June 22, 2009

Just sitting at the back of the class, trying hard not to get noticed

Cumberland County Community GIS

Well you know things aren't going to go well when you're using Firefox and you get the following message:

It doesn't tell me what browsers are supported, just says that my Firefox Netscape??? browser isn't. That's helpful to the average user.

From a functional standpoint, this site works. It does what it is supposed to do - display GIS data. Does it add anything vs. the standard ArcIMS Viewers that are a dime-a-dozen?!? Nope, sorry.
When the parents ask "How'd Johnny do on his assignment?", if the teacher replies "well, he handed it in"... you can read between the lines.

Search tools are pretty standard - searching by Parcel / Owner / Address / Street Name either take you to the place on the map, or punts you to another website
with joined information (Owner info for example).

Marks for

- Dynamic legend - changes with what you have in the map

- Help is there - which is always important and they get marks for that
- State Plane Coordinate display
- Standard colors are average (except for their Zoning layer - see below for example)

- Dynamic layer control - turn something on - it turns on. Turn it off? You guessed it.

Marks against:

- Scale bar is hard to read in their bold font
- No halo text around some features make them difficult to read when the aerial image is turned on

- No mention of downloading data
- No mention of metadata
- Displaying database column headings in query results - the average person doesn't care to see "ST_NAME" or "ST_NAME_ID" in a query result.
- The standard ArcIMS info tool isn't intuitive - if I want to select a parcel but my active layer is the streets layer, there should be a drilldown option so that all visible layers are presented. I don't want to have to keep going back to Layers / Active then Info every time I want to do a select query. This is because they haven't done anything outside the standard features of the ESRI ArcIMS HTML Viewer.
- So good they named it twice "Community GIS, GIS Viewer"

This map? Not so pretty.

Overall Grade:


(very average, a passing grade, but hasn't done anything extra to impress)

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