Visual Basic Programming

exiftool is very cool

I discovered this command line tool called exiftool written by Phil Harvey. It is a platform independant Perl library used to manipulate, edit, read, write exif data in photographic images. So far I've written a bash script to geotag images using user supplied geographic coordinates (DMS format) but it can also use GPS log files to geotag and geosync your photos. By default it creates a backup of the original but can also write over the original instead. It looks like a pretty powerful little tool. I think it was about 8MB to install it and it is freeware.

How to access a misplaced ArcMap Window

Today I accidentally moved a Command Prompt window so far up and out of the way of my main ArcMap application window that I couldn't grab it and bring it back. Very nice (not). It took me awhile to figure out how to get it back. I added some comments and changed the GetDockableWindow function to the one I needed.

I found the answer here.

I never needed to even visit the link that he references but its here in case you want to see it.

When to Automate

I'm just pondering something that I think about fairly often when I'm asked to do some immense task like create output for 2,256 watersheds. That was today's task ... and by “today” I mean ... I'm not going to finish it today, it was just added to my inbox today. I have to use the 2001 NLCD to create forest/non-forest data and then clip out a piece for each of the 2,256 sheds to run Fragstats on. What I wonder about is how much of this can I automate with a script. The answer usually boils down to efficiency. I mean how much time would it take to write the script vs. how much time would it take to do it manually. Usually there are several steps (as in the present case) so I have to answer the question for each step. Sometimes a script can be useful in the future so it may be worth writing one even if it takes a little longer to write than to do it manually (because it will be so much quicker next time you have to do a similar task).

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