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www.undertowsoftware.com • View topic - Building Outlines
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Building Outlines

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:12 pm
by papajay
Does anyone know if there is a source to get building outline data to import to precision mapping, like the building outlines visible in google maps?

I have gotten some shape files for property lots, from my town, and I import and overlay them on the precision mapping data, but they do not have building outline data.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:46 pm
by jimmyr
papajay wrote:Does anyone know if there is a source to get building outline data to import to precision mapping, like the building outlines visible in google maps?


I too have been looking for a source of such data, but haven't been able to find any. If someone can locate such a source I would be very interested in it.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:10 am
by Garytf
Papajay, I am not aware of any single source that has the data you are looking for, other than may be openstreetmap (and I am nor even sure about that). However, there are lots of web pages out there that have similar info for specific areas and you may be lucky to find one that has the data for the area you are interested in. Now, you have to remember that the quality of any such data is not guaranteed, since each source has different QA processes and procedures. And, such files are bound to be fairly large in size. I have downloaded some of them in the past and have been able to import them to precision mapping without any problems. Your experience may be different, don't know.

In any case, here are a couple of links for such data for Seattle and Spokane.

http://data.seattle.gov/dataset/2009-Building-Outlines/y7u8-vad7

http://www.spokanecity.org/services/gis/data/

You may want to post here and tell us if you are able to find other data and how successful you were to import it into the program.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:54 am
by papajay
Thanks for the replies. The sources provided had building outlines, indeed and I was able to download some of them and import them in pmsat90. It actually works pretty good. I also found some links to the open source map, which had lots of building outlines in their data, but not a visible way to extract that data to a shp file, so I could use it.

There must be other sources out there, I'll keep looking.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:02 am
by Garytf
Papajay, if you find such a tool, let me know. I'd sure would like to use it as well.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:24 am
by papajay
I just wanted to mention that my quest for building outlines has not ended, so if anyone here comes up with any sources or any way to convert open map formats, please let me know!

Thank you.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:30 am
by Ruby22
Garytf, you probably don't need a converter for the open map data, there are lots of sources with building outline polygons where you can download the data for free. And, most of it is pretty good data. However, that can be a big quest. Don't look at google that has the outlines as pert of their maps, they have data centers with hundreds of servers and unlimited bandwidth to handle all that. Most of us don't have such resources.

For example, here are two sources of SHP files with building outlines.

http://www.opendataphilly.org/opendata/resource/6/buildings/ This is for the city of Philly and it's over 140 Mb (70+ Mb compressed in a ZIP archiive). And this is just for the city!

http://egis3.lacounty.gov/dataportal/2011/04/28/countywide-building-outlines/ This is for the LA county. Over 1 Gb of data (500+ Mb ZIP file). A larger area than Philly, but still a small fraction of the USA coverage.

My recommendation is to look for the specific (small) areas for coverage you need in each case and then locate and download only the data for those areas each time, instead of trying to get building outlines for the US.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:51 pm
by GreFurn
Ruby22, wouldn't make more sense if undertow got this data and packaged it for precision mapping, like they do with the actual mapping data? Why should *we* have to go hunting for it? I'm sure they could use their technology to make the file sizes more manageable, plus isn't that what we are paying for, when we purchase the program? The data that goes with it?

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:55 pm
by Kevin_T
That's funny :) So, you paid 50 bucks (or whatever you paid for the program) and that entitles you to an infinite supply of data? Seriously? I know you are probably kidding, anyway, but out of curiosity, what do you do for a living? I just want to understand if that's how business is transacted in your sector.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:06 am
by GreFurn
I'm retired, how does that have any bearing on what we are talking about?

When I open google maps, I have access to ALL the data, all over the world, not some of the data, and it's free to boot!

That's what I would have expected from undertow, as well.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:40 am
by Kevin_T
Over 15 years ago, I was working for a software company that was producing an Accounting Software Package. It came in 3 flavors. One was for individuals, the other was for companies and the last one was for the enterprise. The cost was $79, $199 and $999+ respectively.

We used to get lots of "interesting" sales and tech support calls (I could write a book or two) :twisted:

One of those that sticks out in my mind was from a seemingly very intelligent individual who bought the $79 dollar package and he loved it. He said he liked it so much that he wanted to use it for his small business, but it was missing a dozen or so features. We explained that that was the package for individuals, the $199 package (for companies) had all those features. Although nice at first, he started getting aggravated, because he felt all these features should be part of the basic package.

We gave him the option to return the basic package (for full credit) and purchase the one for companies. Nope! His assertion was that the additional features in the more advanced package required only a few lines of additional coding and most of the hard work was already done in the basic package and how dare we charge so much more for just a few more lines of code. We offered to issue an RMA and refund his money, since he was not happy. Nope! He liked the product and he wanted to keep it. But, he also wanted the additional features and he shouldn't have to pay for them.

He would report us to the Better Business Bureau, the State's Attorney General's Office, local agencies, etc. We listened as long as we could and after about half-an-hour on the phone we politely offered once more a full refund. He declined and we hang up. He called back no less than 20 times, one right after the other, each time more irate than the previous one, because each time, we would offer to upgrade for full credit of the basic version, we would offer a full refund, he would refuse both and we would thank him for the call and hang up.

I wonder what happened to that customer and if he ever upgraded, returned the package, etc. Now I am wondering... Was that you? :-)

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:12 pm
by artmart
No Kevin, that was ME! Wah!!! I still hate you, I hate you, I hate you.

I also tried this when I bought a Ford Expedition, than wanted it to do what a Ford F-350 can do. Imagine my chagrine when I had to buy a new truck and take a loss on the Expedition.

LOL! NOT!

There's a few members in this forum that are thankfully learning (or not), that for whatever reason this does also apply to software. They'll buy a better CPU, video adapter, more RAM to increase their features but they expect all SOFTWARE upgrades for FREE just because they paid a little something! Go figure.

It's called ignorance! Software has tried and has successfully done so much for free, that it is always expected in all cases. This has created an expectation by the unknowing public that ALL software should be free because they can't see it, touch it (the CD/DVD or download don't cost anything), or consider it tangible. Therefore, it should be free. However, even Google is not free. People who buy from their advertisers and the advertisers are the ones paying for the software so that it's free to some users like the tightwad who thinks it's free to them - someone else paid for it but it's not free. For those set in their ways, they'll never understand, so you correct them and move on.

You can't fix stupid (ouch, I said that?) So sorry if you are offended, but if you are offended, then the shoe probably fits. Allow a company to distribute or sell their software the way it meets their goal. You don't tell automakers how to build and distribute their option packages, don't do this with software companies either.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:24 am
by RMiller
You guys gave me a good laugh :-)

True, "us" users get like that sometimes, but it's not for no reason. Lots of companies, in particular software companies, try to extract more money out of us for minor differences in various levels of software.

It is also true that we associate the cost of the software with the cost of the "CD" and forget that the cost may also include the expenses for a team of 20 developers (let's say) working on it for a year, or two or longer. I think we've trained to think like that by the market. We don't analyze the amortization of the price and cost of a product every time we buy something, because the concept of price, unit cost, mass production, etc. are all confused and we just look at the bottom line, and compare it to other bottom lines.

Anyway, this can be the subject of a long discussion. I do agree that lately, partially because of the internet, we may expect software and information, in general, to be free.

Re: Building Outlines

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:10 pm
by kimtoll
That doesn't only happen in software, Kevin_T. And, you can't allways pin it all on the customer! I remember when companies treated customers much better, because they wanted to keep them. Nowadays, they are looking for the quick buck and don't care about the relationship. And, they do try to squeeze the customer out of every dollar they can.

Simple example. We use Quickbooks Pro at work (Small outfit <10 people), for our accounting and payroll. Every year, Intuit charges us ~ $400 to update the tax tables in teh program. Are you kidding me? I have written programs that did payrol and updating the tables was a trivial, less than one-task once a year. I con do it myself (like we used to do in other accounting/payroll programs, before Intuit became a monopoly). Just give me access to the tables file, where I can enter the coefficients for the formula and I'll do it. No! Intuit cannot guarantee the correctness of the calculations if the allow users to modify the tables. Are you serious? Fine, Let me chenge them and I'll sign a paper that indemnifies Intuit. No! The tables are stored in a (binary) proprietary format and we cannot divulge the format or allow editting.

How can a user not feel frustration and resentment towards such a company?