Monthly Archives: January 2012

Stream tapering adds realism to your map

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

Stream Tapering - Thumb

Stream tapering is a technique cartographers use to add realism to a map and help readers determine the direction of flow by using a wider line for downstream reaches than those upstream. Streams in nature vary in width due to things like flow, topography, or anthropogenic confinement. Tapering wider downstream lines into thinner ones upstream simulates the variation in stream width caused by increasing flow downstream. This method, which has long been used in cartography, is also described in Tom Patterson’s article, Getting Real: Reflecting on the New Look of National Park Service Maps on his web-site, Shaded Relief. Although he describes how he achieved the effect using Adobe Illustrator, this blog entry describes how you can use ArcMap to accomplish the same thing. Continue reading

Posted in Mapping, Migrate | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Esri Data in the News

By Cathy Spisszak

Best Cities for Bargain Shopping

Do you love a good bargain?  Forbes Magazine recently compiled a list of the top 10 U.S. cities for bargain shopping using Esri Shopping Center Data.  Check out Esri Data in the news and to see if your city has made the list.

Esri Data used for Mall Expansion

Esri was also highlighted in the Philadelphia area news, when Esri Data was used to justify an expansion of the King of Prussia mall.  According to the article “Within a 10-mile radius of the Montgomery County mall, 41 percent of households have incomes of $100,000 or greater, according to Esri, a company specializing in geography and demographics. That area is home to more than a half-million people in 220,000 households.  This has helped make the King of Prussia mall the envy of retail landlords nationwide by boasting retail sales of $700 per square foot – a figure so high it is shared by only a small handful of other malls nationwide.” Read more about this here.

To learn more about Esri Data and all of the 15,000 data variables that we have to offer, please visit our site.

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ArcGIS for SharePoint 2.1.1 released!

We are pleased to announce the release of ArcGIS for SharePoint version 2.1.1.  This is a quick-turnaround maintenance release to fix critical bugs that were identified in the 2.1 release.  The ArcGIS for SharePoint team has worked hard to address these issues quickly to minimize their impact on our users.  The issues addressed include:

  • A license timeout that will occur on Feb 1st, 2012
  • The ArcGIS Location Field does not load on SharePoint subsites
  • The ArcGIS Map Web Part does not load on Windows XP clients if data containing characters with diacritical marks (e.g. ü, ä, ñ, etc) is included in the map

Users that are currently using version 2.0, 2.1 beta, or 2.1 final can easily upgrade to the latest version.  To do so, simply run the setup and select the upgrade option.

Users that have version 2.1 installed must upgrade to version 2.1.1 to continue using the product.

As always, you can check out the ArcGIS for SharePoint Resource Center for information on getting started, help using the product, and samples to show you how to build add-ins for the Map Web Part.  And if you have questions, be sure to take advantage of the ArcGIS for SharePoint forum to get help from the community.

The ArcGIS for SharePoint Team

Posted in Location Analytics, Web | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Getting to know your Raster Types Properties

Do you remember what a raster type is?  If not, perhaps a refresher on raster types is needed.

Did you ever wonder what exactly the (default) properties of your raster type are? If so, you can always view and even edit a default raster type, while Adding Rasters to you Mosaic Dataset.

Viewing and Editing your raster type properties
To view the raster type (while using the Add Rasters to Mosaic Dataset tool), click on the Raster Type Properties icon .

This will open up the Raster Type Properties window. The General tab gives an overview of what the raster type is, and the band information. Also the Product Type and Processing Template that are valid with this raster type will be displayed.  You can change the Product Type and Processing Template that will be used, by changing the selection within each of the dropdown boxes. The Product Type allows you to filter which products will be ingested into the mosaic dataset. The Processing Template will specify which Functions will be used when your data is added.

The Properties tab allows you to view the rendering, pan-sharpening, and ortho-rectification instructions while adding rasters. If you do not like the defaults, you can change them at this time.

Finally the Function tab shows you what the various Processing Templates which were in the Processing Template list (on the General tab).  Here you can see what functions each processing template will perform.

Posted in Imagery | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Auto-Complete Polygon vs. Production Difference Polygon Tool

One of the most common problems that can occur when working with vector data is maintaining coincidence.

Maintaining coincidence between adjacent polygon features is important when modeling real word information in a GIS. There are a number of tools in ArcGIS 10 for Desktop that allow users to edit and create features that share boundaries, thus helping to eliminate gaps, slivers, and overlaps.

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ArcGIS Mobile Build 2550 Released!

The fourth in our series of ArcGIS Mobile 10.0 updates, the Mobile Team is proud to announce the release of build 2550. Just like 2525 and all previous updates, installing build 2550 does not require that you uninstall a previous version – this install will simply update your current install of ArcGIS Mobile.

You can download build 2550 now from the Esri Customer Care Portal. Look for “ArcGIS Mobile 10 (Build 2550)”.

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Best practices for using layer definition queries while creating features

ArcGIS 10 introduced the concept of editing with feature templates, which define a new feature’s symbology and default attribute values, among other properties. Anytime I want to add a feature, I use the Create Features window, which displays a list of available feature templates and tools for creating new features.

Sometimes, though, I do not see the template I want to use in the Create Features window. This could be because there are no templates for the layer, but it could also be that the template exists but is being filtered out of the Create Features window. The underlying philosophy for determining whether ArcMap shows a feature template is that new features created with the template must be visible after creation. Therefore, templates are hidden whenever new features would immediately disappear and not be displayed on the map.

While a layer being turned off is one of the more obvious reasons why feature templates are not shown on the Create Features window, layer definition queries can be subtle causes. A definition query displays only the subset of features that match an attribute query defined on the Layer Properties dialog box; the remaining features are not drawn on the map or shown in the attributes table.

This post provides an overview of and best practices for the use of definition queries while creating features.

Continue reading

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New Features for the ArcGIS Discussion Forums

Have a question?  Want to talk GIS? Looking for some good ideas?  Jump into the conversation!

A few weeks back we rolled out some features that we hope will improve the forums’ usefulness.  To be candid, we’re sure many would say that some of these features should have been there since day one, or at least long overdue, but we listened to what you wanted and found a way to get them in there for you to use.

Let’s start with the big one…

Community Voting
If you read something and you like it, give it a thumbs up!

Now any forum user can let the community know where the good information is. How you do it is simple. If you read a post or a reply and you think it contains some really good information, click the “up” arrow on the right. This is similar to the “Like” button in Facebook.

If we all do this, then the best posts will bubble to the top. If you want to read the entire thread you can, but if you need to most quickly find the good stuff, look at the posts that have a high score.

There is also a “down” arrow, but you can only use that to “Unlike” something you previously Liked.

If you find “The Answer”, give it a check!

If you started a thread with a question, then whichever reply you think is the best, give it a check. That will mark your thread as “answered” for all to see, and it will give some MVP points to the person who wrote it.

Two birds with one stone
Clicking the checks and arrows has two benefits:
1.    You are helping everyone find the best information.
2.    You are helping everyone recognize the best contributors.

One of the great things about any community is the trust earned by those folks who share their experience and help others. Some pros out there are always going to stick out, but these new voting tools are going to help find others who are just as helpful and useful who you might not yet know.

Discussions versus Q&A

When you start a new thread, you can let everyone know if you’re starting a discussion or if you’re asking a specific question. Discussions show up in the thread list with a yellow “D” icon and questions with a red “Q”.

When the original poster or a moderator identifies one of the replies as the best answer, the “Q” icon turns into a green “A”.

This helps you find answers more quickly, and if you want to jump in and let everyone know what you think, this helps you more quickly find questions that haven’t been answered yet.

Private Messages
Most of the time an open public discussion is a great way to get the best information, but sometimes you may want to take it off-line.

Up on the menu is a “Private Messages” link. Click that to see your Inbox or to send direct messages to other users. Also, clicking their name anywhere in the forums provides a pop-up you can use to send a message to them if they’ve activated it.

You can use the “Forum Actions > User Control Panel” menu to control who can send you messages.  You can turn it completely on, completely off, or limited to just those users in your Contacts list.

New Badges
Badges are a great way to find those folks who have been around the block a time or two. Anyone with more than 200 posts in the forums becomes a “Senior Member”, and of course anyone on the forums who works for Esri is badged as “esri” with a globe logo.

And when you see someone with a “Forums MVP” badge, you know you’re talking with someone the community has said has the best information and is most dedicated to your success. These are folks who have been voted by the community to be in the Top 10 of all contributors during any previous six-month MVP rating period. And once you’re an MVP, you’re always an MVP.

And more importantly, now that the new community voting tools have been included, it’s time to roll out the new MVP program. Watch this blog post next week for a description of the new rules, new standards, and a list of awards you can earn through all of your good effort. So jump in and help us figure out who the players are; maybe it’s you!

What’s Next?
The Advanced Search page gives you a lot of flexibility to build a complex search.  What we’re working on next is giving you the ability to save that search definition. This will be good for bookmarking and sharing. We’ve also heard that most users participate in some forums a lot, some forums a little and others not at all. We are going to improve your “What’s New” page so that it only includes those forums you want to browse. If there are any other improvements you’d like to see, reply here, or jump into the conversation on the Resource Center Site Feedback forum.

Content for this post provided by Jim Barry

Posted in 3D GIS, Analysis & Geoprocessing, ArcGIS Online, Developer, Editing, Geodata, Imagery, Mobile, Python, Services, Spatial Statistics, Web | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Sun glints add realism to your map

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

Sun Glints - Thumb

Sun glints are a way to add a more realistic effect to your map by modulating the tone of water features. We rarely see flat tones in nature, so using sun glints simulates the subtle tonal variations caused by the reflection of sunlight off a water surface. This method was first described in Tom Patterson’s article, “Getting Real: Reflecting on the New Look of National Park Service Maps” on his Shaded Relief web site. Although he describes how he achieved the effect using Photoshop, this tip describes how you can use ArcMap to accomplish the same thing. Continue reading

Posted in Mapping, Migrate | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Business Analyst API for Flex 2.2 Released and Business Analyst Flex Widgets available for Download

by Mehak Sujan

The Esri Business Analyst API for Flex enables you to build dynamic rich Internet applications (RIAs) using the same functionality in the Esri Business Analyst Online and the Business Analyst Server REST APIs. On Thursday, December 29th, 2011, the Business Analyst API for Flex Version 2.2 has been released.

Along with this, we have also made three Business Analyst Widgets for the Flex Viewer available. These include Smart Map Search, Comparison Report and Business Search.

Continue reading

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