Monthly Archives: June 2009

ColorBrewer Version 2.0

By Mamata Akella, Esri Design Cartographer

ColorBrewer 2 Thumbnail

Recently, a new version of ColorBrewer called ColorBrewer 2.0 ( was released by Axis Maps. ColorBrewer is a web tool for selecting colors for maps. The original ColorBrewer was released in 2002, and the update incorporates comments that the developers, Dr. Cynthia Brewer of Penn State University and Dr. Mark Harrower of University of Wisconsin Madison (he used to be a grad student at Penn State), have received over the years. Here are some of the new features.
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Announcing the Land Records Templates

One of the highlights of the Land Records Resource Center is a set of templates built with core ESRI technology. We’ve posted three templates for the launch of the Land Records Resource Center. These templates are for maintaining tax parcel information, sharing information with the public, and analyzing the impact of property value and revenue changes in your community. We will be working on other templates relevant to assessors and the land records community, which we will post in the future. The goal of our templates is to give you real-world examples of how to deploy the ArcGIS product suite in your industry. In each template you’ll find a sample geodatabase, map documents, an application and the documentation to help you configure the template. Also, check out the videos that we’ve posted to give you an introduction to each component. We would like to thank Bloomfield Township, Michigan for allowing us to include a sample of their data in our template downloads. By using real data these examples become more compelling. We’re grateful for Bloomfield Township’s help in promoting the use of GIS for Land Records. We decided to create these templates because we wanted to pass on to our customers best practices, successful deployment patterns and share industry specific knowledge. Remember, the Land Records Resource Center is for ESRI users – so we encourage your feedback on the templates we’ve provided and ask that you post comments for each template. We’ll be using your comments as a guide for changes to our templates and for new templates we’ll develop in the future. We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. You can either post comments to this blog or e-mail us at Thanks! The ArcGIS Land Records Team

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Welcome to the Land Records Resource Center!

ESRI is pleased to announce the launch of the Land Records Resource Center! We are excited to provide land records users with free downloadable templates built around ESRI’s ArcGIS software and to provide this blog to assist land records users and assessors who deploy our technology.This blog is an important part of the resource center designed to bring you the latest information specific to land records. Our goal is to make it easier for you to use ArcGIS software in a variety of land records applications and at the same time bring you the latest news about industry events, user groups, training, and uses of GIS in the land records community.This is a virtual space for communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. Feel free to interact and post your own tips, comments, and questions. We’ll use your input to help guide us in our own efforts to better serve you. We’ll be posting information continuously, so make sure to check back here regularly. Or feel free to sign up for our RSS feed by simply clicking on the link to the right. We hope you’ll find this blog dynamic, engaging, and instructive. We appreciate the important work you do. For those new to GIS for Land Records, check out:


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UC2009 Geodatabase Demo Theatres

Members of the geodatabase team will be giving presentations in the demo theatre area throughout the week at UC2009. These presentations are smaller and more intimate than the technical workshops, and revolve mainly around live demonstrations of specific areas of the software. It’s a good opportunity to delve into a topic of interest as well as get questions answered by a specialist on the material.

Here are the demo theatre topics and when they are offered:

Tuesday 7/14/09





Metadata Processes and Solutions


Geodatabase Overview


Programming with the ArcMap Editor API


Georeferencing Raster Data in ArcGIS


File Geodatabase Overview


Leveraging ArcGIS for AutoCAD


PLTS – Implementation of the GIS Data Reviewer


Working with High Precision Data in Geodatabases


Wednesday 7/15/09





Leveraging Relationship Classes in the Geodatabase


Mosaicking and Clipping Raster Data – Tips and Tricks


Geodatabase Archiving Overview


Working with Geodata Services


JTX – Case Studies in Implementation


Versioning and Conflict Management 101


Working with Spatial Type Data using Structured Query Language (SQL)


Using Hibernate Spatial with ST_Geometry


PLTS – Quality Control and the ArcGIS Data ReViewer


Thursday 7/16/09





JTX – Building Custom Workflow Steps


Programming with the Geodatabase API, Part 1


Programming with the Geodatabase API, Part 2


Migrating data to the Geodatabase

Posted in Geodata | Tagged | 7 Comments

ArcGIS Online public beta now available

The new ArcGIS Online site went public beta earlier today, and the latest post on the ArcGIS Online blog provides a great introduction to using and leveraging the site, including some specific examples using the soon-to-be released new version of ArcGIS Explorer.

Shown below is ArcGIS Explorer with a layer package that was published by ESRI and discovered and accessed from ArcGIS Online.

Note that shared resources you will find on ArcGIS Online, such as layer packages, layer files, add-ins, Explorer layers, and more will open in ArcGIS Explorer 900 only and are not intended to be used with ArcGIS Explorer 500.

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ArcGIS and the Web: Better Map Sharing

6/30/09–Have you ever wanted to share some of your great maps with the rest of the world? Or maybe just easily share some of your work with a colleague? Well, the new ArcGIS Online sharing application, now open for public beta access, can be used as a system for sharing, finding and using GIS content across the Web. With ArcGIS Online, you can upload maps, register online map services, create and save Web maps as items for others to share, and discover and use maps published by ESRI and other ESRI users. You can organize and control access to the maps you share by making them public or private, and you can create and join groups.

Better sharing of geographic information is enabled in part via new technology that allows layers referencing feature or raster data to be packaged into a single “layer package”, comprised of both the layer cartography and data. These layer packages can be shared with other users via files, e-mail, or the new ArcGIS Online sharing capability. The new ArcGIS Online sharing services are powered by a full REST API.

How it Works – A Sharing Demonstration

With the new ArcGIS Online search feature users can find GIS data shared by other users. If your ArcGIS Desktop document is missing some desired layers, then typing in keywords to search for and find needed data via ArcGIS Online can help. The data can be previewed, and then added to ArcGIS Desktop from your search results with a single click. Shown below is the ArcGIS Online home page (left) and a search results page (right).


A great new feature of ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 is the ability to create layer packages, highlighted below. Layer packages encapsulate ArcGIS Desktop cartography and data (or URLs to services, if a service layer) in an easy-to-share share package. For instance, to create a layer package in ArcMap, just right-click any layer and choose “Create Layer Package”.


Layer packages can be shared in a variety of ways—they can be e-mailed, published onto CDs or DVDs, or placed on network drives. There is also a new way to share them—via ArcGIS Online. You can log in to your ArcGIS Online account and add a newly created layer package to share with others. All ArcGIS users will have their own ArcGIS Online account, along with storage space to share their maps with others.



Shared data can be of many types, from source data to complete maps and layer packages, to GIS services and Web maps. These items can be organized and shared publicly, or within groups that can be created and managed to allow public access or restricted access within specific user communities.


You can add shared items to ArcMap (or other ArcGIS Desktop clients) by simply clicking on the “Use this item” actions on any item’s property page.

The item now appears in ArcMap, with all cartography preserved.


Or you can add maps and data to ArcMap from ArcGIS Online by choosing the “Add Data from ArcGIS Online” command in ArcMap.


This command launches the ArcGIS Online website and searches for data in the ESRI Maps and Data group. In the page that appears next, you can see the list of ESRI Maps and Data layers and add any of those to ArcMap (or any other ArcGIS Desktop client) immediately, or you can perform your own search to find whatever you want.


You can also share map services with ArcGIS Online. After you add a map service as a reference item, you can create a Web map without programming! Just click the “Create Web Map” link to create your new Web map.

Next, you can click on any map service item properties, and then you can add the map service to your new or existing Web map simply by clicking the “Add to Web Map” button.


You can now add more layers, set layer ordering, set map transparency, and so on, for your Web map. You can query attributes and you can even save your Web map as a shared item for other users to find and utilize! As with all items uploaded or shared at ArcGIS Online, you can also choose to keep the Web map private. You’ve just built a Web map in seconds, with no programming!


Sharing is also a part of ArcGIS Explorer, the forthcoming new release of the product. The new ribbon-based user experience is highlighted below, as well as other features that improve its ease of use, such as the “Basemap” chooser which connects to basemaps from ArcGIS Online and other sources.


Below, a shared layer package from the ArcGIS Online web site is directly opened in ArcGIS Explorer 900, showing how full ArcMap cartography is preserved. ArcGIS Explorer has always been a great way to view and publish GIS services, but now it’s also a great tool for providing broad access to GIS data via layer packages created using ArcMap. ArcGIS Explorer 900 has an integrated 2D/3D display, and the layer package is opened in 2D mode.


Next, the display is switched from 2D to 3D. When the display is toggled into 3D mode the data is automatically shown as extruded 3D polygons.


How’s that for map sharing!   

As you’ve just seen, the ArcGIS Online sharing application is part of the ArcGIS system, and is tightly coupled with ArcGIS software, data types, and information cards. ArcGIS Desktop, Explorer, and Server work together to form a seamless authoring, serving, sharing, and discovery experience for geographic information.

Be sure to check out our Help and Web Videos.

Lots more to come, so please stay tuned as we plan on releasing new functionality on a regular basis. Come on in and help us build the future of ArcGIS Online!  We look forward to your feedback.

- The ArcGIS Online Team

Posted in ArcGIS Online, Services | 2 Comments

ArcGIS Explorer and ArcGIS Online articles in the latest ArcWatch

ArcWatch is ESRI’s e-magazine for GIS news, views, and insights. The latest ArcWatch includes a couple of articles of specific interest to Explorer users.

The first is a preview of what’s coming in the next release of ArcGIS Explorer.


The second covers new sharing capabilities of ArcGIS Online, which will be available as a public beta prior to the upcoming ESRI User Conference.

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Blending: where does this happen?

Ever wonder what “Blending” in the browser or web tier really means with respect to the Java Web ADF?

The topic is somewhat mysterious. The confusion is understandable, as the discussion hasn’t necessarily been brought to the forefront of the Java ADF documentation. The question is often asked: “Where does the application blend the images together from different map resources?”.

This image “fusion” can take place either in the web browser or it can happen in the web server.

The answer is that if your application contains at least one tiled/cached map resource, along with any others, then this “blending” takes place in the web browser. If a tiled/cached map resource is not present, then all exported images from the ArcGIS Server are assembled at the Web Server level.

Now, does this really matter? Well, it could have an effect on performance, obviously. If the web server is busy “fusing” away for all concurrent users, application response times could be impacted. If the blending is off-loaded to your user’s web browser, the web server is free to do more work.

I’m hoping this clarifies things a bit!

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New ESRI white paper discusses ArcGIS Server and virtualization

Virtualization, which allows multiple operating systems and applications to share the resources of a physical machine, is probably a word that you have heard. Many IT departments are adopting virtualization as part of a broader strategy to conserve resources and reduce costs. In fact, maybe you’re already running ArcGIS Server on a virtualized environment.

We’ve recently released a brief white paper with a high level overview of what virtualization is, and why you may want to use it with ArcGIS Server. The paper addresses:

  • Benefits of virtualization
  • Available virtualization technologies
  • How ArcGIS Server supports virtualized environments
  • How ArcGIS Server performance is affected when running on a virtual machine
  • Major design factors for considering virtualization
  • Advantages of deploying ArcGIS Server in a virtualized environment

ArcGIS Server and Virtualization white paper (PDF)

Contributed by Ismael Chivite, ArcGIS Server Product Manager

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ArcGIS Business Analyst Online Migration and New Reports

   by Brenda Wolfe

Last night was a big night for ArcGIS Business Analyst Online on two fronts.  First, four highly anticipated reports were released with updated 2009/2014 data.  Second, previous versions of the product were retired, and a new user interface took their place.  A shiny new login page is greeting users today to herald the change.

New Reports!

Four highly coveted reports were also released with updated 2009 data… 

  • Retail MarketPlace Profile – A very valuable report that calculates supply and demand gaps for goods and services in the market. This is invaluable when trying to determine whether the marketplace will support a new business in a particular location. It also very useful for local communities who need to provide information to persuade businesses to locate in their communities.
  • Business Summary - This report provides detail about the number of businesses and employees by industry in the immediate area. It also provides an overview of Total Employees, Total Businesses, Residential population, and a Daytime/Nighttime population ratio
  • Business Locator - This report is useful for knowing what other businesses or competitors surround a prospective business location. The report lists up to 250 of the closest businesses, including addresses, phone numbers, number of employees, sales revenue and distance and direction from the specified site.
  • Traffic Count Profile - A useful report for determining the amount of traffic or visibility a particular location receives. The Traffic Count Profile displays up to 25 of the closest available traffic counts around the site. A traffic count is defined as the two-way Average Daily Traffic (ADT) that passes that location. The Traffic Count Map is a handy companion to this printed report, letting one analyze traffic patterns in the trade area or visualize specific traffic counts close in around the site.

To see samples of these reports an others, check out this page.




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