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Thread: GIS newbie - transportation planning

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    GIS newbie - transportation planning

    I am a computer programmer looking to get into the GIS field, with an
    emphasis on planning, particularly transportation planning. Which .NET course I should pursue, ASP.NET or VB.NET?

  2. #2
    I wouldn't recommend either of those (at least to start with). I am in the middle of getting my GISP certification and they recommend having a good knowledge of Python programming language (as that is what ESRI's ArcGIS software uses). Additionally, SQL database knowledge and skills is a must if you really want to have a leg up on GIS people entering the job market. ASP.NET is something I would personally like to learn, but VB.NET may be better for GIS applications. It all depends on what you are working on.

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          jhboyle's avatar
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    The ArcObjects tool set(what ARCGIS is built out of) is built on VB, not python, python is just a scripting language for ARCGIS. ASP.NET or VB.NET would be a great start, but the best bet would be to read the ARCGIS user guide on the help in the software, this is pretty vague and its kind of late so if you want I can give you some more specific answers to any questions you have. I can post some good online books from ESRI tomorrow if I remember. SQL, ARCSDE and ARCIMS would be good software to familiarize yourself with also.

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    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    But .NET is the language of choice for server-side applications, which the ArcGIS Server application will be the 'future' for GIS applications.

    But to be honest, I would concentrate on just GIS for now & not venture into transportation planning. If you are a high end GIS developer, you won't likely be planning but developing applications for planners & the public.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by altoss View post
    I am a computer programmer looking to get into the GIS field, with an
    emphasis on planning, particularly transportation planning. Which .NET course I should pursue, ASP.NET or VB.NET?
    You are getting some correct and incorrect info in this thread. I am going the other direction from you (GIS User to GIS Application Developer), so I will share with you what I know:

    1. ASP.NET and VB.NET would be great. I would start with VB.NET first if I were you, as that will allow you to start developing some custom tools. ASP.NET will be more helpful if you start doing online applications such as map servers, etc.

    2. I agree with the others who mentioned database knowledge. GIS is very database-driven and it is essential to know your stuff in this area.

    3. Most GIS development is heading the way of C#. It's just faster and more efficient (even considering the common runtime aspect of .NET). If your programming background is in C++ or Java, then you'll find C# to be like driving a Cadillac

    4. There are examples and walk-throughs for .NET all over the esri developer website. They do give more examples in VB but there are plenty for C# as well. Also, development is in .NET 1.0 at the moment but will change to .NET 2.0 with the release of ArcGIS 9.2

    5. Python is a great scripting language but it is almost pointless to learn for GIS in my opinion. It's limited to automating pre-existing tools in the Geoprocessor and cannot do anything else. VB.NET or C# are the way to go if you want to do any real development in GIS. As for transportation planning, you can learn what you need to by reading and talking to people in the field. If you're a programmer, you're going to be writing applications to support whatever office you're a part of, so most of what you need to know about what is needed can be learned on the job.

    Hope this points you in the right direction. Below are some helpful links that you'll want to check out:

    http://www.arcdeveloper.net/

    http://edn.esri.com/

    How to make a simple tool in VB.NET: http://edndoc.esri.com/arcobjects/9....through2VB.htm

    How to make the same tool in C#: http://edndoc.esri.com/arcobjects/9....through2CS.htm

    Also, this is the best book available for learning your way around the ArcObjects model (btw, the objects are actually created in C++): http://www.amazon.com/Getting-ArcObj...e=UTF8&s=books

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    Thanks to all for your responses. I will pursue both VB.NET and ASP.NET. I may have the opportunity to take both as three-day courses a month apart. I am also considering a geodatabase course.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by altoss View post
    Thanks to all for your responses. I will pursue both VB.NET and ASP.NET. I may have the opportunity to take both as three-day courses a month apart. I am also considering a geodatabase course.
    All three of those would really help you get a head start. Many GIS programmers come from another background and have never used GIS before, but are still able to write applications after a short period of time. It is much, much easier to teach a programmer GIS fundamentals than it is to teach a GIS user how to program.

  8. #8

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    I am a GIS major at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi. I work at the MPO, and most of what i have had to do thus far as an intern has been relatively basic. I never have had to do any programming of any kind. Most of the GIS techniques I use regularly are SQL querying, database management, georeferencing, modifying shapefiles, downloading and working with CTPP data, preparing maps to embed into the MTP and other documents...thats pretty much it. You may also want to look into acquiring data from the DOT. You can find various screening tools with lots of environmental data that will come into play. ArcGIS 9.x and TransCAD are the main platforms to know. I never used TransCAD prior to working here at the MPO, but it is relatively easy to learn. If you would like to integrate some programming, then VB 6.0 is great because its easy to integrate ESRI MapObjects. You can easily build standalone programs to perform basic GIS functions such as pan, zoom, add/remove data, labeling, turn off/on layers, etc...very nice for the lay GIS user who is unfamiliar with ArcMap.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Most have moved on from VB6 these days. It's an old development environment and does not have the horsepower of .NET, especially .NET 2.0 (Visual Studio 2005).

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