Friday, June 4, 2010

ViSit Anywhere Update

At the risk of sounding trite, we would like to say that the Spatial Networking blog is back. We understand that it has been a while since a new post appeared here and we suppose we have no excuses. Of course we have been very busy and yes, the product has advanced to a state where we are ready for production use. The important point is that this blog is back and we will try to provide a bit of information about the new features on a regular basis.

ViSit Anywhere now sports a large number of features and functions. So many in fact that we have a difficult time quantifying them all. For this reason, we would like to present a tour of some of the latest release. The features that were previously discussed, integrated change management, CAD engine independence and superior user interface are still there (and better), but now we would like to discuss some of the less well-known features that we rarely have time to demonstrate. The extent and quality of these feature, demonstrates our commitment to building the best possible application for managing Geo-spatial information.

We propose to post 2 or 3 short blog entries each week, describing new and important features of ViSit Anywhere. These entries will include:
  • Project Management tools - ViSit Anywhere uses advanced property controls, drag-and-drop and object discovery to make the work of administrators and integrators easier.
  • Non-Change Managed Information - In ViSit Anywhere all information can be change managed, but sometimes it is good to have a store of private information. This new feature allows such information to easily integrated into your project.
  • Graphic layers and Managed Contexts - Most graphic editors manage information in a set of layers and ViSit Anywhere is no exception. This entry describes how we define layers for managed graphic data using hierarchical contexts. This provides the foundation for a powerful framework for managing static symbology.
  • Graphic Layer tools - We provide a set of tools for managing the display of graphic layers that is at once robust and simple to use. The challenge is to have complete control over the displayed layers while avoiding the need to adjust their display.
  • The Relational Model - This entry discusses recent additions to our relational data model which allows separation and simplification in the presentation of attribute data.
  • More on the Relational Model - In this entry I would like to discuss the notions behind our spatial query tool and how it integrates with the way we centralize the display and interaction with tabular data.
  • Functions and Expressions - One of the most important run-time configuration tools is the table expression and function framework. This allows users to manipulate project information using C# scripts and special purpose expressions. These are compiled on-the-fly at run-time and used to transform or agglomerate information and present them to the user.
  • Application Settings and State - ViSit Anywhere now includes a new framework for saving the application state (without resorting to writing information in the Windows registry). This framework means that the function and layout of ViSit Anywhere is now persisted between editing sessions resulting in a much better user experience
  • Project Archives - ViSit Anywhere now has the ability to archive projects for re-use and re-distribution quickly and easily. These archives (and ViSit Anywhere change management) mean that simulations and restructuring can be performed without fear of breaking project integrity. In addition to project data, it is also possible to archive and distribute application environments. The result is that a user can be fully operational, for a cold start, in under 10 minutes.
  • Basic Network Editing - ViSit Anywhere has been designed to edit and maintain topological network data. This topic will describe the network model and the tools used to maintain it. We will also discuss some upcoming network features.
  • Cartographic Plots - ViSit Anywhere has number of tools for managing complex, multi-view cartographic plots. This topic will survey the tools available and discuss some of the future directions.
  • Ribbon Layout - The Office 2007 Ribbon user interface presents an opportunity to increase the usability of an application. Unfortunately the layout of the ribbon can often be optimized for a particular task. We have recently re-worked the layout of the ViSit Anywhere ribbon and in doing so, have laid the foundation for run-time, user driven ribbon layout.
  • User Roles - Another new technique for customizing the usability of ViSit Anywhere is through user roles. In this entry we will discuss how editing roles can be enforced at the user level and some future applications of these roles.
  • Data Integration - ViSit Anywhere is a great tool for integrating data from a variety of sources. Its "discovery" framework can be used to integrate data from Shape, Mid/Mif and other sources.
  • Auto-Synchronization - One of the benefits of robust change management and strict relational rules is the ability to have a production quality database that represents the stable state of the system. ViSit Anywhere provide auto-synchronization for this - in particular auto-synchronization to Oracle (with SDO geometry).
  • Navigation - Navigation in large geo-spatial datasets is hard problem. ViSit Anywhere provides a number of tools to address the difficulty, including gazetteers, external tables and favorite places.
  • GPS Integration - Today, GPS data is everywhere. To exploit this Géotech is working to integrate GPS with ViSit Anywhere. A side effect of GPS integration is the ability to transform from one system of coordinates to another. Given the state of web GIS tools, like Google (TM) or Bing (TM) Maps, the ability to manage coordinate systems provides new opportunities for desktop GIS.
  • Work Management - Today GIS must integrate with the enterprise information fabric if it is no remain relevant and deliver its full benefit. We believe believe that the integration point that will enable this is the work management system. In this way every edit in ViSit Anywhere are associated directly with a task that is important for the enterprise. This entry will discuss the foundation of the work management system integration in ViSit Anywhere.
  • Work Management 2 - This is a continuation of the previous entry. In this entry however, we will focus on the implemented tools for work management.
That it! The list is long, but we have been working hard and we really want to share information about these important features. After reading these entries we hope that you will agree with us when we say that we believe ViSit Anywhere is a geo-spatial tool unlike any other.

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