Tag Archives: ArcGIS 10

Top Three ArcGIS Geoprocessing Timesavers

ArcGIS 10.x features user-friendly tricks for shortcutting some of the clicks involved with typical geoprocessing tasks. Of course, if you know how to write scripts using the ArcPy site package (or have the time and inclination to learn Python scripting), you’ll find the integration of Python into ArcMap a powerful way to automate geoprocessing workflows (and save yourself and your colleagues a lot of time).

But not everyone is a scripter nor aspires to be. For the non-scripters among you, below are my favorite—simple—timesavers that are built into the default interface at version 10.  Continue reading

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10 ArcMap Productivity Tips You Can Use Now

ArcGIS for Desktop includes many productivity features to help you get your GIS work done faster. Here are some tips you can try out in ArcMap right away. The 10 shortcuts below can shave milliseconds off common tasks, and hey, milliseconds count when you’re trying to get stuff done. You just may be able to get to lunch five minutes earlier and beat the crowd. That alone is going to save you at least 10 minutes, more if you’re going to Old Ebbitt.

Continue reading

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Esri Technical Certification: New Resource for the ArcGIS Desktop Associate Exam

Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate Certification Study GuideOne of the most common questions GIS professionals ask us about Esri technical certification is, “What resources are available to help me prepare for the exam? ” With that in mind, we’re excited to announce a brand-new resource.

Hot off the [Esri] Press is the Esri ArcGIS Desktop Associate Certification Study Guide. This new book is designed to help candidates prepare for either the ArcGIS 10.0 or 10.1 exam.

Authored by veteran Esri instructor and certified ArcGIS Desktop Professional Miriam Schmidts, the study guide covers concepts and skills measured by the exam and includes step-by-step exercises to practice and reinforce ArcGIS skills.

Miriam, whose work life was consumed for many months by this project, calls the study guide a “comprehensive review of the entire range of GIS skills measured in the exam” and gives this advice: “Study the chapters in sequence or pick and choose the ones you want to concentrate on. Hands-on exercises help you remember the tools and workflows needed for the test. This book will be your best friend!”

The study guide includes access to 180-day ArcGIS for Desktop trial software and an exercise data DVD.

More Sample Question Web Courses Coming

We published free sample question web courses for the ArcGIS Desktop Associate and Professional certifications about a year and a half ago, and they are hugely popular—so popular, in fact, that we’re developing more. Over the next month, we’ll be releasing sample question web courses to help candidates prepare for these version 10.1 exams:

  • Enterprise Geodatabase Management Associate
  • Enterprise Geodatabase Management Professional
  • Enterprise System Design Associate
  • Enterprise Administration Associate
  • ArcGIS Desktop Developer Associate
  • Web Application Developer Associate
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Are You an Advanced Beginner?

Our training catalog includes quite a few courses that cover fundamental GIS and ArcGIS topics.  Designed for people with no academic or workplace experience with GIS, historically our introductory courses have been among our most popular. They likely always will be. As more and more organizations adopt GIS, more people require introductory-level training so they can perform the new workflows made possible by the technology. Makes sense.

If you’re someone who has mastered the fundamentals, you may be wondering what courses you should take next. You’ve learned the basics, you want to continue growing your GIS skillset, but you’re not ready to tackle 3D terrain analysis with lidar data. We get the what’s-next question a lot.

But what’s next does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. Continue reading

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Web Course Delivers for Postal Service Map App

Remember the excitement you felt the first time an envelope or Highlights issue addressed to you appeared in the mailbox? The eager hope you silently mailed to the North Pole along with the letter painstakingly printed in your best handwriting? How many times in the last 24 hours have you clicked Send or some version of “Share” to communicate with friends and family?

Back Story

Like many organizations these days, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is challenged to constrain operating costs while maintaining an acceptable level of service. Did you know the USPS is required by law to fund its own operations and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to do so? Changes in mailing behavior have had a huge impact on the USPS bottom line—e-mail requires no postage after all.
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Lose the Features, Keep the Annotation Properties

A previous post covered converting standard annotation to feature-linked annotation—to recap, it cannot be done directly. A recommended workflow when you have standard annotation that you wish were feature-linked is to create an empty feature-linked annotation class, then append the standard annotation features to it (using the Append Annotation Feature Classes tool).

Several readers have wondered, once you have feature-linked annotation in place, what happens when you need to replace the data linked to the annotation? No one wants to repeat the work of setting up annotation if they can avoid it. Can you change which feature class your feature-linked annotation is linked to?

The answer is no. Feature-linked annotation can be associated with only one feature class (the one specified when the feature-linked annotation was created). The feature-linked annotation and the feature class participate in a relationship class that you cannot alter.

Despite this, when you receive new data, there is a way to preserve the annotation. Continue reading

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GIS Analysis: Planning to Prepare Your Data Pays Off

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This old adage has wide applicability—when you want to lose 10 pounds, be picked for a leadership position, land the perfect job, and on and on. So just like everything else in life, when it comes to GIS analysis, planning pays off. To ensure reliable results, here’s the tried and true process we recommend:

  1. Frame the question.
  2. Explore and prepare data.
  3. Choose analysis methods and tools.
  4. Perform the analysis.
  5. Examine and refine results.

Step 2 is arguably the most critical as your final results are only as reliable as the data you start with. Read on for a closer look at exploring and preparing data for an analysis project. Continue reading

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Esri Technical Certification: Sample Questions Now Available for ArcGIS Desktop Exams

With the holiday season now in full swing, here’s an early present for individuals planning to take one of the ArcGIS Desktop certification exams. We just released a set of sample questions for both the ArcGIS Desktop Associate and ArcGIS Desktop Professional exams. The sample question sets are available for free on the Esri Training website.

Here’s what you can expect:

ArcGIS hot spot analysis map

  • Like certification exam questions, sample questions are multiple choice. They are not, however, actual questions from the exams.
  • Sample questions cover the same subject areas as the certification exams, but the number of sample questions per subject does not equate to the number of questions per subject on the exams. There may not be sample questions for all subject areas tested by the exams.
  • For each question, you can immediately see whether the answer you selected is correct or incorrect. Every question includes an explanation of the correct answer.
  • The ArcGIS Desktop Associate set includes 35 sample questions.
  • The ArcGIS Desktop Professional set includes 41 sample questions.

We added sample question PDFs to the Certification website some time ago, but those PDFs contain only three questions each and were intended to simply show how exam questions are structured. These new sets of sample questions are intended to be an exam-preparation resource. Of course, they are not a comprehensive resource—the skills and knowledge gained through on-the-job experience are the best preparation for an exam.

If you’re planning to take one of the ArcGIS Desktop exams, here’s hoping the opportunity to do some free self-assessment makes your holiday season a little brighter.

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Mailbox Matters: ArcGIS and Training FAQs

A lot of questions on a variety of topics are sent to this blog’s e-mail address (that is, to me). The wording varies, but many people are looking for the same information. A selection of popular questions and insightful answers is below. Maybe you’ve wondered about these same things. Read on and you may save yourself some typing and a Send click.

Finding Things in ArcGIS 10

Question: I keep seeing references to the ArcGIS tutorials, where are they? And where is the data needed for the tutorials?

Answer: The tutorials are part of the ArcGIS documentation and are a great (free) resource to get up to speed with the software tools and workflows for completing a wide variety of tasks. At version 10, the tutorials themselves (step-by-step instructions) are topics within the ArcGIS Desktop Help system; they appear as subfolders within the main subject categories. For example, the editing tutorial is located at Professional Library > Data Management > Editing data > Editing tutorial.

The tutorial data is an optional part of the ArcGIS Desktop installation. If selected, the tutorial data installs to C:ArcGISArcTutor (default location). Within the ArcTutor folder, the data is organized into topical subfolders. So the first thing to do is search your system for the ArcTutor folder.

If you don’t find the tutorial data, check with your system administrator or the person who manages ArcGIS installation at your organization to see if the data was installed to a network share. If it wasn’t installed at all, you (or they) can modify the installation from the media (DVD) or the download file to get the data.

Speaking of data… Continue reading

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Enhance ArcGIS 10 Maps with Custom MapTips

Have you ever explored a map document and not found the information you were looking for? The table of contents tells what a feature symbol represents, but that alone may not provide enough information when map users are interacting with a map for a specific purpose.

To access the data associated with a feature, map users can open the layer attribute table or use the Identify tool. When a layer has a lot of attributes that are cryptically named, though, having map users wade through them is not ideal. Yes, you can turn off some table fields, set field aliases, and even create HTML pop-ups, but ArcGIS gives you an easier way to make a map more user-friendly: “smart” MapTips. Continue reading

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