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Realtime Editing Scripts

A major concern of agencies using GIS is data currency and attributes accuracy. Maintenance of data is one of the costliest issues in a GIS operation and generally only qualified GIS professionals have the skills required to maintain the myriad of datasets housed in the GIS enterprise. In addition, creating new datasets adds to the burden. With these constraints, it’s no wonder that spatial data is often out of date. It's just too big a job for small departments and resources for additional personnel are not available.

What if there was a way to get some help from local data experts who are not GIS experts? For example, what if Road Commissioner staff could help you maintain the county centerline if they had a way to perform preliminary data maintenance?

If this vision is practical for your organization, IGRE has developed a suite of customized scripts, which extends the capabilities of ArcIMS for those organizations using an ArcSDE geodatabase in their GIS architecture. These scripts allow authorized users of an ArcIMS service to interact with map layers designed for the editing of point, line and polygon features and their associated attribute tables. The ArcIMS map layers with the scripts are configured with the ArcSDE geodatabase constructed for the editing functions.

An ArcIMS map service configured with these scripts allow users to create new features or edit existing features and attributes in real time to the SDE geodatabase layer. Because this happens in a Web environment (near real time), you can view the changes you make immediately. If you are conferencing with a collogue viewing the same website, both users can see the changes immediately, and both can make edits to the same features, interactively with each other in real time. Imagine the possibilities!

Server Side: Windows 2000 Server; IIS/Tomcat 5.1; SQL Server 2000; ArcSDE; ArcIMS
Client Side: Java-enabled Internet Browser (e.g. Internet Explorer)

You can interact with the IGRE Online Map Editor scripts by visiting
This website deploys the standard ArcIMS tools and the IGRE Editing scripts (lower left set of tools). For demonstration purposes, we have locked the layers located in the Base Layers folder in the Table of Contents (TOC) for security. We don’t want users to delete the reference data they may use to identify the edits they want to make on this demonstration site. Therefore, only those layers in the Editable Layers folder can be edited by the scripts.

The basic functions of the IGRE Online Editing Scripts are:

  IGRE Online Editing Scripts

At this juncture in the development of the editing scripts (Version 1) there are no topological editing functions. However, the scripts can still be used to edit and maintain associated feature attribute tables. Therefore, the scripts should not be used to edit topological features, such as cadastre, but can be used to edit stand-alone features.

A typical website configuration would include the data layers the user wishes to edit along with a copy of each of those layers for use as a reference layer. Backdrop imagery should also be used for reference, if available. The editing layers contain all of the spatial features and associated attribute tables that can be acted upon by the editing scripts, while the reference layers are locked because the Delete script allows the user to delete entire features.

Data created or edited by the tool scripts is saved in real time to the SDE layer configured for that layer. Therefore, once the edit is made and saved to the SDE layer, it is immediately visible on the web browser.

Map Layer Maintenance
Map Layer Feature Creation
Planning & Visualization

For more information about these innovative scripts, and how you can use them in your Web applications, contact Mike Dueweke at Eastern Michigan University. or call 734 487-8487