Tag: Editing

Getting the most out of editing in ArcGIS 10: Editing attributes

Using the Attributes window is a quick way to add or update attribute values for features. This window was redesigned with ArcGIS 10 and has many enhancements. This post covers some of the functionality changes and provides tips and tricks for editing in it.

Displaying and sorting attribute information
I have some landownership data of parcels and neighborhood blocks that need attribute updates. I am going to use the Attributes window to make my changes. I can open the window by clicking the Attributes button on the Editor toolbar or right-clicking a feature with the Edit tool and clicking Attributes. To populate the Attributes window, I need to select one or more features that are currently being edited. The window can be docked to the ArcMap application and has a vertical layout by default.

The most significant functionality improvement in the ArcGIS 10 Attributes window is that the window uses layer information. This means the settings for the layer properties are reflected, rather than the feature class information from the geodatabase or data source. In the past, I would spend time entering field aliases, hiding fields, and changing the field sorting order, only to find this effort ignored in the Attributes window. However, with ArcGIS 10, all these settings are used by the Attributes window. So as I’ve emphasized in previous posts, you can save yourself time later if you set up the layer properties before you start editing. Use the Fields tab of the Layer Properties dialog box to specify how fields appear in the Attributes window and throughout ArcMap.

The top of the Attributes window groups features by the layer name and lists features by their display expression, which is set on the Layer Properties > Display tab. For my data, I have set a display expression for my Blocks layer that includes the text “Block ID: ” + the [BLOCKID] field  +  the [ZONING] field in parentheses. This makes the Attributes window entry display as Block ID: 10848 (Non-Residential). In one glance, I can understand that the numeric value is the block identification code and see how the block is zoned. I have also created a similar expression for the Parcels layer to display “Property ID:” before its ID value and zoning type.

The buttons at the top of the Attributes window sort and organize the window. By default, fields are listed by the order on the Layer Properties > Fields tab, but the Sort Fields Alphabetical button overrides this to show the field names in ascending alphabetical order. The Options menu also allows me to change temporarily how fields are displayed in the Attributes window, such as to view all the fields in a layer. Before I started editing, I used the Layer Properties > Fields tab to hide the fields I was not expecting to edit, which included the field for a property’s valuation. However, a parcel was recently reassessed and now that field needs to be updated. I can click Options > All Fields to show all the fields and make the valuation change. If I find that I need to display that field all the time or make other field display changes, I can right-click the layer name and click Layer Properties to open that dialog box quickly.

Since I am working with some parcel data with tables that are linked to my features through a relationship class, I can use the Attributes window to view and edit the records related to the selected features. Similar to feature layers, related tables can also have display expressions once they have been added to ArcMap. I can right-click the table’s entry in the Attributes window, click Add to Map, then right-click it again, point to Table, and click Table Properties. On the Display tab, I have created a display expression to show the “Owner name: ” + [OWNER] field value. I can quickly tell whether a table is in the map by noting the color of the table icon in the Attributes window: it is gold when the table is present and gray when it is not in the map. When working with related records, clicking the Expand All Relationships In Branch button at the top of the window is useful for automatically showing all the nodes in the attributes tree. It’s best to use this on a small set of features since expanding all these relationships could take some time otherwise.

Making bulk attribute updates
The values that are shown in the grid at the bottom of the window depend on what I have clicked (highlighted in gray) in the attributes tree at the top. Many times, multiple features should have the same attribute values, so I can use a trick of the Attributes window to perform bulk attribute updates. Learning where to click at the top of the window allows me to make rapid updates to the attributes of multiple features at once.

If I click one feature in the list, it flashes on the map and its attributes appear in the grid. The fields are listed in the leftmost column with their corresponding attribute values in the right column. Because the window is showing just the attribute values of that one feature, any changes I make are applied to the attributes of only that feature. However, if I need to update the values for all the selected parcel features, I can click the Parcels layer name node in the tree. In this case, any updates are applied to all the selected parcels.

When I am viewing the attributes for multiple features, only values that are common to all the features are shown in the grid. If field values are different among the features, the attribute cell in the right column is blank. To enter a value, type it and it is updated in all the highlighted features. When doing this, I need to be sure to change just the values that should apply to all the features.

If I only need to change the values for a few of the selected features, I can hold down CTRL and click features or related records to highlight them. This way, when I update the attribute values, they are applied to only the highlighted items. For example, I want to change the Percentage ownership value for just two of the related records, and not all of them. I can hold down CTRL and click to highlight only the records I want to update, such as for owners Jones and Johnson. Since the records for the City or Smith are not highlighted at the top of the window, the Percentage ownership field will not be updated for those records.

For more information on the Attributes window, see About editing attributes and Applying the same attribute values to multiple features in a layer in the ArcGIS Desktop Help.

Content provided by Rhonda from the ArcGIS Editing Team

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Using attachments to manage associated feature content

Attachments are new in ArcGIS 10 and provide a flexible way to manage additional information that is related to features. Attachments are similar to hyperlinks but multiple files can be associated with a feature, attached files are stored in the geodatabase, and files can be accessed in several different ways. Recently, I was working with some water utility data and decided to use attachments to add photographs, documents, videos, and other files to the city’s utility infrastructure and asset features. This post describes how I utilized the new attachment functionality to include this content with the features.

Because ArcGIS uses a relationship class to maintain the link between the features and the file attachments, an ArcEditor or ArcInfo license is required to add and edit attachments. ArcView users can read and open attachments.

Enabling a feature class to store attachments
To add the external files to my water utility layers, I first need to enable attachments on each feature class in the Catalog window or ArcCatalog. To do this, I right-click the feature class, point to Attachments, and click Create Attachments. This automatically creates a new table to contain the attachment files and a new relationship class to relate the features to the attached files. I want to use attachments with the hydrants, water meters, and sewer manholes feature classes in the utility geodatabase.

My geodatabase was created in ArcGIS 10, but an existing geodatabase from ArcGIS 9 needs to be upgraded to ArcGIS 10 before attachments can be enabled on the feature classes.

Adding attachments to features
Now that my feature classes support attachments, I can add the files to the features during an edit session. The first feature I want to attach files to is a point representing a fire hydrant. I have a .jpg photograph taken by a field crew and a PDF containing a log of records regarding the installation and maintenance work that has been performed on it. I select the hydrant on the map and open the Attributes window (I could also use the attribute table).

Since attachments are enabled on the feature class, a section for attachments is shown in the middle of the Attributes window. The value in parentheses indicates the number of files; in this case there are zero (0) attached items because I have not added any files yet. To add the files, I click Open Attachment Manager, click Add on the dialog box, and browse to the files on disk. I need to repeat the process of opening the Attachment Manager and browsing to the files for each feature. For example, I have a water meter feature to which I want to attach a Microsoft Word document, PDF, and several photographs.

Once a file is attached, the attachment is stored in a geodatabase table and no longer has a linkage to the original source file. If I update the source file, I would need to re-add the attachment.

Viewing attachments
When I finish adding the attachments, I can open the files from several different windows in ArcMap. I can use the Identify window and attribute table, or when editing, I can also use the Attributes window. ArcView users can open attachments only from the Identify window or the attribute table. Similar to the Attributes window, the Identify window also contains a section for attachments when they are enabled on the feature class. Now, there are two (2) attached files, which are listed in the drop-down menu next to the paper clip.

To open an attachment, I can either click it in the list or use the Attachment Manager, where I can also add, remove, or export it to a new file on disk. The attachment opens in the Windows default application for that type of file. For example, the .jpg photograph of the hydrant opens in the Windows Photo Viewer and the PDF opens in Adobe Reader. If no default application has been specified on my machine for a certain file type, I would be prompted to choose the application to use to open it.

Attachments can additionally be accessed through HTML pop-ups. Using HTML pop-ups to open attachments is useful because I can quickly get to the attached files and keep multiple pop-ups open for different features at the same time. Through HTML pop-ups, the attachments can also be opened in Web applications, ArcGIS Explorer, or ArcReader. Since I included images of the water meter (left pop-up) and the fire hydrant (right pop-up) as attachments to these features, they are automatically shown at the top of the HTML pop-up window. Any other attachments appear as links that I can click to open the files.

Attachments make it very easy for me to manage all these files. If I had used traditional ArcGIS hyperlinks, I could link a feature to just one item and access the file only through the Hyperlink tool, rather than through various windows. With hyperlinks, I also must make sure to add the file and the correct path to it if I move the data or send the geodatabase to a colleague. However, since attachments are stored inside the geodatabase, I can share a geodatabase or make a layer or map package and all the attached files are included with the data automatically.

The data I used in the examples is modified from the Water Network Utilities Template by Esri and Fort Pierce, Florida.

Post content from Rhonda (Editing Team)

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Extending an existing line feature by updating its edit sketch

Extending the length of an existing line feature can be accomplished in several ways. In ArcGIS 9, one technique you might have used is setting the Modify Feature edit task to load the feature’s geometry into the edit sketch, and then switching to one of the sketch tools to extend the line by adding additional segments to the sketch of the existing feature. In ArcGIS 10, however, the introduction of new feature construction tools that distinguish between creating new features and editing existing features made it difficult to continue supporting this method. Therefore, this method of extending lines is not available in ArcGIS 10.

In the feedback we’ve received from you, this workflow is one you’d like us to reincorporate, so we’re working on including this in a future release.  If you have suggestions on how the new tool should work, please log an enhancement request through Esri Support or post your thoughts on ideas.arcgis.com so we can make sure what we develop fits your workflows.

We have written a developer sample for ArcGIS 10 that allows you to modify a feature and extend a line in a similar manner as ArcGIS 9. You can download the sample and installation instructions from the ArcObjects .NET API Code Gallery on the ArcGIS Resource Center at http://esriurl.com/1891.

You can also try some of the other methods of extending lines. For example, if you want it to extend a line to intersect with another line, use the Extend tool on the Advanced Editing toolbar. To do this with multiple lines, you can use the new Extend Line geoprocessing tool in the Editing toolbox.

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Public Safety Common Operational Picture Template v. 2.1 Released

The December 10, 2010 release of the Common Operational Picture Template for ArcGIS 10 addresses the following.

New Functionality

1.    Added the World Topographic Basemap to the Map Switcher

2.    Added several live data feeds provided by the USGS and PDC

3.    Added a map legend and coordinate display to the map window

4.    Added an information popup for the Incident Point, Incident Line, Incident Area, Shelters, and Resources layers

5.    Added the Report by Exception tool to the ERG Widget

6.    Added domains to the USNG Grid layers to aid data collection

Resolved Problems

1.    Resolved an issue with the projection of the IncidentCommand and EmergencyOperations map documents

2.    Resolved an issue with the IncidentCommand.mxd that precluded the proper incident type from being selected

3.    Resolved several minor issues in the Getting Started document

4.    Updated the MXD documentation and Data Dictionary

5.    Resolved several minor issues with the COP tool labels

Known Issues


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ArcGIS 10 Public Safety Templates Released

We’ve been working closely with the Public Safety Industry team this fall to migrate the ArcGIS 9.3 Emergency Management templates to ArcGIS 10 and are pleased to announce the release of the ArcGIS 10 Public Safety templates.   In addition to these updates, we’ve also released several new templates that will help you leverage ArcGIS in your public safety agency.

Special Event Planning Template

The Public Safety Special Event Planning template is new at ArcGIS 10. This template is an ArcMap editing map and editor extension for managing special events data. It is an editor that can be used by mapping technicians in a public safety or emergency management agency to streamline the development of special event data and maps. The Special Events Planning template includes an Add-in called the Attribute Assistant. The Add-in is an editor extension that uses a series of pre-defined methods to automatically populate attributes for you when updating and/or adding new features to the geodatabase. For example, one method will automatically populate an Event ID on each item placed on the map.  Other methods will help you maintain the integrity of your special event data by populating the last editor and last update date on each feature.

The Public Safety Special Event Planning Editing Map

The configuration of the Attribute Assistant Add-in was adapted from several editing workflows we developed with the Water Utilities Industry Team.  You can learn more about the Add-in on the Water Utilities blog. In addition, check out the video we posted on the Local Government Resource Center highlighting the Special Event Planning template.

Damage Assessment Template
The Public Safety Damage Assessment template has been updated for ArcGIS 10 and now uses the out-of-the-box ArcGIS Mobile application. The template is an ArcGIS Mobile project that can be used to collect structural damage assessment during emergency response activities. It supports the collection of initial structural damage, further more detailed structural assessments, and other physical damaged observed from the field.  It can be deployed in a connected or disconnected network environment, and on Tablet PCs or other mobile computing devices.


The Damage Assessment template on a mobile device

The Damage Assessment template comes with two basemaps. The first is the Mobile Day basemap, designed for work during day light hours. The second is the Mobile Night basemap, designed for work at night, or in low light conditions. In addition to the multi-scale mobile maps, the template also includes a series of operational layers with simple tools designed for field data collection on a mobile device.   

Common Operational Picture Template

The Common Operational Picture (COP) template has also been updated for ArcGIS 10.  The template offers a standard overview of an incident, providing incident information that enables the Incident Commander/Unified Command and any supporting agencies and organizations to make effective, consistent, and timely decisions.  It is a configuration of the new ArcGIS Viewer for Flex 2.1 application that can be used by emergency management staff in an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The new Common Operational Picture application uses an ArcGIS 10 feature service to create and update incident information in the Local Government geodatabase.  This new functionality allows the Incident Commander to use the COP to allocate resources during an incident or event, and update the status of response activities in real-time.  

The Common Operational Picture supports incident command

Finally, the COP template comes with three local government basemaps.  The first is a new Public Safety basemap.  This basemap provides context for public safety data (incidents, events, resources, etc.). It includes structures, roads, major facilities and landmarks, water features, parcels, addresses and boundaries. The basemap uses design elements found in the General Purpose basemap but emphasizes critical facilities found in a community. The second basemap is the Imagery Hybrid basemap. This basemap provides high-resolution imagery as an alternative to much of the content contained in the General Purpose basemap. The third basemap is the Topographic basemap.  This basemap expands upon the General Purpose basemap by providing topographic contours and other physiographic features.

Citizen Service Request Template

The last template we’ve included in this initial update for public safety agencies is the Citizen Service Request template. This template can be used by customers to submit non-emergency service requests, interact with local government staff and share information with the public. It provides 24×7 access to a public safety or other government organization and typically supplements customer service phone numbers staffed by local governments.

The Service Request template facilitates non-emergency requests for service

The Citizen Service Request template leverages work we’ve done for other agencies within local government and expands the problem types to include non-emergency public safety issues.  It can be deployed to support specific public safety needs or more generically to support a larger cross-section of problems reported to a local government.  You can learn more about the Citizen Service Request template here.

All of the Public Safety templates leverage the work we’ve been doing on the Local Government Information Model.  This information model demonstrates how ArcGIS can be configured to support public safety business needs in your organization. In doing so, it incorporates specific application requirements and the cartographic design elements necessary to produce rich, multi-scale basemaps and operational layers; like the ones you see in the Public Safety templates. You can download the Local Government Information Model from ArcGIS.com and migrate your content into this geodatabase design. When you do, you can quickly take advantage of the public safety maps and apps published on the Resource Center.  You
can also begin to see how your public safety data can be integrated with, and take advantage of, other thematic layers found in a local government.

When you download the new Public Safety templates, you’ll notice we’re providing sample data from Naperville, Illinois and not Louisville, Kentucky.  At ArcGIS 10, we’ve standardized on one geography (or community) for all of the Local Government templates and are providing a single sample data set. In doing so, users can see how an integrated information model can be leveraged throughout a local government, and more specifically in this case, how data collected for diverse purposes can be used by public safety officials.  For example, ownership and value information maintained by the assessor can be used when conducting damage assessment inspections.  

One final note, we’ve started working on a series of templates for the Fire Service community that will be released in early 2011. These templates will help you configure ArcGIS to conduct pre-fire plans, manage on-scene incident command, provide response information to elected officials and the general public, and produce good maps for firefighters in your community.  You’ll hear more about these templates in future blog posts.

We’ve enjoyed working with the Public Safety Industry team on these updates and the new templates for this community.  We look forward to you feedback and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the Public Safety templates for ArcGIS 10.

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Getting the most out of editing in ArcGIS 10: Editing vertices and segments

ArcGIS 10 makes it easy to edit the vertices and segments in features. To modify the shape of a feature, select it and click the Edit Vertices button on the Editor toolbar or simply double-click the feature with the Edit tool. The Edit tool pointer then changes from the black arrow that is shown when working with whole features to a white arrow indicating that vertices can be directly edited. The Edit Vertices toolbar also appears, containing tools to select, add, and remove vertices quickly. Continue reading

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Getting the most out of editing in ArcGIS 10: Tracing features

Tracing is a quick and accurate way of creating segments that follow the shapes of other features. With ArcGIS 10, tracing allows you to perform your edits more productively than before because you can now use it in conjunction with other editing tools. You no longer need to select the feature to trace first, which commonly restricted which edits you could perform. In ArcGIS 10, Trace can be used when creating new features, cutting polygons, editing the shapes of existing features, and many other tasks.

This post describes some scenarios in which you can trace while editing. The methods presented here are available for ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo users, and apply to editing shapefiles or geodatabase feature classes.

Tracing to create new features
Suppose you are a GIS specialist for a national park and are digitizing a new hiking trail located along the edge of a stream. The stream data was collected at a high resolution and has a lot of curves as it meanders through the park, so snapping would be tedious in this case. Tracing is an easy way to create the new trail segments because you can simply click the stream and move your pointer along it.

To digitize the new feature, click the Trails feature template on the Create Features window, which automatically activates the Line tool at the bottom of that window. By default, the Line tool creates straight segments between the vertices you click. To change to tracing, click Trace on the Editor toolbar or the Feature Construction mini toolbar palette. You can change segment construction methods at any time while sketching to switch back to creating straight segments, for example.

To set options for tracing, right-click the map or press the O key to open the Trace Options dialog box. When tracing, you can follow directly on top of an existing feature or set an offset so the segments are created at a certain distance away from the feature being traced. In this case, you should create the trail at an offset of 10 meters, since it is located 10 meters from the stream. If you find that you are tracing the wrong side of the stream, press the TAB key to switch sides; this simply adds a negative sign to the offset value. You can also specify other options for tracing on this dialog box. For example, rounded corners are better for natural features, since the other corner options might be too angular for a stream.

Once you are ready to begin the trace, click the stream and move the pointer along the edge. To trace a different feature and make the trail follow a stream branch or a road, point to the feature to trace and click or drag along it. To pan the map, you can hold down the middle mouse button while tracing. If tracing becomes slow, try pressing the spacebar to turn off snapping momentarily. When you are done digitizing the shape of the new trail, you need to finish the sketch to create the feature.

There are several ways you can control which features are traced. Since layers must be visible to be traced, turn off extra ones to make it easier to trace from the correct layers. In addition, you can also hold down CTRL if you want to trace only selected features temporarily. This is useful in cases where you want to set exactly which features can be traced in areas with many overlapping edges. If you always want to limit tracing to a selection, check Trace selected features on the Trace Options dialog box.

Cutting polygons by tracing overlapping features
Before ArcGIS 10, you could only trace along selected features. However, at the same time, the Cut Polygon Features edit task required the polygon being edited to be selected. This created a conflict that made it impossible to use these functions together. In ArcGIS 10, this has been resolved; you simply need to select the polygon (or polygons), click the Cut Polygons tool, and trace along any edge to use its shape to cut the polygon.

In your national park geodatabase, there is a ranger district administrative layer that needs to be updated. One of the current districts should be split into two districts along a road that passes through it. It would be difficult to snap when cutting the polygon because of the bends in the road, so tracing is the quickest way to create a cut line that follows the road exactly. To do this, select the administrative polygon, click the Cut Polygons tool on the Editor toolbar, snap to one edge of the polygon, click Trace, and trace along the road. In this case, you want to trace directly on top of the road line, so the offset value should be 0 on the Trace Options dialog box. The sketch you draw for the Cut Polygons tool must snap to or cross the administrative district edge at least two times for the cut to be performed, so it’s a good idea to turn on either Edge or Intersection snapping to make sure the sketch line cuts all the way across the polygon.

Reshaping features to match the shape of other features
In ArcGIS 9, reshaping features also suffered from the same selection conflict as cutting polygons. Since a selection is not required with tracing in ArcGIS 10, you can now utilize tracing when reshaping features as well.

For example, you are editing some park infrastructure layers near a visitor center where the parking lot driveway was recently widened and new sidewalks were poured. Once you have digitized the new road location, you can trace the road to update the sidewalk edge. To do this, select the sidewalk feature, click the Reshape Feature tool on the Editor toolbar, and use Trace to follow the road. Since the road line represents the center of the pavement, set an offset while tracing to create the sidewalks along the edge of the curb. Remember that you can click the palette to change the segment construction type at any time while creating the reshaping sketch line. In fact, it is likely that you will need to either start or finish the reshape with a straight segment. As with cutting polygons, the sketch needs to snap to or cross the sidewalk line twice to reshape it.

For more information
For detailed steps on how to perform these tasks, see Creating segments by tracingSplitting a polygon by an overlapping feature, and Reshaping a polygon to match another feature in the ArcGIS Desktop Help.

Content for this post from Rhonda

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Preparing a map for editing: Using basemap layers effectively

When editing, you can incorporate basemap layers into your map to increase productivity. If you have a complicated map, such as a water utility network containing many detailed features and underlying background layers, you can spend a lot of time waiting for the map to refresh whenever you pan or zoom. With ArcGIS 10, you can minimize this by creating a basemap layer containing the contextual reference layers that you are not editing, such as imagery or streets.

A basemap layer is a special type of group layer that is drawn using optimized map display logic that utilizes a local cache to refresh the map quickly. Basemap layers also help reduce network traffic since ArcMap does not need to contact the server repeatedly to retrieve the map extent. To create a basemap layer, right-click the data frame name in the table of contents, click New Basemap Layer, and drag the layers into it. Although a basemap layer can contain any layer format, such as feature classes, shapefiles, Web services, or rasters, some content types are more appropriate for use in basemaps. This post shows you how to identify layers suitable for basemaps, use the editing environment with basemaps, and improve your basemap performance.

Choosing the layers to be in a basemap layer

To use basemap layers effectively, they should truly form a basemap beneath the layers that you are editing. If you edit data for a water district, your operational layers, such as manholes, water main lines, and valves, cannot be part of a basemap layer because you need to edit them and have the features be drawn dynamically to access the latest updates from their data sources. However, any supporting reference layers that you normally display underneath the utility data can be placed in a basemap layer for enhanced performance. For example, you could include a land base of parcel boundaries, buildings, streets, and other built features, as well as imagery layers, in one or more basemap layers. The layers in the basemap look the same as they did before; they just draw faster now. Here is an example table of contents showing the kinds of underlying layers that could be basemap layers.

Basemaps tend to be relatively static and typically are updated on an infrequent basis. Rasters and service layers are good candidates for basemap layers because they are stable and can benefit greatly from improved drawing speed. ArcGIS Online, for example, provides imagery, topography, streets, and other content from several different sources that you can use in your maps. If you click the arrow next to the Add Data button and click Add Basemap, you can add layers from ArcGIS Online directly into a new basemap layer.
Editing when basemap layers are in the map
Because basemap layers are cached, there are limitations on what you can do with them. For example, you cannot edit the layers in a basemap or change the layer symbology. If you need to make edits or layer updates, drag the layer out of your basemap, make the changes, and drag the updated layer back into the basemap layer.

If you attempt to start an edit session with an editable layer in the basemap, ArcMap shows you a warning message. You can edit all the other layers in that workspace, but you cannot edit the layers in the basemap even if they belong to the same geodatabase. If the basemap contains any layers that are related to other editable layers through relationship classes, topologies, geometric networks, or parcel fabrics, or shares data sources with layers outside the basemap, you cannot start editing at all until you move the layer out of the basemap. You can double-click an entry in the Start Editing dialog box to open an ArcGIS Desktop Help topic containing more information on how to fix these and other issues that occur when you start editing.

Although you cannot edit the layers inside a basemap, you can snap to feature layers in a basemap layer. For example, if you were creating a new waterline in relation to building locations, you can still snap to the Building Footprints layer even though it is inside the basemap.

Improving basemap layer display and performance

With basemap layers, you can pan continuously and smoothly by pressing the Q key or holding down the mouse wheel. The rest of the map layers are redrawn once you release the key or the wheel button. If you find that the layers on top of the basemap are difficult to see, you can dim the display of the basemap using the Effects toolbar. This makes the basemap appear washed out and partially transparent, helping your operational layers stand out more. This can be useful for editing, especially in cases where your basemap layers contain orthographic images or other richly colored content that may obscure the details of layers on top of them.

Once you create a basemap layer, you can run diagnostic tests to check its performance. You can do this by right-clicking the basemap layer and clicking Analyze Basemap Layer to display a window listing ways you can speed it up even further. You might see messages indicating that the layer is being projected on the fly or uses complex symbology, which can slow down drawing. For example, the message “Layer draws at all scale ranges” is a suggestion to set a visible scale range on the layer since there is no need to display the layer when the features are too detailed or too coarse at certain map scales. You can right-click an entry to open the Layer Properties dialog box, where you can resolve many of the issues to get the most out of basemap layers.

Data used in the examples is modified from the Water Network Utilities Template by Esri and Fort Pierce, Florida.

For more information, see Working with basemap layers and About edit sessions in the ArcGIS Desktop Help.

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Infrastructure Editing Template for ArcGIS 10 Release Notes

The September 30, 2010 release of the Infrastructure Network Editing template for ArcGIS 10 addresses the following:

New Functionality

1. Added error handling for Sewer Profile and warnings for Null data

2. Extended MS Office support to version 2003

3. Added a source feature to support tracing in the water network ; populated FacilityIDs on SewerStormwater mains

4. Added option to only connect to selected features on Connect Closest tool on toolbar

5. Added option on Connect Closest construction tool to hold “Ctrl” when creating a feature to only find the closest selected features

6. Create Lines with End points tool renamed to Create Lines with Points

7. Added option to Create lines with Points tool to create a point at each vertex and make two point lines

8. Added check to Create lines with Points tool to avoid creating a point if a feature of the same type already exists

9. Added prompt to Connect Closest and Add Line with Points tools that requires user to select template for secondary feature created

10. Added progress dialog to Attribute Assistant and changed icon of Attribute Assistant to identify when Active/Inactive

11. Added Generate_ID_By_Intersect method in Attribute Assistant

12. Modified Add-In installation process to look for the configuration file installed with the Construction Tools first, if it does not find the  configuration file, then the installation process will utilize the Add-In configuration file

13. Added a new tool to select junctions by the number of edges

14. Added several new functions in sewer profile tool; each main segment is drawn separately, option to plot Taps on graph, include labels  on mains, allow fields to be defined in configuration file, add Laterals option to create the dogleg at a percent, and allow for the entire  line to be drawn at 45 degrees
Resolved Problems

1. Resolved registration issue with the custom construction tools

2. Resolved issue with LAST_VALUE and ROTATION methods in Attribute Assistant

3. Removed Generate_ID_By_Area method in Attribute Assistant

4. Resolved several issues with rules in Dynamic Value Table

5. Resolved issue with Isotrace configuration

6. Resolved issue with Getting Started Document

7. Resolved issue in trace configuration tags

8. Resolved several smaller bugs in Attribute Assistant and Infrastructure Editing Toolbar code base

Known Issues

There are no known issues at this time.

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Preparing a map for editing: Working on top of imagery

When working with features that are layered over imagery, the default symbology used when creating features and snapping can sometimes blend into the background, making it hard to see what you are editing. In ArcGIS 10, the Editing Options and Snapping Options dialog boxes contain settings for changing the appearance of the edit sketch and snapping symbols. For example, you can set brighter colors for the sketch symbols to make them stand out better and easily trace features on a dark image.

Symbols used when sketching features
When creating lines and polygons, the default edit sketch symbology used to represent the feature’s geometry are green and red squares with a segment line connecting the vertices. You can change the sketch symbols by opening the Editing Options dialog box > General tab. Clicking the buttons opens the Symbol Selector dialog box, where you can choose different colors, sizes, and markers for the sketch symbols. Unselected symbols are the ones you see most of the time when sketching, while the selected symbol specifies how a vertex appears when it is selected after you draw a box around it with the Edit tool or check it in the Edit Sketch Properties window.

When digitizing a hiking trail through a thick forest, change the dark green used to represent vertices to a lighter color. You can also increase the size of the vertex symbols or change the marker symbol altogether. These graphics show the default color and size (left), which is hard to see over this image, and custom settings (right) for the sketch symbols. Play with the symbols to find the right ones for the contents of your imagery and the scale at which you are working.

As you sketch or move a feature, ArcMap by default shows a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) preview of the actual symbology of the feature. Although the display is semitransparent, it may still obscure the underlying imagery. This is most problematic when digitizing polygons, such as building footprints. To turn off the WYSIWYG feedback, uncheck Use symbolized feature during editing on the Editing Options > General tab. In the following examples, the left graphic shows sketching a building with the symbolized preview enabled, and the right graphic shows it off with the sketch displayed only as a wireframe. When this option is off, it is much easier to see the building you are tracing.

The settings for the edit sketch symbols are stored in the ArcGIS registry, so are available for all your maps. While the sketch is most commonly used for digitizing new features, it is also used when reshaping a feature, cutting a polygon, and so on. Your changes are reflected in those cases as well.

Symbols used with snapping
You can modify the appearance of the snapping pointer and SnapTips symbols by clicking the Snapping menu on the Snapping toolbar, then clicking Options. Note that these settings are stored in the ArcGIS registry and only apply to the Snapping toolbar snapping environment introduced in ArcGIS 10; they are not used in classic snapping, which has no symbology options.

From the Snapping Options dialog box, you can change the color of the snap symbol that indicates whether you are snapping to an edge, end, or other element by clicking the color palette. To see SnapTips better, check the Background box to add a solid fill behind the text so it stands out from the underlying raster. If you want to change the SnapTip font, color, size, or background, click the Text Symbol button to open the Symbol Selector dialog box.

The left graphic shows the SnapTip as it appears by default, but the SnapTip is much more visible in the right graphic with a background and larger font size. Since the snapping elements are semitransparent, you may need to experiment with different colors to find ones that are distinguishable over your imagery.

Layer display settings
In addition to the editing-related settings, changing the appearance of the layers themselves makes it easier to view the image and edit the features on top of it. For example, turning off unnecessary overlapping layers and adding layer transparency can make the raster visible through the features you are editing. This is especially useful when working with polygons, which cover up any underlying layers. You could consider symbolizing polygons with crosshatch patterns rather than solid fills.

To make the raster lighter, use the Image Analysis window to add transparency, increase the brightness, or apply a contrast stretch.

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Content provided by Rhonda (Editing Team)

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