ArcGIS 9.3 .NET developer help: improvements, tips, tricks

The recent release of ArcGIS version 9.3 has been an opportunity for ESRI to improve the developer help system significantly.  Feedback during the beta cycle helped make additional improvements to help developers find the content they’re looking for so that they are more productive when coding against these APIs and components.

In this video, Don Kemlage from ESRI’s ArcGIS .NET development team takes a few minutes to describe many of these improvements.  Discussed are enhancements to the samples, code snippets, help topics, and walkthough tutorials.  Don also describes some neat tips and tricks for searching and filtering results.



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Installing on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008: Which IIS components are required for the Web Applications install feature of ArcGIS Server for the Microsoft .Net Framework?

Chris Whitmore, an Installation Product Engineer at ESRI Redlands, provided this tip for installing ArcGIS Server 9.3 on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

ArcGIS Server Manager requires the IIS
components listed below. If these components are not installed, the ArcGIS
Server for the Microsoft .NET Framework installation process will inform you
that the Web Applications feature (includes ArcGIS Server Manager) will not be
available for installation. If you see this message, cancel the install, verify
the correct IIS components are installed and launch the ArcGIS Server
installation again. This information is also documented in the ArcGIS Server
for the Microsoft .NET Framework installation guide.

Steps to add Web Server (IIS) components on Windows Server 2008

  1. Click Start -> Administrative Tools -> Server Manager -> Roles.
  2. Click Add Role Services.
  3. At the Select Role Services dialog, verify the Web Server (IIS) components
    listed below are turned on.

Web Server (IIS)

  • Web Server
    • Common HTTP Features
      • Static Content
    • Application Development
      • ASP.NET
      • .NET Extensibility
      • ISAPI Extensions
      • ISAPI Filters
    • Security
      • Basic Authentication
      • Windows Authentication
      • Request Filtering
    • Management Tools
      • IIS Management Console
      • IIS Management Scripts and Tools
      • Management Service
      • IIS 6 Management Compatibility
        • IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility

The following image shows how Web Server (IIS) components should be configured after the components have been installed (the installation status for Role Services is available on the Server Manager -> Roles panel):

Steps to add IIS components on Windows Vista

  1. Open the Control Panel -> Programs -> Turn Windows features on or off (found under Programs and Features)
  2. Expand the Internet Information Services feature.
  3. Verify the IIS components listed below are turned on.

Internet Information Services

  • Web Management Tools
    • IIS 6 Management Compatibility
      • IIS Metabase and IIS 6 configuration compatibility
    • IIS Management Console
    • IIS Management Scripts and Tools
    • IIS Management Service
  • World Wide Web Services
    • Application Development Features
      • .NET Extensibility
      • ASP.NET
      • ISAPI Extensions
      • ISAPI Filters
    • Common HTTP Features
      • Static Content
    • Security
      • Basic Authentication
      • Request Filtering
      • Windows Authentication

The following image shows how the Windows Components dialog appears on Vista:

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9.3 Webhelp now publically available

The 9.3 Web help is now publically available since the login requirement was lifted yesterday. The web help is a great resource for up to date information. Even after the product is released the web help gets updated weekly with content and corrections.

Check out the What’s new in 9.3 section to see what new functionality 9.3 has to offer.

As for geodatabase related documentation, there are lots of new topics and content, such as:

Merge geometries
Using the Version Changes command
Mosaicking raster datasets
Color correcting using raster data
Raster Clip geoprocessing tool
ArcSDE connection syntax
Compatibility between clients and geodatabases
Inside a geodatabase in PostgreSQL

The Resource Centers will also be publically available soon, we’ll keep you posted on those.

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Find Telephone and Find Computer Location

Two more new tasks delivered with ArcGIS Explorer 480 are Find Telephone and Find Computer Location. Let’s have a look at how to access these, and how they can be used.

There are two places where new tasks are found in ArcGIS Explorer 480 - the Tasks tab under Content on the ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center, and in the Manage Tasks list. These are found in Manage Tasks. 

Choose Tools > Manage Tasks. The left side lists available tasks, the right side lists tasks currently shown in Explorer. Highlight the tasks, and use the arrow to move them to the right column, then click OK.

You’ll now see both available on the Explorer task panel where you can click to activate them.

Find Telephone

Find Telephone takes any land-based telephone number and locates it on your map. Here we’ve entered ESRI’s phone number.


Click find to create a point result that locates the telephone number entered. The telephone subscriber, if publicly available, is also displayed in the Results window.

For additional information, visit the Find Telephone Help topic.

Find Computer Location

Find Computer Location creates a point result that is the geographic location of a web address or an IP address. Here we’ve typed the URL for the Web site. Click the result to open its popup window.

For more details, visit the Find Computer Location Help topic.


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Copying a representation class

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Not long ago we found a workflow that demonstrated how convenient it would be to be able to copy a representation class. The situation arose as we were creating a map service for a map that had been designed for print. The problem was that many of the symbols were too small and detailed to be seen clearly on screen. Our symbols were already cartographic representations, so we didn’t want to edit them (to make them larger) because we still needed them to produce our print map. We also didn’t want to have to create and manage an extra copy of our data just to manage one additional attribute (the one added for representations). Continue reading

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ArcGIS Server 9.3 Web Help is now available

The ArcGIS
Server 9.3 Web Help
is now publicly available. The Web Help is the best
place to get up to date information about ArcGIS Server. After the product is
released, we continue to add information and correct the Help based on user
feedback, technical support incidents, and our own research. These updates are
pushed to the Web Help once a week.

The Help sections for
map caching
geoprocessing services
, and
have been greatly expanded at 9.3. We’ve also added
about creating
image services
mobile editing projects

Here are a few more topics that are new at 9.3 or describe new features:

new in ArcGIS Server 9.3

to ArcGIS Server 9.3

KML support in ArcGIS Server

Designing a map to overlay Google Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth



Using Styled
Layer Descriptors (SLDs) with WMS services



Enabling error reports

Administering ArcGIS Server on Linux and Solaris

If you have corrections or suggestions for the Help please post them to this
thread at any time. Also, look for some future posts about enhancements to the
Developer Help.

-Sterling Quinn

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Adding Geotagged Photos To Your Map

One of the new tasks delivered with ArcGIS Explorer 480 is the Add Photo task. The Add Photo task places photos that have been geotagged on the map. Have a look at the video, then follow along in this post.

Let’s take a closer look. First, add the task from the ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center. Choose File > Resource Center and from the Content tab choose Tasks. You can also open the Resource Center by choosing Help > ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center, then click on the Content tab, then Tasks. The Add Photo task is circled below, just click to add it to Explorer.

Your photos must have been taken with a GPS enabled camera that can capture the location in the image header (written to the EXIF header). An increasing number of cameras (like the Ricoh GPS camera, some Nikon models, and others) and even camera equiped cell phones (like the Nokia N95) are GPS-enabled.

If you don’t have one of these devices the location can be added to your photos afterwards using applications like Google Picasa and others.

Activate the task and click Browse to navigate to a folder containing geotagged photos. The folder’s contents are displayed in the task (note that only JPEG format images are supported). Just check the photos you want to add, and click Place Photos.

A collection of results will appear, and the photos will be placed on your map.


When you click the result the photo will open in the popup window. Here we’ve added a couple of geotagged photos taken during a recent search and rescue operation in the San Bernardino Mountains near Redlands. These photos were taken by a member of the SAR team, and are now placed on our Explorer map.

The Add Photo task allows you to specify settings which let you control whether subfolders are searched, and how various image sizes are handled and displayed in the popup window.

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Connections to 9.3 geodatabases

This post was submitted by Kim Peter who is a product engineer and technical writer on the geodatabase development team

In order to take advantage of new functionality added to the geodatabase in a release of ArcGIS, the geodatabase must be upgraded.  This will be the case with ArcGIS 9.3, as we’ve added new functionality to terrains and network datasets:

To see how you can upgrade a geodatabase to the 9.3 release, consult the help topics Upgrading file and personal geodatabases, Upgrading geodatabases on database servers, and Upgrade summary for ArcSDE geodatabases.

However, this doesn’t mean that you need to upgrade your ArcGIS 9.3 clients to 9.3 in order to connect to and use 9.3 geodatabases. You will still be able to connect from a client with ArcGIS 9.2 SP5 or later service pack to a 9.3 geodatabase. For example, if a coworker sends you a file geodatabase he or she created with an ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 client, you can open and edit it in your ArcGIS 9.2 SP5 client.

As with previous geodatabase upgrades, if you decide not to upgrade your geodatabases but you do install the 9.3 release of the client software, you will be able to connect from the 9.3 client to 9.2 geodatabases. If you don’t need to take advantage of the new functionality for terrains and network datasets, the geodatabase upgrade is optional and not required.

Be aware, though, there are a couple of caveats to these inter-release connections.

They are as follows:

  • You have to have at least service pack 5 applied to the client application to be able to connect and edit from a 9.2 client to a geodatabase that has been upgraded to the 9.3 release.
  • If connecting from a 9.2 SP5 or SP6 client to a 9.3 geodatabase, you will have all the 9.2 functionality available to you.
  • If connecting from an ArcGIS 9.3 client to a geodatabase that has not been upgraded from 9.2, ArcGIS will prevent you from using 9.3 functionality in the geodatabase.
  • If making direct connections from the client application to an ArcSDE geodatabase, additional drivers need to be installed. This configuration will be discussed in a future blog post.
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Representations tip: Using data-driven settings to transition printed maps to map services

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer

Put yourself in the shoes of one of my interns, who was asked to use representations to replicate a 1:100,000 scale geologic map.  In less than two weeks she got it done, and did so well that the next thing I asked her to do was to test ArcGIS Server and make a map service with her map. Those intricate little point symbols on geologic maps that are rotated by their strike angles and labeled with their dip angles were just too small to be seen clearly on screen.  We needed to make them bigger.  Continue reading

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Sharing via E-mail Video

Here’s a video showing the E-mail capabilities in ArcGIS Explorer 480. The video complements a previous blog post that presents a short tutorial on the same topic.

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