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12

I use a trackball sometimes, but nowadays I use a touchpad/tablet. Wacom makes some nice models like the new Bamboo Connect. I like this model because it only activates from a pen input, finger touch is not part of this model. I found I was just disabling the finger touch/input altogether and using solely the pen. PROS: They are cheap and prices have ...


7

My main suggestions would be to: Save a little on the CPU by getting a slightly less powerful but much less expensive model and use the savings to get a solid state drive (SSD) to put your operating system and applications on. This will make boot and app startup times very short, as well as effectively eliminate those common little stutters caused by ...


7

I use an old Logitech Trackman like the one below, only white. To the best I can tell, manufacturers have neglected the trackball market because the old Logitechs work well and never break. No reason to compete with the best. As far as why I like this trackball, it mostly comes down to the fact that I like to be different. I also type in Dvorak and I ...


7

Disk I/O has usually been the bottleneck when it comes to GIS for most uses. A reliable (keyword) Solid State Drive will be your best bet assuming you have at least a Sandy bridge processor (i'd wait a few weeks for Ivy Bridge if you don't have a processor yet) and a decent amount of ram (8gb minimum for today's Ram prices). Unfortunately, Esri's ArcMap is ...


7

Does ArcGIS 10 actually use multiple cores? ArcGIS 10 can leverage multiple cores by e.g. launching geoprocessing tools as background processes. Unless you're running a massive amount of parallel geoprocessing tools, I wouldn't go for maximum number of cores. It's better to get fewer, but with more horsepower. The Celcius R920 supports up to 512 gb ...


6

You could export your scenes to specialist 3D modelling/viewing software. This is what I usually do because the 3D viewers of most GISs are a bit limited (EDIT: in fact I'd forgotten ERDAS Imagine does stereo too but I haven't used it for ages so I can't remember if it is just anaglyph). EXPANDED (as per Chad's request): You need to implement a modelling ...


6

I use the Cintiq 24HD from Wacom. (I also use the little Wacom Bamboo Touch on my other computer). The retired cartographer i replaced was visiting the other day, he was impressed by the ressemblance with his old drawing table :) I'm using pen tablets since a long time, it's AMHA very precise and natural to draw with.


6

I'm using one that you originally suggested - the Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4 (medium right handed). One of the best purchases I've made for my PC in ages; PROS Comfortable to use - you wrist is in a more neutral position, and it has nice rests for the thumb and the pinky finger. Particularly after an extended session using the mouse my wrist feels a whole ...


6

If you want to run ArcGIS on a Mac (as I do at home), there are two routes you can take. The first is to buy virtualization software -- Parallels or VMWare Fusion are probably the best options for that. These allow you to run Windows within OS X, and for each "virtual machine" you can allocate a specific amount of your system's total resources (RAM, CPU ...


5

It may be helpful to define what you mean by workstation vs. desktop, as they can mean very different things to different people. For example, I consider a workstation computer as having more than 4 cores (and sometimes more than one processor), having high-speed storage (such as SSDs or 10-15K RPM HDDs in a striped RAID configuration), and having a ...


5

I have an 80GB Intel SSD in my desktop. While it has lowered the time it takes to start programs and speeds up many I/O-heavy tasks, there has only been one situation where having an SSD made a fundamental difference in my workflow. I was using ENVI, and I had to convert a couple 5000x5000x250 binary rasters from BSQ interleave to BIP. Using a traditional ...


5

I would absolutely get an SSD over a mechanical hard drive as your system boot drive and application installation drive. If you deal with processing large data sets, you may want to use the SSD for that too (or get a second SSD to use as a scratch disk). You will probably still need a larger mechanical HDD for storage. ArcGIS 10 cannot use multiple cores ...


4

There's a session on speeding up GIS servers using SSD drives at FOSS4G 2011. You can find the slides on Slideshare. It focuses on free and open source GIS servers though. But I think the same performance gains should also apply to workstations.


4

I'm composing a build for a workstation to support consulting. At work for the past 12 years I've had daily use of various Xeon flavors of engineering workstations. The "corporate" standard build for CAD designers is typically what I draw from---and sometimes help IT staff tune the specs for. The newer ArcGIS Server (10.1 and up) seem to run much faster ...


4

Some of those applications are threaded, some aren't, its a difficult question without knowing your exact usage patterns. As of v10, ArcGIS can use up to 2 cores simultaneously, one for the main application and one for a geoprocessing. Of course, license-depending, you can also run multiple copies of ArcGIS at once. ESRI's long winded answer to this question ...


4

You can find the system requirements for ArcGIS 10.2 (the latest version) here and for ERDAS here. The laptop you list more than satisfies the minimum requirements. For schooling you probably won't need a powerhouse and the machine you list will be more than adequate. In the event that you want to upgrade here are some things to consider: Processor: an ...


4

Any OpenGL card should work well, whether NVidia or AMD. This quote from ArcGIS Desktop Help, gives a basic discussion of what graphics card you should buy for 3D Analyst: Which graphics card should I buy? A good OpenGL-compliant graphics card with at least 64 MB of texture memory is recommended. Most desktop systems come equipped with power ...


3

I have always based anything I have built on power and performance. I would never recommend an onboard Graphics capability if you are doing serious GIS work. Remember, also, if this is your development machine, it's likely to be running something like Oracle/SQL Server* and Java, or VS2010 and these are very, very hungry beasts. ArcPy itself likes to chew ...


3

On the hardware side, I'd recommend staying with something in the i5 line, as that gets you the best bang for your buck, and any extra money might be better spent on improving other hardware. Your best bet to get the most out of your hardware is to look at what components are limiting you now. When you're running an process and look at task manager, what ...


3

I have a Xeon at work, with 8GB RAM, which tends to stop responding when I work with raster images. My previous i7 with 6GB RAM handled it fine, although the Xeon appears faster in all other areas. I do think though, since you have been given free range, that you should get as much RAM as possible. I'm also looking to get a new workstation for GIS at home, ...


3

First off, I would agree with @radek and @Jakub regarding the SSD. I recently got a new laptop for work, and the only thing that I would do differently would be an SSD. If you don't go with an SSD, then you definitely want to go with a 7200 RPM hard drive, as the 5400 will definitely impact performance. Here are my specs: Intel Core i7-2630QM - 2.0Ghz - ...


3

You might as well consider going with the new Core i7 as opposed to the Core i5 CPU, just to future proof the system and give you better performance in other areas. Keep in mind that some of the new i7 motherboards can handle up to 128 gig of RAM. Of course, you need a 64 bit operating system for that.


2

Yet another qualitative response if you're interested: As a boot disk / storage for your applications, you'll enjoy a very clear improvement in performance -- I just installed my first ever SSD and I love it! SSD memory cells do tend to degrade faster than a standard HDD, so continually writing data to it will cause loss in performance. Having TRIM ...


2

Works very well in Google Earth http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2006/11/3dconnexion_and_goog.html http://ogleearth.com/2006/11/3dconnexions-spacenavigator-the-review/ Demo: http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2006/11/youtube_demo_of_spac.html


2

I have an "older" 2011 HP with the specs show below. Consider this as a baseline for work with Erdas and ArcGIS 10.2. In other words, do not go with a system with less capability than this one as the lack of performance will likely be noticeable. Realistically, any heavy geoprocessing you do is often on a school computer or a via VPN connection to a ...


2

The overall hardware specs should be more than sufficient for basic tasks. However, note that the display's vertical resolution of 900 pixels can be quite limiting during work with maps or satellite / aerial images. You could consider a notebook with higher resolution, e.g. a 1920x1080 display or similar. At least I recommend to do a hands-on-comparison of ...


2

I'm running ArcGIS in a VirtualBox virtual machine on a Macbook Pro 2.4 Core 2 Duo with 8GB of RAM and an SSD. VirtualBox is free and works really well and FAST; the VM runs Windows 7 tweaked a bit (lots of online guides about this) to make it bare-bones. I don't run antivirus on the VM either - I just keep a backup of the original Win7 install (+ ArcGIS ...


1

Concerning the hardware part: In our GIS cluster (http://gis.cri.fmach.it/cluster/) we have recently added 96TB based on low end consumer hardware, obviously selecting carefully the disks. The file system system is based on the open source storage software glusterFS which enables us to add new storage in future easily ("GlusterFS is an open source, ...


1

I have used geopaparazzi (open source) on andriod with succes to map walking-trails. http://code.google.com/p/geopaparazzi/ Can log tracks or make georeferenced notes and pictures Using a json file you can make your own geo note templates (with drop-down's etc.) You can export kmz (including pictures) or use their Beegis tool to get the data in GIS. I ...



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