ArcGIS Blog » Mapping http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis ArcGIS Blog Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:14:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Choosing the Best ArcGIS Online Basemap for Your Maps and Apps http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/23/choosing-the-best-arcgis-online-basemap-for-your-maps-and-apps/ http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/23/choosing-the-best-arcgis-online-basemap-for-your-maps-and-apps/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:00:37 +0000 ArcGIS Content Team http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/?p=40167 Continue reading ]]> We presented this Technical Workshop as part of the 2014 User Conference with the following goal: How to maximize the quality of your web map or app beginning with the selection of the best basemap. There are a number of Esri basemaps available for use at ArcGIS Online. Deciding which basemap to use requires asking a few questions to understand what you are mapping and narrow the options. Our two-page PDF provides the highlights of our workshop.

Matrix from Workshop PDF

The matrix categorizes nine ArcGIS.com basemaps based on the level of content and saturation of the maps. Compare those categories against the type of data you are mapping—points, lines, and/or polygons. Answer the series of questions regarding your subject, type of data, geographic area, scale, and purpose of the map.

The two types of data detailed in the matrix are qualitative features, meaning different kinds or types of things being mapped, and quantitative, meaning a range of value or intensity of the data mapped. An example of qualitative data is power plants, symbolized by uniquely colored points for each kind. An example of quantitative data is the amount of CO2 emissions by country, symbolized with a range or scale of color indicating value groups.

Qualitative versus Quantitative features

Two items to keep in mind:

  • The display of quantitative polygons can be impacted by the colors on the basemap, particularly if using transparency.
  • The basemaps are in Web Mercator projection.  Be aware of distortion when comparing quantitative data, particularly between areas at different latitudes.

You can search for and add basemaps from the ArcGIS Online Gallery, the map viewer basemap gallery, the Living Atlas of the World, or you can add your own custom basemap. Remember, not all basemaps have the same scale range across the globe. Some basemaps are better suited for small-scale, global mapping, while others are intended for detailed, large-scale mapping. Review the online map item pages (for example, Topographic) for a description of each basemap that includes map content and coverage area as well a note when the map was last updated.

Following this step-by-step approach of the matrix and list of questions will allow you to select the best basemap for your map or app.

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So What’s GeoNet? http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/17/so-whats-geonet/ http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/17/so-whats-geonet/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:49:40 +0000 Timothy http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/?p=40077 Continue reading ]]> In all the excitement of the 2014 Esri UC, you may not have heard about GeoNet. Maybe you heard the name from Jack’s announcement during the plenary, maybe you got an email or saw it from your social media connections, maybe you’ve logged in but were not sure where to go. In any case, I wanted to help you understand more about GeoNet, how it applies to you and how you can get started.

Purpose of GeoNet
GeoNet is here to extend the user conference experience to 365 days a year. Take all of the networking, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and product support from the conference and combine them into a single community that spans the globe. From that, you have GeoNet.

Launching GeoNet
GeoNet started with a soft launch of a Resilience Community to support the climate challenge presented by President Barack Obama and the White House. A core group of resilience-focused users were invited to the community to try it out and provide feedback. Their participation allowed us to develop the community further as we pushed towards the UC launch of a community that revolves around all things geo.

What is GeoNet
GeoNet is more than just a new forums location. Forums now are only a part of the larger community. This community is there as a tool to help you, the GIS user, get your job done better and more efficiently. You can create discussions, upload files, collaborate on documents, share videos, write blog posts, and much more. This content items can be created within a space focused on a particular topic or industry. Those who follow that place will receive notification of new activity and can get engaged in the conversations.

User-Driven
Esri has provided a general platform for the community with a several spaces focused around industries and products. But in some cases your content may fall outside of these built-out areas. This need provides an opportunity to show the strength of GeoNet. You can create your own groups to meet this need. There is no need to put in a formal request. In 30 seconds you can create a group, give it a description, add tags, and define the membership level. And you’re ready to work! The group is yours to manage and customize to make it work best for you. The community has already taken off though the addition of new groups, such as GIS and E911, Facilities GIS User Group, ArcGIS Marketplace AppsDeutsch, and more. The availability to create these collaboration groups is now at your fingertips.

GeoSpatial-enabled
What would a Geo community be without a spatial component? GeoNet allows its members to put themselves on a Map‌. Easily see the distribution of community members across the globe. ArcGIS Online is also integrated within the community through the bang app (! app) . You can embed publicly shared maps within content as a thumbnail with a direct link to the live map. This opens up a new channel to share and create conversations around your maps. The bang app also gives you the ability to geotag your content. This will provide a way to visualize and query content based upon location as part of a future release of the community. Find out how to add geotags and maps into your GeoNet content‌.

Getting Started
You can get started in the community by logging in with your Esri ccount. If you do not have an account, you can easily create an account. Once in the community, begin by  Updating Your ProfileA, Creating Custom Streams‌, and Begin Searching ‌. There is so much to explore in GeoNet, so if you have any questions or would like to learn more, check out GeoNet Help.

I look forward to seeing you in the GeoNet community.

Timothy Hales
Enterprise Community Manager
GeoNet‌

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Introducing Esri’s Next Generation Hillshade http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/14/introducing-esris-next-generation-hillshade/ http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/14/introducing-esris-next-generation-hillshade/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:00:03 +0000 rajnagi http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/?p=39220 Continue reading ]]> by Rajinder Nagi, Esri Product Engineer

Swiss Alps

Recently, we released an update to the Esri global collection of multi-scale, multi-resolution and multi-source World Elevation services. These global elevation services enable you to create stunning visualizations, calculate aspect or slope, and provide a baseline for analysis and other geoprocessing tasks.

To complement the World Elevation collection, we are excited to announce the release of the Esri next generation hillshade – a hillshade inspired by the legendary Swiss artist, Eduard Imhof. Unlike a default hillshade (azimuth: 315, altitude: 45), the multi-directional hillshade presents an unparalleled view of the world’s mountains, plateaus, valleys and canyons by using an algorithm that computes hillshade from six different directions (as opposed to one direction in a default hillshade). The result is a stunning visualization in both high slope and expressionless areas.

The Multi-Directional Hillshade is available on ArcGIS Online and can be easily added to your desktop or web apps. It is currently implemented as a custom raster function on the World Elevation Service, and requires an ArcGIS Organizational subscription account to access. This live service will render results dynamically on-the-fly for every pan/zoom request. The Multi-Directional hillshade is a dynamic service which allows us to quickly update the service as further high resolution datasets become available.

Background

Traditional hillshades are created by illuminating light from the northwest direction and often produces results which are over exposed, while the details in the terrain are obscured on the non-illuminated sides. This issue persists even more in areas with medium to high slopes (see Figure 1 and 2). However by varying the direction of light from 6 different sources we are able to more realistically represent the terrain, and improve the balance between the over exposed and non-illuminated areas of the map as shown in figures 1 and 2.

Figure1: single direction vs multi-directional hillshade comparison

Figure 1: A comparison between a standard single direction hillshade (left) and the new multi-directional hillshade (right). Notice how the multi-directional hillshade (right) enhances the expressionless regions and accentuates minor details in terrain as compared to a traditional single directional hillshade (left).

Figure2 Mt Rainier

Figure 2: The iconic Mt. Rainier in Washington (USA). You can almost feel the glacial remains on the surface of the mountain using the multi-directional hillshade approach (right). Whereas the default hillshade (left) lacks the clarity and realism of the multi-directional approach. 

How the Multi-Directional Hillshade will make your maps pop!

Let’s take a look at some examples of how you can integrate the new hillshade into your maps.

Visualizing landcover in The Alps

Figure 3: Visualizing landcover in The Alps (Europe). 

Mapping avalanche paths in southern Utah (USA). Figure 4: Mapping avalanche paths in southern Utah (USA). 

Identifying the location of the USGS earthquake faults over Utah (USA).Figure 5: Identifying the location of the USGS earthquake faults over Utah (USA).

Mapping point data in urban environments where Lidar derived elevation is available. Chino Hills, California (USA)

Figure 6: Mapping point data in urban environments where Lidar derived elevation is available. Chino Hills, California (USA).

The new multi-directional hillshade provides a perfect backdrop for topographical, soil, water resources, or other outdoor recreational maps.

This service includes global elevation data from multiple sources and resolutions ranging from 230 m globally to 3 m partially covering the USA from USGS NED, FEMA and community contributed content in Denmark, Finland and the UK. Future additions of data via the ArcGIS user community will continue to improve the resolution, coverage, and quality of data available. For more details and list of current data sources, please refer to the item description in the Terrain layer.

The multi-directional hillshade provides a stunning representation of the world’s topography, and provides the perfect relief backdrop to support your work. So, the next time you are terrain mapping, try out the new multi-directional hillshade.  We guarantee you’ll love it! Let us know what you think by placing a comment below, or contact me directly: Rajinder Nagi rnagi@esri.com or on twitter @rnagi13

Note: The Multi-directional hillshade custom function will be available soon to download.

Thanks to Peter Becker, Shruthi Kumar, and Abhijit Doshi for help in implementing the multi-directional algorithm as a custom raster function. Thanks to Damien Saunder for providing feedback to this blog.

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Virtualization session and SIG at the UC http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/13/virtualization-session-and-sig-at-the-uc/ http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/13/virtualization-session-and-sig-at-the-uc/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:19:04 +0000 John Meza http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/?p=40006 Continue reading ]]> The Performance Engineering  team has been doing a lot of testing on Pro in virtualized environments. This includes performance and scalability in Microsoft Hyper-V VDI and Citrix XenDesktop . Members of the team will be at the User Conference and look forward to talking about using ArcGIS Desktop and Server, especially Pro in virtualized environments. There will be a Tech Session and a SIG specifically on virtualization.

There will be a Virtualization Special Interest Group (SIG) on Wednesday 12:00pm-1:00pm Room 29A. This meeting will be interactive. We would like to learn which virtualization environments you work in, the requirements needed to host Pro and other ArcGIS products in you environment, performance issues related to virtualized environments, and other challenges. This will help us target our testing and certification efforts, deliver meaningful information to you and deliver better products. Also at this SIG will be a couple of individuals we have worked closely with from NVIDIA and Microsoft. They will be able to answer technical and road ahead questions.

There will be an ArcGIS in Virtualized Environments tech session on Thursday 3:15pm – 4:30pm Room 17A. We will discuss our testing results, configurations, tests, and other related topics during that session. This will include alot of information on test results of ArcMap and Pro in Citrix XenDesktop and Hyper-V VDI using the NVIDIA K1 card which is specially designed for virtualized environments.

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Introducing Esri’s World Elevation Services http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/11/introducing-esris-world-elevation-services/ http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/11/introducing-esris-world-elevation-services/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 23:30:42 +0000 rajnagi http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/?p=39225 Continue reading ]]> by Rajinder Nagi, Esri Product Engineer

Elevation data supports numerous GIS applications ranging from deriving slope and aspect, stream delineation, cut and fill analysis, viewshed analysis, orthorectification of aerial photography or satellite imagery, rendering 3D visualizations, creating relief maps, and for various types of analysis and visualizations.

Esri makes it easy to work with elevation data by offering two dynamic world elevation image services (Terrain and TopoBathy). These services provide online access to a global collection of multi-resolution and multisource elevation data. This collection includes best publicly available data and community data with resolutions ranging from 1000 meters to 3 meters. The services provide a single endpoint for desktop and web applications to access elevation values and derived products. The great thing about these services is that you no longer have to store, compile, and process terabytes of elevation data on your local machine. All of the pre and post processing that goes along with these types of datasets has been taken care of for you.

The elevation services are available for use within the ArcGIS Online platform, and are part of the Living Atlas. You can access the entire collection of layers along with geo-processing tools from within the Elevation Layers Group on ArcGIS Online.  Access to these global layers is free and does not consume any credits; all you need is an ArcGIS Organizational account. It’s that easy!

Below is a visual representation of the elevation layers available within the Elevation Layers Group.

Elevation Layers on ArcGIS onlineFigure 1: Elevation layers available on ArcGIS online

Here’s how it works: We’ve built two dynamic world elevation image services named Terrain and TopoBathy. These services provide you access to the raw elevation data. In addition to the raw data, we’ve compiled a carefully selected set of derivative layers (like hillshade, slope and tinted hillshade – see figure 1). The derivative layers have been built by adding a server function on top of the Terrain and TopoBathy services.

To learn more about how to use the raster functions via ArcGIS Online and Desktop, see the following:

To help you choose which elevation layer to use, we’ve put together a simple table that will fast track your decision making process. The table also provides a direct link to each of the layers within the Elevation Layers Group.


Name Description For visualization For analysis
Terrain This dynamic image service provides numeric values representing ground surface heights, based on a digital terrain model (DTM). The ground heights are based on multiple sources. Heights are orthometric (sea level = 0), and water bodies that are above sea level have approximated nominal water heights.. This is the base service which has various server functions defined. No Yes
TopoBathy This dynamic image service combines topography (land elevation) and bathymetry (water depths) around the world. Heights are based on multiple sources and are orthometric (sea level = 0, and bathymetric values are negative downward from sea level). The source data of land elevation in this service is same as in the Terrain layer. This is the base service which has various server functions defined. No Yes
Hillshade Provides a hillshaded surface generated dynamically using the hillshade server-side function on the Terrain layer  with a solar azimuth of 315 degrees and solar altitude of 45 degrees. Yes No
Multi-Directional Hillshade Provides a hillshaded surface generated dynamically using a multi-directional hillshade server-side custom function on the Terrain layer. Yes No
Elevation Tinted Hillshade Provides an elevation tinted hillshade surface generated dynamically using a chain of server-side functions on a Terrain layer. Yes No
Ellipsoidal Height Provides ellipsoidal heights calculated dynamically using a server-side function to add the EGM2008 geoid model to orthometric heights from the Terrain layer.  This can be used for orthorectification. No Yes
Aspect Map Provides a colorized representation of aspect, generated dynamically using the server-side aspect function on the Terrain layer. Yes No
Aspect Provides aspect values calculated dynamically using the server-side aspect function applied to a Terrain layer. The values are float, and represent the orientation of the downward sloping terrain in degrees (0 to 359.9), clockwise from north. Cells in the input raster that are flat with zero slope are assigned an aspect of -1. No Yes
Slope Map Provides a colorized representation of slope, generated dynamically using a server-side slope function on the Terrain layer followed by the application of a colormap. Yes No
Slope in Degrees Provides slope values calculated dynamically from the elevation data (within the current extents) using the server-side slope function applied to a Terrain layer. The values are integer and represent the angle of the downward sloping terrain (0 to 90 degrees). No Yes
Slope in Percent Provides slope values calculated dynamically from the elevation data (within the current extents) using the server-side slope function applied to a Terrain layer. The values represent the angle of downward-sloping terrain, measured from 0 to 1,000 percent. No Yes

Table 1: Provides links,description and use of various elevation layers available on ArcGIS online

Highlights of the ArcGIS Online July release

The World Elevation services are live, and we are continually expanding and improving the resolution of the collection. Below are some of the most recent additions which we rolled out in the July release.

New server function:

We released Esri’s next generation hillshade to further improve our topographical relief representation. The new hillshade sits on-top of the terrain service as a custom raster function. We will share more news about this exciting hillshade in a follow up blog.

Data update:

We updated our USGS NED data, adding Canada and partial areas in Alaska at ~30m resolution (NED 1 arc sec) and are improving coverage of our ~ 3m (NED 1/9 arc sec) resolution in the US.

Vancouver NED 1as

Figure 2: A portion of Vancouver, Canada showing NED 1 arc sec (~ 30 meter) from USGS.

The World Elevation services not only include the best publicly available data, but they are also supported by data from the GIS community. In the July release, we are excited to welcome the following early adopters of the Community Maps for Elevation program:

Data Resolution (meters) Contributor Primary Source
Denmark

3.2 & 10

Esri Denmark Geodatastyrelsen
Finland

3 &10

Esri Finland NLS
UK

50

Esri UK Ordnance Survey
FEMA

3

FEMA FEMA

Lidar data in Copenhagen, Denmark

Figure 3: LiDAR derived terrain (~ 3 meter) representation of Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Lidar in Espoo, Finland

Figure 4: LiDAR derived terrain (~ 3 meter) representation of Espoo, Finland.

Manchaster, UK

Figure 5: Manchester, UK depicted by OS Terrain 50.

CoalvilleUtah_AfterFEMA

Figure 6: LiDAR derived terrain (~ 3 meter) representation of Coalville, Utah, USA from FEMA.

For more information about the coverage of the World Elevation services please check out our Elevation coverage map. This shows the extents of the various datasets that make up the World Elevation services – Terrain and TopoBathy. The Elevation coverage map is a layer in the ArcGIS platform for discovering resolution, extent and primary sources of data in the world elevation services.

Esri elevation services provide you with one-click access to terabytes of elevation data. They provide a baseline for analysis and visualization which supports many common GIS elevation tasks. Keep an eye out for additional data updates via the ArcGIS user community as we continue to improve the resolution, coverage, and quality of data available. For more information on becoming a Community Maps for Elevation contributor, click here.

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Impact Summary: Dazzle Them With Your Data http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/10/dazzle-them-with-your-data/ http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/10/dazzle-them-with-your-data/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:40:45 +0000 Matt Driscoll http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/?p=39403 Continue reading ]]> Esri’s Disaster Response Program helps support worldwide incidents, such as earthquakes, floods, wildfires, and severe weather. To increase public knowledge of the disaster impacts, we wanted an app to highlight areas and show related statistics, such as data that shows who may be affected within an impacted area. The area could be a wildfire perimeter, an earthquake shake map, a flood delineation, etc. Within that area, we would show data related to the event. Out of these requirements, the Impact Summary template was born.

Demo usage

How does it work?

The Impact Summary template is an interactive map that allows you to select a predetermined area of interest and display information related to that area in report boxes. It works great for presenting disaster impacts, but could be used for nearly anything (eg Crime Maps, Outage Maps, Health Care Maps, etc). You can select one area at a time by clicking on the map, using the renderers in the side panel, or you can also select all areas to get a summary of the data (integer data only).

Wondering where can you get access to this innovative template? You can download the code from GitHub and host it on your web server or let us host it for you by publishing an application on ArcGIS Online. Here are the steps we took to build the example app:

  • Publish a service: To get started, pick a layer you are interested in presenting. In this example, we used a simplified USGS Shakemap from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and published it as a feature service.
  • Conduct your analysis: We used the Enrich Layer workflow in the web map in conjunction with an aggregation of Critical Infrastructure data from HAZUS. To select our variables for geoenrichment, we used the new Data Browser. We searched for variables we were interested in to understand what the impact of such an earthquake would be today. For this template, the analysis you highlight must consist of counts (integer values), typically answering the question “how many are in this area?”.  
  • Prepare the web map: Add the service to a web map. If your layer of interest has levels of impact or other magnitude, change the symbology accordingly. For instance, we used the “GRID_CODE” which represents the potential impact. 
  • Share the web map using the Impact Summary template
  • Use the Builder: It’s easy to configure the app with the included builder. Using the builder, you can configure which variables you’d like to highlight. You can pick up to 4 main variables (parent variables) to display and users can click on either of those 4 to display a carousel of additional variables (child variables). Essentially, you  can allow your audience to drill down into more information or related variables. You can also customize the interaction and theme of the application. For instance, we suggest the dark theme with light basemaps.

The app is responsive and beautiful; it will adapt to any screen resolution. Also, the template includes functionality to share your app with others or embed in websites or blogs.

This application is provided so that you can share your spatial analysis and present it in a way that your audience can understand. We are looking for your feedback on how to make this easier to use or more compelling for your audience, please use GitHub and ArcGIS Online (use comments) to share your thoughts. Thank you to all of our early adopters who helped improve this application in the past few months.

Get out there and create some impactful maps!

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Now Available: Explorer for ArcGIS on Mac OS X http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/09/now-available-explorer-for-arcgis-on-mac-os-x/ http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/09/now-available-explorer-for-arcgis-on-mac-os-x/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 22:41:23 +0000 Chris LeSueur http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/?p=39462 Continue reading ]]> Do you have a Mac notebook or desktop with a stunning high resolution display? Have you created beautiful maps that you would love to view on that stunning display? Well the wait is over! Esri’s newest addition to our growing family of apps is Explorer for ArcGIS on Mac OS X. Explorer for ArcGIS offers a first class experience for accessing your geospatial data on the Mac. We think you will fall in love with the design, ease of use, performance, and stability of Explorer.

Design and Ease of Use – A great deal of work has gone into the design of Explorer to make sure it looks and behaves like a modern and native Mac OS X application. With Explorer you have the ability to open and view multiple maps at once, dock and undock pop-up windows, and take your maps full screen.

Show Off Your Maps – With Explorer for ArcGIS, you can access maps, search for and visualize data, and brief stakeholders. Whatever kind of maps you create we believe Explorer for ArcGIS will help you showcase those maps and provide an intuitive, informative, and enjoyable way for others experience your good work.

Try Explorer – Anyone using a Mac notebook or desktop can download and try the sample maps included in the app. ArcGIS Online subscribers, trials users, and those with a Portal for ArcGIS account can simply download the app, sign in, and begin exploring their maps and data. Download it today from the Mac App Store

For information about the features in Explorer for ArcGIS visit http://doc.arcgis.com/en/explorer/

And please email us at Explorer4ArcGIS@esri.com with your thoughts, ideas and comments.

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Community Maps Special Interest Group (SIG) Scheduled for Esri’s International User Conference 2014 http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/08/community-maps-special-interest-group-sig-scheduled-for-esrisinternational-user-conference-2014/ http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/07/08/community-maps-special-interest-group-sig-scheduled-for-esrisinternational-user-conference-2014/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:16:32 +0000 Shane Matthews http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/?p=39360 Continue reading ]]> The annual pilgrimage to the San Diego, CA Convention Center for Esri’s International User Conference is scheduled for July 14 – 18. There are many reasons to attend. One these reasons is to learn about Community Maps and how to help curate content for the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. On Wednesday, July 16 from 12PM – 1:00PM there will be a Community Maps focused Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting.

Session 1541/Offering ID 2328 Room 15A

This meeting will allow future and current contributors to the ArcGIS Online Community Maps Program to discuss current topics and concerns. The meeting will open with a brief introduction and direction of the program and then open up to client questions and suggestions. The agenda will include the Community Maps Timeline, a look at where we have been and where we are going, a User Story – Featuring Fairfax County, VA, and answers to our Poll Questions.

For your convenience, just click below to add this meeting to your personal calendar…

Community Maps SIG Meeting

There will be many other opportunities to learn about Community Maps during the conference.

We’ll see you there – travel safe!

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New Forums are on the Way! http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/06/30/new-forums-are-on-the-way/ http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/06/30/new-forums-are-on-the-way/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 18:14:23 +0000 Timothy http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/?p=38919 Continue reading ]]> Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that we will soon be rolling out a new, evolved discussion forum over the next few weeks as part of the new Esri community platform called GeoNet.

For more information and to discuss further, feel free to jump into the conversation here.

For the past few years, the ArcGIS Discussion Forums have continued to prove their worth as one of the most popular and useful online community tools hosted by Esri. That said, as times change, more and more limitations are found in the tool that restrict our growth. We’re always listening to your feedback and always watching how you use the forums to learn and become more successful with your use of ArcGIS.

This new platform will add some powerful tools that you’ve asked for and we haven’t, until now, been able to deliver. With it, you will find some capabilities similar to those found in popular and useful social media tools like Facebook and StackExchange. You will be able to follow topics, tags, people you trust, join groups, as well as customizing your interface and creating filters to always see information that interests you the most.

Some of the new features include:

1. Discussions are organized by how you use ArcGIS rather than by software product name.
2. You can create “custom streams”, to filter by topics, tags, and users you’re interested in.
3. The Forum no longer stands alone. It is a part of the larger GeoNet community.
4. You can even create your own community groups and discussion forums based on topics you care about.
5. A better gamification engine for recognizing key users and finding the best information across GeoNet.

As for the current Discussion Forum and its over 100,000 threads, nothing will be lost. It is all being imported into GeoNet, tagged, browsable, indexed, and searchable.

As GeoNet gets closer to roll-out, we’ll be back with more details.

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ArcGIS Pro in virtualized environments http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/06/30/38908/ http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2014/06/30/38908/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:48:11 +0000 John Meza http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/?p=38908 Continue reading ]]> ArcGIS Pro provides an integrated platform for 2D and 3D visualization and analysis. Pro has undergone extensive performance and scalability testing, especially in virtualized environments. Especially using the NVIDIA K1 and K2 graphics cards designed for virtualized environments.  To share this information with our users, we will be publishing a series of blogs on the use of ArcGIS Pro in Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, Microsoft Hyper-V VDI and VMWare Horizon View.


The Pro hardware requirements are being finalized. For a physical machine Pro does not require a GPU, but it is preferred. What about a virtual environment? Can a virtual environment provide access to a GPU?  For a virtual environment the machine hosting the hypervisor can be configured with graphics cards specifically designed for virtualization, with the GPUs shared between multiple VMs. You may ask what type of user experience is possible in virtual environment and how many VMs can a single shared GPU accommodate? This and following blogs will provide information and answers to help you plan your Pro deployment in a virtualized environment.

These tests explore the use of virtualized GPUs in virtualized environments, and also share metrics that show when and how NVIDIA K1 and K2 graphics cards benefit the performance of ArcGIS Pro. The K1 and K2 cards are specifically designed for use in virtualized environments. Additional information on the NVIDIA K1 and K2 cards can be found at: http://www.nvidia.com/object/grid-boards.html

XenServer 6.2 and XenDesktop7.1

The first discussion is of using Pro in a virtualized environment using NVIDIA K1 cards, with Citrix XenServer 6.2 and XenDesktop 7.1. The K1 card was chosen for the first set of tests since it can support a higher number of concurrent VMs. Tests using the K2 card will be discussed in future blogs. The K1 card has 4 Kepler GPUs, each equivalent to a Quadro K600 card. Each physical GPU can host several types of virtual GPU (vGPU). An excellent source of information on this configuration and a description of the different vGPU types is at: http://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/go/reviewers-guide-remote-3d-graphics-apps-part-3-xenserver-vgpu.pdf

For the K1 card there are 3 vGPU types (K100, K140Q, and Pass-Through). Using Citrix XenCenter the hypervisor was configured to use the GPUs as the K140Q type.  This virtual GPU type provides 1GB of video RAM to each vGPU. The K140Q configuration is the mid-tier configuration.

The K100 vGPU type is the lower capability configuration, suitable for business graphics, and can host up to 8 VMs per physical GPU (high-density). This vGPU type was tested and was found to provide a marginal user experience for 2D, but not adequate for 3D.

The Pass-through vGPU type is the highest capability configuration where a single VM is paired with a single GPU. When this was tested the 2D and 3D user experience was fantastic, with greater than 40 frames-per-second (FPS) reached for a majority of the test. This vGPU type have very low density, one VM to 1 GPU. This vGPU type will be probably be used when Pro is used for heavy-duty image analysis, 3D anaylsis, or when other high-end graphics applications require a dedicated GPU.

The K140Q vGPU type is the mid-tier configuration. This vGPU type provides an adequate user experience while Pro is using 3D, and a reasonable density at 4 VMs per GPU.  The FPS were 13-17 which allowed for a relatively smooth user experience.

The next blog will dive into greater detail on the K140Q vGPU testing.

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