ArcGIS Explorer 900

A few posts back we highlighted some of the ArcGIS Explorer 900 sessions we’ll be having at the upcoming ESRI Developer Summit in Palm Springs. In just a couple of weeks we’ll be previewing it during the plenary sessions and at workshops during the ESRI Federal User Conference in Washington, D.C. and the Petroleum User Group Conference in Houston.

We hope to see you at one of these events, and look forward to talking to you more about the upcoming ArcGIS Explorer 900 release.

Here’s a quick preview that’s been posted at the ESRI TV channel on YouTube. If you can’t access YouTube, you can also view it directly from ESRI.

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UK Channel Islands, Portugal, and San Diego fire areas added to World User Imagery map

2/3/09—The World User Imagery 2D map and 3D globes, CSP_Imagery_World_2D and CSP_Imagery_World, were updated with imagery for the UK Channel Islands, Portugal, and San Diego County 2007 fire areas. The UK Channel Islands map content is 1m resolution, aerial imagery
provided courtesy of DigiMap Ltd. The Portugal map content is 1m
resolution aerial imagery for the entire country of Portugal, provided
courtesy of ESRI Portugal. The map content for San Diego County is 0.5m resolution aerial imagery for areas affected by recent fires, provided courtesy of San Diego County. Data are available for these regions at the 50K–4K scale ranges.

If you have previously used these services, you may need to clear your cache in order to see the updates.

How to clear the cache in ArcGIS Desktop:

  1. Right-click the service in the table of contents.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Click the Cache tab.
  4. Click the Clear Local Cache Now button, and click OK.

How to clear the cache in ArcGIS Explorer:

  1. Click Tools > Options.
  2. Expand Cache and click Disk Cache.
  3. Under Cache Clean Up, select All Caches.
  4. Click the Delete Cache button, and click Yes to confirm. ArcGIS Explorer will need to restart as part of this process.

How to clear the cache in ArcGlobe:

  1. Right-click the service in the ArcGlobe table of contents.
  2. Click Refresh. It may take several seconds for the cache to be cleared.
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Business Analyst Custom Tool Sample – Batch Reports and Email PDF Output

 by Garry Burgess

I had a request over the New Year’s holiday to create a custom tool to batch create reports for a trade area layer. The idea behind this custom tool is to create an individual report for each feature in a trade area layer. For example, an analyst creates a separate demographic trade area report for each of their N number of stores. The reports would then be sent out to each store so that the management team could get a demographic snapshot of the households around their stores.

Because each report needed to be sent out to a manager after it was created, I thought it would be very useful to integrate email with the custom tool.  In this example, I use Python to connect to Outlook-based MAPI email to mail each report to an email address included in the trade area layer. This is a really good illustration of how ArcGIS Business Analyst tools can be used to improve productivity using Python scripts. I tested this with a sample of 50 stores and was able to generate and email reports to 50 email addresses in a few minutes.

You can download the Python script and custom Geoprocessing tool here:

Follow the instructions in the readme.txt file and you will have a brand new fancy-schmancy tool that looks like this:

Check out the script to see how Business Analyst Geoprocessing tools can be scripted with Python.

This is my first Business Analyst Blog entry. I will continue to add samples like these that illustrate how you can get the most out of Business Analyst. Let me know if you find this sample useful and I would greatly welcome any ideas for other samples in the future.

Cheers – Garry

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ArcGIS Mobile Code Challenge

Thinking about attending the Developer Summit this year? Well, think no more. This year we will be hosting an ArcGIS Mobile Code Challenge with cash prizes of $4000.00 for the big winner and $2000.00 for second place! To enter, you need to upload your entry to the code gallery by March 6th. Judging will take place March 13th.

You can find details on how to enter, official rules, and more at the Developer Summit Code Challenge site.

We look forward to seeing your entries!

Mobile Team


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MrSID in Explorer

MrSID, according to Wikipedia, is an acronym that stands for multiresolution seamless image database. It’s a file format developed by a company called LizardTech for encoding georeferenced raster graphics, and it was developed primarily for GIS. MrSID images are popular and commonly used by GIS organizations.

Just recently we were asked if ArcGIS Explorer supported MrSID files, to which we replied – of course!

MrSID files are among the many raster file formats that you can open directly in ArcGIS Explorer. The Opening Content Help topic lists all the raster formats supported, along with all other data types. Beware, the list is very long. Here’s the part listing supported raster file types (with MrSID highlighted):

To open a MrSID file, choose File > Open, then click Rasters.

Navigate to the folder where your MrSID file is located, and double-click to add it. Here’s an example MrSID image shown drawn atop the USGS topo layer.


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ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight – Sneak Peek Video

Now that the news is out about the ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight, we went behind the scenes with our Silverlight team to get this sneak-peek video.

ESRItv on Youtube (normal or HD)
Video on wmv

To learn more about the Silverlight API first hand, join us at the ESRI DevSummit where Art, Rex and Morten will be presenting the following sessions.

-    Introduction to the ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight
-    Patterns and Best Practices for Building Applications with the ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight

See you there.

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Tip for editing curved annotation

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Have you ever found that even with feature linked annotation and the follow feature option you cannot get your line’s label into what you clearly see to be the best position? That leaves the option to edit the baseline sketch of that curved annotation feature. Continue reading

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ArcGIS Developer Poll Results – ArcGIS Version

Of the participants who took the last poll, almost 70% have upgraded and are using ArcGIS 9.3.  The remainder are still using ArcGIS 9.2 for the most part. 

Things definitely move fast however and ArcGIS 9.3.1 is just around the corner.  

The next developer poll is already in place: How many of your customers will require you to support Internet Explorer 6.0 during the next 12 months?

Thanks again for participating.



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Application Developers Tuning Tip: Keeping Datasets Open

Opening a dataset such as a table or a feature class from a geodatabase can be an expensive operation. With this in mind, application developers should try to minimize the number of times they open datasets by following these patterns:

Keep datasets from going out of scope: If a dataset is being opened in a method that gets called frequently, consider keeping a reference to the dataset outside of the method to keep it from going out of scope and forcing the application to reopen it each time the method is called.

The code below shows an example of how this might look before and after:


public void MyMethodBefore()


  IFeatureClass featureClass = featureWorkspace.OpenFeatureClass(“Parcels”);




private IFeatureClass parcelsClass = null;


// Call this prior to calling methods that use the parcels class.

public void Initialize()


  parcelsClass = featureWorkspace.OpenFeatureClass(“Parcels”);



public void MyMethodAfter()


  // Use the parcels class …              


Of course, this will apply a shared schema lock to the feature class so it may not be appropriate for all applications.

Open related classes when notification is used: Whenever an application is editing a dataset and that dataset participates in a relationship class with notification, it’s related dataset should also be kept open. Consider a Parcels-Owners relationship class that has forward notification enabled; whenever a parcel is created, deleted or modified, a message is sent to the Owners class. If the Owners class is not open it will be opened by the system. The geodatabase must do this because a response to the message may occur (i.e. deleting an owner in response to the deletion of a parcel, for composite relationships). After a class is opened by the geodatabase it will be closed.

Application developers can prevent this kind of performance hit by simply opening the related class at the same scope as the class being edited. How much this improves performance depends on many factors, but a ten-fold increase is not atypical, and fifty-fold increases have occurred.

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Esri Data – Did you know? Super Bowl Edition

by Catherine Spisszak

With all of our attention on the upcoming Super Bowl, there are so many questions that we want answered – Who are you cheering for? Which team will win? Or my favorite question, what company will have the best commercial this year? But the age old question that haunts NFL fans is – Which team has the best fan base? Thankfully, Esri Data can reveal very interesting facts about NFL fans across the country.

The Esri Market Potential Data measures the likely demand for a product or service in a defined geographic area. The database includes an expected number of consumers and a Market Potential Index (MPI) for each product or service. An MPI compares the demand for a specific product or service in an area to the national demand for that product or service.

The MPI for an adult to watch a professional football game on television on the weekend in the Pittsburgh, PA metropolitan area is 108, or 8 percent higher than the U.S. average. The MPI in the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area is 103 – still higher than the U.S. average, but not as high as Pittsburgh.

Watching the game on television is one thing…attending a game is another story. The MPI for adults to attend professional football games on the weekend in the Phoenix metro area is 113, compared to 99 in the Pittsburgh metro area. Therefore, it appears that people in Pittsburgh are highly likely to watch the game on television, but less likely than Phoenix residents to attend a professional game.

So, it appears that the debate over fan loyalty will continue and we can just hope that the game (…and the commercials) this weekend will be exciting. For more information about Esri Market Potential Data please visit –

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