Tag: ESRI DevSummit
This year’s Esri Developer Summit was the biggest one yet. Crucial conference highlights include: the giant outdoor carnival full of games and food and fun, and the opportunity to talk with visitors to the GeoAnalytics showcase. Getting to hear your questions, comments and use cases is always exciting and inspiring. In case you weren’t there, our team has compiled the most frequently asked questions here in hopes of answering yours!
“What is ArcGIS GeoAnalytics Server?”
GeoAnalytics Server is a licensing role for one or more ArcGIS Server machines used for the analysis of large volumes of vector and tabular data. What’s unique about these analysis servers is that they can distribute processing across multiple machines and cores. This means that when your datasets become too large to be processed on a single machine or core, GeoAnalytics can step in to speed up that process. Jobs that may have taken months, weeks, or days can take hours or minutes with GeoAnalytics.
“I see that the ArcGIS Enterprise portal’s Map Viewer has both Standard Tools and GeoAnalytics Tools. What are the differences, and when would I use one or the other?”
Standard tools are available by default in ArcGIS Enterprise and perform feature analysis using your hosting server. These tools are useful when you are processing average-sized data. GeoAnalytics Tools, however, process data in parallel on your GeoAnalytics Server, and are specialized to process larger amounts of data more quickly. Both toolsets contain some similar tools, like Aggregate Points, Join Features, and Find Hot Spots, but GeoAnalytics’ extra edge is that it provides tools to track trends, patterns and anomalies in both space and time.
“GeoAnalytics, GeoEvent, Insights, and analysis in ArcGIS Pro: How does it all work together?”
GeoAnalytics, GeoEvent Server, and Insights for ArcGIS complement each other, but also work well in isolation. GeoEvent is used to ingest real-time stream data from sources like sensors and GPS measurements. GeoEvent exposes ingested data as feature layers, which can optionally be explored further in Insights or processed using GeoAnalytics Tools. Insights provides a data workbench experience for your data, allowing you to explore, iterate on and share your findings via charts, graphs and maps. Insights can take advantage of different analysis engines, so while you are using your Insights workbook, your analysis may be powered by Insights, standard analysis tools, or even GeoAnalytics Tools, depending on the configuration of ArcGIS Enterprise.
“I have a huge dataset, and it’s not drawing quickly. I want to draw a zillion points, how do I do that?”
Well, you may not want to. Why? Because visualizing millions and trillions of features on their own isn’t informative. Instead, consider using GeoAnalytics to visualize big data patterns by aggregating and summarizing trends. This allows you to explore and find patterns that would otherwise go unseen amid your many features. For example, below are millions of….can you tell? Exactly — it’s hard to see anything with that many points. These are taxi pickup locations in New York City (Do not try this at home!)
“Am I able to automate GeoAnalytics workflows? Does it work with the Jupyter Notebooks I’ve been hearing so much about?”
Yes, and yes! The ArcGIS Python API can be used to automate and execute workflows. For those of you who are fans of Jupyter Notebooks, GeoAnalytics Tools can be executed there, too! Additionally, GeoAnalytics Tools can be used with Model Builder in ArcGIS Pro and in ArcPy. If REST is your preferred tool execution method (props to you!) then you can run the tools through the REST API.
“That all sounds great. Now, how do I install it? Is GeoAnalytics an extension or a separate install?”
GeoAnalytics is a server role within ArcGIS Enterprise, not an extension. It builds off of the ArcGIS Enterprise base deployment. First, install ArcGIS Server and license it for GeoAnalytics, then federate your GeoAnalytics site with your Enterprise portal. You’ll need to also install and configure the ArcGIS Data Store (spatiotemporal big data), used as an output for your results. Once your environment is all set up, you can start crunching some data!
Hopefully this was useful in answering your questions. Which features are you excited about? Are you currently using GeoAnalytics? Let us know in the comments below!
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If you missed the DevSummit plenary, the recording of it is now online at the ESRI DevSummit site.
If you missed the live ArcGIS Explorer 900 demonstrations during the plenary, you can view them from among the videos. Just look for the Explorer and Online button among the choices of video segments to view.
Larry Young continued to discuss the ArcGIS Explorer SDK, also free with ArcGIS Explorer. The SDK features a pure .NET managed code environment, and and easy yet powerful object model.
Larry explained that different types of add-ins can be created using a variety of supplied templates in the SDK. These are designed for use directly in Visual Studio. One of the templates allows you to quickly implement a dockable window. Larry showed and example that performs a drive time analysis and shows the demographic information within a 3 minute drive time within a dockable window.
Larry showed another example, this one targeted at sports fans and using the recent World Baseball Classic as its premise. This customization uses another type of add-in - a button which in this case turns on the layers showing the teams that are participating in the classic and the location of their first round games.
Another type of add-in is a gallery. This gallery shows all the teams that participated in the classic grouped by the site of their first round games.
Larry showed the Visual Studio code view and explained how the gallery was created. You create the individual items by providing a caption, image, and tool tip, then you have the option of grouping them together for easier access.
Larry concluded by saying that ArcGIS Explorer provides lots of opportunities for developers and non-developers alike, via configuring the user experience with application configurations and also by creating custom add-ins using the SDK.
After the presentation of the out-of-the-box capabilities, the stage was turned over to technical product manager Larry Young who explained how the ArcGIS Explorer 900 user experience can be streamlined and how functionality can be configured using something called application configurations. Application configurations control Explorer’s appearance, including everything from it’s startup splash screen and logos, tools and ribbon configuration, and it’s startup map. All these elements together create a custom tailored user experience.
Here’s the custom splash screen that opened on startup. Your company or organization logo could be used.
Larry explained his custom configuration was designed specifically for DevSummit attendees, so it includes tools and content just for them, even adding the locations of favorite Palm Springs restaurants in the default startup map. Note below that the user interface has been streamlined, with fewer tools and a different organization, and that the default map zooms to Palm Springs, showing favorite restaurant locations.
Larry explained that one of the great features was that these configurations did not require programming. Using the application configuration tool included with the ArcGIS Explorer installation, these can be easily created and managed. Here’s what the tool looks like.
ArcGIS program manager Jim McKinney emceed the morning plenary officially opening the DevSummit. He introduced ArcGIS Explorer as taking a big leap from the currently released ArcGIS Explorer 500 to the forthcoming ArcGIS Explorer 900.
He introduced Bern Szukalski who began by highlighting the new ribbon UI, explaining that it made ArcGIS Explorer easy to use, and a great choice for delivering broader access to GIS data and GIS capabilities.
Bern also showed how shared content found on ArcGIS Online can be used in ArcGIS Explorer, and Explorer’s new integrated 2D/3D display capabilities. Much of the demonstration was similar to what was presented earlier in the week during the BPC plenary which was covered in our BPC Plenary – Part 2 blog post.
Bern also mentioned that Microsoft Virtual Earth aerial, hybrid, and streets map services, which are included in a built-in gallery of basemaps you can choose from, would also be freely available to Explorer users that also used ArcGIS Desktop. Standalone Explorer users will be able to subscribe to the Virtual Earth services, and these will also be available via ESRI enterprise licensing options.
Next Bern highlighted the new presentation capabilities by opening a pre-authored presentation, stepping through each “slide” (which was actually a live Explorer display). This was also along the same lines of what was shown during the BPC plenary, and we covered in our BPC Plenary – Part 3 post.
But then attendees got a behind-the-scenes look at the presentation authoring tools, as Bern created a few new slides by positioning the globe, adding captions and popups, and capturing the application state as new slides.
Here’s one of the newly created slides showing the location of Alaska’s Mount Redoubt, along with a popup window showing an MSNBC flash animation of how volcanoes form.
Jeff Jackson and Andy MacDonald started the morning off with the Introducing ArcGIS Explorer 900 seminar before a full room. Here’s how it looked as the morning started.
After an overview of Explorer’s capabilities, which were sprinkled with demos, Jeff and Andy delved into what most people came to hear about - Explorer 900′s configuration and customization capabilities. Andy and Jeff highlighted application configurations, an easy way to customize Explorer for specific users or workflows.
Application configurations are files (.ncfg) that define the functionality available in Explorer, and how it is organized. These are easy to create, can be centrally managed within an organization, and don’t require programming. Configurations can be edited and managed via the Application Configuration Manager, a portion of which is shown below.
Developers were happy to learn that custom tools could be created using a native .NET API via Explorer’s SDK, which is a separate download but also free.
We also appreciate what Dave Bouwman had to say about things.
And here’s Jeff and Andy after the seminar, fielding questions in the ESRI showcase area.
Continuing with his demonstration, Bern Szukalski opened another Explorer map. He explained that one of Explorer’s strengths and distinguishing characteristics is that it can use a wide variety of data and Web services directly, in their native formats without the need to convert to another format. He also said that Explorer excelled at being able to use other, non-GIS content, like documents, photos, movies, and more, and place those in a geographic context where they gained additional meaning.
He explained that he had added lots of different kinds of content – GIS Web services, layer packages, local data, streaming videos, and more to his map - and would use those to showcase Explorer 900′s new presentation capabilities. He explained that the presentation capabilities were ideal for giving briefings, for educators, and for anyone wanting to communicate geographically. The presentation was started at the click of a button.
When the first “slide” appeared, ArcGIS Explorer switched to full-screen mode, with just a few tools available for advancing through the presentation. But this is not a static “slide” in the sense of PowerPoint, but rather a “live” ArcGIS Explorer application. Bern explained you could click the arrows, or use the space bar to advance. Note the presentation tools in the upper left of the screen capture below.
The next slide looked just like a PowerPoint slide, and Bern explained that he had actually created it in PowerPoint and had simply added it to his ArcGIS Explorer presentation. This demonstrated the ability to easily incorporate PowerPoint-like slides and other overlays into a briefing using the new Explorer tools, providing an ideal combination of live data and navigation with informational slides.
He used this slide to announce the upcoming ArcGIS Explorer 900 early adopter beta program. The slide is pretty much self explanatory, but we’ll provide additional details on the program in an upcoming blog post.
Like going to the movies, the above was the trailer for the feature presentation, introduced with the following “slide” (again, actually live ArcGIS Explorer in presentation mode).
The presentation was themed around federal lands and national parks, and used a wide variety of different data, including 3D data and lots of media content. We don’t have room to show everything, but here’s a couple of highlights.
The Explorer presentation slide captured below shows a zoomed in view of the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. The ArcGIS Online topographic basemap is shown, along with a geologic map obtained from the NPS Web site and symbolized using ArcGIS Desktop (it’s a layer package). The geology map has been made partially transparent. Note the title in the upper right, and the popup window containing the legend for the map. All of these can be controlled and toggled as part of presentation authoring in ArcGIS Explorer 900.
Here’s another presentation slide showing a flash animation of the movement of the Yellowstone hotspot through geologic time. The animation was created by the National Park Service, and was displayed directly from their Web site in ArcGIS Explorer using a popup window. This is just one example of the many different types of rich media content that can be used in ArcGIS Explorer 900 presentations. Once again, note the title in the upper right, and also the popup window with the interactive flash animation.
Bern Szukalski then turned to ArcGIS Explorer 900, mentioning that users would immediately notice the new ribbon user interface. He explained that it’s not just attractive, but also very well-designed, and provides an easy and intuitive user experience, making Explorer ideal for providing broad access to GIS data and capabilities. Here’s how it looks.
Next Bern opened ArcGIS Online to search for shared content to add to ArcGIS Explorer. He searched for “world energy” finding a couple of matches, one an Explorer layer (.nmc file, and new in 900) and the other a layer package authored and created using ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1.
Clicking the layer package in ArcGIS Online, it opened automatically in ArcGIS Explorer, and here’s how it looked.
Bern noted that the ArcGIS Desktop cartography, field definitions, popup style, and other properties are included in the layer package, and fully supported when opened in Explorer 900. Bern also noted that the current view was 2D, but it could be flipped to 3D at the click of a button.
In 3D mode the features in the layer package were extruded, and Bern explained that this was because the layer package contained 3D features and had been created in ArcGlobe. In 2D mode, 3D features are draped flat. In 3D mode 3D features are extruded. This brought about a hearty round of applause from the audience.
To be continued in Part 3…