Tag Archives: Explorer Desktop
The ArcGIS Explorer Team is pleased to announce that ArcGIS Explorer 500 was released just a few minutes ago.
This is an update release that includes:
- Support for ArcGIS Online subscription services.
- Proxy server support improvements.
- A change to allow installation on machines running Windows 2000.
The new ArcGIS Explorer 500 home server files will be available later this week. For those that deploy ArcGIS Explorer from your own home server, you’ll need to swap your versions and update your version.html file to push out the new release to your users.
The afternoon plenary ”look ahead” at ArcGIS 9.4 and Explorer was hosted by 9.4 development lead Euan Cameron. Euan noted that Explorer has a rapidly paced release schedule, and that Explorer 600 will leverage some of the new capabilities being developed for ArcGIS 9.4, but will be released sooner.
Andy MacDonald delivered the preview of what the Explorer team has been hard at work on. Here’s the new user interface which is based on the Microsoft Office ribbon. Andy showed how Explorer’s tools and functions can be organized so they can be easily found. The new user experience, of which Andy is a key architect, will reveal only the tools that you need when you need them, simplifying thing for users and making for an uncluttered look and feel.
Andy also demonstrated how symbols are being organized, showing the new symbol gallery which allows you to choose from many different kinds of symbols that suit many different kinds of data and industries.
Andy mentioned that a continuing development focus is on presentation, and that the team has been working to improve these capabilities by providing tools that allow you to step though your map content much like you step through a slide deck, but an interactive slide show where you can pause and explore further, and include Web-based content.
Andy also showed how Explorer 600 will work with basemaps in different ways. He showed some of the new basemap choices, and how they can be used to layer directly underneath your own data. The basemaps can be easily swapped out, allowing you to visualize your information in different contexts. The basemap gallery allows you to choice from a variety of ESRI basemaps and basemaps of your own choosing.
Andy showed local data draped over terrain, and the controls in the ribbon which allow you to experiment with how your map looks. You don’t have to open property pages to view your options, everything is right at your mouse tips.
Finally Andy showed how you can toggle from 3D mode to 2D mode on-the-fly, demonstrating how you can work with your content in either mode.
Part II of a two part post on the GIS Education Community blog appeared the other day, picking up where the previous post left off with a discussion of how to take GPS readings and turn them into shapefiles, and then add hyperlinks.
But there’s another way to accomplish the same thing, and also new capabilities coming in ArcGIS Explorer 480 which will make things even easier.
One option might be to save the GPS coordinates as a comma or tab-delimited text file, and import the file to create results. We covered this topic in a post back in July, 2007, and while we were working with a much older version of Explorer at the time, the information in the post is still correct. A nice thing about results is that it’s very easy to do interesting things with their popups, which we covered in another post not long ago. So these methods could have been used instead of the shapefile creation method described in the Education Community post.
But soon there will be an even easier way. New in Explorer 480 is support for GPX format files. Wikipedia describes GPX as follows:
We visited the GPXchange site to download a file of interest, one with locations of hot springs in California. In the soon-to-be-released Explorer 480 we imported the GPX file and created a collection of waypoints from the downloaded file. We’ll save the step-by-step details for a later post, after we’ve released Explorer 480, but we ended up with a result group, with each result representing a waypoint in the file. Here we’ve clicked a couple of them to open the popup window to display more information about the waypoint.
We’re blessed with the availability of “real time” content these days, and recently blogged about the upcoming support for GeoRSS feeds in Explorer 480 as part of the landscape of timely information.
Another recent post on the GIS Education Community blog discusses what “real time” may have been like when the earth was still terra incognita using the Pinkerton 1812 map from the Explorer Resource Center.
Below is a screenshot showing the Pinkerton 1812 layer swiped to reveal a sneak peek at the new graticule support we’ll be delivering with Explorer 480. This new user option allows your choice of graticule units and the ability to display reference grids such as the US National Grid and MGRS.
Cyclones in Myanmar. Fires in Florida. Earthquakes in China. Timely information is critical for learning about events as they happen, and subsequently how to respond and what to do in their aftermath. One of the ways that timely geographic information is published is via GeoRSS feeds.
In the upcoming Explorer 480 release GeoRSS feeds are one of the supported connections, joining ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, and WMS.
Here we’ve connected to the USGS Shake Map feed, and we’re showing the popup content for the 7.9 quake that hit China on Monday, May 12.
Below we’ve connected to another USGS GeoRSS feed publishing all the magnitude 5+ quakes worldwide. Again we’re in China, in the vicinity of the disastrous 7.9 quake. You can see the strong aftershocks that followed the original temblor.
In this post, guest author Jeff Barrette of ESRI Olympia explains how to create a
geoprocessing service for selecting features in ArcGIS Explorer.
ArcGIS Explorer users may want to zoom to specific locations based upon data
that is available to them either locally or from a server. In ArcGIS Desktop,
users can simply select features of interest based upon feature attribute
values and then zoom to the extent of the resulting selected features. ArcGIS
Explorer does not have the equivalent of a Select By Attribute function
available but it can easily be added as a custom task. This post discusses the
steps necessary to build a geoprocessing select task that can be added into
ArcGIS Explorer to give users zoom to selected features functionality.
The general steps include first using ArcGIS Desktop to build a map document
(MXD) that contains the feature layers that need to be queried along with the
resulting selection symbology. The next step involves building a geoprocessing
model or script that performs the selection capabilities. Next, the
geoprocessing tool and the results map document need to be published and served
using ArcGIS Server. Finally, the new capabilities are added into ArcGIS
Explorer as a new, custom task.
For this example, the data referenced in the steps below is the States feature
class that is available from the ESRI Data and Maps data collection. The data
is located on the ArcGIS 9 Data & Maps StreetMap USA DVD under the
usacensus folder. This post is written for use with ArcGIS Desktop 9.2 (SP5),
ArcGIS Server 9.2 (SP5), and ArcGIS Explorer (build 440).
Create a new folder on the file system called “SelectTask”.
It is best to organize all of the components necessary to publish a
geoprocessing task (file based data, SDE connection files, MXDs, toolboxes,
etc) in a single location to minimize file access and permission issues. The
graphic below also includes a folder called Publish. It is used to organize all
published tasks as individual project folders.
- Copy the states feature class to this new location.
Set the appropriate permissions.
Ideally, this folder is located on the same machine that ArcGIS Server is
installed on. If the data is on the server, then permissions on the data should
be all set. If on a different network drive, this folder should be shared and
the SOC account should be granted access to it.
Create a connection to the ArcGIS Server as an admin user.
If this is the first time you are publishing something to ArcGIS Server, you
are first required to establish a connection to the server.
In ArcCatalog, expand GIS Servers.
This is a node in the Catalog Tree.
- Double-click Add ArcGIS Server.
- Select Manage GIS Services and click Next.
- Provide the necessary connection information and click Finish.
Note: It is also recommended that you read through the Troubleshooting
Tips section at the end of this post before proceeding with the steps
below to ensure user accounts and permissions are set appropriately.
Designing a Map Document (part 1)
Open a new ArcMap session and add the States layer. It is not necessary
to modify the symbology because with the steps in this document, we will not be
consuming and displaying the map service, but rather using the layers in it to
query against its features. In the steps to follow, you will symbolize the
results layer to control how the results appear in ArcGIS Explorer (or in other
Note: If your data source is an ArcSDE geodatabase, then see the Working
with ArcSDE Geodatabase Data Sources section below for some suggestions
on how to manage the ArcSDE server connections. There are some additional steps
that should be taken to ensure ArcGIS Server can connect to the data. Copying
the SDE connection file to the project folder makes access much easier to
manage rather than having to set permissions on your personal profile folders.
Set relative paths for the data sources.
This can be set via File > Document Properties > Data Source Options.
Relative paths are not necessary if the ArcMap and ArcGIS Server applications
are on the same machine but they do make it much easier to move a project
folder from one server to another or to multiple servers all with the same data
and models. Hard-coded paths are best if there are multiple SOC machines but
all pointing to a single drive to access data.
Check the “Overwrite the outputs of geoprocessing operations” option.
This can be set via Tools > Options > Geoprocessing tab. It is important
that the output file name remain the same after multiple executions. If this
option is left unchecked the output name would change (i.e., increment by one
each time the model is run) and the applications would not be able to reference
the correct output result.
Uncheck the “Results are temporary by default” option.
This can be set via Tools > Options > Geoprocessing tab. If the results
are going to be used in subsequent applications, it is important the results
are not immediately cleared.
- Save the MXD to the new folder location and name it “SelectStates.MXD”.
- Keep ArcMap open. You will come back to the same MXD in a few steps.
Building a geoprocessing model
In ArcCatalog, create a toolbox called “CustomToolbox”.
Right-click the SelectTask folder and click New > Toolbox. Your folder
should look similar to the following:
- In ArcMap, open ArcToolbox.
Add your CustomToolbox.
Right-click ArcToolbox > Add Toolbox, browse to the Select Task folder, and
Set the ScratchWorkspace environment variable to the location of your project
folder (Example: C:PublishSelectTask).
Right-click ArcToolbox > Environments > General Settings > Scratch
Workspace. It is important to do this at the application level and not just at
the tool or model level because it is the ArcMap application that needs to
manage the output data.
Create a new model.
Right-click your CustomToolbox and click New > Model.
Change the Name property to “SelectStates”.
Select Model > Model Properties > General Tab. The name property cannot
include spaces or underscores.
Also change the Label property to “SelectStates” and click OK.
The label property is what gets displayed in the client application and can
- Drag and drop the States layer onto the model.
Drag and drop the Select tool onto the model. You can find this tool in
ArcToolbox Analysis Tools > Extract > Select.
Note: The Select By Attribute tool can’t be used by itself because it
does not create an output result that gets written to disk that can then be
accessed by other applications. In a model, Select By Attribute can be
connected to the Copy Features command to generate the necessary file output.
The Select command accomplishes the same end result.
Open the Select tool.
Right-click on the tool and select Open.
Set States to be the Input Features.
Select the layer with the blue recycle symbol next to it. This represents the
data source added into the model. The yellow icon represents a layer located in
the Table of Contents (TOC). If you choose the latter, you will have two
references to the same data and one will need to be removed.
Set the %SCRATCHWORKSPACE% inline variable for the Output Feature Class. The
input should look similar to the graphic below:
Note: It is best to use the ScratchWorkspace inline variable when output
results are going to be referenced from other applications. The Managed option
works great for intermediate results but does not work well on permanent output
results. The Managed option will automatically increment the output name with
each successive execution therefore making it difficult for other applications
to reference the correct data. The ScratchWorkspace inline variable should be
used instead. In addition to ScratchWorkspace, also use the “Overwrite the
outputs of geoprocessing operations” option and make sure the “Results are
temporarily by default” option is turned off. These settings will ensure the
resulting output is correctly accessed by other applications.
Build a default, optional expression (Example: “STATE_ABBR” = ‘AK’). This
can be left blank but it makes it a much easier for a user to modify an already
existing expression (i.e., its SQL structure) than it is to type one from
scratch. Click OK.
Create Expression variable/parameter for Select tool.
Right-click the Select tool and choose Make Variable > From Parameter >
Click the Auto Layout and Full Extent buttons.
This will better organize your view of the model.
Set the Expression as a Model Parameter.
Right-click the Expression object and choose Model Parameter. This will enable
a user to enter a custom expression within the published task inside the client
Right-click the Expression and rename it “Enter Expression:”. How
the expression is labeled will control how it appears in the client
application. This is also true for how you label the model. The following
graphic shows how the task will appear in ArcGIS Explorer.
Right-click the model output States_Select.shp and check Model Parameter.
This will persist an output result on disk. The result is what will be sent
back to the ArcGIS Explorer application. Note, when output is set as Model
Parameter it cannot also be set to intermediate (temporary data). Therefore any
results you want to send back to ArcGIS Explorer should not be intermediate.
Check Add to Display. This parameter is only necessary for displaying the
result in ArcGIS Desktop. This is not necessary when publishing the model as a
When completed, the model should look similar to the following graphic:
Save the model.
Click Model > Save.
- Close the model. Click Model > Close.
Designing a Map Document (part 2)
Drag and drop the Select States tool from ArcToolbox into the top portion of the
This is called a Tool Layer and it can be executed from the TOC. The Tool Layer
will also include inputs and outputs to the model once it is executed.
Run the model from the tool layer.
Right-click the Select States tool layer and select Open to open the model.
Then click OK to run the model. A layer named States_Select.shp displaying
the default selected state of Alaska should have been added to your TOC as part
of the tool layer.
Set the symbology for the States_Select.shp layer.
However this layer is symbolized is how it will appear in a client application.
If you only want the result to appear in the ArcGIS Explorer results list but
you don’t want the feature(s) to display in the view, then set the symbology to
Uncheck the top level tool layer. The tool layer is really intended only
to be used for publishing purposes. If it is turned on while running the model
from ArcMap, it won’t be consistent with the layer returned from the result via
Add to Display. The TOC should look like the following graphic:
Note: Models can be published in one of two ways:
First, publish an MXD containing geoprocessing tool layers. Each tool layer
becomes a task in the geoprocessing service. This method is a little easier
because all the symbology can be directly set within the MXD. Also,
geoprocessing capabilities are automatically recognized when the MXD is
published to ArcGIS Server. Both the data and tools can be consumed by client
applications. This will be the method used in the following sections.
Second, a geoprocessing toolbox can be directly published. Each tool in the
toolbox becomes a task in the geoprocessing service. If you want to control the
appearance of the input and output results, then you would need to create
additional layer files with the desired symbology that are referenced by the
tools. Publishing stand alone tools does have an advantage over publishing tool
Publishing the map with geoprocessing capabilities
- In ArcCatalog, browse to the SelectTask folder.
Right-click the SelectStates MXD and choose Publish to ArcGIS Server. The
first panel allows you to select an ArcGIS Server, specify the name of the
service, and select or create a folder to organize your new service. You can
optionally change these settings. Click Next.
Verify that the Mapping and Geoprocessing capabilities are checked and click
Optionally, this service could be made available to KML, WMS, or mobile
To dismiss the summary page. A new map service and a new geoprocessing service
are added to the GIS Server. Both services should be started and ready to go.
The GIS Server connection in ArcCatalog should look similar to the graphic
Verify the service is running. A quick way to determine the service is
working before continuing is to make sure you can preview the service in
ArcCatalog. Simply select the SelectStates map service and click on the preview
tab. If you can see the States displayed, then the service is running properly.
If you don’t see anything display, then refer to the Troubleshooting Tips
section near the end of this document.
Adding the custom task into ArcGIS Explorer
- Open ArcGIS Explorer.
Click Select Tools > Manage Tasks
This dialog allows you to control access to the tasks that can be used within
ArcGIS Explorer. The tasks listed on the left are all those currently available
to the application, the tasks on the right are those that are actually being
Click the Get Tasks button.
This allows you to browse locally for tasks or to connect to other servers to
add additional tasks.
- Make sure the Servers option is selected and click ArcGIS Server.
Enter the appropriate connection information.
If you are not sure of the server name or path, then look at the properties of
the SelectStates map service via a right-click > Service Properties >
Capabilities tab. Copy the URL information up to and including “/Services”.
Expand the resulting SelectStates toolbox, click the Select States tool,
and click Open.
The task has been made available to the application but is still not available
to the current map.
Click the Select States task on the left side and move it right to make it
available to the current map. Then click OK.
Using the task in ArcGIS Explorer
Click the Select States task in the Tasks list.
This will open the custom task in the task window. The labels and text display
exactly how you set them up in the model.
Modify the expression found in the Task Center. Because a default expression was
created, it is easy to manipulate.
Keep in mind that this expression could be modified however someone would need
it to be (Example: “STATE_ABBR” = ‘WA’ OR “STATE_ABBR” = ‘RI’).
Click Run. Then double-click the result in the Results list to zoom to the
feature extent (ArcGIS Server Service Pack 5 is required to zoom to the results).
ArcGIS Server must be properly installed using an Administrators account and
both the GIS Server and Web Applications post installs must be completed.
The ArcGIS SOM and SOC accounts (the defaults are ArcGISSOM and ArcGISSOC) must
be a member of the Users group.
The ArcGIS Web Services account (the default is ArcGISWebServices) must be a
member of the agsadmin group.
Be sure that your account (the person publishing the services) is a member of
the agsadmin group.
It may be necessary to reboot your machine in order for permissions to take
The ArcGISSOC account must have at least read-only access to the file-based
data, the MXD files, toolboxes, and SDE connection files. If the local Users
group has access, then the ArcGISSOC account also does because it is a part of
the Users group. You would need to explicitly add ArcGISSOC if you wanted it to
have a different set of permissions than Users (e.g., read vs read/write).
If these files (above) are on a separate network drive, then the folder must be
shared and the ArcGISSOC account must have at least read access to this shared
The ArcGISSOC account must have read/write access to the ArcGISServer
directories. This is where the cache, jobs and output are written too.
- Confirm that IIS is properly installed and running.
Confirm that the IIS virtual directories (argisoutput, arcgisjobs, and
arcgiscache) exist and their permissions and local path are correct.
Confirm that a folder that matches your ArcGIS Server instance name exists.
This folder is created during the post install of ArcGIS Server and is found by
default in C:Inetpubwwwroot.
If you’ve made changes to the MXD (e.g., selection symbology), then you will
need to stop and restart both the map service and the geoprocessing service.
If you’ve made changes to the model, then remove the tool layer, rerun the
model and add the tool layer again. Be sure to follow the steps again as
indicated in the steps above.
Working with ArcSDE Geodatabase Data Sources
When a connection is made to an ArcSDE geodatabase data source, an SDE
connection file (*.SDE) is typically created in your Documents and Settings
folder under Application DataESRI. This folder would need to be shared and
the ArcGIS Server SOC account would need to be given permissions to the folder.
An easier way to manage this is to create a copy of the *.SDE file and copy it
to the SelectTask folder as outlined below:
- Expand Database Connections. This is a node in the ArcCatalog Tree.
Copy the SDE connection file. Right-click the SDE connection file
and select Copy.
Paste the SDE connection file into the SelectTask folder.
Browse to and right-click the SelectTask folder and select Paste.
Update all ArcMap ArcSDE geodatabase data sources to use the new connection
file. This can be done via the layer properties Source tab. Right-click
the layer, select properties. Select the Source tab, click the Set Data Source
button and browse to the new connection file. Do this for each ArcSDE
The next release of ArcGIS Explorer – Build 480 - is coming up quickly, with some important new features and enhancements. But at the recent ESRI Developer Summit plenary session we took a longer look ahead, beyond Explorer 480, and showed the first public demonstration of ArcGIS Explorer 600 and its new user interface.
The goal of ArcGIS Explorer 600 is to build on the foundation of previous Explorer releases while improving usability and making it more accessible to non-GIS users through the adoption of a new Microsoft Office-style ribbon-based UI.
Using the new ribbon user interface will make the functions of the application easier to find and experiment with. The ribbon also makes it possible to display only the functions that are applicable to what you are doing and hides controls that are not relevant. Other key aspects of the new user experience include:
- Better map content management
- Easier access to ArcGIS Online basemaps
- Improved window management
Like Explorer 480, Explorer 600 will also include some new key functions. One of the big changes coming up in Explorer 600 is the ability to view your map in both 2D as well as 3D. You’ll be able to easily toggle the view between both modes to visualize your geographic information in different ways.
Stay tuned for more on the upcoming Explorer 480 and 600 releases…
User Conference 2007: Technical workshops to attend if you want to get more out of your existing ArcGIS Server deployment
Some technical workshops at the conference are appropriate for all ArcGIS Server users, even if you’ve installed the product before and you’re already familiar with it. These workshops can help you make better use of your existing deployment:
Designing, Deploying, and Using Cached Map Services
Map caching is the recommended way to make your ArcGIS Server maps run as fast as possible. Presented by the authors of this very blog, this workshop covers basic to advanced topics in map caching. This workshop is offered three times, and is a good one to catch on Friday morning if you have a late flight.
Creating and Using ArcGIS Server Geoprocessing Services
This workshop shows how to use geoprocessing services to send GIS work to the server and get back the results when the work is done. When you use geoprocessing services, you don’t have to copy and distribute your toolboxes to everyone, and the model runs on the server, freeing up your own computer’s resources.
Deploying and using ArcGIS Explorer
If you’ve only “played with” ArcGIS Explorer, this workshop will help you reach the next level to understand how you can deploy and use Explorer in your organization. This workshop, presented by Bern Szukalski and Mark Bockenhauer, is appropriate for ArcGIS Explorer beginners as well.
ArcGIS Server: The Road Ahead
A large number of you mentioned in the pre-conference surveys that you want to know what’s in the next release of ArcGIS. The “Road Ahead” workshops are meant just for you. At this workshop you’ll hear development and product leads explain what’s coming for ArcGIS Server in 9.3 and beyond.
One purpose of this blog is to share some of the things we’ve learned about our software by using it ourselves. The ArcGIS Online project uses the ArcGIS Server map and globe caching technology. In this post, we share a technique we’ve developed to create 3D caches for ArcGIS Online.
For performance and appearance benefits, many of the 3D globe caches on ArcGIS Online were created originally from 2D fused map caches. These 2D caches were overlaid on the globe and cached to make globe tiles. This technique improves the performance of the globe service because it yields only one cached layer. It also improves the appearance of the service because anti-aliasing effects in the 2D cache transfer to the 3D cache. This post lists the steps that you can follow to create a 3D cache from a 2D cache.
The instructions in this post are written for intermediate to advanced ArcGIS Server users. Before attempting this technique, it’s helpful to have some previous experience publishing ArcGIS Server services, creating map caches, and connecting to GIS services in ArcGlobe.
Create the 2D map cache
The first step in this process is to create the 2D cached map service. Start by using ArcMap to create an attractive map document that is designed for display at some pre-determined scale levels. You’ll need to select the scale levels you want cached and then apply the appropriate symbology for each scale level. You can find tips for this process in Planning a map cache.
Below is a list of scale levels used by ArcGIS Online 2D caches. These scale levels translate well to the fixed scale levels used by ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGlobe, and are strongly recommended if you plan on eventually creating a 3D cache from your 2D cache. The high-precision values of the scales prevent tiles from overlapping at the edge of the globe near the International Date Line. If your map does not have worldwide coverage, you do not have to enter all of the decimal places for these numbers, but it’s recommended that you stay close to these numbers for the best visual effects. You do not have to use all of the scales; you can use a sequential subset of them.
Recommended scales for your 2D cache
- 147748799.285417 (To clarify, this corresponds to approximately 1:147,748,799 scale)
- 73874399.6427087 (This corresponds to approximately 1:73,874,299)
- 36937199.8213544 (Etc.)
Once you’ve finished designing and creating your map document, you should publish it as an ArcGIS Server map service and create a map cache. If using the above values, you can copy and paste them directly into the Generate Map Server Cache tool. This post does not focus on the details of publishing the 2D service and generating the cache, but ample instructions are available in the ArcGIS Server Help.
Configure a custom error for missing tiles
A previous post on this blog explained how you can configure your web server to return a blank or “No data available” image in areas where a client cannot find a cache tile. This is an important step when you’re generating a 3D cache from a 2D cache because the tile edges may not always line up between the two types of caches. The 3D cache generating process will perform better with a blank or “No data available” tile than it will when no tile is found. Follow the steps at this link to configure your web server to return the blank tile: Configuring your server to display a “Data not available” tile for empty map cache areas.
Create a globe document from the 2D service
Now that you have a 2D map service running, you can add it to an ArcGlobe document. The service will be draped over the globe in 3D. Follow these steps to create and appropriately configure the document:
- Start ArcGlobe
Tip: If you’re using ArcGlobe in a remote desktop session, you may get better performance by resizing the application window to eliminate the globe portion of the display. You don’t need to see the globe during these steps.
- Remove the default layers named Continents and World Image.
- Click Tools > Options and click the Cache tab.
- Set the Cache path to be the same as the server cache directory where you want your globe cache to be created, with “GlobeCache” appended to the end (Example: \myServercacheGlobeCache) This is an application-level property, so you may want to make note of the original cache path and set this value back the next time you use ArcGlobe.
- Click OK to dismiss the options dialog, then click the Add Data button.
- Add the 2D map service that you created in the previous steps. Be sure to use an Internet connection to ArcGIS Server (not a local connection). ArcGlobe can display the 2D service draped over the globe.
- Right-click the map service layer and select Properties.
- In the Globe General tab, modify the Layer Name and Description as you like.
- Click the Cache tab
- If you’re creating a base map layer, such as satellite imagery or a street map, check “Use lossy spatial compression”. If you’re creating a transparent reference layer, such as boundaries or a road network, this compression is not necessary.
- If you are using the recommended ArcGIS Online scale levels listed above, change the minimum cell size to twice the calculated value. Leaving this unchanged will cause your cache to grow larger than necessary.
- Click OK to dismiss the dialog.
- Save the globe document and close ArcGlobe.
Create a globe service
Now you need to publish a globe service using the globe document you created in the steps above. You can create the service in ArcCatalog or Manager. Be sure to set the service properties to reference the appropriate cache directory (It’s not necessary to append “GlobeCache” to the name this time.)
The globe service you create should be pooled, with 2 – 4 instances per server object container (SOC) that will be employed in the cache-building process. You may need to adjust this number depending on memory and CPU constraints you observe during the caching process.
Note about number of service instances: The map service that you created earlier only needs to have about ¼ the number of instances that your globe service has at this point. This is because you’ve cached the map service already, so requests for its tiles can be generally satisfied by the virtual cache directory, without making a request to the GIS server. The globe service is going to need a lot of instances while caching. After the cache is generated you can reduce the number of globe service instances.
Generate a globe cache
Once the globe service is started, you can begin generating the cache. You must do this step in ArcCatalog. In the Caching tab of the globe service properties, you’ll find two options for generating the cache. The Generate button creates a cache for the entire globe service, while the Update option only caches an extent that you provide.
As you set the parameters for the caching tools, you’ll need to select the levels of detail that the cache will be created at. Set the From level to “Globe – 1:10000000″ even if your service does not have global coverage. This will not generate an unreasonably large cache because tiles that are outside the service extent will just be skipped by the cache generation process.
When selecting the To level of detail, use the table below which associates each ArcGIS Online scale level with the appropriate To level of detail you should use for your globe cache. For example, if your map cache’s closest scale level is 72142.968… choose “City – 1:9765″ from the To Level of Detail dropdown in the Generate Globe Server Cache tool. Ignore the scale given in the dropdown (in this example 1:9765).
|Scale level||Globe cache “To” level of detail|
When you’ve set all of the parameters for the caching tools, click OK and let the cache generation process do its work. When it completes, you’ll have a set of globe tiles that look like the tiles in your 2D map cache.
Create a disconnected service (optional)
At this point, you could leave your globe service running and users would see the new cache tiles. However, your map service would always need to be running in order for your globe service to start correctly. To avoid this dependence on the map service, you can do the following to create a disconnected globe service:
- Stop the globe service you created previously.
- Open ArcGlobe and create a new globe document.
- Remove the default layers named Continents and World Image.
- Click the Add Data button.
- Browse to the folder on disk that contains the globe cache you just created. This involves browsing to your server cache directory, opening the GlobeCache folder, and finding the folder that represents your new globe cache. (Tip: The folder name will probably contain a representation of the URL of your 2D service, for example: ESRI_ServerLyrLocalGlobeCache_http___myserver_arcgis_services_world_mapserver_Layers_world.)
- Inside the globe cache’s folder, you’ll see a file named cache.lyr. Add cache.lyr to your map.
- Save the globe document and close ArcGlobe.
- Use ArcGIS Server to publish the globe document as a globe service. You’ve created a disconnected globe service.
(Note: Creating a 3D cache from a 2D cache using the method described above adds temporary local cache files that can add up to cumbersome sizes during long caching jobs. If this occurs you can use the operating system tools to schedule a task that deletes the local cache periodically, such as every 10 minutes. The local cache is typically stored in C:Documents and Settings<SOC account name>Local SettingsTempesrimapcache.)
Do you have a question about this technique or a tip of your own you’d like to share? If so, please leave a comment.