Category: Analysis & Geoprocessing

Tips and tricks – Unix, Python, and Geoprocessing

This posting was written by Mark Zollinger, a Product Engineer and long time
UNIX user with the Geoprocessing team.

Do you like Solaris or Linux? Do you “do GIS” on one of those platforms?  Maybe you’ve been asked to convert some ArcGIS Workstation AML applications over to ArcGIS Engine. Are you a command-line junkie? (There are more of us than you might think) Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

New at 9.3 – Spatial Analyst improvements

The Spatial Analyst at 9.3 has several new capabilities, improvements, and fixes. This post highlights some of the important changes; for a full description, see the What’s New pdf document (Once open, in the Extensions section click on Spatial Analyst. This will take you to the right location in the document.)

Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Understanding Geostatistical Analyst Layers

The Geostatistical Analyst (GA for short) uses sample points taken at
different locations in a landscape and creates (interpolates) a continuous surface.
The sample points are measurements of some phenomenon, such as radiation leaking
from a nuclear power plant, an oil spill, or elevation heights. Geostatistical
Analyst derives a surface using the values from the measured locations to predict
values for each location in the landscape. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Tips and Tricks – Creating ArcSDE connection files on the fly using Python and ArcObjects

ArcGIS 9.3 does not provide a geoprocessing tool for creating ArcSDE
connection files (.sde files). Some of you have requested such a tool for security
reasons – typically because you do not want .sde connection files hanging
around on machines. Rather, you want to automatically create a connection file
in a temporary location, use it in your script or model, and then delete it
within the process you are running. Others need the ability to create .sde files
on the fly because the connection properties, such as what version to connect to,
are not known at the start of the process. Having to stop the process for someone
to manually create the .sde file with the correct properties really isn’t an
option anyone wants to entertain. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged , | 3 Comments


Check out  It contains over 50 videos on a variety of ArcGIS subjects.  Content is updated periodically.  You can also access the videos on Viddler:

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New at 9.3 – Error reporting

Check out this Geodatabase blog entry on error reporting.  It describes how we use error reports you submit to improve ArcGIS.  The blog entry has a link to a short video from the 2008 User Conference that is worth watching.

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Digging deeper – Troubleshooting geoprocessing errors when using ArcSDE data

Geoprocessing error reporting has significantly improved in the ArcGIS 9.3 release.
All tractable errors now have a unique error code and each error code has
a detailed explanation in the help system. See Understanding geoprocessing tool errors and warnings for more details.

However, at this time, geoprocessing errors that occur when reading or writing
ArcSDE/DBMS data receive a generic ‘catch-all’ error message, such as error 00210 when writing output: Continue reading

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

Conference proceedings available

The 2008 User Conference proceedings are available:

The proceedings include all professional papers, technical workshop presentations, and GIS & Industry presentations.

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Thank you so much from the Geoprocessing and Analysis Team

…to Everyone who visited us at the Spatial Analysis Island and attended our Tech Workshops and Island Demos. We do hope you recovered from San Diego and are excited about the new things you learned, the answers you got to your questions, and together all will make your work much easier and more fun.

As always, we also learned a lot from you, about what you like, or don’t like, or want us to do in the future. This is a very special time for us to live vicariously through the great work you have done on top of our work, and understand how to better support you.

Since you’re here, you heard about the just launched Resource Centers, the new gateway to all ESRI online resources. Here’s the link to ours . Add it to your Favorites and visit the site often, especially the Geoprocessing Blog and the Model and Scripts Gallery [both under Community]. The Model and Script Gallery on the Geoprocessing Resource Center is a bit different from the other resource centers, in that it’s not just us posting things, we’re inviting you to post your work as well. Whether that be generic utilities or complete workflows for a specific task, if you think it can be useful for someone else, feel free to share it. I talked with several of the more prominent ArcScripts contributors from the past, who are pretty excited about having a more interactive place to post their work and communicate with their users. We have guidelines for submission, which include documentation of your model and script. When putting the documentation together, make sure you include any use limitations/restrictions – such as if it relies on an ArcInfo or extension licensed tool.

Regarding writing scripts, we saw noticeable increase in the number and depth of Python questions at the island this year. Actually, there were a lot of great questions and interesting problems to solve at the island, that have us pretty excited about some things we’ll be doing in future releases that will create a richer Python experience in ArcGIS for you (more on that in the future).

On the other end of the spectrum, we met a lot of new people at the Spatial Analysis Island this year who were attending their first International User Conference, and some who were quite new to the software. For many of them, the team enjoyed demoing ModelBuilder and showing them how to automate their daily routine. It was especially rewarding for those of us who had the chance to introduce many of you to ModelBuilder and hear you say: “Wow, … I’m gonna use that every day.”

From the more experienced ModelBuilder users, there were quite a few posters with some very sophisticated models. We’ll be reprinting a few of these to decorate the halls around our new offices. Thanks for the nice work.

From the analytical side of the conference, all the interest seemed to be on statistics. Our sessions on spatial statistics, regression, and statistical analysis with Spatial Analyst were generally packed, and lots of in depth discussions at the island on applications of these tools as well as Geostatistical Analyst, and integration with 3rd party statistical packages. We’ll be posting some samples to the Model and Script Gallery in the near future and working on some webcasts to share more about current capabilities and applications.

We hope you got as much out of the conference as we did, and look forward to interacting with you via the Resource Center until we meet again next year.

Stay tuned…

The Geoprocessing Team

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New at 9.3 – Top Ten

We asked the team to give us their Top 10 New Geoprocessing Features in ArcGIS 9.3. The list quickly turned into the top 20, then the top 30, and then we had to stop.
It’s by no means exhaustive, but we think it includes the major improvements we made that will make your geoprocessing work a whole lot faster and easier. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis & Geoprocessing | Tagged | Leave a comment