There won’t be ArcGIS 9.4

clip_image001In one of my crazy predictions for this 2010, I mentioned my doubt that ESRI would dare to make a version named 9.4, and indeed, it has been commented that the next version will be called ArcGIS 10, and will be available in the second half of 2010.

In several places it has been mentioned, in accordance to ESRI’s plans, this would not only be a significant change in functionality (name) but also in the (face) user interface. It seems to us some of them are very good, although probably those competition friends, the Open world and some predisposed users (both) will scoff at this saying: But, wouldn’t this have already been done by us?

Then, users accustomed to use it will say At last!, we, who promote its popularity must do a milestone (before this and after this), taking aware change that resembles the transition from 3x to 8x will be such to ensure the 64 bits; of course, many of the existing manuals will pass to history soon. But with ESRI global positioning, there will be a massive happiness although we will attribute the innovation (which one?) to their sagacity for sniffing user’s dissatisfaction.

Better access to the tools. It is very likely that as we have seen in ArcExplorer, AutoCAD and Office, it should be integrated a tool known as Ribbon to contextualize the tools, getting rid from the tyranny of the loose toolboxes and the little intuitive bookshelf of tillage tools.

Integration with ArcCatalog. The fact this tool runs separately for many has been a nuisance (Spanish Idiom: “lata”), sometimes it delays long time to open and when loaded, it’s no longer needed. Now it will load within the same work interface, maybe like being in AutoCAD Civil 3D and changing to AutoCAD Map’s interface; we should also see if it can be improved that pesky single-user access to data, so that changes can be done in the geodatabase without having to close charged layers (even there isn’t enabled the Edition option, that should not require ArcSDE).

Improve the search of maps. It is expected to have a better way to search spatial or tabular data, with preview visualization and improved search capabilities. Perhaps for this, they put an eye (Spanish Idiom: “le echaron el ojo”, to watch other proceedings) on ways to do this from tools like uDig with its wonderful catalog and an intensive (Spanish Idiom: “a lo bestia”, in a very intensive way) drag.

Separation processes. Until now it’s somewhat annoying that, while the console runs a process you must be fetching coffee because this task cannot perform background. To solve it, perhaps it would be taken into account the way Qgis and uDig do this, so it could be easier to automate routines without interfering with the desktop work.

– We all would expect the editing tools to improve, although it’s very little what has been said about this, only that it would be based in conventional buttons not in the actual menus. These would be common for ArcMap, ArcScene and ArcGlobe. It remains gvSIG please!

As for output products, it has been mentioned improvements in conformation of multipage layouts and dynamic texts. It has also been considered possibility of generating animations that reflect changes in time, something like things made by Manifold GIS.

– In dealing with licenses, the claim is for having the possibility to check out and check in licenses, this implies that license could pass from desktop to laptop in order to use in field. Just the same as the way Bentley Map does.

Then they talk of other enhancements so that some processes are used not only by the extremely smoked (Spanish idiom: “extremadamente fumados”, which means the ones who really know the program): simplify the API and the geocoding procedures, being more intuitive (easy to use), supporting for 64-bit and other things. But it has not been spoken of prioritization.

It is not definitely ArcGIS 9.4. All seem very good changes, as emerged by users that use other tools and who are consulted: what does your dammed program do, that ours don’t? With the variant that rather than justify superiority, it has been heard user’s point of view. Obviously it isn’t just to copy what other does well, sure there are two floors of a building with breaking heads (Spanish Idiom: “rompiéndose el coco” thinking and analyzing too much) seeing if in the Podcast the discourse of its annual operating plan wasn’t changed.

… Greetings, it expects two arduous testing years before reaching the satisfaction of the psalmist.

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