Tag Archives: data

Replicating distributed data with the ‘register with existing data’ option

With the growing need for organizations to distribute their data in remote locations, geodatabase replication can help to manage the changes made between geodatabases in different locations. When working with distributed and remote geodatabases it is often asked, “What is the best method to create and setup replicas?”

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5 Minute Troubleshooting: Unable to Export Event Layer to Shapefile

As we all know there is no “magic” button in ArcGIS for Desktop that will fix all the issues that you are having.  In my time working in support, however, I have found that exporting data comes quite close and often returns magical results when working with corrupted data. Today we will be looking at using this method to resolve issues with an  X,Y Event Layer.

Have you ever had an event layer show up beautifully in your map, but when exporting it to a shapefile you ran into an issue? Some of these issues could be receiving an error (such as “the data you are exporting contains one or more blob field”), getting a blank attribute table, or finding that not all of your fields are coming through to the shapefile. The steps below work, in most instances, to help resolve this issue. These steps walk you through the process of exporting a table to a DBF, displaying that DBF as an event layer, and then exporting that event layer to a shapefile.

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Five tips for getting started with CityEngine

Colored Buildings

CityEngine is a powerful product that can build amazing cityscapes.  Digging into this software can be a little tricky at first; however, the more you use it, the easier the functionality becomes.  Esri CityEngine on the ArcGIS Resource Center is a great place to start, as you … Continue reading

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How to Update the Location of a Point Feature and Its XY Fields

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we lived in a world where our boss just handed us a 100 percent accurate table of XY data so that we could generate the point feature class using the “Display XY” tool and be done?

Hey, we can dream can’t we? Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS for Desktop | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Get Your Free Raster Data Here!

As a raster analyst, there are a lot times I try to “fix” many types of raster data from various online sources. If you’re going to get data from elsewhere, there are many reliable sources available for GIS data, some websites that charge a fee, and some that are really well-done free clearing houses and data centers.

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Using the Esri FTP site to send data to Support Services

At times, it is necessary to send your data to Esri Support Services for further testing. For files that are larger than 2MB, there is the option to use a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site. An FTP allows files to be transferred using a network.

Your Support Analyst can provide you with the FTP site address along with login credentials. Once you have this information, follow the steps below to upload your data.

Directions to upload to the Esri FTP site using Windows Explorer:

  1. Zip the data to be uploaded.

  2. Go to the FTP site using Windows Explorer by typing the FTP address into the address bar.

  3. Go to File > Login As…

  4. Enter the login credentials provide by your Support Analyst.

  5. Browse to the pub/incoming/(incident#) folder. If the incident folder has not yet been created, you can optionally create one here in the pub/incoming directory. (It is not necessary to include the pound sign (#) in the folder name. Just enter the 6-digit incident number.)

  6. Upload the file(s) here.

  7. When the upload has completed or if you encounter any issues with the upload, send an e-mail to the Support Analyst with whom you are working.

You can optionally create a readme text file with a description of the files/folders uploaded and include that in the folder.

It is important to note that the data is deleted from the FTP two days after it is uploaded. Keep this in mind when notifying the Support Analyst.

Other clients for accessing the Esri FTP
Also, Windows Explorer is one of the most common ways to upload data to the Esri FTP site, but Internet Explorer (IE6, IE7, and IE8) or FireFox 3.x are also valid options. There are size limitations imposed when using a Web browser to upload to an FTP site – IE6 has 2GB file limit and IE7 has a 4GB limit (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/298618). Size limits have been removed with IE8. In some circumstances, where the data is large or there is unstable network connection, transferring data from within a Web browser or Windows Explorer may fail. In these circumstances, you can use a free FTP upload client, such as Filezilla, which has built-in reconnection options.

If you cannot upload your data or choose not to place it on Esri’s secure FTP server, there are other options available for sending data – Support will accept physical media such as a DVD, USB thumb, or an external hard drive.

Understanding the process of using the Esri FTP site will enable us to get your data more quickly for testing and will allow us to work towards a resolution in an efficient manner.

- Timothy H., Support Analyst – Desktop Group, Esri Support Services – Charlotte, NC

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In ArcGIS 10, raster data in TIFF format may be shifted or in the wrong geographic location

In ArcGIS 10, some TIFF images do not display in the correct geographic location. Two issues have been identified:

  1. Improper handling of the page resolution tags for TIFF images that do not have georeferencing information, for example, scanned TIFF images. (NIM059086, NIM058733, NIM059010, NIM059379)

  2. Improper handling of the comma separator for TIFF images with a certain projection. (NIM058922, NIM057405)

Two knowledge base articles have been written that discuss these issues in more detail. Links are provided below:


UPDATE: 08/27/10 – A software patch is now available that addresses this issue.  Esri recommends you download and install the ArcGIS 10 (Desktop, Engine, Server) Raster Format patch at your your earliest convenience.

Note: If you have loaded these TIFF images to a mosaic dataset, after installing the patch, the Synchronize Mosaic Dataset geoprocessing tool can be run to correct the extents of the footprints and raster datasets.

If you have loaded these TIFF images to a raster catalog or to a geodatabase, these images should be removed and reloaded.

We are sorry for any inconvenience these issues may be causing you.

Please leave any comments in the comment section below this blog post. NOTE: You must be logged in to your Esri Global Account to leave comments.

- Eric R., Raster Development Lead – User Advocacy Group, Esri Support Services

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Item Description launched from the ArcMap Table of Contents issue

In ArcGIS Desktop 10, launching the Item Description for a layer by right-clicking on it from the ArcMap Table of Contents > Data > Item Description does not work.

Note: Launching the Item Description from the Catalog Window or ArcCatalog does work.

Use the following workaround to solve this issue:

  1. Shut down ArcMap and ArcCatalog.
  2. Download the following ZIP file: Data Source Item Description window.zip
  3. Extract the .reg file located in the ZIP file to your hard drive or desktop
  4. Double-click the Data Source Item Description window.reg file. This adds a registry setting that enables the functionality.
  5. Open ArcMap.

The Item Description launched from the ArcMap Table of Contents > Data > Item Description will now work.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please leave any comments in the comment section below this blog post. NOTE: You must be logged in to your Esri Global Account to leave comments.

- Jeff M., Desktop Development Lead – User Advocacy Group, Esri Support Services

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Changes to the Support Site

Hello ESRI customers! Thank you for your continued feedback while we work to improve your online experience with the ESRI Support Site – http://support.esri.com. We apologize for any inconvenience the changes may have brought to your workflows. Through this blog post, I would like to apprise you of the newest changes that we are planning to implement in the next few weeks:

  1. The Support gateway page will display direct-access links to content repositories.

  2. While retaining the new look-and-feel, you’ll have fewer clicks into the databases that are within each repository.

  3. Search engine improvements:

    1. Comprehensive indexing of the data.

    2. The Search engine results page enables sorting search returns by date and by relevance.

    3. Search results will include results for only the released products. ArcGIS 10 content will be added to search results after the ArcGIS 10 launch. For those who are interested in accessing ArcGIS 10 content, go to the ArcGIS Resource Centers at http://resources.arcgis.com/.

We hope these changes will provide you an improved Web experience. Please feel free to send us your feedback and/or your ideas for improved online service:

Support website feedback: http://support.esri.com/en/feedback.

Ideas: http://ideas.arcgis.com/.

-Sanjay L., Program Manager – Online Support Resources, ESRI Support Services

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Tips and tricks for sending data to ESRI Support Services

How to make subsets of Vector and Raster data in order to receive a faster resolution

Howdy Y’all! My name is Allison R., and I’m a Technical Lead for the Charlotte Support Center. I just wanted to say ‘Hi’ to everyone and post some helpful tips and tricks. When an ESRI Support analyst requests your data in order to test your process in-house, they are doing two things: checking to see if they can reproduce the reported behavior, and getting a process together that can be used to log a bug or enhancement request, if necessary.

Now some of you might be thinking, “Send my Data!! It is huge, that would take all day!” Well, I have a few tips and tricks I want to share with you that will help an ESRI Support analyst receive your data faster, review your steps more quickly, and get back to you in a flash.

  • Only send the amount of data necessary in order to reproduce the behavior you are reporting

  • What does that mean? Pare down your data to the smallest amount of data needed in order to reproduce the behavior you are reporting. Now, if you’re wondering how to do that let me give you some tips:

  1. If the feature class has hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of features, try exporting a small subset of the dataset. This can be done in ArcMap by selecting a few features, right-clicking on the name of the feature class in the table of contents > Data > Export Data, and then exporting the data into a new database.

  2. If the feature class has a lot of fields in the attribute table, then remove anything that is not necessary for testing. Fields in a feature class’s attribute table can cause the size of a feature class to increase dramatically. Here is another great reason to do this: if the tool or process that is being reported requires that a Support analyst pick specific fields, removing the unnecessary fields will ensure the correct fields are picked by the Support analyst. I have seen a lot of data with similar field names, and they can get really confusing! You can remove the extra fields quickly and easily by using the ‘Delete Field’ tool in ArcToolbox. Delete Field is located in Data Management Tools > Fields, and can be used to remove large quantities of fields at once.

  • Only send the data necessary in order to reproduce the behavior you are reporting

  • Sometimes our Support analysts get entire geodatabases or receive a lot of additional unnecessary data that does not relate to the behavior reported. This can be confusing for analysts (imagine looking at a geodatabase with dozens of tables, dozens of feature datasets, and hundreds of feature classes, when you only need to input two feature classes into a tool). Also, this can cause the size of the data to be HUGE! If ESRI Support analysts are provided with only the necessary data, it is smaller to transport and easier to understand. Here are some ideas to help make sure you send the smallest data possible:

  1. Put only the data that you need to send to ESRI Support Services in a new geodatabase. Geodatabases can house a lot of feature classes, tables, feature datasets, complex datasets and more. When sent an entire geodatabase that contains additional elements not needed to reproduce the behavior being experienced, the Support analyst may have trouble finding the features, tables and other elements involved in the behavior. Remember: your analyst doesn’t know your data like you do, so the more you send the more review the analyst has to do before working on reproducing the reported behavior. If you need to send an analyst complex feature classes such as topology, you don’t have to rebuild this, just make a copy of the geodatabase and delete everything that is not needed.

  2. By limiting the amount of data you send, paring down how many features are sent, and removing unnecessary fields, you are drastically reducing the size of the data you’re providing. One more thing you can do is use the Compact feature on the geodatabase to make sure it is as small as possible. When data is first added to a geodatabase, the records within each file are in order and are accessed efficiently by the file system. However, as records are deleted and added over time, the records within each file lose their order, and unused space develops as records are removed and new ones are added elsewhere in the file. This causes the file system to perform more record-seeking operations within each file, slowing the rate at which records are accessed. Compacting tidies up storage by reordering records and eliminating unused space. After compacting, the data in each file can be accessed more efficiently. Compacting also reduces the size of each file; it’s possible to be able to reduce the size of a geodatabase by one-half or more. To do this in ArcCatalog, right-click on the geodatabase > Click Compact Database.

  • ESRI E-mail servers can accept 6MB

  • Try to limit the amount of data sent to 6MB if possible, ESRI does have an FTP site where data can be uploaded, but uploading and downloading data can be time consuming. Some tricks to getting the data down to 6MB include:

  1. Always ZIP your data. ESRI Support analysts can accept .zip, .RAR and .7z files and unzip them successfully. The most common type of ZIP file is .zip, and all Support analysts have this available so this would be the preferred method, but hey, we’re open to alternative methods.

  2. If just zipping it is too large, try exporting your geodatabase into an XML (.xml) file. You can send your database schema and data in an .xml, which is smaller than your original database. The .xml is created in ArcCatalog by right-clicking on the geodatabase > Export > XML Workspace Document, and choose to Export the Data in the Binary format. Then place the resulting XML in a folder and zip it and send it to the Support analyst.

  3. Similar to exporting a stand-alone geodatabase into an .xml document, SDE feature datasets can also be exported in an .xml. Instead of sending a whole data backup, please export just the feature dataset by right-clicking on the feature dataset through ArcCatalog > Export > XML Workspace Document, and choose to Export the Data in the Binary format.

  4. Raster data can be Giant! It is not always necessary to send the entire raster dataset to ESRI Support Services for review; instead, send a small subset that can be emailed quickly and easily. To do this, zoom in to a pertinent location on the raster image. On the Drawing toolbar, select the Draw Rectangle tool and draw a rectangle over the area of the raster that needs to be clipped out. Right-click on the name of the Raster in the ArcMap table of contents > Data > Export Data, and under ‘Extent’ make sure that ‘Selected Graphics’ is selected. Set the other options up to mimic the original dataset.

  • Send detailed steps to reproduce the issue and an MXD

  • When working to package and send data to an ESRI Support analyst, it can be easy to forget to send the detailed steps to reproduce the behavior reported. Analysts understand the tools that are available in ArcToolBox and the functionality built into ArcMap and ArcCatalog, but they don’t necessarily understand your data or workflow. Please make sure to send detailed directions with screen shots, so they can be sure they are following your workflow exactly.

All of the steps above will help ESRI Support analysts help you in resolving your issue!


-Allison R., Technical Lead, ESRI Support Services, Charlotte Operations Department

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