Monthly Archives: December 2010

USA 112th Congressional Districts dataset now available


As the newly elected United States Congress gets to work on January 3rd, Esri is pleased to offer the new USA 112th Congressional Districts dataset to all ArcGIS users.


USA 112th Congressional Districts map


This dataset contains the very accurate boundaries resulting from the U.S. Census Bureau’s realignment of the 2009 TIGER/Line shapefiles and the most current list of members available on the U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Clerk’s Web site. With 97 of 435 House seats changing representative, party affiliation, or both, the USA 112th Congressional Districts dataset makes for very interesting historical studies while also providing useful, current information in today’s governing politics.


USA 112 Congressoinal Districts with Representatives names


View the USA 112th Congressional Districts item details on to download the layer package or visit the Esri Data & Maps United States Census page on the ArcGIS Content Resource Center for a list of all the census layers available for download on




Contributed by James Shimota


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Creating a time-enabled WMS with ArcGIS Server 10

The much-requested ability to show time in a WMS is now available at ArcGIS Server 10.0. A time-enabled WMS advertises a temporal extent of its layers in the GetCapabilities response, just as it does for the spatial extent. A client can “zoom” the map to a particular point in time using a “TIME” parameter in the GetMap request. This post shows an example of a time-enabled WMS and describes how it was built.

Preparing the data

To get a time-enabled WMS, your data has to have some temporal information associated with it. Temporal data can theoretically be stored within raster data or it can be associated with vector features in an attribute field. With ArcGIS Server, you can only publish a time-enabled WMS from a map service (as opposed to an image service), so we’re just going to focus on vector data for this example.

The test dataset we’ll use are some point and line features in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, collected from the Open Street Map (OSM) database. OSM is a crowdsourced geographic database into which any editor can contribute data. Before the January, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, OSM didn’t have much coverage of Port-au-Prince. Here’s what it looked like:

OSM before Haiti edits
(C) OpenStreetMap and contributors, CC-BY-SA 

After the earthquake, volunteers quickly digitized data for the Port-au-Prince area to provide more accurate maps for responders on the ground. In a few weeks, the dataset grew into quite possibly the most complete and accurate GIS dataset of Port-au-Prince that has ever been compiled.

OSM after Haiti edits
(C) OpenStreetMap and contributors, CC-BY-SA 

To better visualize this amazing power of crowdsourcing, I decided to build a WMS that shows the growth of OSM in Haiti during the days following the earthquake.

The original data I downloaded from Geofabrik was a snapshot from January 25, 2010. This was only two weeks after the earthquake, so if you download the data now, you’ll get an even more recent snapshot. A nice perk of the site is that it offers the OSM data in Esri shapefile format. For this example, I decided to download streets, waterways, and points of interest.

Here’s an example of the attribute table for the streets layer. The highlighted field “timestamp” contains the time the feature was submitted into the OSM database. All the layers I downloaded have a similar “timestamp” field.

Timestamp field in ArcGIS

Configuring time settings in the ArcMap document

Before publishing the map document through ArcGIS Server, you need to enable time settings on each layer in ArcMap. This involves opening the layer properties and telling your map which field holds the time information that should be used for that particular layer. Here’s an example screenshot for the streets layer:

Enabling time on a layer

To get here, I just right-clicked the streets layer in the ArcMap table of contents and clicked Properties. Then I clicked the Time tab, which is new at ArcGIS 10.

Here are some of the settings I adjusted:

  • Layer Time – This specifies whether a feature in the layer is associated with a single time point (defined by one attribute field) or a time span (defined by two attribute fields). With the OSM data, each feature has a single time field showing when it was added to the database, so I picked Each feature has a single time field.
  • Time Field – This is the attribute field that holds the time information. Depending on what you selected above for Layer Time, you get either one or two dropdowns here. In my case, I specified the “timestamp” field I showed earlier.
  • Field format – This denotes the pattern or format of the values in the Time Field. The OSM data has a timestamp format of “yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss”, which is valid according to the ISO8601 spec and is also supported by ArcMap. You can see that it’s one of the choices in the dropdown.

There are other settings you can adjust in this dialog which will all affect the resulting time-enabled WMS. The ArcGIS Desktop Help explains these options in detail.

After adjusting these settings, you can save the map and prepare for publishing to ArcGIS Server.

Publishing the time-enabled WMS

The workflow for publishing a time-enabled WMS with ArcGIS Server is the same as publishing a regular WMS. You just publish your map as an ArcGIS Server map service, and enable the WMS capability on it. Both .msd and .mxd files can be published as map services exposing time-aware data.

Once you start the map service, you can begin making WMS requests to it.

Consuming the time-enabled WMS

There are many good WMS clients in either the commercial or open source realms, but ArcMap is a particularly appropriate client for a time-enabled WMS because it comes with a time slider. This not only lets you display or animate your map using the TIME parameter, but also helps you parse and display temporal extent information advertised in the GetCapabilities response.

ArcMap time slider

Here are some brief steps to consume a time-enabled WMS in ArcMap:

  1. Start ArcMap and add your WMS layer.
  2. Click the Open Time Slider Window button. Open Time Slider button in ArcMap
  3. Experiment with dragging the time slider or playing the time animation.

In the series of images below, the time slider demonstrates the daily addition of data to OSM in the Port-au-Prince area in the weeks following the earthquake.

Time slider progression as data added to Haiti in OSM

Contributed by Yingqi Tang of the ArcGIS Server software development team

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Migrating DSMapBooks to Data Driven Pages

Migrating your map books from the Map Book Developer Sample, DSMapBook, to data driven pages in ArcGIS 10 is a pretty straight forward process. It is not automatic, but many people have already done it and have found it to be quick and easy. The majority of the standard map book functionality is available in ArcGIS 10 without needing to write any Python scripts or having to dig into ArcObjects. How you do things with data driven pages is different, but the functionality for multiple pages, printing and exporting, creating index features, adding dynamic titles and text, creating locator maps, etc. is all there, out of the box.

It will depend on the complexity of your maps, but if you already have map documents and index layers, the basic process for migrating to data driven pages is not difficult. The workflow is as follows:

1)    Open the map document
2)    Open the data driven pages property page,
3)    Select the layer you used for your map extents as the index layer
4)    Update your dynamic text and titles using new dynamic text tags

If you have dynamic locator maps or custom page effects (like highlighting the current page), you can achieve these with some new data frame properties. The following blog post should help with this:

This gets more complex if you have customized the map book developer sample, or if you use the indexing functionality to generate a place name index, or a gazetteer. These require using some of the new arcpy.mapping Python scripting capabilities. If you have customized the developer sample in some way, first I would recommend reading about and trying the new functionality in ArcGIS 10 related to data driven pages. Some of the common customizations can be done out of the box now. If you are not able to accomplish what you need, the next step would be evaluating whether you can do it with using the new arcpy.mapping Python module that is available. We have included many sample scripts on the Resource Center to help you out including a sample for generating indexes

Supported map books, without the need for a developer sample should be a big benefit at ArcGIS 10. The migration process should be straight forward, and once it is done, it’s done. Spend some time reviewing the resources that are available and then give it a try with one of your map books. Here are some other resources that might be helpful to read before you start:

Blog post on creating map books with ArcGIS 10

Blog post on data driven pages

Desktop help on enabling data driven pages

Desktop help on working with dynamic text

Blog post on getting started with Python and map automation

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Use ArcGIS Online Web Mercator map services for most current data

The ArcGIS Online services in the Google
Maps/Bing Maps tiling scheme
 in Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere (WKID 102100) are updated regularly and are intended for you to use in place of the services in the older ArcGIS Online tiling scheme. For example, the World Imagery (World_Imagery) map service should be used instead of the older USA Prime Imagery (I3_Imagery_Prime_World_2D and I3_Imagery_Prime_World) services. World
Imagery replaced the USA Prime Imagery service in 2009 and is more up to date.

The ArcGIS
Online Services Support Status
[PDF] provides
information about the levels of support and the current status of different
services. It also includes answers to some frequently asked questions including
how to find out which services you are currently using, and which services you
should switch to if you are still using the older services.

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Change to ArcGIS Online subscriptions at the end of December

ArcGIS Online services in Extended Support status will no longer be included in ArcGIS Online for-fee subscriptions on the premium servers ( as of December 31, 2010. However, you will be able to access the older services for some time as no-cost standard ArcGIS Online services.

The ArcGIS Online Services Support Status [PDF] provides information about the levels of support and the current status of different services. It also includes answers to some frequently asked questions including how to find out which services you are currently using, which services you should switch to, and which services are being removed from the subscriptions.

Here are some frequently asked questions to help guide you if you need to switch to another service. 

ArcGIS Desktop users

Q:  How do I find out which services I’m using?

A:  In ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Explorer Desktop, right-click a layer and select Properties. Click the Source tab. The service name is included in the Data Source section. Basemap layers in the ArcGIS Explorer Desktop and ArcGIS Desktop 10 basemap galleries don’t have a Source tab, but those galleries are using the latest services and are not affected by the retirement of the older services. Similarly, if you are using ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 or 9.3.1 and you have added layers into your map via the File > Add Data From ArcGIS Online command, your map is using the latest services.

Q:  How do I switch services if I’m using an old service?

A:  If you have ArcGIS 10 or the latest version of ArcGIS Explorer, you can select any basemap from the basemap gallery built into your application. If you are using ArcGIS 9.3.1, choose the File > Add Data From ArcGIS Online command, which launches this web page giving you a gallery of up-to-date basemaps ready for you to use. ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Explorer users can access the full range of ArcGIS Online map services from the ESRI Maps and Data group in To add a map, search for a map you are interested in, click Open below the thumbnail image, and select Open in ArcGIS Desktop. The map will be added to ArcMap or ArcGIS Explorer.

ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Web Mapping users

Q:  How do I find out which services I’m using?

A:  In your application code, look for an ArcGIS Online REST endpoint.  For example, the endpoint for World Imagery is By clicking on this link, you will get additional details available in Services Directory.

Q:  How do I switch from the ArcGIS Online tiling scheme used by the older services to the Google Maps/Bing Maps tiling scheme used by the newer services?

A:  First, you will need to update your Web applications to use the new tiling scheme:

  1. Change the ArcGIS Online REST endpoint to the new service.
  2. Change the spatial reference WKID in your application. The WKID for Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere is 102100 for ArcGIS Server 9.3.1 and 3857 for ArcGIS Server 10 (the WKID numbers are equivalent).
  3. Change all coordinates for extents, graphics, and other objects with coordinates to be in Web Mercator. A helper method or utility is available that converts geometry from WGS84 to Web Mercator on the client side (and vice versa). For example, you can leave your coordinates in WGS84 and use the helper method to convert them to Web Mercator. The following is a JavaScript example:

var extent = new esri.geometry.Extent({“xmin”:-176.6063,”ymin”:-43.3106,”xmax”:178.4764,”ymax”:65.3689,”spatialReference”:{“wkid”:4326}});

//update the extent to web mercator

 map = new esri.Map(“map”, { extent: esri.geometry.geographicToWebMercator(extent)});

For more details, see:

Second, you will need to update any of your own caches that are not currently in the Google Maps/Bing Maps tiling scheme. ArcGIS Server 9.3.1 users can get instructions in KB37329. ArcGIS Server 10 users can get instructions from the Online Help.

Q:  What are my options if I can’t switch to the Google Maps/Bing Maps tiling scheme right now?

A:  If you need to continue using the older services in WGS84, you can do so by switching to the standard servers where these services remain available.  You will need to update the URL in your application. The URL for Services Directory is Remember that while the WGS84 services remain available on the standard servers, they are in Extended Support and are no longer updated.

If you have questions, please post them in the ArcGIS Online forums.

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ArcGIS Online World Topographic Basemap updated with local data

The ArcGIS Online World Topographic Basemap (World_Topo_Map) was recently
updated with contributions from the user community. The World Topographic
Basemap includes new content covering:

  • Broomfield, CO
  • Laguna Niguel, CA
  • Sussex County, NJ
  • Westerville, OH

In addition, the basemap was updated for the following areas:

  • Houston, TX (water features)

Many of these contributions were made through the Community Maps Program, For more information visit the Community Maps Program website or view the live map of current and forthcoming contributors.

If you have questions, please post them in the ArcGIS
Online forums

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How to Edit Overpass/Underpass on Roads with Z Level Values

The original version of the Overpass/Underpass tool included the Auto Edit Tool which was used to process road data with Z  Level attributes.  The Auto Edit function was removed in subsequent versions because it was producing undesired results.  The procedure was to select all of the roads in your database and then run the Auto Edit Tool.  The tool would then create 2 five foot long segments at every overpass location based on the road level values in the FZLEV and TZLEV fields.  The roads were not merged at the intersection.  Overpass segments would only be created where 4 road segments met so if you had a T intersection or five arcs meeting you had to do the edits manually. 


The problem we were seeing was that the roads were split into too many short segments.  For example, if you had a freeway that crossed over two other roads (split at each intersection) there were originally 3 freeway arcs.  The tool would split the freeway 5 feet on each side of the other two arcs, turning your 3 arcs into 7.  The value of the road level would then go back and forth between 0 and 1, kind of like this: 



















These numerous splits made the road symbol look rather ragged.  When your data has Z levels, it is generally better to split the arcs only where necessary and assign the appropriate road levels to make the arcs display properly, something like this:

Auto Edit Example 2





















The example described above usually works pretty well.  In areas where there are a lot of curves it may look better if you merge your arcs at the intersections.

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The Twelfth Day of the Twelve Days of Esri Holiday Maps – Cookies

On the twelfth day of the holiday, Esri gives to you…a color-coded map of spending on cookies!

As we conclude our Twelve Days of Esri Holiday Maps series, we are ending on a sweet note with cookies.  Enjoyed by everyone from family and friends to neighbors and Santa, cookies complete the holidays.

The map above shows the amount spent on cookies for consumption at home using Esri’s Consumer Spending data by U.S. county.  Counties shaded in red spend more money on cookies than those shaded in pink.  Counties shaded in dark red spend at least 40% more on cookies than the national average.

Esri’s Consumer Spending data estimates current spending patterns by combining the latest Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CEX) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with Esri Tapestry™ Segmentation and Esri’s Updated Demographics.  Data is reported for over 750 products and services and includes total expenditures, average amount spent per household, and a Spending Potential Index (SPI).  The SPI compares the average expenditure for a product locally to the average amount spent nationally. An index of 100 is average. An SPI of 120 shows that average spending by local consumers is 20 percent above the national average.  For more information on Esri’s Consumer Spending Data, please visit

We hope you enjoyed our Twelve Days of Esri Holiday maps.  

From the Business Analyst team at Esri, we wish you a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year.  We’ll see you in 2011!

By Catherine Spisszak and David Palomino

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November-December 2010 Community Map Contributors

As the end of the year quickly approaches, we celebrate the successful participation of our most recent contributors to the Topographic Basemap.

City of Broomfield, Colorado

Example of Broomfield, CO 

Chatham County, Georgia

City of Charlotte, North Carolina

Example of Charlotte, NC 

City of Fort Collins, Colorado

City of Laguna Niguel, California

City of Long Beach, California

Example of Long Beach, CA 

City of Rancho Cucamonga, California

Sussex County, New Jersey

City of Westerville, Ohio

Example of Westerville, OH 


View their complete caches at and make your own 2011 New Year’s resolution to join the Community Map program. With the guidance of our dedicated team, it’s easier than losing those extra holiday pounds or maintaining that exercise program!


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Our present to you – Beta versions

ArcGIS Team Water would like to thank you all for your interest inthe templates on the resource center.  The number of downloads has beengreat, the feedback and comments have been very helpful and seeing thesetemplates influence your applications and pilot projects is awesome.  Weare happy the community has been able to benefit from the work on the resourcecenter.  We want to continue enhancing the templates and providing youwith the toolsets you need to manage and extend your uses of GIS technology inyour organization.  

Directly from your feedback and comments, we have fixed a lot ofissues and added some new functions.  We are not ready to do a fullupdated release, but I wanted to start sharing some of the things we areworking on.  I created a new section on the forums where you will be ableto access beta versions of the toolset or applications that are included withthe templates.  At the time of the blog post, I have already postedupdates to the Attribute Assistant and the Infrastructure Editing Desktoptools.  

We have had a lot of people trying to implement their own rules inthe Attribute Assistant and when a rule was configured incorrectly, theextension would fail, but provide no feedback.  To help you understand howthe extension is processing data and to find errors, I added a debug mode tothe extension.  The debug mode will prompt you for a location to save alog file when you start editing.  The extension will write out every stepand try to record what is going, what rules are being processed, any errorswith the rules, etc.  This is the first version of the debug mode, so I amsure there is room for improvement, so let us know if it helps or if you havesuggestions on making it better.

There are many other fixes, to many to list, but I wanted tohighlight the debug mode, because we think it will help you configure thispowerful extension on your own datasets.

Sticky Thread with beta versions: 

Thanks and Happy Holidays from Esri and ArcGIS Team Water

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