Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Virtual Earth and ESRI Apps working together online : the REST API

Virtual Earth For Government: ESRI Announces new REST API for Interoperability at 2007 User Conference: Ever been to a government GIS website that uses ESRI's server products to serve up data. Ever compared the interface to that of Google Earth/Maps or to MS's Virtual Earth - the ArcGIS online interfaces feel like they belong to a different generation - an older generation. The ArcGIS online technology definetly has not kept up with all the WEB2.0 stuff thats been happening. Now instead of creating this technology from scratch - ESRI has done a very smart thing: they have decided to leaverage the Virtual Earth platform. Thus all they have to concern themselves with is - how to serve up the data - and VE would display it in all its WEB2.0 splendour. This is potentially a huge news because for the first time you can create mashups that just dont mash-up data from other sites, but you could create mash-ups with ESRI's online server products. As many government departments publish data using ESRI tools, this would open up a huge resvoir of data to tap into. The most important thing will be - can ESRI's products serve up data fast enough - that Virtual Earth works and runs just as it does now. Important points: 1. REST works only with ArcGIS 9.3 (which means that it can be atleast a year away before we can see public availability of it). 2. The library is a JavaScript API and extends the VE api. I wonder if an API extending Google Earth/Maps is not to far behind...

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