October 14, 2010

Quickly Toggle Map Service Visibility

I had a rather strange outing the other day. I drove to the local coast to have a beach fire, roast marshmallows, enjoy the full moon, the stars and the sound of the ocean waves. The evening was as you can image; beautiful. There were a number of young people with us and near us. And like many teenagers they have been stricken with a debilitating condition: this ailment results in the loss of the use of their right hands, poor hearing, and limited attention span from cell phone addiction. They find it difficult to rise from the seated position in a low chair, dare they lose sight of the screen or lose physical contact with the device that might result in missing a vibration fix from an incoming text message.

The luminous intensity of the bonfire in front of this one teen was significantly interfering with his vision in contrast to the phone display, resulting in facial contortions and pained squinting to discover that his friend had texted that he is bored and just wanted him to know. Without taking his eyes off his phone he texts a media message of the fire in front of him to his friend, who like he, can now experience the event on his 1 inch screen. I’m wondering if the digital version of life somehow seems more real or important to them within the device when compared to the full spectrum 3D experience they might enjoy should they but lift their gaze up 5 degrees… Strange world we are creating.

Well sometime we just need to turn it off; turn it all off. Although map services are extremely valuable for both context and reference, sometimes I just want to edit my drawing completely undistracted. Here is a simple lisp routine I can add to a toolbar in AutoCAD that will toggle the visibility of all the Esri map services in my drawing on, or off with a single click. When added to a toolbar button, this tool gives me a one click On/Off. Find this tool and other useful sample tools at the Esri CAD integration resource center code sharing gallery… and consider submitting your own.

Life, it is just like the Wii, ...only real.


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