Author Archives: SuzanneB

SuzanneB
Suzanne is a Maryland native with a degree in English Literature who enjoys writing about Esri technology and other topics. She works with Esri Training Services in Redlands, California.

Recent Posts

ArcGIS Pro Test Drive

Recently, I was invited to participate in ArcGIS Pro usability testing. If you haven’t heard, ArcGIS Pro is a new desktop application included with the upcoming ArcGIS 10.3 release. As an experienced ArcGIS for Desktop user who had not yet used ArcGIS Pro, I matched the profile the usability team was looking for.

I jumped at the chance because, like you, I’m busy. So far, my to-do lists had prevented me from getting hands-on with the beta and prerelease versions of ArcGIS Pro. I’d watched a few videos and read a little about it. I knew ArcGIS Pro uses the Microsoft Office-style ribbon interface, that it has a lot of 3D capabilities built-in, and that it incorporates context-sensitive tools. ArcGIS Pro application window

That’s what I knew going in. Here’s what I found out.  Continue reading

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Maximize Conference Value with Hands-on Learning

Amid the noise and kinetic rush towards the conference keynote speeches, panel discussions, tech sessions, and built-to-wow demonstrations, there’s a place where calm beckons. Where the atmosphere is mostly quiet, the muted staccato of individual keystrokes and mouse clicks merging into one ambient chorus. Occasionally a chair leg scrapes softly against the carpet, indicating a (possibly crowd-weary) professional is heading back to the louder agenda. Esri Hands-on Learning Lab

What—and where—is this oasis?

All over the place, actually. Found at many Esri and user group conferences held throughout the United States, the Hands-on Learning Lab helps attendees squeeze maximum learning out of their conference experience.  Continue reading

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Three Tips for GIS Content Sharing

Given that technology—the Internet, e-commerce, smartphones, the behemoth that is social media—has dramatically changed consumer and personal behavior over the last decade, it’s no surprise our professional lives have evolved. For many of us, what we do at work and how we do our work have changed a great deal.

At the same time, more and more organizational leaders have grasped the business value of getting geospatial content out of a department silo and into the hands of knowledge workers using ArcGIS Online and a variety of enterprise applications.

Providing content to everyone who needs it

As a result, many GIS professionals are being asked to share. Of course, the profession as a whole is a generous lot, so sharing itself is nothing new. What’s new is the ease with which things can be shared.

The ArcGIS Online organization has become an integrated content platform that supports enterprise GIS workflows and the information needs of both GIS and non-GIS professionals, collaborative working groups, and the public.

When there are many potential content consumers, the question of what to share needs to be carefully considered. If you’re in the process of crafting a sharing strategy for your ArcGIS Online organization (or on-premise portal), here are three tips to help the process along.

Continue reading

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ModelBuilder 360: Amp Up the Automation

This is the third post in a three-part series on creating geoprocessing models in ArcGIS.

If you’ve read the previous posts in this series, you’ve got modeling basics down and you know how to add model parameters to support easy reuse and scenario testing. In this post, you’ll learn some techniques to do more with less—effort, that is.  Continue reading

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ModelBuilder 220: Add Flexibility

This is the second post in a three-part series on creating geoprocessing models in ArcGIS. 

ModelBuilder 101 covered five steps to create a basic model. One of the main advantages of building a model is the ability to quickly test multiple scenarios. This post shows how to support scenario testing when a model is run as a tool.

  • Confused about what running a model as a tool means? In the ModelBuilder application a model appears as a visual diagram. Outside of ModelBuilder you can run a model from a tool dialog box (double-click the model in the ArcMap Catalog window). 

In ModelBuilder, you can open any tool, change its settings, and quickly run the model again to explore alternative scenarios. That’s great, but convenience matters too. When running a model as a tool, you can explore alternative scenarios by changing model parameters—all at once, in one place. Let’s talk the P-word.  Continue reading

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ModelBuilder 101

This is the first installment in a three-part series on creating geoprocessing models in ArcGIS. In this post, learn the steps to build a simple model. Geoprocessing model built in ArcGIS ModelBuilder

ModelBuilder has been called a visual programming language or a tool to make “visual scripts.” I like to think of ModelBuilder as a tool to map a workflow, and a model as a workflow map. Like a map:

  • A model can be navigated (it has direction built in).
  • A model uses shape, color, text, and symbols to represent and communicate about its features.
  • A model reveals data relationships that can spark ideas and collaboration.

Invaluable for conducting sophisticated spatial analyses, models are everyday workhorses too. If built with reuse in mind, they can be your go-to shortcuts to get a lot of work done.

If you’ve never created a model in ArcGIS, here’s what you need to know to get started. Continue reading

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Commonsense Tips for Story Map Data

Making a story map is an excellent opportunity to be creative, challenge your inner cartographer, and demonstrate GIS skills (and add pizzazz to your LinkedIn profile while you’re at it). If you haven’t yet made a story map, this four-step process may help you get started. Esri story map on Feeding the World

Number 2 in the process is to plan and execute your data strategy. This step is critical but can get glossed over in the creative excitement to make a cool map. It’s time to give it some time in the spotlight.

Typically, story maps are focused narratives about geographic places, features, and current or historic events. When considering data to support a story map project, pay particular attention to three items. Continue reading

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Esri Technical Certification Headlines

The last six months have been a busy time for the Certification team. With the ArcGIS 10.2 release last summer, all exams had to be reviewed and evaluated against the platform changes. Several certifications have new exams at version 10.2, and the process to develop those exams concurrently was intense. Here’s a roundup of the latest certification news.

10.2 Exam Releases

Three version 10.2 exams are now open for registration:

If you’re interested in taking one of these exams, as always be sure to carefully review the candidate qualifications and the skills measured by the exam to assess your readiness and preparation strategy. Continue reading

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Chasing the Edge to Teach GIS

This is part of our series introducing the diverse group of professionals that comprise the Esri Training Services team. 

On the eve of a work trip to Marrakesh, Morocco, which he planned to bookend with weekends devoted to sight-seeing, Esri instructor Ben Ramseth talked about work, how he spends time out of the office, his part in creating our new developer bootcamps, and how he uses The Edge to help students learn—by which he means a concept, not the rock musician.

When he talks, Ben emanates positive energy. He flows from one topic to the next, making connections and working in interesting factoids as he goes. Continue reading

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Top Three ArcGIS Geoprocessing Timesavers

ArcGIS 10.x features user-friendly tricks for shortcutting some of the clicks involved with typical geoprocessing tasks. Of course, if you know how to write scripts using the ArcPy site package (or have the time and inclination to learn Python scripting), you’ll find the integration of Python into ArcMap a powerful way to automate geoprocessing workflows (and save yourself and your colleagues a lot of time).

But not everyone is a scripter nor aspires to be. For the non-scripters among you, below are my favorite—simple—timesavers that are built into the default interface at version 10.  Continue reading

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