ArcGIS Developer: New name for the ArcObjects Blog

The “ArcObjects Development Blog” has been renamed and is now the “ArcGIS Developer Blog”.   

In this blog, you can expect to find similar posts, but they’ll now have a wider “ArcGIS developer” focus.  This means you’ll find more developer content in the form of How To<’>s and Did you know articles, resource summaries, and highlights about activity in the ArcGIS developer community. 

You’ll also be happy to know that the RSS feed hasn’t changed, so there’s no need to re-subscribe. 

As always, we encourage feedback, so feel free to leave suggestions for future articles as well as comments on posts. 

We’ll also be posting a number of new ArcGIS developer polls, so stay tuned.

Thanks in advance for participating in the online ArcGIS developer community. 

EDN Team




Posted in Developer | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Service Pack 2 (ArcGIS Business Analyst Desktop) Almost Ready…

  by Kyle Watson

A quick update from Redlands…

Service Pack 2 for ArcGIS Business Analyst 9.3 Desktop is in the final certification stage.  This should be released in the next couple days and will close out our 9.3 work.  More details to follow shortly, check back soon. 

I assure you my service pack skillz are better than my MS Paint skillz.


Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Design approach for Business Analyst Online (beta)

 by Sooria Jeyaraman

The design approach we’ve taken for the next version of ArcGIS Business Analyst Online is quite simple. Lead the user whenever necessary and stay back and relax when not needed. The decision when to step in and when not to was taken based on the frequent and infrequent tasks the user is trying to accomplish using the application. By “frequent” we mean the tasks that have a very little chance of user error…and the “infrequent” are the ones that are most prone to error and need help and directive from the application. The design team followed the approach from the following famous graph in user centered design.


From our experience we found out that users need most help during creation of a site, this includes all workflows using entering address, drawing a polygon, importing an excel file and selecting from a list of geographies. We made a wizard kind of approach during site creation for all the workflows mentioned above.  In the example below, I’ve created a site by entering an address. After an address is entered a contextual menu pops up which confirms the address of the user.


User can click on the Next button at the far right to go to the next step of applying rings or drive times or donuts to the specified location.



By clicking Next , user will be given options to Get Reports, Save this site or Add another site.

If the user clicks on the Get Reports button above then the application takes the back seat and lets the user lead in picking and choosing variety of reports for the site created.  User is provided with options to pick and choose the reports, format, and view a sample add a report to their favorites etc. This is the area where the user would like to really explore all the report options that are provided to them and would like to choose the perfect ones that matches their needs.

We found from our usability testing so far that this approach has been highly appreciated. We hope you do too!!

As always we’d love to hear from you, share with us your opinion about this approach and the application by clicking on the Feedback link on the top of the application.

See you when I see you..

- SJ

Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

ExecuteSQL Command for ArcMap added to ArcGIS Desktop .NET Code Gallery

During the Implementing Enterprise Applications with the Geodatabase presentation at the 2009 ESRI Developer Summit a couple weeks ago, we talked about a handy tool that can be added to ArcMap to send SQL to the connected database. This tool uses the IWorkspace.ExecuteSQL method and it can be very useful in starting and stopping a DBMS trace directly from ArcMap when profiling an operation.

The tool can be downloaded from the ESRI ArcGIS Resource Center for developers in the ArcGIS Desktop .NET Code Gallery. Click here to go directly to the tool.

Posted in Geodata | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring more of ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online is tremendous resource of ready-to-use map and globe services that can be accessed directly using ArcGIS Explorer. Explorer’s default globe and the additional maps and layers that you add from the Data tab on the Explorer Resource Center are all powered by ArcGIS Online.

You can also connect directly to ArcGIS Online and discover additional services not currently included on the Explorer Resource Center. Here’s how…

First, make a direct connection to ArcGIS Online. From Explorer choose File > Open, then click Servers. Create a new connection by choosing ArcGIS Server.

 Enter the URL to ArcGIS Online. Note that in the graphic below the final “s” is cut off in the input box. The complete URL should be You don’t need a user name or password.

Once you’ve established the connection, you’ll see something like this – the list of all available data services from ArcGIS Online.

If you look closely you’ll note the different icons that distinguish and organize what is available.

When you first connect globe services will be a little faster to draw since these don’t need to be projected and most are already cached. Map services will take just a little bit longer to display when you first connect, but will be just as fast once you’ve connected and generated local cache.

To add a service just double-click. Here we’ve chosen to open a NASA cloud cover service. Try adding one or both of the layers in the service.

Now that you know how to add ArcGIS Online services directly, we’ll take a closer look at others in upcoming posts.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Parallel processing with ArcGIS Server: A case study with geocoding

You’re probably already familiar with creating Web applications and services with ArcGIS Server, but in this blog post we’re going to talk about how you can use ArcGIS Server to run very large back-end jobs. We’ll also do it in the context of geocoding, which is an aspect of ArcGIS Server that we haven’t covered much in this blog yet. We hope this will get you excited about some new possibilities available through ArcGIS Server.

ArcGIS Server is an exceptional framework for running large jobs because it allows you to break them down into smaller chunks of work that can be run simultaneously. This way you can take full advantage of your hardware resources. A good example that you may already be familiar with is map caching. A map caching job is transparently split across all your Server Object Containers. By creatively using ArcGIS Server services, you can work in a similar manner with more specific jobs such as batch geocoding, generation of high quality map series, demographic analysis, simulation, and so on.

Today we’ll illustrate this with geocoding, which is the process by which you associate X/Y coordinates with addresses or place names. Imagine that you have a list of 25 million addresses to geocode. How do you effectively run this job?

One idea is to create a geoprocessing service that takes a small subset of these addresses and puts the outputs in a common repository. Once the service is up, you can simultaneously send small chunks of addresses to the service, allowing the geocoding process to occur in parallel until you are done. You can use a simple Python script or executable to span the jobs on the server. A typical locator handles around 2 million addresses per hour per core on a 3Ghz server, so on an eight core server our 25 million addresses would be geocoded in a bit less than a couple of hours.

All right, that is way too much of a high level description! We put together a small document that will disclose how you do this with a practical example. The document is called ArcGIS Server in Practice Series: Large Batch Geocoding and it’s available from the ArcGIS Server brochures and white papers page.

Posted in Services | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What's coming down the pike…

 by Maia Pawooskar

You must have seen ArcGIS Business Analyst Server at the recent ESRI Worldwide Business Partner Conference. The very first release was ArcGIS Business Analyst Server 9.2 in early 2008. That release was followed by a minor release, Service Pack 1. Earlier this year we released the 9.3 version.

So what have we been up to? We are working very hard on releasing a Service Pack to 9.3 which will be coming soon. And then there will be the 9.3.1 release of ArcGIS Business Analyst Server…

Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged | Leave a comment

ArcGIS for AutoCAD Build 200

ArcGIS for AutoCAD Build 200 was released a few weeks ago. The free download introduces a new way for AutoCAD users to participate in ArcGIS workflows. In addition to accessing map services hosted on ArcGIS servers, AutoCAD users can now work with standard AutoCAD objects and attribute field values as feature classes.  Here is a brief overview of what’s new and what you can do with the product.


Map Services

Build 200 improves the performance of map services and extends support to include cached and password-protected maps. A new palette now functions as the main console for interacting with map services.  The map service palette includes a toolbar for toggling between multiple maps in the same AutoCAD drawing.

The toolbar includes new interpretations of commands from Build 100 as well as a few new ones. It is now possible to disconnect a map service and convert it on-the-fly to a static raster image for working off-line or archiving purposes.


Also included is the ability to save and edit a list of favorite map services.  The software ships with a preloaded list of ArcGIS Online maps available free to ArcGIS customers.


Projections and coordinate systems

The map service palette includes heads-up information about the coordinate systems you are working with. The coordinate system published with the map service and the coordinate system assigned to the AutoCAD drawing are displayed for easy reference.


AutoCAD users can also import coordinate systems from the library of ESRI .prj files that ship with the software. ArcGIS for AutoCAD will project map services on-the-fly. The only caveat is the hosting server must have a geometry service running and be accessible.  As a measure of redundancy ArcGIS for AutoCAD will also look on the user’s local machine for an ArcGIS Server geometry service in the event one is not found on the host server.

Layer Controls

Layer controls have also been added for maps services published with this capability.


Feature classes

Build 200 introduces a new way for AutoCAD users to author and exchange feature class information with ArcGIS. A dedicated palette functions as the main console for managing feature class definitions.  The palette uses a toolbar for working with feature classes individually. 


Also included is the ability to import entire feature class schema from another AutoCAD drawing. This can be useful for distributing standard schema to other users tasked with enabling feature classes in existing drawings. Another possible workflow is to use the Export-to-CAD tool in ArcGIS 9.3 (or higher) to export feature classes from an existing geodatabase to an AutoCAD drawing in order to save time and ensure fieldnames and data types conform to your GIS standards.

ArcGIS for AutoCAD feature classes are essentially standard AutoCAD objects and attributes.  The Feature class palette simply provides an interface to specify the object types and properties that qualify as members of a particular feature class. AutoCAD users may recognize them for what they are: AutoCAD selections sets. ArcMap users will recognize them as Definition Queries. Developers may be surprised to discover that no custom object data are used to accomplish this: it’s really that simple. 

The benefit to AutoCAD users is they can continue creating features as they always have using existing CAD standards. The objects will automatically participate in the feature layer as long as they reside on the layer, color or other combination of properties associated with the feature class. And this is completely configurable by the user.

The benefit to ArcGIS Desktop users is that ArcGIS 9.3 (or higher) reads them as named feature classes in the CAD dataset.  Simply drag and drop them into a Geoprocessing tool such as Feature-Class-to-Feature Class and you have just seamlessly converted CAD data, including feature attributes, to a geodatabase without building a complex definition query.

Feature Attributes

ArcGIS for AutoCAD and the geoprocessing tool Export to CAD now attach feature attributes directly to the AutoCAD entity; more on this in another blog.  This makes it possible for ArcGIS for AutoCAD to leverage the standard AutoCAD properties pane to view and edit these values.  A GIS workflow that requires AutoCAD users to view and edit feature attributes is now identical to working with standard AutoCAD entities. Simply select the AutoCAD entity and edit the values. You can also populate multiple entities belonging to the same feature class with a common value by selecting more than one feature.



ArcGIS for AutoCAD is aimed at improving interoperability between ArcGIS and AutoCAD.  Build 200 is an integrated toolset for referencing, authoring and exchanging GIS information between AutoCAD and ArcGIS.  It is a better alternative to less-efficient methods of sharing data that use feature-based translation or conversion to a shape (SHP) file as an interim format.

Posted in Geodata | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Status Report on DevSummit 2009 Videos

We know you are anxious to see this year’s DevSummit videos, so we wanted to give you a status report of where we are.  We have just published a number of videos in the Media Galleries and we are still processing a number of others.  We are also still linking the videos to the code galleries, so we appreciate your patience as we get everything wired up for you.

In the galleries you will find following types of videos:

  • Plenary session
  • PreSummit sessions
  • Technical sessions
  • User sessions
  • Demo Theaters*

* Since the demo theaters weren’t recorded, we have made them available as  automated “slide shows”, but they do not have  audio. 

If you don’t see the video you are looking, for then we recommend subscribing to the RSS feed in the Media Gallery of interest to be notified automatically notified of updates.  We expect it will take a week or two to get all of them uploaded. 

Lastly, when you are through watching a video, don’t forget to rate and leave comments!

Enjoy and thanks again for your patience.

EDN Team


Posted in Developer | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Kentucky Geography Network and Explorer

Kentucky’s geospatial data clearinghouse (KYGEONET) has posted an Explorer map that you can download and use. You’ll see an ArcGIS Explorer screenshot on the main page, and a link to download the map.

The map publishes 2-foot resolution imagery for the entire state, published as an ArcGIS Server globe service from an enterprise geodatabase (SDE). Here’s the entire state’s imagery:

And here’s a closer view of the service:

The Kentucky Geography Network also provides a very nice online catalog of additional resources, including online Web map services, downloadable data, and even historical maps.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment