Webinar Recap, ArcGIS and HTML5 – Making things that we already do much easier

A webinar recap and some awesome resources to help familiarize you with HTML5, particularly for Geo web developers – I’ll admit it, I’m not too up on my HTML5, however, that doesn’t mean that I’m not interested in this hot technology!

Like many of you, the topic of HTML5 is on my mind and rightfully so – when you hear statements like HTML is likely the future of Geo web programming you pause and take notice! Luckily there’s some fine learning opportunities and resources available to help get introduced to this key enabling technology.

Just today (Feb 23 while I’m writing this) Eesri is hosting a webinar titled "Learn to Use HTML5 with Esri ArcGIS" – the event is streamed live 3X during the day and I’m told the session will be archived online in the near future for those who can’t attend.

Hosted by Andy Gup of Esri’s EDN program (he’s driving the bus) and assisted by Derek Swingley (of the ArcGIS for API Javascript team) the 45 minute webinar (See Learn to Use HTML5 with Esri ArcGIS ) is designed to educate users on how HTML5 can be used with your Esri web mapping projects and also give you a bit of a foundation as to what HTML5 is all about. Kicking off the session, Gup put it nicely by commenting that HTML5 is essentially all about making things that we already do much easier. You might be asking, What is html5? Well, that was also answered for us… Essentially, it’s a combo of 3 technologies – html, cascading style sheets (css3) and JAvaScript. The power it offers users is using all 3 technologies together.


Gup jumped right in and provided some demos and described what you can accomplish with HTML5. One of the best ways of learning is simply by doing so Gup suggests that users take advantage of the wealth of resources, code, docs, and other useful tidbits availble from the ArcGIS Resource Center. Of particular interest see the section on the
ArcGIS API for Javascript (see HTML5 tab) with numerous samples including details of the geolocation API  – see also the main page at links.esri.com/javascript

From the webinar, some key points about ArcGIS and HTML5:

  • Supported in current versions of all major web browsers – get the user’s approximate location – user can elect to share their location once, always, never.

  • No, there will be no ArcGIS API for html5

  • HTML5 is the next standard for HTML and includes new semantic tags (describing the page meaning), new form elements, several new APIs (like geolocation)
  • Diff mobile browsers support different features so that’s a consideration.
  • Easier and more simple to build complex apps than ever before!
  • Offers several new types of markup, including: simplified DocType (specifies mode to render the page and triggers validation), now, simply a <!doctype html>, also new header and footer tags – much less code and less time to write the code.HTML 4 had many input types (button checkbox etc…) now with HTML5 many new options

For new developers, an easy way to create code is via the CSS3 generator css3generator.com – See also caniuse.com and also a useful site with compatibility tables at html5rocks.com – and from Chris Whelm @cwhelm he suggests http://dabblet.com/ for sample code.

Additional Features enabled by HTML5:

  • Drag and drop API enables the user to drag and rop files or objects (like images)
  • A filesystem API enables creation, read, write of files
  • The geolocation API – provides approximate location only (more accurate if used on smartphone)
  • Recall there’s 2 methods of grabbing location, get location or watch for continuous updates
  • Web workers is a way to run scripts in the background – keeps the UI fluid while processing continues in the background
  • CORS and polygon buffering
  • Access to browser history and the ability to manipulate the content
  • CSS3 and some of the new elements – transforms, shadows, border radius (enhance an element with rounded corners), animations

The HTML5 Timeline (Source: Agup, Esri)

Please note, for even more learning opportunities about HTML be sure to check out details of the coming webinar from Latitude Geographics (See @geocortex on Twitter) Getting Rolling in 2012 with HTML5 & Esri Technology. This free webinar will be of interest to GIS administrators, GIS managers and analysts currently using Esri’s ArcGIS for Server platform. The presentation will take about 30 minutes, but please allow for an additional 15 minutes for Q&A at the end.  Web Conferencing is provided by GoToWebinar. The date is March 8, 2012 – more details HERE

PLEASE NOTE: The company has also posted up the video recording of the Feb 1 Webinar for all who may have missed it. It can be found: at www.geocortex.com/html5

See Also the following somewhat related GISuser Resources: 

Other relevant Resources on the Web:

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Editor (18230 Posts)

Glenn is a geographer and a GIS professional with over 20 years experience in the industry. He's the co-founder of GISuser and several other technology web publications.


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