Monthly Archives: October 2010

Business Analyst 10…Now Enhanced with Maplex!

by David Palomino

Business Analyst 10 provides two default MXDs as a gateway into the application: Business Analyst.mxd and Business Analyst Web.mxd. However, we have expanded on Business Analyst.mxd to create a third MXD, Business Analyst Maplex.mxd. This is a cartographically enhanced MXD available for download here. Continue reading

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Supervised Classification to Create Vegetation Layer

The Vegetation Layer indicates tree canopy and represents one of the recommended base layers within the Community Basemap: providing depth and realism to the map.













A recommended vegetation development workflow that leverages the ArcGIS10.0 Image Analysis Window and NDVI function is available here on the Community Basemaps Resource Center. Optimal output requires 4-band imagery (Infrared band). Where 4-band imagery is not available, we suggest using the new Image Classification Tool Bar to create a classified image from 3-band imagery. This reclassification process is dramatically simplified with the newly available tools in ArcGIS10.0. 3-band and 4-band imagery can be found at the USDA’s Geospatial Gateway for most of the United States.  


1.      Add 3-band imagery to ArcMap and make sure the Spatial Analyst Extension is on

2.      Open the Image Classification Toolbar



3.      Select your image in the pull down Training Sample Manager button

4.      Zoom into an area with forests and use the Draw Training Sample with Polygon button to draw an area that has just forests in it or just around trees




5.      Add more training areas, include many polygons of open spaces and areas that do not have trees

6.      Open the Training Sample Manager while collecting these by clicking on the Sample Manager Button highlighted below on the Image Classification Toolbar (tip: pause your computer screen for this)



7. Rename the Class Name for vegetation Trees and select the rest to merge together using the Merge button on the Training Sample Manager 




8.      In the Image Classification Toolbar, select Interactive Supervised Classification


9. Open the properties for the new Classification image

10. Go to the Symbology tab, open the colors for the
Class 1 (trees).  Click on more colors
and set the color to HSV to H: 80, S: 39 and V: 89 and make the other class No


11. End result should look like this with imagery behind it

12.      Double click on Layers in the Table of Contents

13.      Click on the coordinates tab

14.      Change the projection to Web Mercator (Auxiliary Sphere)

15.      Right click on the classification image, go to Data, Data Export


16.      Export the image:                 

                  a.       Clipped to the county or city boundary (you must add that layer before hand, convert it to a graphic and select that graphic)                 

                  b.      Using the data frame spatial reference system

c.       Set the Format to an ERDAS Imagine or TIFF image

 17. Click Save


18. You may have to promote the pixel depth to store no data values on the next dialog (if you clipped the raster to a non-rectangular extent).

19. Click Yes to add the exported raster as a layer

20. Open the properties for the exported raster21.  Set the colors as in Step 10



If you need additional help with these procedures, please email



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New Local Government Resource Center Gallery Released

This week we launched a new Local Government Gallery that makes it easier for you to find maps and apps you can download and configure in your organization.  The new gallery provides local government users a comprehesive list of maps and apps and allows you to filter content in several meaningful ways.  So let’s take a look at the new Local Government Template Gallery and highlight several ways you can find content that matters to your organization.

When you first visit the gallery, you’ll see a series of filters along the left hand side of the gallery that will help you find maps and apps that interest you.  The pre-defined filters allow you to sort content in the gallery by User Community, ArcGIS Platform (Desktop, Server, Mobile), ArcGIS Version (9.3.1, 10), GIS Function, Date, or by Number of Downloads.

Local Government Gallery with Content Filters Highlighted   

As you select one or more filters along the left hand side, content in the gallery will update accordingly.  You can clear your filters and explore the entire gallery again by clicking on the “Clear All” link. We think you’ll find the pre-defined filters to be the quickest way to find content in the gallery but lets look at a few other ways you can interact with the content.

Using the predefined filters to find content in the gallery

The new gallery also allows users to search for a map or app using a keyword.  For example, if you were looking for content that would help you manage public infrastructure, you could enter “infrastructure” in the search box.  You’ll then notice that as you type in the keyword, content we’ve published for water utilities, public works and other agencies that manage water, sewer, and stormwater infrastructure is being highlighted.  

Using a keyword to find content in the gallery

More visual users can click on a thumbnail in the gallery and step their way through each thumbnail until they find what they are looking for in the gallery.  As you flip through the thumbnails, you can use your mouse to increase or reduce the size of the individual thumbnail and navigate from one thumbnail to the next. We’ve tried to include thumbnails that encapsulate the items you’ll discover when you download a map or app and will continue to improve these over time.

When you find a map or app in the gallery you’re interested in, you can click on the thumbnail to learn more about the specific item.  You’ll notice the summary for each item includes a detailed description of the map or app and links to download the item. When you discover a web application in the gallery, there will also be a link to a hosted version of the application so you can try it live before downloading it from the Resource Center.

Detailed information about each map and app in the gallery

In the coming weeks and months we’ll be adding a series of maps and apps for the emergency management and fire service communities to the gallery. They will build on the work we did at 9.3 for the emergency management community and leverage the work we’ve done for other local government user communities.

So, we invite you to download the maps and apps from the gallery and deploy them in your organization.  And as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the new gallery or one of the items you have downloaded from it.

Posted in Local Government | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mapping Indonesia's Earthquakes and Volcanoes using ArcGIS Online

Indonesia was hard-hit by an earthquake, tsunami, and volcanic eruption, all occurring within a short timeframe. The earthquake happened on Monday night, and registered 7.7 on the Richter Scale. The subsequent tsunami triggered by the quake flattened several villages and a resort, leaving hundreds dead and many hundreds more still missing. Mount Merapi, one of Indonesia’s most active volcanos, erupted soon after the earthquake killing at least 28 people and coating the region with ash.

The Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) monitors many sources of disaster event information (like NOAA and USGS) and publishes continually updated information in real-time via ArcGIS Server. PDC shares these services via ArcGIS Online, where you can discover and use them to create your own map to take a closer look at these disastrous events.

Start by opening the viewer and choose Add. Below we’ve searched ArcGIS Online for “PDC” to discover the available services, choosing PDC Active Hazards to add to our map.

The PDC Active Hazards service includes a collection of dynamically updated information that’s culled from sources in near real-time. These are published as sublayers in the single PDC Active Hazards ArcGIS service. For our map we want to view just two of the sublayers – earthquakes and volcanoes.

To view a subset of all available information in the service, we open the map contents, and click PDC Active Hazards (the service name) to view its sublayers. Below we’ve checked the Active_Volcano and Recent_Earthquake sublayers to view them on our map.


Next we zoom to Indonesia, where the cluster of earthquakes and active Mount Merapi volcano can be seen, and save and share our map publicly via our ArcGIS Online account. There it can be discovered and viewed by visiting or using the built-in ArcGIS Online search capabilities in ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Explorer Online, or ArcGIS Explorer Desktop. The map can also be viewed using ArcGIS for iOS, a free application for your iPhone or iPad that you can download from the Apple store.

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ArcGIS 9.x to ArcGIS 10

Migrating from ArcGIS 9.x to ArcGIS 10 is straightforward.  All your data (maps, layers, rasters, geodatabases, etc.) is directly readable in ArcGIS 10.  However once you start using ArcGIS 10, you will need to save your documents (maps, layers, etc.) out in 9.x formats in order to share them with 9.x users. Use the Save a Copy command in ArcMap to create 9.x version of your map document. For more info on Save a Copy command.

Geodatabases can remain in 9.3.1 format and be used in 9.3.1 and 10. However, if you want to take advantage of the new geodatabase improvements in ArcGIS 10, you need to upgrade the geodatabase to 10, at which time 9.x clients will not be able to read it.  In order to help with sharing data among various versions, the Create Geodatabase tool now allows you to create older versions of the Geodatabase so you can copy features from ArcGIS 10 into an older geodatabase to share with other users.

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ArcGIS 10 Service Pack 1 Coming Soon

I just heard from the ArcGIS Release Manager that Service Pack 1 (SP1) is schedule for release next week on the Esri Support site.  There are some key improvements in SP1 so make sure and check back next week when it’s released.

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Using curvature rasters to enhance terrain representation

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

Curvature 2 Thumbnail

In my last blog entry, I talked about curvature surfaces – what they are, and how they can easily be created from DEMs. Now let’s see how you can use these in ArcMap to emphasize terrain representation.

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Posted in Imagery, Mapping | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Understanding curvature rasters

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

Curvature Thumbnail

We got this question the other day on Ask a Cartographer: “I am currently analyzing a potential site with a LIDAR derived DEM. I have the products of the curvature tool. I have tried to examine the relevant web-based help but I am still unclear as how to properly portray this data. Can you direct me to any examples or explain a methodology of how to display the data in a curvature raster in a manner that identifies useful information to the general public?”

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Posted in Imagery, Mapping | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

BAO Snippet – Image Dates

  by Sooria J

When you see a satellite map in Business Analyst Online or any other mapping software, have you wondered when the last time the images were updated? How updated is the image? If you are like many (including yours truly) who don’t read the fine print it is hard to get these details on a mapping application. In Business Analyst Online, we understand that these details are very important to our users so we made it simple and upfront. Here’s how.

Click on the Satellite map button, this will switch to a satellite map and open the menu below. In the menu, click the Image Dates checkbox.

This will open a dialog box and provide two bits of information. First, when the image was taken. In this example, the center image of this map (as represented by a crosshair) was last updated on 06/20/2009. Second, when hovering, the yellow tip icon “i” it gives you information about latest imagery update for whole of the images, this typically is done quarterly, every year.

There are couple more interesting features. The images you see on satellite is not a single image as most people believe (including yours truly), it’s a combination of multiple images (tiles) tied together to provide a complete map. In theory your screen could contain more than one image at a time and each of them could have been potentially taken at a different time, interesting huh? This normally happens when you are zoomed out a bit. We wanted to make it clear to you and provide the most accurate date of a tile so a button has been added to this dialog box. Click on this button and click anywhere on the map, a dialog box appears and provides the date of the clicked point. This will also apply a fill to the map to give you an idea about the size of the tile. As I mentioned earlier, the images in a given screen could have more than one updated date for each as shown in this screenshot below.

We think this approach will give you flexibility and accuracy needed in satellite maps.

Hope you find this helpful. Later!


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Raster Image Processing Tips and Tricks — Part 2: Mosaicking

This is the second in a series of blog posts that will cover some tips and tricks for performing the following operations on a series of aerial images using ArcGIS 10.0:

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Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing, Imagery | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment