Posts Tagged ‘Service Oriented Architecture’

Accessing Aerial Photos within AutoCAD using ArcGIS for AutoCAD and the mapiinsert Command

October 1, 2009

At the Port of San Diego, our CAD Designers and Mapping Technicians can access our new 2009 4-inch aerials photos within AutoCAD in 2 ways. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding these pros and cons empower our CAD designers to be more efficient and effective. I suggest any substantial project would be best approached by utilizing both methods.

ArcGIS for AutoCAD- Great for everyday workflow
access to content on other ArcGIS Servers, including ArcGIS Online
easy to create image with defined extent
Best resolution not guaranteed at all scales

mapiinsert command – Printing
best resolution guaranteed at all scales
CAD users more familiar

As a footnote, it should also be mentioned that ArcGIS for AutoCAD has another powerful component; the ability to create GIS attribute data within AutoCAD. As the PortGIS Program matures it will require us to gain more information about our features which originate in AutoCAD. What is the material/width/flow capacity of this pipe? Collecting this type of attribute data will allow us to 1) display and symbolize this data across the enterprise and 2) do spatial analysis, such as identifying where weaknesses might be in our utility infrastructure.

ArcGIS for AutoCAD can be downloaded from ESRI at the link below.

GeographyHuntingBinLaden Zen
and another


The Future of GIS Collaboration in Government

September 22, 2009

At a past division meeting our newly appointed President/CEO, Charlie Wurster, talked candidly and took questions about his past experiences. He also shared why he is excited to be at the Port of San Diego and expressed his management philosophy and guiding principals. At one point during this informal meeting, Mr. Wurster explained that we have to work closely with our tenants and 5 member cities. He went on to use the following example: if we were to be working with an adjacent government agency to build a new railroad, we would want the tracks to meet properly. Then he held up his hands like two like 2 guns point toward each other and explained that it takes collaboration, clear communication, and experience to accomplish our goals; we need to work closely within our organization and with companies, groups and interests in our region.


GIS will undoubtedly play a role in this type of effort, not only in support of our Engineers, CAD Designers, Construction Inspectors, Landuse Planners and the myriad of other in-house professionals at the Port of San Diego, but also as a means to share geographic information as a business process.

We are currently implementing this approach within the port through the PortGIS Program. Our CAD designers are responsible to create, update, and manage our utilities data. This data is then shared, as a service, through GIS based websites and across the enterprise to General Services, Real Estate, Harbor Police, Marine Operations and any other Port Employee who depends on this data. Our CAD Designers are the “owners” of the utilities data. In turn, we are working with our Land Use Planning Department to collect data to share it across the enterprise in the same fashion.

Sharing GIS data in this way is a fairly new concept, but it has been embraced with enthusiasm at many federal and state agencies. Below is a video of Jack Dangermond’s recent presentation at the Gov 2.0 Summit about how this integration will streamline the way we use, view, and share GIS data. He outlines a vision of how “owners” of data can share data between agencies. As the purveyors of spatial data, whether it be lease information such as renewal dates, police dispatch data, pollution numbers and statistics, it is important we embrace this vision as we work within our organization and interact with outside entities.

According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s Federal Enterprise Architecture framework, 74 percent of government data is location based. At the state and local level the number is even higher – 80 percent – according to several organizations and publications.

Our region is a complex amalgamation of overlapping and intersecting interests. Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC), San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), California Coastal Commission and CalTrans each manage infrastructure and services. Local regulated utilities like San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE) and Cox Communications have business interests and easements. Both the San Diego Convention Center and the San Diego County Airport Authority (SDCAA) manage tenants independently of the Port and are both undergoing their own respective land use planning efforts. Our 5 neighboring cities and the county manage parcel boundaries and tax information. And with a population of 1.3 million people, the City of San Diego manages a myriad of services, with which we work closely on a daily basis.

As GIS data services flow down from the federal and state government we will also embrace GIS Services as a method to share and collaborate. As governmental agencies, we each have a stake in managing our geographic interests in the most cost efficient and effective means possible. At the Port of San Diego we should begin with the end in mind. We should work towards Mr. Wurster’s goal of full integration so our geographic data flows seamlessly through GIS services, both between departments at the Port of San Diego and between the Port and the wide variety of agencies which effect our workflow.

Monster Milktruck! Zen
Requires this first
or just watch a video

Web 2.0 and GIS at the Port of San Diego

January 26, 2009

Web 2.0 is a vague concept described broadly as the second generation of internet based tools and capabilities which have come about since the bursting of the 2001 dot-com bubble. The term became popular after the O’Reily Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. Below is a quick video (51 sec) where Tim O’Reilly (the founder of O’Reily Media) describes Web 2.0.

Let’s dig into his major points and apply them to examples of our daily work at the Port.
“The Network is the Platform and Users add Value”

Our real estate department and Port attorneys set up tenancy agreements with our tenants. These contracts are meant to be static. They are intended to clearly outline the rights and responsibilities that both the Port and our tenants need to adhere to for the duration of the contract. The platform for our relationship is documented on those pieces of paper.

However, in Web 2.0 we create value-added services by increasing connections within our network. For example; the primary goal of this blog is to communicate with Port Employees about GIS and how it is being implemented at the Port. This blog could be written as a paper or email newsletter, but it would really be our department communicating “to” Port Employees, not “with”. At the bottom of each blog post is a “comments”  section where anyone can add their perspective on the issues. If their comment involves a question we can respond to them. Others can read or comment on these comments also and one blog post can become a conversation, or dynamic document. This capability is not possible in the newsletter format or in the example of the lease agreements used above. The use of the network, or the connections between us, can exponentially increase the value our communication. The value-added service we achieve by implementing a dynamic format, instead of a static one, is completely dependent upon participation from the users.

OK, So how does Web 2.0 apply to GIS?
One might be inclined to think that maps are fairly static and data is replaced in regular intervals, but this is Web 1.0 thinking. Through a technique called Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), our various enterprise data management systems, primarily Documents Management, SAP and GIS, can be set up to ask and answer questions from each other. As Port employees we ask these systems questions everyday: Show me all the documents created by John Smith? What is the lease number for the Sheraton? Or how long is the runway at the airport? We can set up SAP, for example, to answer questions from other systems, enabling users, to ask questions like: What lease numbers are withing 100 feet of the Sheraton? Within these systems we are creators and managers of spatially based data. In addition, we can set up new functionality to streamline and improve the efficiency, accessibly, timeliness and accuracy of our data across the systems.