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Preview the Speaker Lineup @EsriDevSummit in Berlin, Nov 10-12


Esri Developer Summit in Berlin  is starting next week. It will give European developers a unique opportunity to learn more about the tools and technologies for creating mapping applications or adding maps to their existing apps. The agenda is packed with interesting presentations workshops, and a number of social events. Here are some highlights about key speakers and their respective presentations:

Euan Cameron is the CTO of Esri’s Developer Product Group. He is the lead architect and developer for all of the products and technologies within the ArcGIS platform that developers around the world use to build applications and systems specifically tailored to fit their needs and workflows. He will be a lead presenter in the Plenary session, and he will cover the latest tools and technologies for building apps for the web and for native devices of all kinds. He will  be presenting technical sessions on various topics related to building apps that can be deployed cross-platform and also for offline use. He will also present the ArcGIS Road Ahead session giving our developer community  a first look at capabilities we’re integrating into the ArcGIS platform over the next 2-3 years.

David Cardella is Esri’s Product Manager for Developer Technologies. He plans and guides the innovative projects we have underway for improving the power and usability of developer tools, not only APIs and SDKs, but also templates, app builders, and other utilities developers use to create their own custom mapping products. David will be a lead presenter during the Plenary session, and he will demonstrate and highlight some of the most important themes of the ArcGIS platform, such as smart mapping, 3D mapping, and real-time mapping and geoanalytics. He will also be presenting a technical workshop on how cross-platform native apps can be created without code using AppStudio for ArcGIS.

Lars Schmitz is the Director of Developer Products and Programs for Esri-Germany. On Tuesday, November 10th he will be the lead facilitator for the Startup Track session taking place  from13:00-17:00. In that session he will brief developers about the Esri Startup Program. This program is designed to help startup companies make best use of ArcGIS technology. Lars will also moderate several technical presentations from various startup companies for whom ArcGIS has helped them reach their objectives and succeed.

Matthias Schenker is the Director of Implementation Services for Esri-Switzerland. He leads Esri’s efforts to collaboratively work on projects large and small alongside ArcGIS users across Switzerland and Germany. In the Plenary session, he will demonstrate the newest smart mapping and 3D mapping capabilities, and then later he will run a workshop on how to use ArcGIS for Server r to creating and managing mapping web services.

James Milner is a Developer Evangelist for Esri-UK. He is responsible for developer community support and outreach, and is on a mission to expose the power of ArcGIS to developers across the UK. He will be leading a workshop on Esri’s contributions to and support for open data and open standards and the many ways developers can use open data to enhance the capabilities of their mapping apps for end-users.

Allan Laframboise is a Developer Advocate for Esri-USA. He is responsible for developer community support and outreach. At DevSummit he will be presenting a number of sessions related to open source projects, ArcGIS as an open platform for integrating many other tools and technologies including Leaflet.js, as well as a session on best practices for designing apps and user interfaces for the greatest user experience.



If you haven’t registered yet do it now. Geoawesomeness readers get 15% off using GEO15 code:).

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Mapzen shows crazy web map projections

Every GeoGeek knows that Mercator projection lies. It has been created by the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569 with the purpose to help sailors navigate. The idea behind it was that sailors don’t care about shapes of a land or metric distances, what is important is a course towards which they sail. In practice Mercator had to create a projection which would preserve angles (and by that means distort shapes and distances). Mercator decided to go for the easiest and the most useful solution, he created a map with perpendicular meridians and parallels, so that courses of ships would be represented on a map as straight lines.

But placing a globe on a flat surface always comes with a price. With this approach we get an easy to sail and navigate map but the map distortions increase with latitudes, as the north and south poles are at positive and negative infinity. In order to avoid infinitely tall map mapping services select an arbitrary cutoff point typically somewhere around 80 degrees.

Over the last 20 years Mercator projection has been brought to a global awareness by web mapping portals. There are a couple of reasons why they decided to go for that option. First of all the perpendicular grid of parallels and meridians is elegant and easy to use for programmers (it is  easy to cut into smaller tiles). Mercator projection is also favorable to rich western countries as it makes northern countries look biggest than they actually are.

Mapzen a NY-based, open source mapping lab is also aware of it and decided to show that web mapping is not all about Mercator. They’ve used their Tangram engine which allows for crazy dynamic transformations of OpenStreetMap and show cased couple of unique map projection concepts. We can read on the project’s website:

“Tangram draws maps in real-time in your web browser, using a hotline to your graphics card called OpenGL. Small programs called “shaders” allow the position and coloring of anything onscreen to be modified instantly, according to your own design.”

First of all you need to be patient as it make take a minute or two to load all the maps below. The first one presents Albers projection which is an equal-area conic projection focused mainly on the US.

Another cool thing done using Tangram engine is 3D-2D transformation to from the globe to plain Mercator projection.

But the most impressive things are yet to come. Below you see the Inception-alike horizonless projection.

“This bendy map is a mix of two views of the same data: the top part of the map is a standard top-down web map view (plus 3D buildings), and the bottom part is a tilted view of the same scene.”

The last example showcased by Mapzen is visualization of New York on a globe. It wraps the city tiles into a sphere of constant size and trims away whatever is left over.

These are only experimental projection concepts and there are not quite ready to take over the dominant position of Mercator but it shows that a lot of awesome things can be done. Great job Mapzen!

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