Jeff Hobbs' Intergraph and GIS Technology Blog

"A picture is only worth a thousand words. A map may be worth a thousand numbers. But a GIS is worth a thousand tables."

GeoMedia’s New Search Tool

Posted by adamlodge on September 22, 2009

Fast Note by Jeff Hobbs: The functionality that Adam describes below was has been in the product for some time. Maybe as far back as 6.0. I just wanted to make sure the readers all understand that you do NOT need to upgrade to 6.1.6 to use this functionality.

The folks at Intergraph recently introduced a new search tool in GeoMedia that brings my ability to develop data maintenance workflows of this sort to a new level.  It is often the case that the most difficult part of a data maintenance or integration workflow is not in linking the records after you find the right place on the map, or in digitizing the geometry, but in actually searching and/or panning and zooming the map to where it needs to be to allow entry of the new spatial data record.

Here is an example… I have a spreadsheet that I acquired from the local power company that specifies locations (in non-standard English descriptions) for every light pole in my client’s city.  All that my client wants to do is create a GIS point feature that is attributed with the unique ID for each light pole from the spreadsheet and inherit the other attributes from the spreadsheet.  It is easy to digitize a point for each pole once you know where to put it.  The difficult part of the workflow is to turn this English descriptive location into a meaningful location on the map  for each record.

In the old paradigm, I would use the attribute query tool to predefine a SQL statement in which someone can search for a parcel or a street to help the person doing the data entry find the location of interest.  This was difficult for the user because in order to find anything at all, the user cannot do anything to the SQL that would mess it up – like forget to put the closing apostrophe at the end of the statement if it is a text field.  However, with the new search tool, (available in version 6.01.06.19), I can predefine a search, pin wildcards to each side of the user-input search term, and GeoMedia will provide an input box for the user to enter the search string.  The result is that it is easy for a person completely unversed in SQL to reliably execute a search query in GeoMedia against an available table or feature class.

This may seem pedestrian to GIS veterans, but I really think that this is a huge leap forward in the usability of GeoMedia workflows for folks less versed in database.  And let’s face it – it means that us GIS veterans have to do less of the drudgery of data creation.  So… create those workflows, pass them off to the interns, and go have yourself some shrimp cocktail.

For more details on exactly how to use the search tool, open up GeoMedia , go to Help –> GeoMedia Help Topics, and type ‘search’ on the index tab.

2 Responses to “GeoMedia’s New Search Tool”

  1. Steve Hoffman said

    The Search/Searches tool in the GeoMedia desktop products are not new or “recently” added. These became available in the initial release of the 6.1 software back in October of 2007. It is only that until recently, many users either were not aware or didn’t understand the functionality or potential benefit of using them.

  2. Jeff Hobbs said

    I find this tool to be very useful. One note though, when working with Oracle data sets, the data are case sensitive. It would be great if Intergraph could somehow work around this limitation.

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