DNR Image Capture Tool Extends WMS to the Field
By Chris Pouliot, MN DNR
Sure, MnGeo has a great image server that provides over a million images a month via WMS, and you can use those in a variety of clients - as long as you’re connected to the internet. But what happens when you have to go in the field, with no wireless card and no connection to the web? Well, we at the Minnesota DNR asked ourselves the very same question, and if you have ArcGIS Desktop 10, you can take advantage of our solution.
Increasingly, there is a push to publish spatial data on the web in the form of services. At the DNR we are taking full advantage of this great technology. There is still the need, however, for the ability to bring that spatial information into the disconnected world of handheld data recorders and GPS units. To meet that need, we developed the “Export to Image” tool.
The tool is available at DNR’s ArcGIS Resources page. Click on the “DNR Export To Image” link and download the zip file, which contains instructions for using the tool. To install the tool, simply extract the contents to a folder on your hard drive and point the Customize dialog to that folder:
Customize Menu → Add-in Manager
Click the Options tab
Add Folder Button
Browse to the folder you extracted the zip file to
The Export to Image tool is an ArcMap Add-In and allows users to export the contents of a data frame to a full resolution image (JPG, JPG2000 or KMZ) that can then be transferred to a handheld device. Once added to ArcMap, the tool is relatively easy to use, although large areas can take a long time to process and users may notice a delay while a mosaic is created from a temporary geodatabase image catalog. However, once finished, a large “FINISHED PROCESSING” message will appear at the bottom of the tool’s log, and the user will be prompted to add the mosaicked image to the map. The resulting images are files that can be taken anywhere, regardless of internet connection. And for field users, that can sometimes be worth the wait.