Monthly Archives: March 2010
By Jaynya Richards, Esri Research Cartographer
We just added to our ArcGIS Resources – Styles page a new style that contains the National Park System cartographic symbols and patterns. Tom Patterson, of the NPS, shared their symbols with us, and we used them to create this ArcMap style. With these symbols, you, too, can use the symbology of the NPS on your maps.
By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead
Take a minute to check out our ArcGIS Resources – Styles page and you will see that we have included graphics of the contents of the styles you can download from Mapping Center. This will make it easier for you to find out if a style has the symbols you are looking for before you download the file. Of course, some of the symbols will be a little hard to see in their full glory in these screen captures (for example, marker symbols that are bigger than the space allotted in the ArcMap Style Manager large thumbnail view.) However, you can still get a good idea of the contents. Continue reading
Jeff Shaner, Program Manager
Fred Aubry, Lead Developer
Martin Copping, Product Manager
by Kyle Watson
In ArcGIS 10 you will see a big change in the appearance throughout the product. New, modern icons are plugged in to refresh the existing versions.
For example, here’s how some standard toolbars look like in 9.3.1 vs. 10…
We are also taking on this task in Business Analyst 10 Desktop. Every single tool now has a distinct icon, this will allow you to open the tools directly…no need to find a tool buried in a wizard (you can think of it like using apps on any smart phone).
Here’s a live look into the Esri Graphics Lab as they are creating each individual symbol…
And here’s some finished icons in the new Favorites section…
Check back in for more Business Analyst 10 Desktop happenings…
The latest release (build 1200) of ArcGIS Explorer features some great new capabilities and among them is the new Analysis Tool Gallery. The gallery makes it easy to run an analysis tool – a geoprocessing service authored using ArcGIS Desktop and served via ArcGIS Server.
You’ve been able to use geoprocessing tools in the previous release (build 900) by creating an add-in. While add-ins provide complete flexibility for implementing the tool’s user interface, they require the use of Visual Studio and the Explorer SDK to create one.
The Analysis Gallery enables you to use published geoprocessing tools directly (without having to write any code), making it easier than ever before to extend Explorer’s capabilities. Let’s take a closer look at how this works.
You’ll find the gallery represented by the obvious red toolbox on the Home tab.
Open the gallery and you’ll see a buffer tool that’s ready to use, but you’ll want to add your own. Choose Add From a URL…
Enter the URL to any ArcGIS Server. Here we’ve used the URL to sampleserver1 – an ESRI ArcGIS Server that hosts sample Web applications and geoprocessing tools. You can connect to this server and experiment with tools you find there, but remember that this is just a sample server meant for experimentation and it’s not supported.
After you connect to the server, you’ll see a list of folders which organize the services. Since we’re connecting to the server via the Analysis Tool Gallery, we’ll only see the available geoprocessing services (represented by a red toolbox) and won’t see map services like we would via Add Data. Here we’ve opened the Network folder, found some tools, and have chosen one called CreateDriveTimePolygons.
Once connected, you’ll see a dialog appear which enables you to set inputs and change parameters to run the tool. These inputs and parameters are defined by the author of the geoprocessing service using ArcGIS Desktop. The user interface is created on-the-fly based on the tool parameters.
In this case we can click the map to set an input location, and can also set the drive time (in minutes) areas to find. Click the map, set the drive times (we’ve left the default of 5, 10, and 15 minutes), and click Run.
After completion, the resulting drive time polygons are displayed on our map and the inputs and output results are added to our Contents. Once in Contents, they can be managed in similar ways to other layers. For example we can set the transparency:
And can also set other properties. Here we’ve set the feature tip to show the range in minutes for the drive time polygons.
Once we’ve connected to a tool, it’s part of the gallery. Choosing Manage Analysis Tools let’s us add or remove tools, change the name, set the thumbnail for the tool, and more.
The Analysis Tool Gallery is a simple yet powerful way to extend Explorer to perform advanced GIS functions to suit specific needs or work flows. For more information view the following Help topics:
The ArcGIS Mobile Team is looking for your feedback!
Please cast your vote on the following Polls:
Hardware Devices & Platforms: http://twtpoll.com/zjlqb3
Feature Enhancements: http://twtpoll.com/fs6jn8
The discussion highlights the recently released ArcGIS Explorer (build 1200), the forthcoming ArcGIS Explorer Online, and some aspects of ArcGIS.com.
In the defense and intelligence communities, CADRG and CIB data are two of the most common sources of basemap data. Mosaic datasets make it much easier to store, manage, and use these raster products. If you are responsible for making CADRG and CIB data available to users within your organization, then this blog will be of interest to you; I’ll be pointing out some key concepts and tips for storing CADRG and CIB in mosaic datasets.
Creating a mosaic dataset
First, you will need to create a new mosaic dataset within a geodatabase, which you can do using the Create Mosaic Dataset tool.
This tool only requires three pieces of information from you:
- the database in which to create the mosaic dataset (the Output Location)
- what to call the mosaic (the Mosaic Dataset Name)
- the coordinate system for the mosaic dataset.
In most cases you’re ready to run the tool after you’ve specified these.
The coordinate system of a mosaic dataset can be different from the coordinate system of the source data (CADRG and CIB data use WGS 1984). If it is different, then ArcGIS will project the source data on-the-fly to match the coordinate system of the mosaic dataset.
In some (rare) cases you might specify pixel properties for the mosaic dataset, though generally you won’t need to. If you don’t specify these values when the mosaic dataset is created, they will be defined based on the properties of the first raster added to the mosaic dataset. For CADRG and CIB data (single-band rasters with a color map) this will be 3-band/8-bit unsigned; the mosaic dataset framework maps CADRG and CIB data to 3 bands.
To display CADRG data correctly, the mosaic dataset must always be defined as 3-band; for storing CIB data, you could define the mosaic dataset as a single-band, however, CIB data looks better when the mosaic dataset is defined as 3-band. If you ever want to store RGB imagery in the mosaic dataset, you must define the mosaic dataset with 3-bands. Our recommendation is to always define the mosaic dataset as 3-band for storing CADRG and CIB data.
Adding CADRG or CIB data to a mosaic dataset using raster types
Once you’ve created the mosaic dataset you can add data with the Add Rasters To Mosaic Dataset tool. For CADRG or CIB data it is important to choose a raster type for the data you’re adding. This controls such things as what raster formats or products to add, and what metadata from the source raster to include in the mosaic dataset’s attribute table.
The generic raster type, Raster Datset, can be used to add any raster file format supported by ArcGIS. However, for CADRG or CIB data we highly recommend using the CADRG and CIB raster types, as they provide additional capabilities not offered by the Raster Dataset raster type. These include:
- Product filtering
- Metadata extraction
- Update logic
The CADRG and CIB raster types only handle these specific products so, for example, if you were adding data from a folder containing a mix of CADRG, CIB, and other raster formats and you selected the CADRG raster type when adding data, only CADRG raster datasets (any CADRG product) would be added to the mosaic dataset.
The CADRG and CIB raster types cause specific metadata to be extracted from each CADRG or CIB raster; the metadata is added as an attribute associated with the raster’s footprint in the mosaic dataset attribute table.
The CADRG and CIB raster types include update logic that handles duplicate datasets in a manner more appropriate for CADRG and CIB data (details in a future blog post).
Adding specific CADRG/CIB products
Sometimes you may only want certain CADRG or CIB products to be added to a mosaic dataset.
For example, you might have a folder of new CIB rasters that you want to use to update a mosaic dataset, or you may want to load just the Topographic Line Map (1:50,000) scale data into a mosaic dataset. In this case, you can specify which CADRG/CIB products to add.
There are three ways to do this:
You can limit the input workspaces to just those folders containing the CADRG or CIB products you want to add.
You can use the File Filter parameter on the Add Rasters To Mosaic Dataset tool to control which products are added based on file extensions.
For example, executing the tool with the file filter value shown here will add any Operational Navigation Chart (ONC) or Topographic Line Map 1:50,000 (TLM50) contained within the input workspace(s) to the mosaic dataset.
You can select the specific CADRG or CIB products to add to the mosaic dataset using the Raster File Formats Properties dialog. To do this in ArcMap (or ArcGlobe and ArcScene) click the Customize menu, click ArcMap Options, click the Raster tab, click the Raster Dataset tab, then click File Formats. ArcMap will ignore rasters with other file extensions during the data loading process. You can tell ArcMap to display all raster formats when you have finished loading the data.
Building Pyramids and Raster Statistics
The Add Rasters To Mosaic Dataset tool provides the option to build raster pyramids and raster statistics on the source raster data while the data is being added to the mosaic dataset.
For CADRG and CIB data there is no need to build pyramids, it doesn’t provide any additional performance benefits.
On the other hand, you should calculate raster statistics, because they’re required for some geoprocessing operations and rasters look better when statistics are calculated.
If you don’t calculate raster statistics when you add data to a mosaic dataset, you can calculate them later with the Build Pyramids and Statistics tool.
Storing rasters with multiple resolutions
CADRG and CIB raster formats have many different products of varying resolutions. Mosaic datasets let you store all CADRG or CIB products in a single mosaic dataset; as you zoom in and out of your map, the mosaic dataset draws the CADRG or CIB product that is applicable for that map scale (based on pixel size).
There are times when you may want to store some CADRG products in a separate mosaic dataset. For example, there are some CADRG products which share the same map scale (such as Topographic Line Map (1:50,000) and Combat Charts (1:50,000) or Joint Operations Graphic and VFR Terminal Area Chart). If these products are stored in the same mosaic dataset then you will run into the situation where only one product would draw for a given scale and area. One way to handle this is to store the CADRG products that have duplicate scales in separate mosaic datasets.
We’ll have more tips about working with military raster data in mosaic datasets in future blog posts.
Content provided by Eric Linz
Some of you may know that ESRI has a facility in Redlands dedicated to software testing sessions – the Holistic Testing lab. As you can imagine, it’s been a busy place as we move through our beta program for ArcGIS 10. Last week, the Public Safety team at ESRI had an opportunity to participate in a dedicated session where we focused on how the next release will enhance existing Public Safety workflows, as well as provide new solutions. Oh yeah, and we wanted to log software bugs and enhancement requests, too!
We had ten employees from several divisions within ESRI participate, and we each came prepared to test and develop demonstrations concentrating on specific aspects of our software ranging from Desktop to Mobile, and including data as complex as large imagery datasets or as simple as points representing Volunteer Geographic Information (VGI).
Here we are, happily testing away:
It was a great opportunity for us to spend a week focused on the new features of ArcGIS 10 and how they apply to the Public Safety community, so we wanted to share our progress with you – in this post, I’ll highlight our work with ArcGIS Desktop, and in the next post, I’ll share the work we did with Server.
1. Geoprocessing with ModelBuilder: Many of you use ModelBuilder as a way to automate repetitive tasks in ArcGIS. One tester worked with the new iterator tools (which make it easier to incorporate programming logic for automation) using a scenario where a storm put several cell phone towers out of service. He wanted to build a tool that would allow him to analyze the best order in which to bring the towers back online, with the goal of restoring communication to as many people as possible. As you can see, the population and the service area of the cell phone towers were both factors; using iterators, he was able to build a model that determined the best order, and take into account how each previous tower brought online affected the next decision.
Below are screen snapshots showing the population distribution, overlapping service areas, and the result of the model, including a graph showing affected population (click to view larger image):
2. ArcGIS Desktop Enhancements: Many of the new usability and user-interface enhancements in ArcGIS 10 seemed perfectly suited for the role of a Desktop GIS/Crime Analyst. I spent time upgrading a project that analyzed gang-related crime in a small U.S. city, and was able to incorporate many of the new features of ArcGIS Desktop, including:
- Accessing Data: Whether it was the new integrated Catalog window or the Desktop Search tools, finding and accessing data and maps makes using ArcGIS Desktop much smoother. For example, I used item description tags to set keywords for my data; I tagged a layer file that resulted from a GP model I ran with “gang,” “link analysis” and “vandalism” so that any GIS users in my organization can easily search for and use my results.
- Temporal Analysis: ArcGIS 10 has a new experience for working with time-based data – a new tab on the layer properties allows you to make any layer with a date/time attribute “time-aware.” In my crime analysis project, almost all of my data had a temporal aspect, whether it was the date/time stamp of crime incidents, or the date range that a certain patrol unit was assigned to an area. Once ArcMap knows about these time-aware layers, using the new Time Slider toolbar makes it easy to navigate and visualize data across time.
- File Attachments: A lot of the geo-enabled data that a crime analyst works with is related to other information, like a scanned copy of a police report or a graffiti photo. Having access to all of this content within ArcGIS is really convenient using feature class attachments. You can add files (of any type) to individual features, and these attachments are accessible from the Identify and Attribute windows, or as HTML pop-ups, putting relevant information at the analysts’ fingertips.
Below are screen snapshots showing the time slider and feature attachments in my project (click to view larger image):
3. Data Driven Pages/US National Grid Map Book: Often, emergency responders rely on printed map books for navigation, communicating position, and locating assets. The U.S. National Grid (USNG) is a ground-based gridded coordinate system that is well-suited for these purposes, so one tester decided to put this scenario work. He used the new arcpy.mapping tools to create a 1:6,000 scale map book, with each page representing a properly-labeled 1,000 meter by 1,000 meter area designed for use with the USNG.
As you can see from the screen snapshots, below, the final map book product included a map index, map pages and a feature index report built using the new Reports wizard (click to view larger image).
So there you have it – as you can see, we really enjoyed finding applications for the new ArcGIS 10 functionality that will serve the Public Safety community. As I mentioned, Part 2 will focus on our work with ArcGIS Server, but in the meantime, we’d like to hear your feedback – what new features of ArcGIS 10 are you most looking forward to, and how will they improve the work you do? Sharing your ideas could lead to a future holistic testing session that is open to our users as well!
During the plenary sessions at this week’s ESRI 1020 Business Partner Conference and Developer Summit the soon-to-be-beta ArcGIS Explorer Online was highlighted by team members. ArcGIS Explorer Online has a similar look and feel when compared to the current downloadable application (ArcGIS Explorer – build 1200) and also has some of the same capabilities, but it’s a completely new and lightweight version built using Microsoft Silverlight, and it runs in any browser.
Check out the videos below to learn more ArcGIS Explorer Online and see it in action. View both videos in their entirety and you’ll also learn a lot more about how ArcGIS Explorer Online plays an important role in arcgis.com and online GIS.
Explorer Online at the Developer Summit Plenary (starting at 10:46):
Explorer Online at the Business Partner Conference Plenary (starting at 13:00):