Monthly Archives: December 2007

An object model diagram for the ArcGIS Server SOAP API

The SOAP API provides a framework for working with ArcGIS Server using SOAP. Each ArcGIS Server service maintains a WSDL (Web Service Description Language) which defines how you can interact with the service using the SOAP API. The WSDL defines a SOAP proxy class, one for each service type (map, geocode, geoprocessing, and so on), and a set of value objects. You can use methods on the proxy, coupled with value objects as input parameters and returned results, to interact with ArcGIS Server services in a stateless manner.

The Web ADF includes pre-generated SOAP proxies and value objects which help you use the SOAP API with ArcGIS Server Web services (Internet connection) or with the server object directly (Local connection). These pre-generated objects are included in the ESRI.ArcGIS.ADF.ArcGISServer.dll. Merely browsing the contents of this assembly can be confusing because of the hundreds of classes it contains. Earlier this year we created an object model diagram for the SOAP API and put it online. We divided the diagram into eight logical areas:

  • Carto
  • Display
  • Geometry
  • Geocode
  • Geodatabase
  • Geoprocessing
  • Globe
  • Network Analyst

Please leave us suggestions for this diagram as we are in the process of updating it for the 9.3 release.

-Sterling Quinn and Rex Hansen

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Choosing color ramps and displaying for hillshade rasters

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer


Using ArcMap to symbolize a hillshade raster layer (the output of the Spatial or 3D Analyst’s Hillshade tool) is pretty straightforward, and the default symbology (black to white ramp) doesn’t look too bad. In fact, if your hillshade layer is the only layer in your map, and if you don’t mind not seeing some of the details that have been visually absorbed into the darker tones, the default symbology is okay. To be fair, the default symbology for hillshades is useful for much more than just terrain depictions, so it’s good to know what might be helpful when depicting terrain with a hillshade. The image to the left is an example of a hillshade using the default color ramp. Continue reading

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Happy Holidays from the Explorer Team!

We’d like to send you our Season’s Greetings in the form of a screenshot showing a snowy Yosemite landscape via a live Web cam from Explorer (which, by the way, is using one of the new symbols included in this latest release, and the new Display Overlay capabilities to show the Season’s Greetings message on the map.)

We’ll be taking just a day or two off for the holidays, and would like to pause for a moment to thank everyone for helping make it such a great year for ArcGIS Explorer.

Season’s Greetings!

- the ArcGIS Explorer Team

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Updates to ArcGIS Explorer's Services = Cache Cleaning Time

Just prior to this latest release a couple of the ArcGIS Online services which deliver content in several of the maps and layers available through the Contents tab on the Explorer Resource Center were updated. These changes include the following:

  • World Shaded Relief: added additional levels of detail
  • Physical World: added additional levels of detail, plus bathymetry at small scales

An ArcGIS Online Forum post also covers these changes, with a few additional details.

To view these updates, you’ll have to clear your cache for these layers. To do so, choose Tools, Manage Layers, and then select the layers above (if you are using them in your map) and click the Clear Layer Cache button.

If you don’t use these layers regularly, but want to make sure you’ve cleared their cache to see the updates, you can take your cache housekeeping a little further and delete all of your cache, and start afresh. This isn’t required, but you might want to do this from time to time just as a regular housekeeping task.

Remember that if you do clear all your cache, you’ll be fetching fresh cache from ESRI’s servers, as well as from any other servers that you may connect to, and generating new cache for your local data sources. Your performance will be a little slower while you fetch or generate cache again.

To clear out your cache, choose Tools, then Options, and choose Cache in the options list. Click Dick Cache, and under Cache Clean Up choose All Caches before clicking the Delete Caches button.

See the Help topic Cache Management in ArcGIS Explorer for additional details, and more information.

There will be other service updates during Q1 next year, and we’ll keep you posted as to when they’ll be happening.

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Using masks to create hollow cased road "symbols"

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

The map excerpt shown at right (click on it to see the details) shows an example of hollow cased roads.  The map is from a mosaic of USGS DRG image files.  The map specification requires that the cased road symbol contains a transparent gap.  The examples shown below were created with ArcMap 9.2 and used cartographic representations to re-create the effect on the USGS DRG map.

A simple two-layer cased line symbol won’t work, as there’s no way to define the center portion of the line as ‘no color’. A white center would not look right as it would block out any information below the roads in the map’s drawing order Continue reading

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Online seminar for optimizing map services

The ESRI Virtual Campus recently released a recording of the training seminar Authoring and Publishing Optimized Map Services. Excellently presented by Danielle Hopkins (ESRI Educational Services) and Tom Bole (ESRI Development), the seminar covers best practices for authoring maps that will be published on an ArcGIS Server. Our team reviewed the content before it was presented and we feel it is valuable for all ArcGIS Server users.

The next live training seminar on January 24 will discuss ArcGIS Server geoprocessing services.

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ArcGIS Explorer 440 Released

The ArcGIS Explorer Team is pleased to announce that today, at approximately 1:58 p.m. PST, the newest version of ArcGIS Explorer – Explorer 440 – was released.

If the ESRI servers are your home servers, you’ll be notified that there is a new version available the next time you start the application. Just follow the instructions to download and install this new release. 

For those that deploy Explorer from your own home servers, you’ll need to swap your versions and update your version.html to push out the new release to your users.

This release has lots of new features, check out the What’s New document for a detailed list of all the enhancements, changes, and fixes. At the top of our list are ArcIMS improvements, including the ability to access sub-layers, and the addition of new point symbols and the ability to add your own custom point symbols. We’ll be covering these in more detail here on the blog.

Feel free to send us your feedback, and let us know what you think. We’ll also be monitoring the Explorer support forum to help you with any questions that you may have.

- The ArcGIS Explorer Team

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Using embedded resources with .NET assemblies

Tom Brenneman contributed this tip for .NET developers:

When creating a custom task or other component that will plug into a web application it is often useful to embed the resources for that component in the assembly itself. This greatly simplifies deployment because you will only need to deploy the assembly instead of all the external resources like JS files or images.

Here are some simple instructions for using embedded resources.

  1. Add the resource to the project (Right-click the project in the solution explorer and click Add > Existing item).
  2. Set the Build Action property of the file to Embedded Resource. (Right-click the file in the solution explorer and click Properties).
  3. Add a WebResource attribute to AssemblyInfo.cs. Like this:

    [assembly: System.Web.UI.WebResource("esri_samples.esriZoomIn.png", "img/png")]

    In this example esri_samples is the default names namespace. To see the default namespace right-click your project in the solution explorer and click Properties. The default namespace can be found on the Application tab. esriZoomIn.png is the name of the file. img/png is the type. Below is another example for a javascript file.

    [assembly: System.Web.UI.WebResource("stl_samples.clipboard.js", "text/javascript")]

    In this example stl_samples is the default namespace and notice the type is now text/javascript.

  4. Use the ClientScript manager to use the resource.

    • For images the GetWebResourceUrl method will get you a URL to the image. For example the following code gets a url for the esriZoomIn image embedded above.

      string sZoomUrl = Page.ClientScript.GetWebResourceUrl(this.GetType(), "esri_samples.esriZoomIn.png");
    • For JavaScript, you need to specify where you want the file included in the page. First you get a URL for the resource like the image example above, then you use the ScriptManager to register the client script. If you want the script to be executed when the page loads, use RegisterStartupScript. RegisterStartupScript will insert the script at the bottom of the form (just before the </form>), so it will be executed after the rest of the DOM elements on the page are loaded.

      If you want to include JavaScript that can be called from events on the page, use RegisterClientScriptInclude. This adds a script within the form where the control tag is located.

      With each approach the JavaScript is executed when the parser hits the tag. The important thing is that you don’t try to access, for instance, DOM elements from a script registered using RegisterClientScriptInclude, because those DOM elements might not be available. So these scripts are often used for declaring a set of script methods/classes for later use. Of course the major difference with RegisterClientScriptInclude is that it references a file where RegisterStartupScript contains a piece of JavaScript (it could just as well be a JavaScript file you reference, although this is not the intended way of using it). Each of these registration methods should be called in the PreRender event of the control or page. Below is an example of adding the clipboard.js file to the page.

      protected override void OnPreRender(EventArgs e) 
      //Embed the javascript in the page
      string scriptLocation = this.Page.ClientScript.GetWebResourceUrl(this.GetType(), "stl_samples.clipboard.js");
      this.Page.ClientScript.RegisterClientScriptInclude("SharedLocationTaskScripts", scriptLocation);

Some related reading you might find useful:

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A Quick Peek at the Next Release

We’ve been a little quiet here on the blog for the last couple of weeks. The reason? We’ve had our heads down working on the next release, which we’re hoping to deliver very soon.

Here’s a quick peek at a few of the new point symbols that will be included with this new version. In addition to the ones we’ll provide, you’ll be able to add your own custom symbols by choosing .jpg, .bmp, or .png files from your local drives or network, or from the Web.


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Create route maps with the ArcGIS schematics extension

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

Example of a transit map

The illustration at left shows a map of the Paris Metro system (RATP). The routes are depicted in a schematic view and this kind of map is challenging to create because multiple routes may share the same path, for example multiple bus routes along a single road. When this happens, the coincident routes are offset in a fashion that makes it possible to understand the path each route is taking. When using ArcMap and line features for the routes, the coincident features draw on top of one another, making it difficult to visualize.

Continue reading

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