Monthly Archives: August 2010

Sign Up for a Free ArcGIS 10 Seminar

Learn practical ways to enhance analysis, access imagery, make better use of the Web, and apply ArcGIS in the field at Esri’s free seminar, Increase Productivity with ArcGIS 10 . All industry professionals are invited to this event, which will be held in 74 U.S. cities from September to November 2010. Register to attend at a location near you.


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Tips and Tricks for Using ArcObjects in Microsoft Visual Studio

This video
illustrates how to use some of the new Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
and 2010 integration features available with ArcGIS 10 such as project
templates, snippets, references, help documentation, and samples.

Special thanks to Katy from the SDK team for putting this together.



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Highlights of Imagery at UC 2010 – presentations are now online

Imagery at UC is held annually at the Esri International User
Conference. The series of events provides a community for those using
and interested in using remotely sensed data in GIS.

Here are a few presentations that are now available to view online:

– Keynote Speaker
  Dr. Jan Van Sickle (President, Van Sickle LLC.)

- Defense Case Study
  Commander Richard J. Schgallis (Military Deputy, Naval Research Lab, U.S. Navy)

- Natural Resources & National Mapping Case Study
  Greg Scott (Group Leader, Geospatial & Earth Monitoring Division, Geoscience Australia)

- Disaster Response & Mitigation Case Study
  David Blankinship (Senior GIS Analyst, City of Colorado Springs Fire Department)

- Local Government Case Study
  Nick Franchino (GIS Manager, Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning)


Contributed by: Melanie Harlow


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Esri Mid-Atlantic Water/Wastewater Special Interest Group

We’ve created a LinkedIn Group for the Esri Mid-Atlantic Water/Wastewater Special Interest Group so we can share more details about our first meeting and answer any questions.  Here is a link to the group –

Going forward we’ll be using this LinkedIn group to plan future SIG meetings and hope it becomes a useful forum for water, wastewater and stormwater ArcGIS users in the Mid-Atlantic region.

As we’ve previously announced, the SIG’s first meeting is at the ESRI Mid-Atlantic User Group Conference December 1st in Philadelphia, PA. More information about the MUG Conference and the SIG can be found here –

We’d also like to announce that we’ve selected our first user presentation for the December 1st SIG meeting.  Joe Spollen will be presenting on “A Day in the Life of a Water Company GIS Analyst”.  During this presentation Joe will share his experience using ArcGIS Desktop and Server applications at a large private water utility to maintain water distribution system data, create and share maps, support capital planning and other common daily tasks for water utility GIS users.

We’ll be sharing more of the agenda as we confirm other user presentations.

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Concatenating field values using Calculate Field

A very common task is to concatenate two or more field values into a new field. A classic example of field concatenation occurs with street features. Street features typically have separate fields for the street prefix, street name, and street type, and your task is to concatenate these three field values into another field.

Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Populate a combo box with unique values using a query layer

In an earlier post, we showed how to populate a ComboBox with a set of unique values from a map service by querying the service and manipulating the data in the browser to generate the unique list. At ArcGIS 10, we can use a Query Layer to accomplish this task in a more straightforward manner. Let’s look at how we can use query layers to fill a combo box with a series of dams in the Pacific Northwest. 

Combo box with unique list of dams 

Query Layer

First we’ll create a new query layer using ArcMap. A query layer is a layer or table that is created using a SQL Query. We can use the SQL SELECT DISTINCT statement to generate a list of unique values from the specified field or fields. In this example we create a new query layer that contains a list of unique dam names.

create a query layer

After adding the query layer to the map, we’ll publish the map. The published map service “FishCount” contains a layer with counts of several fish species at each dam, plus a table with unique dam names. The snippet below queries the table of unique dam names to retrieve all the records.

var damLayer = new esri.layers.FeatureLayer("",{
var query = new esri.tasks.Query();
query.where = "1=1";


Now we have a featureSet containing the unique values from the dam table, which we can use to populate the ComboBox.

var values =,function(feature){
return {name:feature.attributes.DAM};
var dataItems = {
identifier: 'name',
label: 'name',
items: values
var store = new{data:dataItems});
dijit.byId("mySelect").store = store;

Click here to view a live sample application that populates a ComboBox using a query layer.

Contributed by Kelly Hutchins of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript development team

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A brief look at Web GIS, Twitter and Authenticating with OAuth

Every week we are hearing about more GIS developers integrating data and capabilities from social media API’s such as Twitter. Most of the apps integrate basic web requests for things such as using the Twitter Search API to retrieve tweets or retrieving trending topics, and use a straightforward RESTful request/response development pattern that’s common across many web applications.

However, if you want your users to be able to do things such as post a Twitter status update, or retrieve recent mentions, to complete these types of requests you have to use OAuth authentication. If you don’t have to authenticate any of your requests then there’s no need for you to read any further. If you aren’t sure, in the Twitter API docs check the “Requires Authentication” field for a “True” value, for example:

No More Basic Authentication. I’m writing this blog post because up until August 2010 we could get away with using basic authentication, which required just a few lines of code. Twitter put an end to this easy but highly insecure practice. Now we all have to abide by the new rules which means authenticating with OAuth.

The OAuth 1.0 Protocol abstract explains it best by stating that “OAuth provides a method for clients to access server resources on behalf of a resource owner (such as a different client or an end- user). It also provides a process for end-users to authorize third- party access to their server resources without sharing their credentials (typically, a username and password pair), using user- agent redirections”;

The Challenge of OAuth. OAuth entails potentially hundreds of lines of code and understanding a multi-step process between a client, Twitter and your server. The good news is there are open-source libraries out there that can significantly reduce your coding time and provide insight into how to sign OAuth requests. It’s well worth checking them out rather than rushing off and building something from scratch. Twitter has even conveniently provided a list of some of these libraries on their developer site: My only caveat is it’s still up to you, the developer, to examine the library and determine how updated, or secure each library is.

Twitter also now has some very helpful documentation on their OAuth process: The insights they provide are extremely useful to read when troubleshooting OAuth implementations. 

Sample App. To top things off I’ve created a sample that demonstrates the basic OAuth concepts: (updated 11/24/10). And, you can download the source code (Flex/PHP) here.

-Andy (@agup)

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Telecommunications Data Model and Tools for ArcGIS 10

Many users have been asking for an ArcGIS 10 based release of the Fiber Editing Tools…

We are please to announce the release of an updated Telecommunications Data Model and desktop tools for ArcGIS 10. This release ports the previous 9.3.1 data model and tools to the 10 platform, adds minor improvements to the fiber editing dialogs, and fixes several minor bugs.

Productivity Enhancements

With the ArcGIS 10 release the editing experience has been streamlined through the use of edit templates, giving users easy access to palettes of features, for quick and easy sketch based editing. The down-loadable package includes a map document pre-configured with a default palette and template tools for editing the network features.

Data Model Changes

The release includes one data model change involving the addition of a text based NAME field to all items of equipment, cable and conduit. This field was requested by several in the community to allow for free form labeling and identification of assets. A GP model has been included to help upgrade any existing databases for this additional field. Telecommunications Group

We have also created a new group on providing access to applications, tools, and content stored on the ArcGISOnline system. This is a public group intended to allow any users to upload and share valuable content and applications with the telecommunications community. Please feel free to use or contribute to the materials posted here.

Updated Data Model and Tools

The updated data model materials are located here.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions, issues or suggestions.


Team Telecom

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Coming Soon – a Sewer Profile Tool

We’ve had a lot of requests from the wastewater ArcGIS community for a simple tool to create sewer profiles in ArcMap.  So we thought we’d give you a sneak peak of the sewer profile tool we’re working on. 

   We’re not quite ready to let this out of the lab today, so we are planning to release it with the ArcGIS 10 updates for the Water Utility Editing Toolbar.  

Posted in Water Utilities | Tagged , | 4 Comments

ArcGIS Mobile Update on Customer Care Portal

If you log into the ESRI Customer Care Portal, you will find that we have updated the download for ArcGIS Mobile. It is now titled “ArcGIS Mobile 10 (Build 2475)”. This is a quick bug fix update to ArcGIS Mobile and the first of several updates we intend to bring to you over the next year.

If you have already installed ArcGIS Mobile 10 final, running the update setup will not ask you to uninstall – it will simply add new capabilities to your existing setup. If you have deployed the Windows Mobile application to devices, you will need to deploy a new version of the CAB and it will force an uninstall/install. The uninstall will retain your field projects and any local cache you have on your device will just work once the new version is installed.

Included in this update are the following fixes:

  • Create Mobile Map and Synchronize Geoprocessing Tools are now available with an ArcView license.
  • Improved stability with the Windows Mobile application (several memory management fixes to reported “out of memory exceptions” and/or “random crashes”, scrolling improvements for high-resolution devices.
  • Resolved issue with GPS Streaming where collection was not receiving first valid fix (SDK and both field applications).
  • Resolved Application Framework issue where events for GeometryCollectionStarting and GeometryCollectionCompleted were not being raised)

We look forward to hearing your feedback. If you want to provide us with your thoughts, please contribute to our ideas site @


Mobile Team

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