ArcGIS Blog » Mapping ArcGIS Blog Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:13:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Use ArcGIS Data, Features and Basemaps in Tableau Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:56:41 +0000 Suzanne Foss Continue reading ]]> Here at Esri we talk with our customers on a regular basis, and one of the things we’ve learned is how many ArcGIS power users also use Tableau for business intelligence, slicing and dicing data, and visualizing patterns. We think that’s great! Tableau and ArcGIS are complementary for many kinds of analysis.

In Tableau, one of the data visualizations you can make is a map. The product ships with pre-defined spatial datasets so you can associate data with common administrative boundaries (zip code, county, state), or place names.  There’s also a background map based on OpenStreetMap data. The resulting combination of background map and single symbol or filled map layer can be used in Tableau Dashboards and Stories.

In organizations using both ArcGIS and Tableau, we’re beginning to hear questions like:

  • “How can I use the authoritative spatial data I manage in ArcGIS in Tableau?” For example, police districts or sales territories.
  • “How do I get different ArcGIS basemaps into Tableau?”
  • “How can I mash up my Tableau analytics with additional geographic layers?”

We wanted to give you some ideas for leveraging ArcGIS content in Tableau.  Our own Josh Venman from Esri Australia and Suzanne Foss created a tutorial for how to use ArcGIS and Tableau more together. It covers how to import features from geodatabases, bring in ArcGIS basemaps and get multiple layers into a background map in Tableau. Without further ado, check it out below or here.

We hope this helps you! If you have any questions or feedback on this, please leave a comment below.

How To Use ArcGIS Maps as Tableau Background Map

The recommended workflow to use ArcGIS maps as the background map in Tableau is to publish ArcGIS base data and optionally, overlays of interest to ArcGIS Server with WMS enabled.

I. Required Software:
a. ArcGIS for Desktop 10.0 or later
b. ArcGIS for Server 10.0 or later
c. Sample Basemap:

Screenshot of Canvas basemap in ArcMap

II. ArcGIS Steps:
a. Extract to a location accessible to ArcGIS Server
b. Open CanvasBasemap_v10.mxd in ArcMap
c. Add any desired overlays to the map and symbolize them

i. For best performance, set overlays and base layers to same projection

d. Save the map with a new name that reflects the changes, and publish the map to ArcGIS Server

i. Ensure that WMS is selected as a capability on the service

f. Optionally, the map can be converted to a tile package and published to ArcGIS Server asa tiled map service. (See next section for use of a tiled map service in Tableau)

III. Tableau Steps:
a. Open Tableau
b. Go to Tableau’s menu item Map > Background Maps > WMS Servers…
c. Click the Add… button and paste the WMS endpoint URL from your ArcGIS service:
http:///arcgis/services//MapServer/WMSServer?request=GetCapabilities&service=WMS (Click the Close button)
d. Go to Tableau’s menu item Map > Background Maps > select your WMS service
e. Go to Tableau’s menu item Map > Map Options > set options for layer visibility and washout in the background map
f. The connection to the WMS service will persist when you save the Tableau workbook

IV. Additional Resources
a. Sample Canvas Basemap Download
b. How-to Video

ArcGIS Tiled Map as Tableau Background Map

The recommended workflow to use ArcGIS tiled map as a background map in Tableau is simply to add it in Tableau.

An ArcGIS tiled map could be (1) an ArcGIS Online Basemap, (2) a tiled service coming directly from your own ArcGIS Server, or (3) a tiled service hosted in your ArcGIS Online organization subscription.

ArcGIS basemaps

To use a basemap that is delivered from a server, Tableau offers the option of referencing that basemap through a ‘TMS’ file. The server is required to meet the following criteria:

  • Maps are returned as a collection of tiles
  • Tiles are in Web Mercator projection
  • Tiles can be addressed by URL using the same numbering scheme as common web mapping

The format for a TMS file is:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<mapsource inline="false" version="8.1">
<connection class="OpenStreetMap" port="80" server="<server-url>" url-format="<url-format>" />
<layer display-name=’Base’ name=’base’ show-ui=’false’ type=’features’ request-string=’/’ />

Additional parameters that can be included to control the appearance of the background map are documented in a Tableau Knowledge Base article.

I. Required Software:
a. ArcGIS Online (organizational subscription) OR b. ArcGIS for Server 10.0 or later

II. Tableau Steps:
a. Create a TMS file referencing your service of choice
b. Place the TMS file in the correct directory for Tableau to recognize it:

i. Tableau Desktop (Mac): /Users//Documents/My Tableau Repository/Mapsources
ii. Tableau Desktop (Windows): C:\Users\\Documents\My Tableau Repository\Mapsources
iii. Tableau Server: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\\vizqlserver\mapsources

c. Open Tableau
d. Go to Tableau’s menu item Map > Background Map > select your new map in the list (Note: you may see a warning about not being able to render the map if your tiled map service does not cover all of the scales required by your data in Tableau)
e. Go to Tableau’s menu item Map > Map Options > check on your custom map layer
f. Proceed to work with the Tableau interface with the tiled background map

III. Additional Resources
a. Sample TMS Files:

i. Esri Basemaps:

1. Shaded Relief
2. World Imagery
3. Light Grey Canvas
4. World Terrain
5. World Topographic

ii. Others


b. How-to Video

How to Use ArcGIS Features as a Tableau Marker Layer

The recommended workflow to use ArcGIS data as a marker layer in Tableau is to transform ArcGIS features into a Tableau-supported format.

A geoprocessing model wraps all the steps required to transform an ArcGIS polygon feature class into a Tableau-ready table in to the same database as the original feature class’s parent geodatabase. This model can be run through Python on a scheduled basis to keep the Tableau-ready data in sync.

Steps to use ArcGIS data as a marker layer in Tableau

In the example above the end result is a non-spatial table in a SQL Server Database. However, Tableau can connect to any of the databases that ArcGIS supports for enterprise geodatabases.

I. Required Software:

a. ArcGIS for Desktop 10.0 or higher b. Custom Geoprocessing Tools: Tableau Tools (10.0, 10.1/.2, or 10.3)

II. ArcGIS Steps:

a. Open ArcMap and add the ArcGIS data to be transformed to a Tableau-ready table b. Open the ArcCatalog pane and browse to the location of Tableau Tools_.tbx c. Expand the toolbox and run the tool Polygon to Tableau Point Table

i. Use your ArcGIS data as input
ii. Indicate a distance tolerance for polygon simplification
iii. Specify the coordinate system of the input polygons and any necessary geographic transformations
iv. Specify an output location (can be in an enterprise geodatabase or an external file)
v. Note: if ArcGIS data changes, this step will need to be repeated

III. Tableau Steps
a. Open Tableau
b. Use the standard Connect to Data tool to connect to the newly created ‘polygon’ table from the ArcGIS process. c. Use this new table as the source of data for a Polygon marker type in Tableau. d. After connecting to the database and selecting the Tableau-ready table, the steps are:

i. Drag PointId to Path
ii. Drag PolygonId to Detail
iii. Double-click on Latitude
iv. Double-click on Longitude

That is all that is required to draw the basic map.

ArcGIS features in Tableau map

e. At this point, any measure can be dropped on to the Color area to render the map based on that value.
f. In the example below, the data is a set of Medicare Local boundaries in Australia. Medicare Local Name has been dragged from the Dimensions area on to the Color area.

Medicare local boundaries Australia ArcGIS Tableau

g. Once created this map sheet is no different from one created using Tableau’s built-in mapping and it can be used in Tableau Dashboard and Story sheets.

IV. Additional Resources
a. ArcGIS Tool Download
b. How-to Video

Have a question or feedback? Please comment below.

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Be An Excel Ninja with ArcGIS Data Enrichment Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:00:51 +0000 Scott Ball Continue reading ]]> Speed. Power. Effectiveness. Master the art of using Esri Maps for Office to attain all three by enriching your spreadsheets with data.

Last week we shared how you can supercharge your PowerPoint presentations in under 2 minutes using Esri Maps for Office.

Today we show you how you can very quickly benefit from data you probably don’t even know you have, inside Microsoft Excel. Many people are shocked when they realize Esri Maps for Office opens up this treasure trove of data.


This secret power is called “data enrichment”. By that we mean adding new data from another source, to supplement the data you already have in your Excel spreadsheet.

Esri Maps for Office does this with so much speed, power, and effectiveness, the results will make you feel like an Excel Ninja. Check out how it works in this 30-second video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

What just happened there? Esri Maps for Office detects location data you already have in your spreadsheet. You tell it what additional information you want to add – things like median home value, median age, highest education level, or vehicle ownership – and it automatically adds that information as new columns in your spreadsheet.

This lets you focus on a key area and rapidly retrieve important information about it. What kind of people live here? What do people like to do in this area? What are their habits and lifestyles? What kind of businesses are in this area? When you have these answers, you can make effective decisions.

This powerful feature is called ‘Enrich Layer’ in Esri Maps for Office. All you have to do is use it. Before you start, make sure you have added your spreadsheet data onto a map using the ‘Add Map’ or ‘From Excel’ buttons. Then:

Click here to view the embedded video.

To try it out for yourself, get Esri Maps for Office now!

One last note: With great power comes great responsibility. When you enrich your Excel spreadsheets with data, you consume credits from your organization’s ArcGIS account. The more data you add, the more credits you consume. Be sure to coordinate your ninja activities with your ArcGIS Online administrator.

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Classifying aerial video on the fly Mon, 29 Jun 2015 21:43:52 +0000 kevin_butler Continue reading ]]> Here’s a pretty cool workflow for classifying video collected from a plane or UAV. What follows is a quick and dirty approach that is designed to give you a first look at what’s on the ground.

Step 1 – Capture frames periodically and then create a mosaic out of those frames.

  • Open the Mosaic Video Geoprocessing tool in the Full Motion Video Toolbox.* This tool automates the collection and mosaicking of the frames. What you want to do here is make sure that each frame that is captured does not overlap with any others.
  • (If they overlap, the intelligence that’s build into the mosaic dataset will take over, and the overlapping pixels will get blended together. It wouldn’t be an issue if you were capturing every single frame, but because this is more of a sample, you get weird artifacts.)
  • The main parameter is the Image Capture Interval. Watch the video and keep an eye on the top of the screen to see how much time elapses for it to move to the bottom of the screen. If it takes 4 seconds to fly over one of these horizons, then your Image Capture Interval should work fine at 5 seconds. Remember, you don’t want any overlapping frames.

You can tell a lot about the flight path from these screen shots. Variations in the width of the frames (from left to right) and the amount of space between frames indicate a change in velocity of the aircraft. If the frame gets larger, the aircraft has gained in elevation. The less square a frame is indicates the camera has changed its viewing angle. All of these introduce error and lend to the quick and dirty approach advocated in this blog. Ideally, you’d have consistently sized and spaced squares.

Once you’ve run the tool, it’s a fairly straightforward workflow to classify each image. Usually I would never recommend using raster functions to segment an image because it’s processing intensive and every time you pan/zoom, it’s going to reprocess. You can get artifacts if you zoom in too far. But it works here because these frames are only 8-bit, 3 band images. You can zoom into each frame and get a pretty decent classification. If the images were overlapping, it wouldn’t work out well.

Step 2 – Set up the ISO Cluster Parameters

  • You do need to run the Train ISO Cluster Geoprocessing tool to generate an .ecd file. This just stores the parameters (such as number of classes) that get called when classifying the image. I set my max number of classes to 4. I’m hoping to pick up variation in vegetation and bare earth.

Step 3 – Segmentation

  • From here, apply the segmentation raster function to the mosaic dataset from the Image Analysis Window. Set the spatial and spectral details to 20.

Step 4 – Classify

  • Then add the Classify Function using the segments and the .ecd file as your inputs. It should process pretty quickly.
  • To inspect the classification, zoom in so that one frame takes up the entire view. You can use the swipe tool to peel back the classified layer and reveal the imagery underneath.
raw imagery

Frame capture


Classified frame capture


Parting thoughts:

If you wanted to, you could create training sites and use a more robust classifier, like a Support Vector Machine. ISO Cluster missed the roads that are in the far right of the image, and if that’s what I’m looking for, then I’d have to go back and revisit my strategy. But if I’m interested in vegetation, this is probably good enough.

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Esri Updates World Topographic Map with Content from Our User Community Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:20:39 +0000 Shane Matthews Continue reading ]]> We are pleased to announce that the World Topographic Map has been updated with new content!

As part of ArcGIS OnlineEsri’s Basemaps support a vast GIS community, with the Topographic Map alone averaging over one Million daily viewers. We couldn’t have done it without you; Thank You to our Contributors and Partners who help support the Living Atlas of the World by providing data and enriching these amazing resources.

This update incorporates contributions from select locations in the United States and Canada. We have new and updated content for facility sites, universities, cities, counties and over 42,000 square miles in the state of Virginia!

Contributor Spotlights

View this tour of the new and updated content in the World Topographic Map.

Let’s welcome our newest contributors:

Anne Arundel County, MD (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor

Caltrans District 11, San Diego, CA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor

Shoreline, WA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor

Everett Community College, Everett, WA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor

University of California, Riverside, CA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor

University of Maryland, College Park, MD (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor

University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor

University of Redlands, Redlands, CA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor

Woodstock, GA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor

Once in a while I like to call a bit of attention to how much our user community enhances the accuracy, usability and aesthetics of our basemaps. Have a look at how these campuses have been transformed.

University of California, Riverside 1:4K


University of New Hampshire 1:4K


University of Redlands 1:4K


Contributors in this Release

  • Anne Arundel County, MD (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k)
  • Caltrans District 11, San Diego, CA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor
  • Everett Community College, Everett, WA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor
  • Shoreline, WA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor
  • University of California, Riverside, CA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor
  • University of Maryland, College Park, MD (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor
  • University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor
  • University of Redlands, Redlands, CA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor
  • Woodstock, GA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor
  • Toronto Area for PanAm Games  (Topo 1:144k to 1:1k) Update
  • Alachua County, FL (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) Update
  • Lee’s Summit, MO (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) Update
  • State of Virginia (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) Update


Community Newsletter: Stay updated on program news, tips and tricks, user success stories, training events, and participant contributions by subscribing to the Community Maps Newsletter. You can have the newsletter sent right to your inbox by subscribing here.

Share your data: Do you want to join the growing community of Community Maps contributors?  It’s easy; just visit Community Maps for an overview and visit the Community Maps Contribution Process page for more information.

Share your story: How has contributing to the Living Atlas Community benefited your organization? Has your participation helped meet a particular challenge? Email us at so we can promote your success.


For more information visit the Community Maps Program Resource Center.

If you have previously used the World_Topo_Map, you may need to clear your cache in order to see the updates.

If you have feedback on content, try our Topographic Map Feedback web map.

If you have other feedback or comments, please post them to the ArcGIS Online Discussion Group and the Living Atlas Discussion Group on GeoNet.

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Give Your Data a Health Check Up UC 2015 Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:37:37 +0000 DataReviewerTeam Continue reading ]]> When your organization depends on geographic information system for its day-to-day operation, data errors can introduce unacceptable risk and unplanned costs.

Beginning at the 2011 Esri International User Conference in San Diego, Esri provided customers an opportunity to see just how clean their data really is. Since then, the Data Health Checks, as they are called, have become a staple service at every User Conference.

Users take advantage of the Data Health Check at the 2014 Esri UC, sitting down with Esri staff to check the quality of their data.

At first, only eleven water/wastewater customers signed up for this service at the 2011 UC. Since then, the Data Health Checks have become so popular that it was expanded to five industries and supporting more than seventy users at the most recent 2014 UC. They are now offered at other conferences including the Electric & Gas GIS Conference, Pacific User Group and other regional conferences.

Participating in the Data Health Check is as easy as bringing a sample of your data in either a file or personal geodatabase to the conference. During your session, an Esri industry expert performs a diagnostic on your data using the ArcGIS Data Reviewer extension to assess its overall quality.

Esri staff explains the key data checks (see example checks for water and electric) and any errors detected are reviewed with the user. The error features (captured in a separate geodatabase) and an Excel report outlining the accuracy rates of your data will be provided to you to take back to your organization for additional review.

Running the ArcGIS Data Reviewer through its paces on an electric utility database, checking for devices not connected to conductors, conductors and bus bars that overlap, and fuses and switches that do not split conductors and bus bars, among other issues.

At the 2015 UC, Esri is offering the Data Health Check for users in:



land records/addressing,

transportation/roads & highways industries.

How to Sign Up

Where: Esri UC showcase located in the San Diego Convention Center
When: Tuesday, July 21, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 22, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 23, 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Sign Up: E-mail with the following information:

  • Name
  • Organization
  • Contact information (phone/e-mail)
  • Dataset you’re bringing (please limit to one dataset only)
  • Preferred date/time

The Data Health Check is free, focuses expressly on features/attributes and takes about 45 minutes. Due to time constraints, only a subset of checks is performed during the session. When deployed for production, Data Reviewer can be configured to more thoroughly validate all of the organization’s data quality business rules. Customers may choose to implement the rules themselves, work with Esri partners or use Esri Database Services to review and optimize data models, to configure Data Reviewer beyond the checks that were run on their data at the conference and implement workflows for data correction and maintenance. These include the 3-day jumpstart package, RAT/ implementation work as well as training.

The quality of your data is critical. Esri Data Health Checks can improve your GIS program by reducing the errors that create risks and unplanned costs. Sign up now. We will see you at the Esri UC!

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Water Resources Layers on ArcGIS Online Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Caitlin Scopel Continue reading ]]> Water Resources on ArcGIS OnlineEsri’s hosted content on ArcGIS Online now includes five new layers to use in your water resources maps and analyses.

To use these services, you can either add them to your ArcGIS Online (AGOL) map directly from their respective AGOL content item or make a direct connection to the server in ArcMap (Add ArcGIS Server connection).

Details of each service

The High Resolution National Hydrography Dataset displays key features of the United States’ surface water drainage network including streams, lakes, waterfalls, gauging stations, wells and sinks. The High Resolution dataset was created at a scale of 1:24,000 (one inch on the map equals 2,000 feet on the ground), which differs from the Medium Resolution NHD, which was created at a scale of 1:100,000. While both the High Resolution NHD and the Medium Resolution NHD are constantly being updated by stewards of the NHD program, the data used to create these layers was taken from the March of 2015 version of the NHD.

The Watershed Boundary Dataset is the authoritative source of surface water drainage area boundaries across the United States. The boundaries are defined by hydrologic and topographic criteria that delineate an area of land upstream from a specific point on a river and are determined solely upon science based hydrologic principles. Administrative boundaries, special projects or particular programs or agencys are not considered for the delineation of these watersheds. The watershed is often used as the minimum unit of areal measurement in terrain/landscape and/or hydrology applications, and thus is a very important starting point for many GIS analyses.

The updated Polluted Waters and Polluted Waters – Heavy Metals layers display water bodies listed as impaired under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, and are defined as waters that are too polluted or otherwise degraded to support their potential or existing uses. This designation takes into consideration 34 different impairment types, which can be used to filter the dataset. The Polluted Waters – Heavy Metals layer has a filter applied to only show waters impaired by Mercury and heavy metals.

Finally, the updated National Hydrography Dataset Plus V2.1 – Seamless Vector Denormalized layer is a dataset released by the USGS in support of the Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI). The ODWI integrates fragmented water information into a connected, national water data framework to support use cases like the National Flood Interoperability Experiment (NFIE), water supply decision support systems, and spill response/water quality issues. The updated NHDPlusV2.1 Seamless dataset is based upon the Medium Resolution NHD (1:100,000 scale) and is one seamless dataset for all of the United States with NHDPlus attribution present in the flowlines attribute table. Previous versions of the NHDPlus were only available to download by separate drainage basins and required table joins to liberate the Plus attributes.

For more information about the ODWI and NFIE, please join us on Sunday, July 19, 2015 for the Esri Water Resources Meeting at the San Diego Convention Center (register here for free!)

To explore the water resources layers mentioned above, and other water resources layers hosted by Esri, visit our Landscape Layers group on ArcGIS Online or peruse the Living Atlas Gallery.



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Supercharge Your PowerPoint Presentations Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:00:03 +0000 Scott Ball Continue reading ]]> Using Esri Maps for Office, you can make interactive, dynamic maps that add geographic content to your PowerPoint presentations.

Many of you may have heard of Esri Maps for Office. It lets you do really cool things with data without needing to fire up GIS software like ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcGIS Online. In fact, all that you need to start making gorgeous and insightful maps is something you probably already have installed on your computer – Microsoft Excel. If you use PowerPoint, even better!

There’s a lot already documented on how you can turn boring tabular data in Excel into visually compelling heat maps, cluster maps, hot spot analyses, and more. But what not many people know is that you can also add extra firepower to your PowerPoint presentations using Esri Maps for Office.

With a few easy steps, you can supercharge your PowerPoint presentations with interactive, dynamic maps. Here’s a video so you can see how cool this truly is.

Click here to view the embedded video.

May I repeat that we’re still in PowerPoint!

With a dynamic map inserted on your slide you can open it in full screen mode, zoom in and out, move around the map, and display pop-ups with additional information when you hover over them – just as if it was streaming live from a web browser.

We’ve made another short clip so you can see how easy it is to insert a dynamic map like this. Most people who work with Esri Maps for Office start in Excel. But for this task, you should start in PowerPoint instead.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The output? Beautiful, interactive maps, running inside your PowerPoint presentations, done in less than 2 minutes.

We hope you’re enjoying this feature of Esri Maps for Office! Look out for even more powerful dynamic map functionality in a future release.

Yours truly,

The Esri Maps for Office team

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Smart Mapping Part 5: Tips and Tricks Tue, 16 Jun 2015 22:00:10 +0000 Mark Harrower Continue reading ]]> Whenever possible, Smart Mapping aims to offload work from the map author to the machine. The goal is not to take control away from the author, but rather, make informed, intelligent choices and partner with the map author so we can all work faster.

Here are some tips and tricks to get the most out of Smart Mapping.

Tip #1: Decide what range of your data to emphasize

When working with numerical data mapped as Counts and Amounts (Size) or (Color) explore how moving the handles beside the histogram can dramatically change the look of the map. Use this to emphasize certain ranges of the data, or to uncover subtle details.

Tip #2: Classifying your data? Create custom class names!

Whenever you deliberately put observations into classes (or bins) the map can be more memorable and meaningful if the classes have names such as “Very High” “High” “Medium”, especially if the raw numeric values might not resonate with the audience. On the other hand, experts may want both names and numbers since they are familiar with the concepts or data, so keep the audience in mind when selecting class labels.

Tip #3: Choose the right color ramp

When mapping numeric data using Counts and Amounts (Color) there are many attractive color schemes (“ramps”) to use under the Symbols button. Don’t forget to also explore the different ways to use color in the Themes pulldown.

Tip #4: How to map change (over time) 

If you have data for multiple time periods you might want to understand how things are changing over time. In the example below, you can see which US counties grew and shrank in population, and which ones are changing the fastest. Rather than make 2 maps, for the 2 time periods, and expect your readers to do the math themselves (an almost impossible task), why not create a ratio of the two years using the “Divided By” pulldown to normalize the data.

In this case, Population 2012 was divided by Population 2010. A value of 1.0 means there was no change, numbers bigger than 1 mean growth, and less than 1.0 means population loss. This approach works for any numerical data from two time periods, not just population data. The ratio approach also work to compare two variables from the same time period, such as number of males to females, or one political party versus another.

Hint: These kinds of change maps are perfect for the Above-and-Below theme.

Tip #5: Explore advanced transparency effects

Sometimes you might want finer control over the transparency of your map symbols, more than can be achieved with just the layer transparency, since it applies to everything in the layer. A favorite technique of cartographers is to apply semi-transparent fills and solid strokes to Counts and Amounts (Size) maps.

Tip #6: Change All Symbols versus Change One Symbol

Categorical data is best mapped as Unique Value maps. Categorical data includes things like tree species, fuel types, and political parties: they’re different categories of things. To change the look of a single category/symbol (e.g., change the shape, color, size) click the symbol right beside the class name. To change the look of all symbols (e.g., change all classes from circles to squares) click the Symbols button (the three color boxes).

Tip #7: Advanced Feature – Rotating Point Symbols

When working with point features that have numeric information, it is quite easy to map the size of the symbol using one attribute (say, wind speed) and then rotate those symbols proportional to some other attribute (say, wind direction). When combined with the position of the symbol, each point of the map communicates three pieces of information.

Hint: Make sure to use point symbols that look different when rotated, like arrows!

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New Learn ArcGIS Project: Hiking Red Rock Canyon Fri, 12 Jun 2015 19:00:15 +0000 tyoder Continue reading ]]> By Tamara Yoder, Data Content ArcGIS Online

Hiking Red Rock Canyon thumbnailHiking in Las Vegas, Nevada, can be a dangerous undertaking overall; with hot, arid climate and rugged terrain, hikers need to be cautious. Over one million hikers visit Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area per year.  ArcGIS will be used to educate the general public about the relative difficulties of the park’s trails in a web app on kiosk computers in the visitor’s center. Trails are symbolized on the map by difficulty and users can click on trails to see pop-ups with additional information. Users can also create an elevation profile for any trail they select. The elevation profile shows a two-dimensional, cross-sectional view of the landscape that the trail traverses.

In the new Hiking Red Rock Canyon project on the Learn ArcGIS web site, you’ll learn how to make that web app. Using layers from Esri’s Living Atlas of the World, you’ll create the web map and configure the pop-ups. Then you’ll use the configurable Elevation Profile web app template to add the profile functionality to the interface.

Platform: ArcGIS Online

Time: 1 hour

Level: Beginner

Build skills in these areas:

  • Adding layers to a map
  • Changing map symbols
  • Configuring pop-ups
  • Sharing a map as a web app
  • Using the Elevation Profile web app template
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Create Beautiful Infographics with the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Qt and Qt Charts Fri, 12 Jun 2015 18:45:22 +0000 ldanzinger Continue reading ]]> One of the great things about our ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Qt is that we provide an API that seamlessly plugs into a rich framework that is platform agnostic and has nearly endless possibilities for what you can create. This allows you to bring the power of location and ArcGIS into larger projects that take full advantage of the framework and its multitude of APIs and plug-ins. One of my favorite modules from the Qt Framework is called Qt Charts, which is an enterprise add-in that allows you to easily create visually appealing charts and graphs. These charts and graphs, coupled with beautifully designed maps from ArcGIS, allow you to create data exploration tools and infographics that are extremely valuable when trying to tell a story about your data.

As an example, I created a data exploration tool for Los Angeles County. I wanted to explore how demographics, crime rates, and income were related in the LA Area. To do this, I used the Esri data and maps block group level demographic data, along with some CSV crime data from the LA County Sheriff’s Department over the last 30 days. Using some analysis tools in ArcMap, I was able to quickly aggregate the data by block group, and publish it as a feature service to ArcGIS Online. Now to the fun part – writing code!

I envisioned my app as an interactive tool for a user to explore the map and obtain summarized data as they navigated to new areas of the map. To do this, the user clicks on the map, and a buffer around that point is created using the geometry engine that is built-in to the Runtime API. This buffer acts as a cookie cutter, and all of the demographic and crime data for blocks that intersect with the buffer is summarized quickly and represented on the graphs. Here is my QML code for listening for a mouseClicked() signal from the map, and creating the buffer and graphic.

The coding was straightforward, and revolved largely around executing Query Tasks against the Feature Service, and feeding the results to the different elements in the charts. The Query Tasks takes advantage of a concept called Out Statistics, which allows you to specify a field and a statistic type. Instead of returning all of the features inside of your input geometry, Out Statistics will return one feature with all of your summarized statistics. Here is an example of the code written in QML.

Once the Query task completes, the data is fed into some bar and pie charts for easy data visualization.

Finally, all of this is overlaid on an Esri-provided Median Household income dynamic map service. I chose this specific dynamic map so the user can see trends and correlations between the demographic, income, and crime related data. Here is what the final product looks like.

This project can be found on ArcGIS Online, so please feel free to download the source code and explore the application on your own. If you’re interested in the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Qt and haven’t already downloaded and started developing, please visit the Developers Page or visit us on GeoNet to learn more.

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