Dane Hopkins, GIS Developer of IREA (Intermountain Rural Electric Association) was tapped for this guest post regarding his creation of a Google Street View .Net add-in for ArcMap.
The Google Street View add-in has been extremely helpful to our GIS Editors while editing in our GIS.
It works great when adding new features or aligning older features and verifying those locations with the Street View.
We find it helpful when identifying poles and its attached equipment or verifying taps from the pole.
We find it also helpful for our Joint Use assessment and verification.
Before, our users were switching back and forth from Google Maps to ArcMap and it was difficult because the two apps would not stay synchronized at the same zoomed location.
Often you would zoom to a location in GIS, then switch from Google Street View to Google Maps and pan to the corresponding location and then have to drag the Street View “person” icon back onto the map to open Google Street View.
It’s nice to have a tool available within ArcMap to eliminate the switching back and forth between ArcMap and Google Maps.
The two apps sit side by side on the desktop and are locational synced with a single click in ArcMap.
Sometimes the Google Street View brings up more questions that require a physical field visit but most often information is answered or confirmed with Google Street View.
I found the Python add-in that many of you have seen circulating around the GIS community and decided I wanted to develop a .NET version that had the same concept.
I’ve had issues with the Python add-ins in the past and felt better having it written with ArcObjects.
I also added exception handling and conditions to it to help with debugging any errors that may occur.
Essentially, it grabs the coordinates from your left mouse click, no matter what Coordinate System you may be using (looks at the first Data Frame’s Coordinate System in the TOC), and projects those coordinates to WGS1984 (Decimal Degrees).
Google Maps accepts Decimal Degrees as their preferable format when doing a search. I’ve done it many times.
I will enter the coordinates in the Google search, separated by a comma, and it takes me straight to those coordinates.
This is basically what the tool is doing.
It grabs those coordinates from your mouse click and formats them into a URL, and then opens the URL in your default web browser.
Give it try! Let me know what you think. Does this help your organization?
SSP's Note - Dane has graciously agreed to allow us to distribute his add-in to the utility community. You can download the Google Street View Add-In for free.