Monthly Archives: July 2007

Adding Elevation Sources Dynamically

ArcGIS Explorer supports the addition of elevation sources on-the-fly. So if you have a more detailed local elevation source you can add that at any time to enhance your terrain.

In this example we will add bathymetry data for Crater Lake, Oregon. In the screenshot below you’ll see the default imagery and elevation data, which shows a flat surface across the lake.

Next we will add a local raster data source, in this particular case a .img file. When opening up a raster that contains elevation you will be prompted whether to drape it onto the surface, or use it to add elevation data to the existing surface. In this case we will choose to do the latter: Use it as an elevation source.

The result below shows that we’ve added the bathymetry to Crater Lake. For additional effect, we’ve also created a hillshaded rendition of the lake bottom, and have draped the hillshade on top of our newly added bathymetric data.


To remove the elevation data you’ve just added, open the Manage Layers dialog by choosing Tools > Manage Layers, and opening the Elevation layer list. There you will see your local raster elevation source (in this case titled craterlake.img) and the default elevation services that are part of the the default map.

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New geoprocessing tutorial in online help

A new tutorial explaining how to add geoprocessing to Web applications became available today in the ArcGIS Server Web-based help. This tutorial walks you through the process of building a model and creating a map to display the model inputs and results. It then shows how to publish both the map and the model as services and add them to a Web Mapping Application.

To complete the tutorial, you need a few simple GIS datasets and ArcGIS Server for the Microsoft .Net Framework. You also need access to ArcMap. Give it a try and leave us a comment about your experience!

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ESRI Global Account Requirement for Download Removed

As of late last week, the requirement to sign in with an ESRI Global Account to download ArcGIS Explorer has been removed. We used this to monitor the usage of Explorer, but no longer felt a need to do this, and had several comments saying that this was an impediment. So an ESRI Global Account is no longer needed to download ArcGIS Explorer.

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Masking intersection overshoots that result from line caps

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Jerome Parkin, a cartographer at Lovell Johns, recently posed a challenging question on Ask a Cartographer:

“It is possible to generalise cased roads? The image shows kinks — the data is ok but the cartographic representation is kinking the road and creating rough edges. Can this be fixed?” Continue reading

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Hot Spot Analysis of 911 Calls map is available

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Link to Hot Spot map

The Hot Spot Analysis poster shows the steps in the analysis of 911 Call data. The data were processed using the Hot Spot Analysis tool and the design of the poster is, we think, faithful to the underlying data.

I did the first edition of this poster almost three years ago, and since then it has been tacked up on the wall at the end of one the hallways here in Redlands. When Jack brought his tours through the Software Products & Development area, he’d often show this poster, extolling the analytical power of GIS. The original poster was a little overly flashy, but more importantly after we recently checked with our spatial statistics experts, we found it was symbolized in a way that was slightly misleading. Thus, we undertook an upgrade and presented it at the Users Conference in our ”Mapping the Results of Your Geographic Analysis” technical session. Continue reading

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Connecting to ArcGIS Online to Use Individual Services

Recently we’ve had a few questions on how to access individual ArcGIS Online services with Explorer. So we thought we’d review how you can do that, and provide you the connection information here. Starting with the next release of Explorer you will no longer need to follow these steps, but in the meanwhile, here’s how to access them.

First, pre-published maps for Explorer can be opened directly from the ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center. The Resource Center can be opened by choosing Help > ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center.

When you click to open one of these maps it will replace your current map (just like opening a new map document in ArcGIS Desktop).

These pre-published Explorer maps are composed of a variety of separate ArcGIS Online services. Rather than open a completely new map, you can add these services individually to your current Explorer map. 

To access the individual ArcGIS Online services you need to create a new ArcGIS Server connection using the Add Content dialog in Explorer. To create the connection, use the following:

User Name: arcgis_beta
Password: beta

Check the box to remember the user name and password so you won’t be prompted for these in the future. Once the connection is established you will see a list of all available ArcGIS Online services grouped into several different folders. Just click to add any of them to your map.



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Clearly labeling overlapping polygons

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Three Overlapping Polygons with labels that clearly apply to a specific polygon

Not long ago a colleague wrote me saying she had overlapping polygons that need to be clearly labeled so she’d know to which polygon each label pertains. She sent me the drawing done in PowerPoint of the desired result but wanted it as an automated solution in ArcMap. Continue reading

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How to build a cache with the same tile sizes and scales as ArcGIS Online

When building a map cache that will overlay ArcGIS Online in a .NET Web mapping
application, you need to match the tile sizes and tiling origin to that used by
ArcGIS Online. You also should make an effort to match as many scale levels as
practical with the ArcGIS Online scale levels. To quickly load this information
into the cache generation tool, you can use this
cache configuration file for ArcGIS Online

The illustration below shows how you can use the configuration file when
generating a map cache.

Browse to the tiling scheme and the scales will fill in automatically 

The closest scale level available in ArcGIS Online is about 1:4,500. If the area
you are caching is very large, this and some of the other close scale levels
may not be practical for caching. You can remove the scale levels by manually
editing the cache configuration file in an XML editor. Each scale level has an
LODInfo tag. Remove the entire tag to remove the scale level, as shown in the
example below:

Remove the LODInfo tag for each scale you want to delete 


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Explorer Workshop at GeoWeb 2007

Monday, July 23, at the GeoWeb 20007 Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, a workshop featuring ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGIS Online will be offered. The workshop is titled Unlocking the Potential of ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGIS Online.

 The half-day workshop will focus on Explorer and will cover a broad range of topics, including initial installation and setting up your preferences, to authoring your own tasks and centralized enterprise administration. ArcGIS Online will also be featured, including different ways you can use it in your ArcGIS Desktop. Whether an expert or novice, the course will have something for everyone. If you’re already planning to attend, we hope to see you there. Registration can also be made on-site at the conference, and single day and single workshop passes are available.

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Introduction to ArcGIS Online Live Training Seminar

Here’s something that may be of interest to ArcGIS Explorer users. Tomorrow, Thursday, July 19, ESRI will present a Live Training Seminar titled Introduction to ArcGIS Online.

The seminar will be a live broadcast covering all of the basics of using ArcGIS Online in ArcMap and Explorer. The seminar will be given three times throughout the day, so there’s lot’s of opportunities to tune in. Listeners will also have a chance to ask questions. If you’ve not watched a live training seminar before, they’re a great way to learn more about a particular topic.

Click here for the broadcast schedule, software requirements for joining the seminar, course details, and other information on the Live Training Seminar series.

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