Spatial Analyst Videos

We continue to put more videos on the Desktop Resource Center Video room and are open to suggestions so let us know via a comment if you there is a topic or area of the software that needs a video demo. 

One of the most popular and widely used extensions to ArcGIS Desktop is Spatial Analyst so here are a few videos that highlight what’s new in Spatial Analyst 10

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Data and Maps

ESRI Data & Maps is a set of DVDs, containing dozens of presymbolized data layers, that ships in the box with ArcGIS software.  Through ArcGIS Online, you can now find and download individual data layers from ESRI Data & Maps for immediate use.

So if you need data go here and open the Layer Packages in ArcMap 9.4

  • World: global data layers including country boundaries and cities
  • United States: data for the USA including states, counties, and landmarks
  • North America: data for the United States and Canada including states/provinces, highways/roads, and city areas
  • Europe: data layers for several countries in Europe including country and province level demographics
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Extending ArcGIS Explorer course now available

An ArcGIS Explorer developer course is now available for free via ESRI’s online campus. The course focuses on the ArcGIS Explorer SDK and how it is used in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008.

You will learn how ArcGIS Explorer can be extended by creating Add-Ins such as Buttons, Windows, Galleries, and invisible Extensions. You will also learn how to use application configurations to deploy your customizations.

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9.3.1 sp1

I know this blog is for 9.4 but I wanted to make sure everyone knows that ArcGIS 9.3.1 Service Pack 1 was released today.

Download it from the Support Center

ArcGIS 9.3.1 Service Pack 1 contains critical fixes and new functionality. It is recommended that all users install this update. A complete list of the issues that have been fixed in this update is available here.


What’s New in ArcGIS 9.3.1 Service Pack 1.


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British Geological Survey data in ArcGIS Explorer

Last week the British Geological Survey (BGS) launched a new web site – OpenGeoscience – a service where users can view maps and access a wide variety of other information. The use of ArcGIS Online basemaps, the same as available in ArcGIS Explorer, was covered in a recent ArcGIS Online blog post. The site features a nice Geology of Britain viewer that uses ArcGIS Online basemaps and JavaScript API.

The site also includes a KML and the shapefile data along with a layer file (.lyr). Here we’ve taken the KML and added it to Explorer, and used the Bing Streets as our basemap.

We also used the layer file (.lyr) and associated data in ArcGIS Explorer, and also created a layer package from them. Here’s the layer package.

The BGS site is a good example of publishing the same content in a variety of different ways, for public users via a Web app, KML, and also the building block data so it can be used and combined with other data for further GIS use.

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Zoom to DataGrid records with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript

State DataGrid with zoom buttonRecently we posted how to display attributes in your ArcGIS JavaScript applications using a Dojo DataGrid. In this post we’ll
extend that sample to add a zoom button to each record of the grid. Each button is a dijit (Dojo’s name for widget) that lets users zoom to the U.S. state associated with the record.

Each field in the DataGrid can define a formatter that returns the value to
display in the cell. This value can incorporate HTML and JavaScript, which is the key to allowing you to insert dijits into your DataGrid.

To add the zoom buttons, modify the DataGrid in markup to add a new field and
define a formatter function that will create the necessary HTML to display a zoom button. Set the unique identifier
(ObjectID) as the data field so we can find the associated graphic on the map.

<th field="ObjectID" formatter="makeZoomButton" width="18px">
    <img alt="+" src="zoom.png"/>

The makeZoomButton function creates a new button, defines button properties like width,
height and a display image and associates a function with the onClick event.

  function makeZoomButton(id){
var zBtn = "<div dojoType='dijit.form.Button'><img src='zoom.png'";
zBtn = zBtn + " width='18' height='18'";
zBtn = zBtn + " onClick="zoomRow('"+id+"')"></div>";
return zBtn;

The onClick event calls the zoomRow function which loops through the graphics in the map,
finds the graphic that matches the selected row, then zooms.

    function zoomRow(id){
if (graphic.attributes.ObjectID.toString() === id) {
var selectedState = new esri.Graphic(graphic.geometry).setAttributes(
var stateExtent = selectedState.geometry.getExtent().expand(5.0);
return true;

A few weeks ago we covered using Dojo.forEach, a Dojo implementation of one of the JavaScript array extras. In the snippet above we use another array extra
. Dojo.some checks each item in the array and returns true if some of the items return true from the callback function.
In this example we use Dojo.some to break from a loop once we find an item that fits our criteria. In this case, our criteria is finding a graphic that matches the selected row in the DataGrid.

Click here to view a live sample that displays attributes in a zoomable DataGrid

Example application with DataGrid zoom 

Contributed by Kelly Hutchins of the ArcGIS JavaScript API development team.

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British Geological Survey uses ArcGIS Online as part of OpenGeoscience

12/14/09–Last week the British Geological Survey (BGS) launched a new web site – OpenGeoscience – a service where users can view maps and access a wide variety of other information. According to a recent GeoConnexion article the site provides the world’s first open-access application providing street-level geological mapping for an entire country, with on-the-fly viewing of bedrock and superficial geology overlaid on street maps and aerials.

The Geology of Britain viewer uses ArcGIS Online basemaps and JavaScript API to deliver access to detailed geologic information to anyone via the Web. The app features a toggle for streets or aerials, a transparency slider, and popup information with links to detailed descriptions of bedrock and superficial geology.

The viewer, along with a wide variety of other resources, has made the site extremely popular. According to GeoConnexion it was the most popular story on BBC News Online, with over 70,000 visitors to the BGS web site from the time it appeared at 10.30 a.m. That’s the number of visitors BGS normally gets in an average month. There were more than 10 million image hits (1000 a second!) and 300,000 page views.

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Bing in Business Analyst Online!

  by Sooria Jeyaraman

In our current and highly touted release of Business Analyst Online, business search by Microsoft Bing is among the key features. You can search for any businesses just like you do in, right inside our application. How is it going to help you? Let’s see how, now to the details. Click on the “Research Market” tab, previously called as “Color Coded Maps”, we’ve renamed the tab based on user feedback and also that tab now has lot more to offer than just color coded maps. Once you open the tab, you can see the bing business search text box to the top right. To catch user’s attention and promote our latest feature we’ve added a “New” tag to it so that it’ll be hard to miss.

Now type in a business name, let’s say you type in “pizza”, this brings back the results for the businesses starting from the center of the map. You can also add a location in the search term to be more specific ex. “pizza in redlands” or “walgreens in san diego” etc. The results table will include the name, address, website adreess, distance, phone numbers to name a few.

Wait that is not it,

You can narrow your search to get more specific from the search results. Type in any term in the “Narrow Search by:” box and the results get updated automatically based on all the columns. You can also make your filter more specific, let’s say you are interested only in the pizza shops in Redlands, you can do that too. Change the dropdown selection to “City” and type in Redlands in the search box, you get the results just for Redlands.

  • All the column headers are sortable, just for illustration I’ve shown the UI with sorted by distance
  • The search results can be stored as a layer and all the points can be opened from “My Layers” anytime in the future.
  • You can also give a symbol for the points, not just our standard symbols you can also bring in your own custom symbols for the points. Woo hoo..!
  • If you want to save these results for your future reference, click on the “Export to Excel…” button and that saves the results in an excel format.

    Clicking on “Add Selected Locations” will add the results to the map. Clicking on a symbol will show the address and name of the joint. This whole layer can turned on/off under “My Layers>Point Layers”.

    Searching for businesses has just been made easier and simpler in Business Analyst Online, courtesy of Microsoft’s bing business search. Hope you will enjoy it.. see you when I see you..

    - SJ

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Mapping climate change with ArcGIS Online

12/11/09–A collection of interactive maps from The Nature Conservancy, ESRI, and many other contributors, showing various aspects of global climate change are featured at the ESRI Climate Change Web site, which links to a variety of other interesting and useful resources. These applications use ArcGIS Online basemaps and JavaScript API.

The Climate Wizard, shown below, has been developed through collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, The University of Washington, and The University of Southern Mississippi. The Climate Wizard enables technical and non-technical audiences alike to easily and intuitively access leading climate change information and visualize the impacts anywhere on Earth.

Another climate change demonstration allows you to interactively investigate and compare various future climate models and scenarios.


And another application shows future projected change in mean temperature from the 1961 to 1990 baseline average using the Average Ensemble climate model and includes an animation capability to look at change over time.

All are good examples of how ArcGIS Online can be leveraged along with other data to create a complete application.

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Route optimization to increase efficiency and reduce fuel consumption at water utilities

Over the past few years, we’ve seen water and wastewater utilities increasingly recognize that they can leverage GIS to reduce fuel consumption in their fleet vehicles and more efficiently carry out their work through route optimization. 

No doubt the increased interest in routing solutions for water utilities is driven by 3 factors, first that regulated water and wastewater utilities have a fixed rate structure which leads to rigid budgets.  When the cost of things like fuel, water treatment chemicals, electricity, raw construction materials, etc. fluctuate than a utility has to look at its entire operations for place where cost can be reduced to keep budgets balanced. 

The second factor, which arguable was the wake up call to water and wastewater utilities, was the fuel price spike around 2 years ago.  When fuel prices were spiking, ESRI had an exponential rise in interested from water and wastewater utilities to optimize their routing.  That interest has not subsided with the decline in gas prices.  Many forward thinking utilities are using the economic pullback to prepare for when full prices do rise again in the future. 

The third factor is that water utilities view themselves as stewards of the environment.  The quality of our source water supplies is directly linked to the health of our environment, and many water utilities are taking proactive steps to be more environmental friendly.  We’ve heard a lot of talk about the water-energy nexus recently and also about carbon footprints.  Water utilities can reduce their overall energy usage (in the form of less fossil fuel usage) through fleet optimization and also can reduce their carbon footprint.

From discussions with ESRI’s water utility customers, we increasingly hear about the need to optimize vehicle routing for maintenance activities for fixed meter reading routes and for maintenance activities.  For the purpose of our discussion, we’ll lump workorders, off cycle final meter reads, customer service visits, in person billing dispute resolutions and emergency routing together as ad-hoc routing.

Whatever type of routing you are using,  spatially, descriptively and temporarily accurate GIS data about the location of your assets and your customer locations (premise locations in particular), are critically important.  More accurate destination information will yield better routing.  We’ve seen a lot of technology demonstrations for utility routing, and one thing we’ve seen lacking in many utility routing solutions is the ability to route to an asset.  The ability to route to an asset is often missing when routing solutions intended for the general public are proposed to utilities.  For example, if a utility crew needs to turn off valve number V-2421 during an emergency, they need to be routed right to valve itself, not the nearest property with a valid address near the valve.

For utilities, route optimization isn’t just about the fastest way to get from point A to B to C.  It’s also about optimizing the sequence of how you deliver your work.  Meaning that it to be truly beneficial a route optimization solution needs to be able to do things like honor time windows, handle routing and work sequencing for multiple crews some of which have specialty equipment or knowledge, allow you to add more stops and reroute all of your field vehicle on the fly and be able to leverage you existing GIS asset and customer premise locations.

Meter Reading Routing

First, let’s examine fixed routing for meter reading.  If your utility currently uses meters that require either proximity (drive by meter reading) or premise visits (manual reads), you’ve most likely created a fixed set of meter reading routes.  If your utility has to visit a customer premise for routing meter reads, than your meter reading route probably include a mix of vehicle route and then on foot routes (this require multimodal routing). 

We often hear from utilities that want to either optimize their existing routes because they are outdated or they want to establish formal routes for the first time.  From experience, we view meter reading routing as a specialty application of GIS and we suggest that you work an ESRI business partner such as Routesmart who understand how to deploy ESRI technology to overcome some of the special challenges of both drive by and manual meter reading route optimization.

Ad-hoc Routing

I use the term “ad-hoc routing” to describe routing for maintenance activities, emergency activities, customer service and bill resolution done on the customer premise, final meter reads that are off the normal meter reading cycle and inspections.  I lump these activities together into the category of ad-hoc routing because these are not rigid routes like fixed meter reading routes. 

Why do I consider maintenance routing to be ad-hoc routing when some of it is planned well in advance?  Because even though you plan for maintenance proactively and track that in your CMMS or workorder system, if a utility sequences the work to be done, assigns to a crew and creates a route that is often done the day before or the day of the actual work happening.  Utilities often mix in proactive work with reactive work (you didn’t plan ahead to do that task) into a crews daily work, so this is really ad-hoc routing.  It’s done the day of or day before doing the work and you may also need to reshuffle this on the fly based on the events of the day.

ESRI has a powerful core technology solution (of course this can also be extended by our business partners) for routing.  Our core solution is ArcLogistics.  

A few things to keep in mind about route optimization

We often get asked how to quantify the return on investment (ROI) for route optimization.  ESRI has recently released an ArcLogistics Cost Saving Calculator that you can plug in variable from your utility to estimate the ROI for ArcLogistics –

If you are selecting a new workorder, CMMS or EAM system think about how this will integrate with a GIS to enable route optimization.  Your workoder system is where you will create and track your proactive and reactive maintenance activities, but when you allocate crews and dispatch work route optimization will help you become more efficient. 

Like geocoding, route optimization relies on an underlying dataset to use for route generation.  Make sure that if you are routing, you have the appropriate dataset with the accuracy level and routing capabilities that fit the business needs of your utilities.  For example some datasets for routing are able to take into left hand turn restrictions, underpass clearances and road weight limits, those can be very important factors if you are moving large or heavy equipment around. 

Think about who will be generating the routes.  Do they need to be automatically generated, will someone create routes in a desktop application or will many people need to create routes (for themselves or others) with a web based or mobile application?  Also think about whether field crews should be empowered to route themselves, that is really a business decision at a utility.  In actuality, route optimization should be available to any system or employee that needs to optimize routes.  So it is really part of enterprise GIS at water utilities.

Understand how you will share routes once they are created.  Do you give field crews their daily routes and sequenced work orders on paper print outs or do you have computer in the field that you can use a mobile application like the ArcGIS Mobile or ArcLogistics Navigator to push routes to and enable turn by turn navigation.  When looking at a route optimization solution, you should assess how you can disseminate the routes and use them around your utility.

Feel free to comment or share any experience you’ve had with route optimization at your utility.

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