices a polygon is composed of, what about multi-part?
- How many features is too many?
Whilst it looks slick, the first dataset I loaded killed it and I was not even trying!
As a comparison I then converted that shapefile into a KMZ file and loaded that into Google Earth and whilst it struggled at full extent it displayed it fairly quickly and was quite usable. Loading the same KMZ file into ArcGIS Earth did not end well, brought my whole machine to a grinding halt...