Chris Pietschmann

husband, father, hacker, entrepreneur, futurist, innovator, autodidact

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Community Coding Contest to start July 1st - Chance to Win MSDN Premium Subscription with VS'08 Team Suite, plus more

A few weeks ago Microsoft sent me 3 MSDN Premium Subscriptions with Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite to give away to members of the community. I thought long and hard, and the best way I could come up with who to give them to is to hold a coding contest. So I'm happy to announce the Community Coding Contest! I don't have the website up yet, but I'll get it up as soon as I can. The website is now Live! What are the Rules? Here are the basic rules for the contest. Once the webs... [More]

ASP.NET: Fix for WebParts + UrlRewriting/UrlMapping Issue

The problem with using WebParts with UrlRewriting (or UrlMapping) is the WebPart PersonalizationProvider uses the path of the page being rendered to save/load the personalization state, not the path that was rewritten that the user sees. So, to fix this you just need to create a custom PersonalizationProvider and override all the methods that reference path, and call the base methods but pass in the path that was requested instead of the path being rendered. Here's a SqlPersonalizationProvider I... [More]

Plot ZipCode Boundaries on a Map: Part 2 - Import Zip Code (U.S. Census ZCTA) Data Into A Database

Now that we've Made Sense of the U.S. Census ZCTA ARC/INFO Ungenerate (ASCII) files in Part 1 of this series, we are ready to import the U.S Census ZCTA Zip Code data into a database. In Part 2, we'll create database tables and import the Zip Code Boundary data into those tables in a MS SQL 2005 database. Create SQL 2005/2008 Database Tables First lets create a couple database tables to hold all the Zip Code boundary data. One table will hold the ZipCodes, the other will hold all the Boundary Po... [More]

Plot ZipCode Boundaries on a Map: Part 1 - Making sense of U.S. Census ZCTA ARC/INFO Ungenerate (ASCII) files

One question that I get fairly oftern is "How do I plot Zip Code boundaries on a map?". Well, the answer isn't simple, well at least it hasn't been. So, I've decided to write a series of articles going through the steps needed to obtain Zip Code boundary data, makes sense of it and plot it on a map. I'm not sure how many parts this series will be, but it'll probably be at least 3. Where do I get Zip Cod Boundary Data From? There are a number of campanies that sell geocode data that includes Zip ... [More]

Silverlight and JavaScript Interop Basics

I've been looking into Silverlight in my spare time a bit, to see what it has to offer, and the JavaScript "Interop" is actually pretty neat and simple to use. About three months ago I wrote a post titled "Working with HTML DOM in Silverlight using the Bridge Pattern"; so I think this time I'll go over some of the basics involved with communicating back and forth between Silverlight and JavaScript. This article is written by referencing Silverlight 2 Beta 2, but should still ... [More]

Virtual Earth Staging Environment Launched

The Virtual Earth team has officially launched their Virtual Earth Staging Environment. The staging environment allows you to access all the features of Virtual Earth (during development and testing) without incurring transaction costs against your production account. How do I access the Virtual Earth Staging Environment? Simple, just use the following url when you include the VE JavaScript Control in your page. Notice, the only change in the url is the "staging." in the beginning, otherwise the... [More]

Web.Maps.VE 2.0 Released - ASP.NET Virtual Earth Mapping Server Control

Today, I released Web.Maps.VE v2.0!! I had originally planned to release it on June 30th, but was able to reach that goal about 2 weeks early, so here we are. Web.Maps.VE v2.0 builds on top of the previous v1.0 release, and adds many new features. If you aren't familiar with Web.Maps.VE, it is the industries first ASP.NET Virtual Earth Mapping Server Control. It enables you (the developer) to implement MS Virtual Earth mapping into your ASP.NET web applications by writing only server-s... [More]

Bing Maps ASP.NET: Web.Maps.VE v1.0 Update, v2.0 Coming Soon

Today, I released the 8th update (v1.00.08) release to the Simplovation Web.Maps.VE v1.0 ASP.NET AJAX Virtual Earth Mapping Server Control. This control has come along way since the initial (v1.00.00) release last October. It greatly simplifies the implementation of Virtual Earth into any ASP.NET web application by enabling full server-side (.net, C#, VB.NET) control of the map, while eliminating the need to write javascripthttp://pietschsoft.com/jscript. Unless of course you want to write javascript; in which c... [More]

Medical Technology - Robotic Assisted Surgery

One of my family members recently had heart bypass surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical. Robotic assisted surgery seems like something from the future, but it's done today and it pretty freaking cool. Here's a video demonstrating the da Vinci Surgical System: http://www.intuitivesurgical.com/products/da_vinci_video_overview.aspx Go check it out!

Software Development Meme - How I got started programming

Ok, I'm it. I've been tagged by Larry Clarkin with the latest questionnaire floating around the blogs. This one is focused on how everyone got started into programming. How old were you when you started programming? Even though I first started playing computer games on the family Apple IIe when I was 3 years old; I didn't actually get started into programming until I was 14. I still can't really believe that my dad trusted a 3 year old (me) to take the 5.25" floppy disks in and out of the c... [More]

Amazon.com is down

Wow, Amazon.com is currently down. It just shows a message of "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable". I know this isn't really worth a full blog post. I was going to Twitter it, but Twitter is down for maintenance at the moment.

Virtual Earth: Get Center Lat/Long When In Birdseye or Oblique Map Style

One of the tricky things that you need to work around when programming Virtual Earth is the VEMap.GetCenter() method doesn't work when displaying the Birdseye or Oblique Map Style. I'm not exactly sure what the reasoning for this is, but this is one thing that I would like to see fixed in a future version. Luckily, there is an unsupported method of doing this. The code shown below gets the center Lat/Long coordinate for the BirdseyeScene being shown, not the actual center of the M... [More]