Tag Archives: Templates
This week and the next, we will be posting updates to the templates on the Water Utilities Resource Center. Our focus was to expand the templates to include data, cartography and examples for sewer and storm water.
The next release of the templates will have an expanded and updated data model. There are now feature dataset for both the Sewer System and Storm Collection System. We have included these datasets in each the of map documents with sample cartography, scale dependency, label expressions, etc.
We also restructure the Operations and Planning datasets. All operational data, whether it be data for the field or the office, is now in the Operations Dataset. This dataset has been expanded to include layers to support typical activities for Sewer and Storm data maintenance. The Planning dataset is now only used to store and manage the reporting layers. We have also included the results from the CIP template, both decision support results and the CIP project areas, in the core information model. We did this so you can see how storing when you store CIP data in your utilities authoritative data repository in GIS, your analytical results and new CIP projects are available for publication to browser based and mobile GIS applications.
Since many public works departments also operate water or wastewater utilities, we’ve decided that the public works resource center and the water utility resource center should use the same sample data when possible. So you’ll also notice in the newer template sample data some public works feature classes like roads and facilities. We wanted to leave this dataset in the download to show how one Geodatabase, a central source of information, can support many different divisions or departments in a municipality and to show that these templates can be easily expanded to support different or other datasets.
At the time of this blog, we have already posted the first two updated templates, the Water Utilities Mobile Map template and the Water Utilities Network Editing template. These templates have been upgraded and improved to handle the changes to the data model mentioned above. You will see new functions and workflows built around the sewer and storm datasets. Below I will highlight some of the new functions in each template.
In the Water Utilities Network Editing Template, you will find many new improvements and enhancements. Most of these changes were a direct result of your requests. First you will notice that we split up the Attribute Assistant and the ArcMap Toolbars into 2 separate installs. This makes it easier for us to make future improvements and roll them out faster and also allows you to install just one of the components. We heard from a few utilities that had built their own editing toolbar previously that they just wanted the attribute assistant.
When you open ArcMap, you will now find two toolbars. We split the tools into reporting/tracing tools and into editing tools. If you want more details, review the release notes, or you can click shift +F1 on top of any of the tools on the toolbar…yes per your suggestions, we included compiled help for each of the tools!!! The new reporting/trace toolbar has commonly used tracing functions. You can perform an upstream trace, downstream trace, or isolation trace, by just the click of your mouse. There is also an option to Export to Excel the selected feature, or load the selected features into the ID Box.
You’ll also have notice a new table, GenerateID, in the GDB in the updated data model. This table is used to support a new option in the Attribute Assistant, GenerateID. This new option allows you to specify a column in the GenerateID table to use as the ID index. Yup, you can generate unique ID right in ArcMap using whatever incrementing scheme you want. The tool uses the value, combines it with a prefix you specified, then increments the table. There are a few more new options in the Attribute Assistant, so check out the release notes and review the help. There is also a link for the help in the start menu, under ArcGIS Templates. Note, Windows 7 does not support .hlp out of the box, please download the fix.
The Water Utilities Mobile Map now shows both the Water dataset, and the sewer and storm data. We added a new component that lets you toggle between the different datasets. So it is easy now to just look at sewer data or water or storm, or turn all three on. This is presented to the field staff as a single, large button that make toggling between them very easy. We also improved the ID layer list. You can now filter which layers are presented to the user for Identification, making it easier to navigate the drop down list. You will also see the list expands when you click it, again, making it easier for the field personal to select a value. This new version also includes a module to show how to record new data, such as inspections, leak locations, service request, etc. This inspection module can linked to a source asset. Say you are doing a fire hydrant inspection. When you tap or click the hydrant, the inspection module copies information from the hydrant to the inspection record. It does this by matching field names. So it can help automate some of the information that needs to be captured, like ID. Lastly, you will see a module for workorders. This is an example of how you can work with a workorder system. This module read a feature class that stores all the work orders, filters them based on the crew name and present them to the field staff. The workorder module is linked to the activity module, so by opening a workorder, it starts an inspection.
We’re very happy with these new releases, but we’re already looking forward to rolling out more enhancements. With the expanded tools, symbology, data schema and workflows into Sewer and Storm, you now have a starting point for all assets at a water department, sewer utility or public works department.
Please keep in mind, these enhancements came directly from your requests and feedback about the templates, so please keep them coming!
ArcGIS Team Water
In the wake of the disaster in Haiti, we wanted to share with you some of the options for collecting data in the field or conducting a damage assessment. Given the expanse of the disaster and the number of people that responded with varying degrees of background we’ll present this information in order from the most basic to the most advanced.
During the 2009 Bushfires, we found that the easiest way to conduct a damage assessment survey with non-GIS trained personnel is to use a GPS-enabled digital camera like the Ricoh 500SE. The location, direction you’re facing, time and date can be collected simply by taking a photograph of the damaged structure, for example. Additional information about the feature you are documenting, including a voice narration, is embedded directly into the header file (EXIF) of each image and can be displayed in ArcGIS desktop with an extension such as GPS Photo-Link or ArcGIS Explorer using the Geotagged Image add-in.
We’ve been in the 21st century for 10 years now and as wonderful as the technology has become, it will never totally replace paper maps and forms on a clip board. That’s OK because now we have the means to turn pen and paper into digital data that can be displayed in GIS. Adapx has a very easy to use solution that requires minimal training for field personnel. When used with a handheld GPS receiver, this clever method can be used by anyone. Besides its simplicity and no learning curve, the major advantage to using the Adapx pen is you always have a paper map or forms as a backup. This is not the case if your PDA, GPS receiver or digital camera becomes damaged or fails.
The most widely used GPS receivers by first responders are made by Garmin. The DNR Garmin Application from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources lets you transfer data from the GPS device into a usable GIS format. Here is a link to the GPS for Fire Management training course that explains how to collect field data with Garmin GPS receivers and use DNRGarmin to download/convert GPS data to shapefiles that can be used in ArcMap or ArcPad.
SendMap is a free application for uploading custom produced maps to your Garmin GPS. The latest OpenStreetMap files for Port-au-Prince may be obtained from here and uploaded with SendMap for display on a Garmin receiver.
The next option is ArcPad 8 – which is a reliable Mobile GIS data collection method because you carry all basedata with you on the device. A new feature of ArcPad 8 gives you the ability to synchronize with an ArcGIS server from the field (if you have Internet connectivity) for real-time updates that can be shared with all agencies and organizations. Custom applets, specifically built for damage assessment purposes, make it easy for non-GIS trained personnel to use the technology. Many of the newer PDA models have built-in digital cameras in addition to built-in GPS and wireless communication modems which provide a lightweight, all-in-one unit for field data collection and editing capabilities.
ArcGIS Mobile is the most advanced solution because it is a part of the enterprise system. It is intended for use by non GIS-trained field personnel but requires a GIS Technical Specialist to maintain an ArcGIS Server and create ArcGIS Mobile data collection projects that can be run from any Windows mobile device including cell phones. This was illustrated in our recent Live Training Seminar – Creating a Common Operational Picture with ArcGIS. To get started the Damage Assessment Template could be used to collect data and leverage the base data from ArcGIS Online as shown below.
ArcGIS Mobile supports accessing, consuming, and using data to improve situational awareness where it is most important-in the field. Learn how solutions are designed and built to support this capability
A couple of other ESRI Business Partner Solutions include:
- Blackberry users can collect field data and upload onto an ArcGIS Server through Freeance Mobile.
- GeoCove has an ArcGIS Mobile solution specifically for damage assessments. This was detailed in a recent Podcast from Amy Hoyt in Lee County Florida.
- GeoVisus also provides a hosted solution for ArcGIS Mobile.
We hope that this post improves your productivity as you support the response and recovery to the Haiti Earthquake. For the latest information on how ESRI is supporting our users with the response, visit our Haiti Disaster Relief and Support site. If you need disaster assistance, please fill out our Request Assistance form.
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.
- 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 Tax Parcel Editing Functionality blog there is a PDF version of the popular cheat sheet handout.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (ArcGISTeamLandRecords@esri.com).
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
We have had several questions about configuring the Tax Parcel Editing Toolbar from those of you in the Land Records community who have downloaded it. Thank you for all of your good feedback and questions. The toolbar can be configured to set default values and behaviors for its tools. You can configure settings such as the feature class and field names used for searches and for retiring parcels, as well as default values for the Snake PIN tool and Zipper Task. If you would like to configure the toolbar settings to meet the specific needs of your tax parcel editors, read on for instructions.
An XML configuration file called TaxParcelDesktopTools.config is included with the Toolbar during installation. By editing the configuration file, you can change the settings for the toolbar. Here is where you can find the configuration file if you used the default installation path.
Before editing the file it is a good idea to make a copy as a backup. The file can be opened in Notepad, but it’s better to use an IDE application like Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition to provide color coded text like you will see in the XML code shown throughout this blog entry. When you open the XML configuration file, you will notice that it contains a series of key and value pairs such as the one shown below. The key and value pairs control various behaviors of the toolbar.
<add key=“Search_ParcelID_FeatureClass“ value=“TaxParcel“ />
Warning: Do not modify the key text. Only the values should be altered.
Let’s examine the various components of the configuration file.
The first part of the configuration file configures the search capability of the toolbar. The keys control each feature class and field name to search on and control the zoom extent around a search result. Here are the keys for the Parcel ID search, for example:
<add key =“Search_ParcelID_FeatureClass” value=“TaxParcel“/>
<add key =“Search_ParcelID_FieldName” value=“PARCELID“/>
<add key =“Search_ParcelID_ExpandX” value=“1.5“/>
<add key =“Search_ParcelID_ExpandY” value=“1.5“/>
<add key =“Search_ParcelID_ExpandAsRatio” value=“true“/>
The Parcel ID search looks for a feature in the TaxParcel feature class with a value in the PARCELID field that matches the search value entered. When a parcel is found by the search or when a user clicks on a parcel from the list of results, the display zooms to 1.5 times the extent of the parcel in both the X and Y directions.
Notice in the configuration file that for each of the four types of searches included on the “Search By” list (Parcel ID, Conveyance, Map Page, or PLSS Polygon) there is a set of configurable parameters using XML key and value pairs. The purpose of the keys is as follows:
a. FeatureClass – This value is the name of the feature class for the layer in the map that the application will search.
b. FieldName – This value tells the application which field in the feature class to use for the search query.
c. ExpandX (optional) – If a record is found, the map will zoom to it but zoom out by this amount in the X direction.
d. ExpandY (optional) – If a record is found, the map will zoom to it but zoom out by this amount in the Y direction.
e. ExpandAsRatio (optional) – Controls whether the zoom out expansion is a ratio or an actual distance.
When a search query returns multiple results, it is up to the user to manually select the correct record to zoom to. This is done by double clicking a record in the Search Results Window. You can control whether the Search Results Window pops up automatically after every search using the following key.
<add key =“Search_SearchResultsWindow_OpenAfterSearch” value=“true“/>
The valid settings for the value key are:
a. true – The Search Window will appear automatically after every search.
b. false – The Search Window will remain hidden until the user clicks the button to show it.
The Retire Selected Parcels tool provides a quick way to export selected tax parcels to an archive feature class before they are edited. The keys control which feature classes and fields are used during the process.
<add key =“RetireTaxParcel_DynamicValuesFeatureLimit” value=“1000“/>
<add key =“RetireTaxParcel_OriginFeatureClass” value=“TaxParcel“/>
<add key =“RetireTaxParcel_OriginParcelIDField” value=“PARCELID“/>
<add key =“RetireTaxParcel_DestFeatureClass” value=“TaxParcelHistory“/>
<add key =“RetireTaxParcel_DestParcelIDField” value=“PARCELID“/>
<add key =“RetireTaxParcel_DestDocumentReferenceField” value=“DOCREF“/>
<add key =“RetireTaxParcel_DestHistoryTypeField” value=“HISTORYTYP“/>
<add key =“RetireTaxParcel_DestHistoryDateField” value=“HISTORYDT“/>
<add key =“RetireTaxParcel_DestCommentsField” value=“COMMENTS“/>
<add key =“RetireTaxParcel_HistoryTypeDomainList” value=“Retired Tax Parcel,ROW Vacation,Alley Vacation,Other,Unknown“/>
The purpose for each of the keys is described here:
a. DynamicValuesFeatureLimit – This is a control valve for the OnCreate trigger for Dynamic Values. Too many records can be very CPU intensive, thus the need for a limit.
b. OriginFeatureClass – Selected features will be copied from this feature class.
c. OriginParcelIDField – The specified field in the origin feature class will provide the parcel ID attribute value for the new record created in the History layer.
d. DestFeatureClass – This feature class is the target for the copied records.
e. DestParcelIDField – The parcel ID attribute value will be pasted in this destination feature class field for each record.
f. DestDocumentReferenceField – Information entered into the document reference input of the Retire Selected Parcels form is added into this destination feature class field.
g. DestHistoryTypeField – The History Type chosen on the Retire Selected Parcels form is added to this destination feature class field. An attribute domain that includes the valid history types should be set on this field.
h. DestHistoryDateField – This destination feature class field will hold the timestamp of when the record was added to the history layer.
i. DestCommentsField – The text entered into the Comments on the form is added into this destination feature class field.
j. HistoryTypeDomainList – Enter the valid domain values from your destination feature class history type field here. The drop-down list in the Retire Selected Parcels form comes from here.
The zipper task uses a form to control which features will be “zipped up” together within a given tolerance.
<add key =“ZipperTask_SearchDistance” value=“30“/>
The value for the SearchDistance key specifies the tolerance in map units for the coordinate search during the zipping process. The zipper task form uses this value.
Snake PIN Task
The Snake PIN task is used to create parcel identification numbers for parcels using a digitized sketch (snake path) by incrementing from a starting value.
<add key =“SnakePIN_TargetLayerName” value=“TaxParcel“/>
<add key =“SnakePIN_TargetLayerField” value=“PARCELID“/>
<add key =“SnakePIN_StartValue” value=“1“/>
<add key =“SnakePIN_IncrementValue” value=“1“/>
<add key =“SnakePIN_PrefixValue” value=“”/>
<add key =“SnakePIN_SuffixValue” value=“”/>
<add key =“SnakePIN_IncludeEnds” value=“true“/>
<add key =“SnakePIN_ParsePrefixes” value=“false“/>
a. TargetLayerName – This is the default layer for the task. The form will search for this layer in the map.
b. TargetLayerField – This is the default field in the target layer to use for the new PIN values.
c. StartValue – This is the default starting value for the first parcel found in the digitized sketch.
d. IncrementValue – Each subsequent parcel found along the sketch will have its PIN value equal to the last value plus this value.
e. PrefixValue – This will put a value in the Prefix box in the form. It is blank by default.
f. SuffixValue – This will put a value in the Suffix box in the form. It is blank by default.
g. IncludeEnds- This Boolean value specifies whether to update the PIN for the first and last parcels found along the digitized sketch.
h. ParsePrefixes – When the results of incremented values exceed the string length of the original value it may be necessary to drop a digit from the Prefix value. Since Prefixes are not always used this value is set to false by default.
The Combine Parcels tool uses the built-in Merge command with a little twist. It has the capability to capture shared boundaries before a merge and copy them to a historical line layer. This functionality can be turned on or off.
<add key =“MergeCmd_UpdateHistory” value=“true“/>
<add key =“MergeCmd_MergeLayer” value=“TaxParcel“/>
<add key =“MergeCmd_HistoryLayer” value=“ParcelBoundary“/>
<add key =“MergeCmd_HistoryField” value=“CARTLNTYP“/>
<add key =“MergeCmd_HistoryVal” value=“Tax Parcel Historical Boundary“/>
The purpose of each key is as follows:
a. UpdateHistory – This is the toggle for the historical boundary functionality. True = on and false = off.
b. MergeLayer – The merge layer is the feature class that contains the selected records that are being merged (tax parcels).
c. HistoryLayer – A line feature class that will take the shared boundaries of selected records before they are merged.
d. HistoryField – The name of the field in the history layer feature class that is used to symbolize old boundaries.
e. HistoryVal – The text value that will be written in the history field for the new record (typically a domain value).
The Dynamic Values extension is used to automatically update attributes when a feature is created or modified. It uses a table in the database to keep track of which functions will be performed on various datasets. Please consult the Tax Parcel Editing Toolbar Functionality blog entry for more information about this tool and its options for updating fields.
<add key =“DynamicValues_TableName” value=“DYNAMICVALUE“/>
<add key =“DynamicValues_EnabledOnStartUp” value=“true“/>
Following is the purpose of the dynamic value keys:
a. TableName – The name of the table that will be used for keeping track of the functions that need to be performed when data is created or changed in registered layer(s). This table should be in the map document.
b. EnabledOnStartUp – The extension can be toggled on or off from the toolbar. This parameter controls whether the extension is turned on when ArcMap is opened or not.
We hope you find this information to be helpful. Feel free to post comments or send an email to ArcGISTeamLandRecords@esri.com.