Dekho Geoprocessing Tool : Drive time

The essence of GIS is to answer spatially related questions with maps.
If you are a GIS Analyst, you can open up a GIS package (e.g. ArcGIS Desktop, Dekho, etc), and use spatial tools like buffers, joins, selections, clips etc. to investigate your data to get the answers to these questions.  Your users want a magic button that gets them the answer in the most efficient way possible.

This is where geoprocessing services come in…

In my opinion, GP services in ArcGIS Server are severely under-rated.
You can jump into model builder in ArcGIS Desktop, string together a complex workflow of geoprocessing tools, and publish these to ArcGIS Server.
These services can then be consumed in clients like Dekho to add another level of intelligence to your Dekho maps.

I thought I would start off simple, more to show those out there that do custom development, how easy it is to create a custom tool to consume a geoprocessing service.

I have based the service on the Esri sample GP service for drive times, using the Esri v10 sample service.
A slight (ok – fundamentally major) issue with this tool, is that it only works in the USA.

However, Esri have recently incorporated the NAVTEQ datasets into their own basemaps.
This is awesome news (you can use these maps for free), but the drive times service that will use this NAVTEQ data is still behind a secure service on a 10.1 version (but dam its fast).
As soon as they make this link public, I will modify this tool to work against it.

Bolting Tool onto your Dekho.

The process is the same as in the web-help.

    1. Download the tool from the downloads gallery.
    2. Create a folder under your ROOT folder under Tomcat.  e.g. CATALINA_HOME\webapps\ROOT\dekhotools\drivetimes
    3. Dump DriveTimes.swf, drivetimes.png, GPConfig.xml under this folder.
    4. Add the tool in via the Dekho Admin:

 

  1. Test in Dekho.
GPConfig.xml is a very simple file that lets you alter the drive time values for the geoprocessing service without jumping into Flash Builder:

 

<inputparameters>
	<DriveTimes>3 4 5</DriveTimes>
</inputparameters>

 

I aim to extend this tool to actually have more parameters to make it capable of passing any GP service into it, and it will be able to deal with the input parameters and throw out the relevant output parameters.

As mentioned, this tool is a basic tool, more aimed at developer who want to have a go at reverse engineering the tool to work against their own services.

Custom tools are not covered under the scope of support – please use Dekho Answers for any problems with the tool, or feedback via comments below.

 

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One Response to "Dekho Geoprocessing Tool : Drive time"

  • Frederic P

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