A2E | Arc2Earth Sync Update – Local Tables, Tile Caches and MapBox hosting
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Arc2Earth Sync Update – Local Tables, Tile Caches and MapBox hosting

Arc2Earth Sync Update – Local Tables, Tile Caches and MapBox hosting

It’s been a awhile since the last public beta of Arc2Earth Sync was released, we’ve been busy changing some of the core functionality and as always, it took longer then expected. That being said, we’re really excited about the changes and now that they’re in place, we can roll new beta versions quickly. Sync is still a work in progress but its beginning to pick up steam (2500+ tables and over 2.3M features being synchronized), we hope the new additions below will keep the momentum going.

You can sign up for the Beta here using an Arc2Earth Community Edition or just check out the new online docs here.

Local Table Provider

No online table provider needed! Sync can use any local shapefile, Personal GDB, File GDB or SDE datasource and you’ll be able to share, accept online edits and publish services. This method works so well, we’ve made it the default option for all new tables. Click the Add Data button and select the featureclass just like when you’re in ArcMap. Or for Shapefiles and Layer files, you can use the new shell extension to work with your Sync tables directly from Windows Explorer.

We still support other table providers but we think you’ll get a lot of usage out of simple, one click publishing. Best of all, there’s no Cloud lock-in or stale data. Your data is secure on your computer and network, simply remove from Sync to prevent access.

Tile Caches

Tile Caches are pre-rendered versions of your table data, Sync will create three types of tiles: Images, UTFGrids and GeoJson tiles. Each has benefits depending on how you want to visualize your data. As edits occur, the Table’s tile cache will be updated only in the areas affected by the edit (or group of edits). If the cache is hosted on MapBox, the changes will be uploaded there as well.

Arc2Earth Desktop has always had the ability to create tile caches from your ArcGIS maps, we’ve now added this same exporter to Sync for your individual tables. In the future, we’ll be adding the ability to monitor an MXD file and create/manage a tile cache for it (and some really cool TileMill integration as well!)

MapBox Hosting

MapBox is quickly becoming one of the most impressive online mapping services available. Their infrastructure is built from the ground up to provide the fastest and most efficeint delivery of maps online. Arc2Earth Sync has built-in storage of tile caches but we recommend using an external service like MapBox if you need highly scalable maps.

Sync can publish your Table tile caches directly to your MapBox account. As your data changes, Sync will also update the data in MapBox. Check out this demo map showing ArcGIS styles and renderers hosted from MapBox

Other Goodies

  • Fulcrum Table Provider – Read only access to your Fulcrum data, streamed directly into ArcMap via their new API. Fulcrum is an amazing way to collect offline point data, we’ll definitely be improving this provider to add read/write support. Also, since A2E Desktop and Sync can now create MBTiles files, you can get your ArcGIS maps offline in the field!
  • Major overhaul of Table Sharing – Table Sharing has been completely overhauled. It’s much faster to share and download your tables, editing has been fixed and if you are using Local Tables, it can be shared in it’s native projection. It works a lot better with large sets of data that would be too slow when queried directly from ArcMap over the internet.
  • a published MapService now uses a table’s Tile Cache so its incredibly quick when viewed online or in the mobile apps. The best part is when the data is edited, the Tile Cache is updated automatically
  • Better ArcGIS Online Web Map support – Your table is published as two Web Maps, one with the Feature Service for editing and one with the Map Service for quick display and query (your Popup Window definition will be used in the Web Map).
  • DropBox and Google Drive support – this is in its infancy now, when your table performs a Full Sync a copy is updated on these services, but we think there’s some amazing collaborative features that could be built with other services using DropBox/Drive as the bulk-copy api. For instance, check out this video from Safe Software that shows workflow automation with FME using DropBox as the trigger mechanism.
  • Lots and lots of little fixes and additions