Programming

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Over the past decade, GIS professionals who can manipulate the software both manually and automatically are becoming increasingly more marketable within the industry. Automating mundane/repetitive tasks frees up time to focus on more advanced analyses and other GIS processes.  

On one of our current contracts, we are required to create map products in response to “breaking news” events. These maps provide situational awareness to our client regarding the status of assets within their area of jurisdiction. Time is of the essence during these events, and the faster a map product can go out, the better.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A while ago Sky wrote a blog post about exporting an ESRI Silverlight graphic layer to Google Earth. The post explained how to export point data to KML but recently someone inquired on how to also do line and polygon layers. In this post I will explain how to do so.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Clojure is one of the most interesting languages that has emerged recently. It is a Lisp whose main goal is to be practical language for day-to-day programming. And although young, it already has a dedicated community of practitioners. Clojure has a number of features that makes it easy to learn, easy to be productive, and it already has a proven-track record in real-life applications. It also has a community that bridges the gap between industry and academia. I recently was lucky enough to go to Clojure Con, a Clojure conference, and these are my findings about the language.

Currently we find ourselves at the end of the single processor era. Most computers have multiple cores, yet they are not being fully used by modern software. So far we have been able to survive, but at some point most programming will have to take advantage of the multiple processors. At the moment we have several languages that offer easier ways to handle concurrency. Among them, there is Clojure.

Thursday, August 15, 2013
Debugging is one of the most important and most ignored aspects of programming. The literature on it is sparse; there is barely any training offered on the subject. This is one skill that most programmers have to learn themselves through trial and error.
 
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One of the requirements for my current project was to implement searching capabilities that were “Google-like”.  When I heard this, I immediately thought about solr, which some colleagues have recommended as an enterprise search engine. And it does look good. However, after reading the description, I realized that this wasn’t a good fit for my application. The main strength of solr is its textual indexing. It is meant to index text documents. The application that I am developing is an image catalog. Each image gets tagged with predefined attributes. Implemented in a relational database, the only connection between the image and the attributes is a linking table. There is no text to index. I also quickly figured out that trying to shoehorn solr for my application would be complex and error prone.