Author Archives: SuzanneB

Suzanne is a Maryland native with a degree in English Literature who enjoys writing about Esri technology and other topics. She works with Esri Training Services in Redlands, California.

Recent Posts

For GIS Managers, Planning and People Are Keys to Success

The two most important components of a successful GIS are good planning and good people. Keep in mind, though, that all the planning in the world is useless if you do not have adequately trained people to operate your system.

So said the late, great Dr. Roger Tomlinson, who coined the term “geographic information system,” and authored Thinking About GIS, Geographic Information System Planning for Managers (now in its fifth edition). Tomlinson writes:

Quote about GIS by Roger Tomlinson

If you’re a manager, you are responsible for supporting the people who build, manage, and maintain your organization’s GIS. How have you supported their development? Like Tomlinson, do you see a relationship between developing your workforce and the success of your GIS program? Do you see a relationship between the success of your GIS program and the success of your organization? Continue reading

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Working with Excel Data in ArcGIS Pro

Microsoft Excel is a popular format for storing and analyzing tabular data. While you cannot edit Excel data in ArcGIS Pro (worksheets are read-only), it’s easy to view Excel worksheets and do things like

ArcGIS Pro supports XLSX files (Excel 2007) and XLS files (Excel 2003 and earlier). Before working with Excel data in ArcGIS Pro, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Here are some common things to check.  Continue reading

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Unlimited Esri E-Learning: Managing Enterprisewide Access

Since we released unlimited access to Esri e-Learning last summer, we’ve been gratified to hear from many customers who are pleased and excited about this benefit. The excitement stems from their conviction that training has real value for their organization.

These customers want to expand their use of ArcGIS maps and apps to streamline data collection and management, do deeper analytics, create compelling visualizations, and share stories that leaders, policy makers, and the public can easily understand and act on.

Any organization that wants to get results with technology has to prepare its people to confidently apply the technology. Organization-wide access to e-Learning enables the entire workforce to build skills and gain confidence with ArcGIS tools at any time, from anywhere.

So, yes, the e-Learning benefit is great, but enabling the benefit at an enterprise scale requires planning. If you’re just getting started with enterprisewide e-Learning access, read on for questions to consider and a few tips.  Continue reading

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Easier E-Learning Access for ArcGIS Online Named Users

This post was updated on March 14, 2017.

This week, we released several new features to the Esri Training website, including a back-end improvement designed to make life easier for ArcGIS Online organizational users. As of last summer, all customers with a qualifying Esri product that is current on maintenance receive unlimited access to e-Learning on the Training siteEsri Training site elements graphic

With more than 400 e-Learning options in the Training catalog today (and more are added each week), this benefit is pretty amazing. Perhaps more amazing, anyone at a maintenance customer organization is eligible to take advantage of e-Learning to grow their geospatial knowledge and build ArcGIS skills. There’s no requirement to have a product license or named user status.  Continue reading

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Enter Now to Win a Free Esri Certification Voucher

Our February Esri Technical Certification giveaway—the first one for this year—is in full swing. This giveaway runs through the 24th, which means you still have more than a week to enter for a chance to win a free exam voucher (valued at $225 USD). Table showing Esri techincal certifications

The voucher can be used to register for any of the available Esri certification exams. The team is currently hard at work updating seven exams for ArcGIS 10.5, and those will be available in the coming months.  Continue reading

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Five Python Code Snippets for ArcGIS Pro Mapping Tasks

This post was contributed by Esri instructor Brittney White.

A previous post shared five Python code snippets to automate mapping tasks in ArcMap. This post walks you through how to accomplish those same tasks using the ArcGIS Pro Python window.

In ArcGIS Pro, the mapping module is called To try the snippets below for yourself, make a copy of an ArcGIS Pro project file (APRX) and move it somewhere for testing purposes. You don’t have to be an experienced Python scripter—simply enter the code below into the Python window and check out the results.  Continue reading

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The #WeekofGiving in Review

In keeping with time-honored holiday tradition, gift-giving was in order this past week. For all the lifelong learners seeking to build GIS knowledge, enhance existing ArcGIS skills, or make progress on a professional development plan, we hope you enjoyed the free learning opportunity we selected and sent your way each day via Twitter. If you missed them, here they are with our best wishes. Smithsonian folk music story map Continue reading

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Five Useful Python Code Snippets to Automate Mapping Tasks

This post was contributed by Esri instructor Brittney White.

Have you been meaning to try out the ArcMap Python window, but just aren’t sure how to start? Well, the five code snippets below are a great tool to familiarize yourself with the Python window and the arcpy.mapping module. Make a copy of an MXD file and move it somewhere to test out these snippets. You’ll soon see how useful a few Python tricks can be for map management tasks.

  • Each snippet below works with ArcMap 10.x, an existing map document (MXD file), arcpy.mapping module, and Python 2.x.

You don’t have to know any Python syntax to use these snippets. Simply enter the code into the Python window and check out the results.  Continue reading

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Esri Geodata Academy to Launch in New York City

ArcGIS users have a new way to get no-cost, hands-on training. Next month, we’re staging the first Geodata Academy in New York City (though not on Broadway). The topic: Expand the Reach of Your GIS with Web Maps

Geodata Academy events are in-person, about three hours, and highly interactive. An Esri expert facilitates each session. Content and activities are carefully designed to ensure attendees acquire a specific set of skills they can apply on their own back at the office.  Continue reading

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New Training Site: Highlights and Common Questions

New Esri Training Site PDF

It’s been just over a month since we released our new website to the world. While we welcomed it warmly (with three cakes no less!), the release was only the beginning of a much larger effort.

The two main objectives of the initial release were to modernize the site and simplify access to ArcGIS learning resources. Here are five new features that met our objectives and can help you achieve your learning objectives.

Continue reading

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