arcpy in Visual Studio 2015

I wanted to switch from PyCharm to Visual Studio for my Python (more specific: arcpy) development, since we do a lot of developing in VS and I figured it would be nice to have a single development environment. I was pleasantly suprised that Python was available out-of-the-box after installing VS. But would it recognize my arcpy sitepackage (which was already present in my C:\Python27\ArcGISx6410.3 directory, since ArcGIS for Desktop is installed on my system).

Guess what? No, it didn’t.

But then I came across this blogpost. And it totally was applicable to my situation. So, if you think VS doesn’t understand arcpy, wait a few minutes after your first try… Thank you, Cindy Williams, for saving me a lot of frustration.

Look Ma, no squiggly lines!

Some more reading on arcpy in Visual Studio can be found here.

How do I obtain a license key for Google Earth Pro?

A little while ago, Google announced that Google Earth Pro could be obtained for free. I am always curious for these kinds of things, so I downloaded it (here). After installing (and clicking past an anoying error) a needed a license key. But how to get it? The link on the download page referred to … the download page. After some Googleing I found this page: So: fill in an email address and the code GEPFREE and you’re good to go!

And in case you’re wandering what the difference is between Earth and Earth Pro, Google has the following information:

Features Google Earth Google Earth Pro
Print resolution 1000 pixels 4800 pixels
Import GIS data ESRI .shp, MapInfo .tab
Import addresses in bulk Manually Geo-locate each address Automatically Geo-locate up to 2500 at a time
Import large image files limited to texture size Super Image Overlays
Supplemental Layers Demographics, Parcels, Traffic Counts
Create premium movies for export HD 1920×1080
Measurement tools Line, Path Line, Path, Polygon, Circle, 3D Path, 3D Polygon


The fact the Google has done this, also raised some questions with regard to the future of Google Earth, for example in the excellent blog post by Frank Taylor here.