04 Mar Arc2Cloud – Uploading Data
Arc2Cloud is our multi-tenant cloud solution for users who do not want to setup or maintain anything. You can get an Arc2Earth Cloud instance running on your own Google AppEngine account but for many of users, even this was too much overhead. You’ll still get your own logon, security and data configuration and enjoy all of the features of Arc2Earth Cloud, except now you can start instantly.
Typical Arc2Earth Cloud url on your own AppEngine Account: http://myInstance.appspot.com/a2e
With Arc2Cloud, you would use this instead: http://beta.arc2cloud.com/myInstance
Everything else about how you interact and build applications around the APIs is the same. The only major difference is the use of Google Fusion Tables as the datastore for all of your spatial and attribute data. If you plan on keeping your data public and have modest usage needs, Fusion Tables if free. If you need private data or much larger usage limits, you’ll need to get Premier access from Google.
Loading maps and data into Arc2Cloud is easy and for most users, it will take place directly from ArcMap. Simply select the layers in your map that you want to upload and click the upload button. In the background, Arc2Cloud will create Google Fusion Tables that exactly match your local layers (using OAuth to securely interact with Fusion Tables on your behalf). Once complete, an Arc2Cloud datasource that points at the newly created table is registered in your instance and finally, the data is batch uploaded to the table. By breaking this process up into batches, we can upload much larger quantities of data to FT.
Once uploaded, you’ll be able to interact with the Map via the built-in and external viewers. There will be a future post on the Google Earth viewer but as a preview, it contains full auto-complete search, editing and automatic KML regions for all of your data (no configuration, no static exports).
Your map is also available as a set of ESRI REST services as well (using the GeoServices REST spec). You can then use the excellent ESRI apps and APIs to build customer applicaitons or to tie your data into existing ESRI based ones. The maps are read/write (given proper credentials) so you can collect data online and your Fusion Tables will be automatically populated.
Another powerful feature is the ability to import Map schema and data from other online sources.
ArcGIS Server REST importer – Will import a MapServer or FeatureServer and create Fusion Tables for all layers. If it’s a FeatureServer, the renderer, labeling and feature template information is imported as well. (note – you should only import public services where there is no copyright infringement, we’ll likely build a bunch of free templates for different types of services)
Fusion Tables – Simply registers an existing Fusion Table (your own or one that is publically available). The table must have a Location field and while Arc2Cloud does not care about mixed geometry types, many other services that will try to interact with your table via Arc2Cloud will expect tables to have uniform geometries (e.g. all points or all polygons)
Twitter – This importer is not currently available (we are waiting on some cool new features in Google AppEngine to become available) however when ready, it will be a continuous importer. that is, you tell it a search query, an optional location and a time period and it will monitor the main twitter feed on your behalf, writing geo enabled tweets to a specifc Fusion Table.
There’s also the base API for Arc2Cloud, where you can create maps, datasources and features on the fly and FusionTables will be created in the background. This is great for ad-hoc applications where you don’t know what needs to be collected until the time comes.