29 Jan New Tiled Map Layers Coming Soon
The next release of Arc2Earth will have a lot of core changes to main user interface inside of ArcMap. It includes lots of new menus and toolbars for dealing with the growing number external services available to ArcGIS users, new exporters, new Sync Table provider toolbars (Google Maps Engine, CartoDB, ArcGIS Online and Fulcrum) and whole new ArcGIS editing sub system for those table providers as well. (I’m really excited about this one)
One of the changes is a complete rewrite of the Map Tile Layer toolbar and it’s underlying custom layer. Previously, this layer worked by dynamically loading tiles into a single ArcMap layer that was controlled via the main toolbar. This provided excellent feedback when users wanted to quickly cycle though various tile datasources but it did not persist when you were done with the document. In the new version, this same feedback is still available but the layer can now be saved and reloaded with the map document. There’s a new toolbar that allows you to load any XYZ/TMS cache format and then save it with your map document. Likewise, premium tile map providers like Bing Maps and MapBox have their own toolbar for loading and saving their tile caches.
I’ll talk about the MapBox toolbar in a later post but here’s sneak peak of the new Bing Maps toolbar. ESRI has recently changed it’s policy on providing Bing Maps for free to all ArcMap users and while you’ll still be able to load Bing Maps in 10.0/10.1, 9.3 will go out of support. Arc2Earth continues to be supported from 9.2 through 10.1. Both the new Esri version and the new Arc2Earth Bing Maps toolbar will require a valid Bing Maps map key from Microsoft. One plus for our new version is the visibility of imagery date ranges to the user. The average date range for all visible tiles is always displayed on the screen and a new overlay color codes each tile to display it’s relative freshness (from green to red).