Friday, March 28, 2008

Integration of FalconView and ArcGIS

Starting with version 4.1, FalconView will be able to read and display map documents generated by ArcMap through a plugin overlay which will be shipped and installed with FalconView. When the user installs ArcGIS, a button that activates the GIS Overlay will appear on the FalconView toolbar. The early FalconView 4.1 version of the GIS Overlay will allow users to view ArcGIS map documents and data in FalconView and do some limited changes to the way those map documents are displayed. This paper describes the 4.1 effort in some detail.

(For users who do not have access to an ArcGIS license, FalconView will continue to function normally without the GIS Overlay. Many FalconView users - perhaps the majority of them - will have access to ArcGIS through the CJMTK program.)

I'm quite excited about the project I'm working on now. FalconView 4.2, which is still in development, will not only have all of the features of FalconView 4.1, but it will contain a GIS Editor which is almost like an "ArcMap lite." It will allow editing of map documents and feature classes, spatial queries, access to the ArcGIS geoprocessing libraries, and lots of extras. The output of the GIS Editor will be drawn as an overlay on the FalconView map. We're planning to allow users to pull data from existing FalconView overlays (local points, threats, tactical graphics, DAFIF, DTED, etc.) into the GIS Editor so that FalconView data can be used in spatial queries and geoprocessing. Map documents generated in the FalconView 4.2 GIS Editor can be saved and opened in ArcMap.

FalconView 4.2 will enter beta testing this summer. The screen capture included with this entry shows where we are at the moment (click on it to see a larger image.) It's a big undertaking, but the early results are promising. Expect some technical discussion of the ArcGIS and FalconView programming involved in this effort in future blog entries here. Stay tuned.

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