C#/.NET (GIS) Programming – Iron Python

My quest with C# continues. I am going through the book, working out the examples using Visual Office Express 2008, and I have found no more major road blocks.

But I’ve also looked into Iron Python again. This, if you’re not familiar with it, is an Open-Source Python implementation for the .NET framework. If you’re already familiar with Python or like Open Source, you might be interested in this. One way to do so is by using Iron Python Studio, which uses the “core” of Visual Studio in either an isolated (standalone) mode or integrated mode. I did get it working in isolated mode originally but then also installed  Visual Studio for C# on the same machine, and that ended my Iron Python functionality. Trying the integrated mode, I ran into some Win SP1 issues, and got tired of it. Instead, I installed Eclipse with the PyDev plugin that you can use for Iron Python. Here is the PyDev installation guide for Eclipe, and here is a good link to get you started with Iron Python and ASP.NET.

It’s great to see all this “wild growth” of Open Source solutions all over the web. Oftentimes it’s almost overwhelming. Yet, when you run into problems, there’s usually someone who’s had the same problem and has started working on it…

Oh, and to take me back to ArcGIS, it’s blogs like this one, AnotherGISBlog, that help a lot more than the material on the ESRI pages. I don’t understand why there is not a good PDF document from ESRI Press that discusses the .NET/C#/ArcGIS subject. There is some information in Chapter 5, ArcGIS Developer Guide. I might have to come back to it once I have a working knowledge of .NET/C#. As was my experience with Python, familiarizing yourself with the language and simple ArcGIS related examples first, before reading the ESRI guide, i.e. Writing Geoprocessing Scripts with ArcGIS, was easier that starting with the ESRI PDF. I still wish someone would write the definite GIS Programming for ArcGIS manual.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “C#/.NET (GIS) Programming – Iron Python

  1. I ‘m looking for somethings like ebooks about C# programing for ArcGIS but I can’t find any book for full or free. Can you give me a hand to find them? In another way, I found that the python ‘d been a powerfull for programing. I’m not sure that I should choose C# or python to up my exp. Give me a advice, please! Thanks for all the best!

    • Arne

      Sorry for the late reply. I think it depends on what you’re trying to do in ESRI. For scripting/geoprocessing will be great. For building extensions or your own GIS app’s built in the ESRI engine, you’ll probably want to learn C#. I haven’t developed much love for C# yet. Python is so much easier to learn, I think. But I’d expect that if you’re good at C# and know GIS, you’ve got quite an arsenal at your disposal.

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