Way Ahead for zigGIS

Abe, Paolo and I had a chat session yesterday to coordinate efforts on zigGIS. It was good session and we’re all on the same page with getting zigGIS solidified.

The general theme of the outcome from yesterday is that we want to make zigGIS a solid experience for PostGIS users first. We have discussed other data sources in the past but we feel that we should nail down PostGIS first and then let that be a reference implementation for other data sources such as Oracle Spatial, MS SQL Spatial and the like.

With that said, the most glaring gap in the current capability of zigGIS is editing. Meaning you can’t. Editing is our highest priority in the near future. Over the next few weeks, we will be developing use cases to define an editing workflow. We’ll also prototype ways to integrate zigGIS with the native editing capabilities of ArcMap in order to reduce the amount of custom editing code we need to write.

We’ll also be restructuring the existing code. The current code is rather flat in that individual .cs files contain multiple classes and the directory structure doesn’t reflect the namespaces. Fixing all of that will give us a little more flexibility with version control and managing distributed programming. It’ll also make it easier if…ahem…any other programmers want to join the project.

There are also still some performance issues with the current capabilities we need to iron out, such as the one Bruce pointed out a while ago.

Of course the catalog objects are ongoing but there may not be any movement on that until after we get the code restructured. Paolo is going on vacation for three weeks 😀 but Abe is planning to start the code restructure in the meantime as a way to re-familiarize himself with the code.

As always, the biggest impediment is time. It seems that the need to put food on the table refuses to go away but we should be able to build a little more forward momentum than we’ve seen recently.

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9 Responses to Way Ahead for zigGIS

  1. Jason Birch says:

    I feel like I’m pimping here, but have you considered using FDO as a data access layer for zigGIS? There are providers for Oracle and MS SQL Spatial already, and a PostGIS provider in the svn tree (hasn’t been released yet, but it works). FDO has both managed and unmanaged APIs available for Windows: http://fdo.osgeo.org/


  2. Bill Dollins says:

    Not pimping at all!

    Actually, we did discuss looking at other means to interface with the data sources on the back end. The real purpose/complexity of zigGIS is creating the necessary interface with ArcObjects to get the data sources to behave properly in ArcGIS. We don’t really see ourselves in the business of writing new interfaces to the data sources themselves. Paolo mentioned SharpMap and FDO has been on my radar screen for a while. Referring to the FDO diagram on your web site, zigGIS would essentially fit into the “Client Application” block.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Jason Birch says:

    If you do decide to investigate further, give Haris at SL-King a shout. He’s already done some cool stuff with his fdo2fdo application and the two providers he’s written, and might be the best bet to help get you up to speed after you look through The Essential FDO and the FDO Developers Guide.

  4. Bruce says:

    Thanks for looking into this! To me editing is not an issue. I can do a database refresh or have a few people in charge of editing the master feature class or shapefile and then reload. Others will need and use editing. The only reason for me to use PostGIS as a data source is so I can view and display in ArcMap a small subset of a massive data archive quickly. In other words a SDE. Again, while I am not in your league as a coder, any VB work I did to return the display extent in pgArc you are welcome to.

  5. Bill Dollins says:


    We had always planned to but we’ve had to get our act together a little. I was examining the code and it looks to me like it’s try to return only the geometry objects that intersect the extent. Would it be possible for us to use one of your larger data sets to test with? If there’s anything sensitive in the content, you could cull it down to the geometry and an oid and we could test with that. Just a thought.

  6. Bill Dollins says:

    Thanks. I’ve pulled it down and will do some testing with it.

  7. Bruce says:

    I have posted a small subset of the well locations in Colorado at (location removed by Bill Dollins). It is a published shapefile so it should OK to use.

  8. Bill Dollins says:


    It looks like someone else downloaded your data from the link above. Not sure if you want it getting out too widely. You may want to pull it from your site now,

  9. Bill Dollins says:

    Sorry it’s taken so long. I can’t seem to get your shapefile to work. I can load it into PostGIS but it doesn’t display in either QGIS, UDIG or ZigGIS.

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