New GIS/Geo Wiki launched today is now live! Wiki Logo

Our mission is to ensure your success.  Whether you’re a veteran expert with our software or have just recently joined our family of users, we deeply appreciate the opportunity to serve you.  We continuously strive to provide new Internet-based tools to help foster and grow the GIS community. Many of our users have requested us to set up a knowledge sharing platform that will enable them to share their knowledge with the community. This will not only be useful  to all of us to enhance our knowledge of GIS, but will  also help neo-geographers to understand GIS and quickly ramp up their GIS skills to  be more productive. is a community-generated GIS-centric encyclopedia that serves as a repository for factual, unbiased GIS will seek to involve the GIS community in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration of conceptual GIS information. will use the passion and knowledge each one of you has, in order to offer another resource for users to help others. All content ownership will be shared by the GIS community.

The success of depends on the contributions of GIS professionals, students, and the GIS community-at-large. We invite all the people who share a common interest in sharing GIS knowledge and ideas to to create a login account on and then begin editing existing pages or adding their own GIS-related content to the wiki. We have a list of requested pages on the wiki for which we are seeking content, but please feel free to add more topics/ content as you deem fit. All GIS-related content is welcome.

If you are unfamiliar with how a wiki works, a good place to start may be our Help page. There you will find information about how to get started and how to edit a page as well as a brief manual of style to help guide you.

At some point in time, we will also need help with moderation and operation of this wiki. Moderators will be selected from a group of active users.

So, to begin with, please create your account, start contributing to this community resource, and if you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement, please send these to

Content Via: Sanjay Lala – Program Manager, Online Support Resources, ESRI

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Talking Points From a Recent Workshop

For the past few months I have had the opportunity to showcase the contributions from the members of the ArcGIS Land Records team. Since the debut of the Land Records Resource Center in the middle of the year we have been enthused with the reception it has received. After multiple presentations at conferences and other events, it is safe to say that many times, we at ESRI come away learning as much as the attendees.

Recently I had the pleasure of presenting a Land Records Resource Center workshop with Nancy von Meyer and her colleagues Jimmy Bradley and David Stage in Waveland, Mississippi. The workshop was a great success for all involved. We covered all of the aspects of the Land Records User Community site including the Blog and Media Gallery sections, but focused heavily on the Template Gallery, especially the Tax Parcel Editing Template.

This blog entry is a summary of the discussion we had in Mississippi.

  1. Shortcut keys were a hot topic during the training. They save a lot of time, and are immensely valuable. Naturally, someone asked where they could find a list of the shortcuts for future reference. As mentioned in the
  2. Tax Parcel Editing Functionality blog there is a PDF version of the popular cheat sheet handout

  3. Something that naturally happens in development is the fact that developers or those close to an application’s design become accustomed to an interface, even though it may have some flaws. Thus is the case with the front page for the Land Records Resource Center. For those just learning about the site it might not be very apparent that in order to get to the Template Gallery you first need to click on the Community tab. It was suggested that we add a link under the Getting Started section. We thought this was a good idea, but we would like your feedback on this and anything else regarding the Land Records Resource Center.

  5. Another useful technique I showed was the use of SnapTips. SnapTips are small pieces of text that pop up to show what you are snapping to. They are extremely useful when you have multiple items set to snap (vertex, edge, and end) on the same layer in the Snapping Environment dialog. Unfortunately, SnapTips don’t get a lot of press as someone noticed in the class, but you can find more information about them online at this link.

  7. Ok, this one has been mentioned multiple times so I need to get working on it. People want the option to select a feature automatically when they use the Search tool on the editing toolbar. This will be a priority enhancement to the next release of the toolbar. Look for that functionality and more in the near future.

  9. Another minor adjustment is to lengthen the search field. This was done as a sample for the Mississippi workshop and will be in the next release of the toolbar. The next release will also include the ability to search more than one feature class.

  11. The maintenance of Simultaneous Conveyances and Historical Simultaneous Conveyances can be a tricky topic, even for me. Look for a blog about this soon from Nancy von Meyer, the clear expert on the subject matter.

  13. One part of the training required me to explain the differences in the functionality of the Edit tool vs. the Select tool. Check out this article if you want more information.

  15. To some, using COGO can seem like learning a foreign language. If this is the case in your organization I suggest that everyone become acquainted with the information in this link.

  17. One of the components of the editing toolbar is the ability to retire selected parcels to a history layer. We added this functionality after discovering that many people just needed a quick and easy way to record how specific parcels looked before they were edited. Look for a blog regarding this soon.

  19. A number of users have stated that they expected to see a blog archive included with the template downloads. We intentionally excluded the blogs from the download file. We felt that the best place to manage the blogs would be the live link and thus it would provide the most current and up to date information. However, we realize that not everybody discovers the blogs right away. So, maybe we can include a link to the blog site in the current PDF help document. Let us know what you think.

As a final note, on behalf of the ArcGIS Land Records team I would like to say thank you for the great feedback we have received. Your feedback helps us improve the template deliverables directly. At this time I would like to specifically thank Anna Williams from Polk County, Florida. Thanks to her testing, she helped me fix an issue with the sketch graphics in the Snake Pin tool that had been “bugging” me for a while. That fix will be included with the next release. So, we all should send Anna a great big thank you, and thanks to the many others who have provided us with feedback.

Please continue to contribute to the posts (

Thank you,

Arthur Robinson

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The ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight/WPF version 1.1 is available!

Version 1.1 of the ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight/WPF is now available for download on the ArcGIS Server Resource Center.   The API includes a set of feature, functionality, and integration enhancments.  One notable difference; you’ll download a setup executable which will install and configure Silverlight and WPF assemblies, components, and templates with Expression Blend and Visual Studio.  Here are a few highlights of what’s new:

  • Silverlight 3 is now required with version 1.1.  Silverlight 2 is no longer supported. 
  • Silverlight 3 supports element binding, which means you can bind the Map property of a Navigation control to a Map using XAML – no code behind.
  • A complete, interactive design-time experience in Expression Blend 3.  You can drag, drop, and configure ArcGIS Silverlight and WPF controls on the artboard.
  • A set of Silverlight templates are integrated with Expression Blend 3 and Visual Studio 2008.  The templates provide a pre-configured, pre-styled, customizable architecture that enables you to create production worthy mapping applications quickly and easily.
  • Expression Blend 3 introduced behaviors, which are reusable pieces of packaged code that define interactive relationships between controls using XAML.  A new ArcGIS Silverlight and WPF library, ESRI.ArcGIS.Client.Behaviors.dll, includes a set of behaviors and actions to define interactive relationships between user input and Map behavior and content. 

We invite you to try the new Interactive SDK to see the new features and functionality in action.  In addition, we’ve created an interactive Symbol Gallery for you to peruse and copy marker, line, and fill symbols for use in your application.  


The ArcGIS Silverlight/WPF Development Team

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The role of AVL solutions in fleet management

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Are you in the ArcGIS 9.4 Beta Program?

The Support Blog has just posted some details about the 9.4 Beta Program covering, amongst other things, what’s included and who’s eligible to join.  In general, if you’re currently on maintenance or an EDN subscriber, you qualify.

It highlights that the 9.4 Beta is:

  • Available for download
  • Fully supported by ESRI Technical Support
  • Accompanied by new 9.4 Resource Centers, also in Beta state

As a developer however, here’s a few points regarding how the program can help you…

Early Access
First off, you get to try all of the new features in 9.4 early, like the new UI enhancements, the integrated search, map publishing, new Time support, and the new reporting system. In addition you’ll have full access to the new APIs.

Migration Planning
Equally important is that by getting your hands on the software so early you can get a great head start on planning your upgrade/migration strategy. This should help you with:

  • Focusing your testing
  • Automating installation
  • Measuring performance improvements
  • Assessing or re-assessing dependencies
  • Migrating sooner after the final 9.4 release

And let’s not forget the day-to-day activities; you’ll be able to check that the new products hook into things like your automated build or continuous integration frameworks as expected.

Developer Community
With the dedicated 9.4 Beta Resource Centers, blogs and forums you can get involved with the community and share your tips and discoveries with other early adopters.

Direct Support
And with the active online support model build into the beta program, you’ll be able to interact with Support staff directly.

Take the poll to the right, and let us know in the comments how the beta program is working for you!

EDN Logo

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What is 3D Analyst at 10?

3D Analyst 10 makes ArcGIS a complete system for 3D GIS.

That is a big statement so let me explain. Not only can you view your geospatial data in 3D Analyst, at 10 you can edit your data in 3D and analyze your data in 3D. Now that is pretty huge. Most companies focus on 3D visualization of geospatial data and some are very good at it. However you can only look at your data on a globe for so long. After awhile, the WOW factor starts wearing off and you’ll want to edit and analyze your data in 3D. This is what makes 3D Analyst different from 3D viewers.

So what does that mean: Edit in 3D and 3D Analysis?
We have enabled the standard ArcGIS editing environment inside both ArcGlobe and ArcScene. You can create and delete individual features, move, rotate, scale and replace feature geometry. This includes the ability to place 3D models (e.g.: COLLADA files) directly into the 3D view as new multipatch features, and then move / scale / rotate them on the landscape. All the standard editing options – Undo, Redo, Edit Templates, etc – are supported, as is the classic Snapping environment.

We’ve also made huge improvements in the analysis of 3D vector features. We have added 3D boolean operators such as Intersect 3D, Union 3D and Inside 3D to be used with closed multipatches, new GP tools that expose 3D vector analysis specifically for virtual city workflows, such as Skyline and Skyline Barrier and enhanced existing GP tools to work better with 3D – ‘Select by Location’ dialog uses 3D distances, multipatch objects can participate in the Line of Sight tool.

Edit in 3D                 Maximum building height Analysis

Click here for a video of editing in 3D.                           Click here for a video of 3D Analysis.

Note: please download the .WMV file for optimal video quality.

So what does this all mean?
It means that 3DAnalyst 10 is a big leap forward for the handling of 3D GIS data. Not only can you view huge volumes of your data in 3D, you can edit your data in 3D, analyze it in 3D and easily share it with your colleagues or the public.

That sounds great but what can you actually do with it?
I’ll get into that in more detail next time.

Gert van Maren
3D Product Manager


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Now you can create your own Business Analyst Online!

by James Killick

Ever looked at Business Analyst Online and wanted to embed the same kind of functionality into your own site? Well now you can with the new API to Business Analyst Online!

The great new service allows web developers to simply call our REST or SOAP APIs to create ring or drive time trade areas and generate the same reports that you get out of Business Analyst Online.

Typical use cases include Economic Development Agencies that want to drive business to their cities… now they can easily create an interactive web site that allows users to search/browse available properties in the area and find out more about the people, places and businesses in the vicinity of each property… just like in Business Analyst Online…

A great example is the City of Miami which is now using the Business Analyst Online API for their own public facing site selection tool. See the screen shot below. You can check it out at


We’re making this new API available via an ArcGIS Online package called “USA Business Analyst Reporting”. This package bundles the API with ArcGIS Online Street Maps, Imagery, Demographic Maps + Geocoding. (BTW – you can also use the API with your own favorite online maps too – but you’ll need to get the appropriate license from the third party).

Using this API you can easily (and quickly) develop rich Internet apps in Flex, JavaScript or Silverlight that incorporate Business Analyst functionality… for more details go here for general info and here for the detailed technical stuff.


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Creating a seamless map with multiple cached map services in ArcMap

11/12/09–Here’s a little known technique the ArcGIS Content team sometimes uses when working with cached map services in ArcMap 9.3.1. Suppose your area of interest is along the border of the U.S. and Mexico. You prefer the cartography in the ArcGIS Online ESRI World Street Map service, but you need the detailed Mexico streets that are currently available only in the Bing Maps Road service. You could toggle between each map but that is cumbersome and doesn’t allow for a printable seamless map using both services. Instead use the “Advanced Drawing Options” in ArcMap 9.3.1 to combine the best attributes of each map.

First, we will add the Bing Maps Road service into ArcMap using the Roads layer (LYR file) link for Using Bing Maps with ArcGIS Desktop in the ArcGIS Online Help.

We will use a polygon feature class to mask out Bing Maps within the United States. Add the feature class to your map document and uncheck the layer visibility setting so that it won’t display on your map.

Right-click the data frame (Layers) and select “Advanced Drawing Options”.

In the Advanced Drawing Options dialog, check the “Draw using masking options specified below” option, and check “Bing Maps – Roads” in the Masked Layers box.

Click OK, and now the Bing Maps service only displays outside of the United States.

Finally, add the ArcGIS Online ESRI World Street Map service for a seamless view of both services.

We hope you find this technique helpful when working with cached map services in ArcMap 9.3.1.

Contributed by Jim Mason of the ArcGIS Content team

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Symbolizing trees in ArcGIS: Assigning each species a different symbol

By Mamata Akella, Esri Design Cartographer

Tree thumb

Tree symbols are a great way to enhance the appearance of a large scale, detailed map. To make attractive point symbols for trees, you need a good place to start from and thankfully all of us ArcGIS users have that. Using multi-layer character marker symbols, the variety of tree symbols you can create is endless. This blog is meant to introduce (or reintroduce) you to the Esri US Forestry 2 font. It is also meant to give you some tips for creating a variety of tree symbols to use on your maps. Continue reading

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Show us your geography and GIS!

Next week starts Geography Awareness Week. And next Wednesday, November 18, is GIS Day. So we’d like you to show us your geography and GIS!

We’re ready to highlight your geographic and GIS activities using ArcGIS Explorer. Send us your screenshots, maps or layer files, or a brief write-up, and we’ll feature it here in a future blog post. Send all submissions to

GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society.

Launched in 1987 by presidential proclamation, Geography Awareness Week is held the third week of each November, promoting the importance of geography education in the United States.

If you’re new to ArcGIS Explorer you can get more information and download it for free from the ArcGIS Explorer product home page or the ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center.

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