ArcGIS Blog » Mapping ArcGIS Blog Sat, 20 Dec 2014 01:54:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 3D web scenes take flight Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:42:14 +0000 Kenneth Field Continue reading ]]> By Kenneth Field, Senior Cartographic Product Engineer

The latest release of ArcGIS Online included a major new update that brought 3D scenes to your browser. This extends the capabilities for visualization of ArcGIS Online content by giving you the option of displaying it on a responsive WebGL virtual globe. I’ve been experimenting with different ways of displaying global flight data from and this blog describes how I built a 3D version called Airflow Globe.

Data from includes a global dataset of airports complete with latitude and longitude. It also includes a list of all air traffic routes (between two airports). I’ve used this data in a previous blog post to illustrate how the new transparency tools in ArcGIS Pro can be harnessed to better represent 60,000 overlapping routes. By setting transparency to 98% we get a beautiful illustration of global interconnectivity that reveals the shape of the world’s continents without any other data.

But what about all those curved lines? Surely airplanes fly in a straight line? If, like me, you often sit on an airplane listening to the conversations around you, you’ll no doubt have heard someone ask the question “why are those lines curved?” when looking at the in-flight map. I’ve had to answer that question on more than one occasion but oddly enough most people aren’t that interested in taking a class on map projections at 36,000 feet. How do you make those apparently curved lines straight? Using a globe does the job and shows those curvy looking lines on a cylindrical projection do turn out as straight lines of constant bearing on a globe. So how is it built?

ArcGIS Pro provides capabilities to author maps in either 2D or 3D (or both). I built a 2D version in ArcGIS Pro earlier this year (in ArcGIS Online here). Beginning with my 2D map, I inserted a new 3D scene in my ArcGIS Pro Project and then copied my flight routes data from the 2D map to the 3D scene. It is automatically rendered onto a virtual globe in ArcGIS Pro where I can also specify the basemap (I chose light gray to ensure the routes were legible). The routes were shared to my ArcGIS Online account as a Web Tile Layer meaning they are cached at a range of scales. I then added the airport locations data to the Scene in ArcGIS Pro and set the symbol to a simple pushpin and defined the appearance of the labels. There are over 7,500 airports so I used definition queries coupled with the data on number of active take-offs and landings to create several copies of the airport location data in the scene, each of which showing progressively more airports (based on number of take offs and landings) which I want to set to reveal at different elevations.

In the same way as you’re familiar with setting the visibility range for layers on 2D maps, you can also do the same for layers in 3D scenes, except you use elevation instead of scale as the unit of measurement. I set my airport location layers so that only the world’s busiest airports are displayed at high altitudes (when the view shows the whole globe) and as you zoom in, additional airports are added to the scene.

The position of the labels was set to ‘Top of Point’ which is rendered as a rotating billboard label in a scene in ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online.

The end result is a scaleable virtual globe where content is revealed as you zoom in. This avoids the clutter you often get by displaying all your data at once at all scales (or elevations) and creates a much better user experience. Progressively revealing detail as you zoom in also invites the user of your map to explore.

I also configured my popups for the airports in ArcGIS Pro so they delivered the salient information about each airport.

The final step is sharing this scene to my ArcGIS Online account which is as simple as using the Share As Web Scene button on the Share tab. ArcGIS Pro packages up your scene and publishes it to ArcGIS Online as a 3D web scene.

All that remains is for you to log in to your ArcGIS Online account and do some simple configuration to get the web scene ready for use.

As the author and owner of the web scene you get access to the tools to modify the scene via a pane on the left of the window. The web scene itself is visible to the right, showing the additional tools available to the user.

You can add other layers (from your content or from other ArcGIS Online content). You can also create a Layer Group which I did to group my different airport location layers into a single layer (Airports) to simplify the appearance for the map user. Finally, I created some Slides in the same pane which appear as thumbnails across the bottom of the scene. These are effectively bookmarks to allow your map user to navigate to a preset position, perhaps a key location or a place that is important in your data. Once you’ve done some basic configuration, just share your web scene so it becomes visible on the web.

Users of your web scene can load it directly into their WebGL compliant browser. They can zoom, pan and rotate the globe and see your data brought to life across it. They can switch layers on or off, change the basemap if they wish (though the flight routes data in my example is specifically designed for the light gray basemap so won’t look as good across, say, imagery), and modify the environment settings to change lighting and shadows. Popups work like any other web map so clicking on the airports reveal the information I configured earlier in ArcGIS Pro.

3D web scenes are a great way to show your data in a different way. This example shows how you can make sense of flight route data in a different way when you view it on a globe, rather than a 2D map. Of course, not every dataset is going to work in a cognitive sense in 3D but web scenes open the door for further expermintation with visualization.

What’s next? 3D web scenes will develop further with new releases of ArcGIS Online to improve performance and support different needs. Currently, 60,000+ routes is too much for the browser to handle as features but it would be nice to have the flight paths arc above the surface at their actual flight elevation. Airports could also be positioned at their true elevation. All this is actually currently supported in a web scene but building a map to function is as important as just using all the technology available.

You can view the Airflow Globe web scene here.

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What’s new in ArcGIS 10.3 for Server Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:20:47 +0000 ssankaran Continue reading ]]> Everyone hopefully saw the announcement last week that ArcGIS 10.3 is now available. In this occasion we want to drill down into what is new in the ArcGIS for Server product, which includes enhancements to the GIS Server, and licensing changes in its Portal for ArcGIS extension.

The GIS Server includes some key enhancements providing features that we have heard requests for over the past releases:

  • ArcGIS Server Manager now includes a new dashboard for administrators to get usage metrics such as total requests, average response time etc on ArcGIS Server services. This will help you better understand how your services are being used.
  • You can now configure your map services so the ID of your layers is preserved. This will make your own web applications resilient to changes in the order of layers in your map services.
  • At 10.3, we now support OGC Web Features Service (version 2.0) and have enhanced our support for multi-dimensional data in wms services. Check this link for more details.
  • Organizations serving large basemaps will benefit from significant performance improvements to consumption of cached tiles when using a new compact cache format. Even without use of the new cache format, secured cached map services will see big improvements to tile retrieval times

The full list of issues addressed is available online and the What’s new in ArcGIS 10.3 for Server help topic goes into detail on many of the new things in the GIS server. Please read the compatibility help topic for details as you plan to upgrade to the 10.3 release.

The Portal for ArcGIS extension is now included at no additional cost with both ArcGIS for Server Standard and ArcGIS for Server Advanced licenses. This was first announced during the User Conference and we are excited to make this available to all of our customers in order to provide a complete Web GIS with ArcGIS for Server. Here are some reasons why we think Portal for ArcGIS will be important to you:

The Portal provides an effective way to organize your ArcGIS Server services, maps and apps so everyone can find and use them quickly.

  • It includes Web AppBuilder, which will allow you to easily build lightweight GIS Web apps from scratch. With Web AppBuilder you can leverage unique features of ArcGIS for Server such as Geoprocessing Tasks, High Quality Printing services and more.  Your configured Apps will run on pure HTML code and look great not just on your desktop, but also on your tablets and smartphones. Have a look at this short video for an intro to Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS.
  • Portal for ArcGIS is bundled with a great collection of configurable Web Application Templates.  This means that you can more easily create focused and beautiful web apps and make your work look much better. You will find a variety of templates from configurable map viewers to map journals, crowdsourcing templates and more.
  • Named user licenses for using Collector for ArcGIS , Explorer for ArcGIS, Esri Maps for Office  and Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS are also included with your Portal for ArcGIS extension.

If you are familiar already with Portal for ArcGIS, you will find a comprehensive list of new functionality in the  What’s new in Portal for ArcGIS 10.3  help topic, but among all the enhancements, we want to highlight the following:

Finally, we want to highlight the new location for everything related to ArcGIS 10.3 for Server: From there you can navigate to documentation, product information and much more.

Happy Holidays!

The ArcGIS for Server Team

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Create Watersheds and Trace Downstream in your ArcGIS Online web map Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:00:09 +0000 Caitlin Scopel Continue reading ]]> Hydrology Tools on ArcGIS OnlineThe Hydrology Analysis tools, Watershed and Trace Downstream, have been available in ArcGIS for Desktop for over a year now, and many water resources users are utilizing these fast and accurate Geoprocessing services. We’re happy to announce that these two tools are now available out-of-the-box in the ArcGIS Online web map viewer.



To use the Create Watersheds and Trace Downstream analysis tools, add your point layer to a web map then click the drop down arrow to reveal the Perform Analysis menu.

Perform Analysis

In this menu, select Find Locations. The Find Locations list includes Create Watersheds and Trace Downstream.

Find Locations

Create Watersheds and Trace Downstream in ArcGIS Online are driven by the Watershed and Trace Downstream Geoprocessing services. These tools are built on authoritative datasets from the USGS and World Wildlife Fund and produce fast and accurate upstream drainage basins and downstream flow paths. For more information on the data behind these tools, please read our Official Release blog.

To use the Watershed tool in ArcGIS Online, select Create Watersheds. The first input is Search distance to nearest drainage. This is similar to the Snap Distance parameter in the Desktop tool. This parameter will snap you to the closest stream within a certain distance (in the example below I use 10 Feet). You can leave this blank, and the tool will automatically snap you to the closest stream within a default distance of 5 cells. The second input is the result layer name, and then you can save your result in your ArcGIS Online Organization Account. This tool runs against the finest resolution data available in your area of interest. In the US, the finest resolution is 30m data from the USGS, and in the rest of the world, the finest resolution is 90m data from the HydroSHEDS project–a product by the World Wildlife Fund and the USGS.

Create Watersheds

The resulting layers are added to your web map: Watershed polygons from the 30m or 90m data and the Adjusted Points, which are the snapped points used to calculate the watersheds.

Resulting watersheds

The Trace Downstream tool is just as easy to use, and is based upon the same datasets as Create Watersheds. However, this ArcGIS Online tool was built with some additional functionality. Trace Downstream in ArcGIS Online allows you to split the resulting downstream flow path into line segments, and also clip the line at a designated distance (1,000 Miles in the example below).

Trace Downstream

The resulting downstream trace line shows the downstream flow path that water would take if it were dropped at each input point location, all the way out to the ocean, and also gives you measurements of how far that water actually went.

We hope you find these two new additions to ArcGIS Online’s analytic capabilities exciting and useful!

Please send any and all feedback to

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User Contributions have improved Esri’s Online Basemaps and Imagery Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:10:15 +0000 Shane Matthews Continue reading ]]> Esri’s ArcGIS Content Team has just incorporated new and updated content to both the World Topographic Map and Basemap Imagery, expanding and updating content in the Living Atlas of the World. This refresh includes 3 new contributors and 3 updates for cities and counties in the United States and Nigeria for the World Topographic Map and an update supporting our imagery services from Berlin, Germany.

First a look at our newest contributors to the topographic map. Beginning in the United States is the City of Aurora, IL (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k).

City of Aurora, IL (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k)

Aurora, IL has created a web app called My Place. This application helps residents obtain useful information related to where they live, as well as other addresses throughout the city. Now that the city has contributed content, they can add a topographic base to accompany the streets and imagery basemap options.

You can learn more about this app in this press release from the City of Aurora, IL.

Also located in the Midwest region of the United States is Brown County, WI (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k). Home to the popular National Football League’s (NFL) Green Bay Packers and Lambeau Field.

Brown County, WI (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) Green Bay County Seat

Brown County is celebrating the opening of a new Zoo & Adventure Park. Looks like Saturday, December 13th will be a great day to get the kids out for breakfast with Santa and the opening of the Zip Line. The new facility is located 10 miles from downtown Green Bay.

Our final new contributor for this release is Lagos, Nigeria (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k). Lagos was updated to include a building footprint layer which lends great added detail and geographic context throughout the city.

Lagos, Nigeria (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k)

Lagos is the largest city in Africa and continues to grow. By 2015, Lagos will be the third most populated city in the world, according to United Nations estimates. The following Story Map provides the details on this and other select Megacities.

We would like to thank the following counties for updates and continuing to help the ArcGIS Content Team provide the most contemporary and best available data.

Lake County, IL (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) Waukegan County Seat

Story County, IA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) Nevada County Seat

Yavapai County, AZ (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) Prescott County Seat

Lastly, we have an update to our Imagery Basemap for Berlin, Germany, provided by Geoportal Berlin. In this updated data of Germany’s capital and largest city, recent changes can be seen throughout.  This example below shows the O2 World Complex and three new buildings completed including a hotel and office building.

New imagery for Berlin (0.20m resolution, 2014)

Previous imagery for Berlin (2011)

See Berlin’s cityscape and buildings come to life in this 3D City Base, powered by Esri City Engine.

If you work for a local government and would enjoy participating in Community Maps, the Story Map below will guide you through the layers we typically incorporate into the World Topographic Map. The map provides examples and explanations of the basemap layers your organization can contribute to Esri Community Maps.

Whether you are currently contributing or are interested, use the New Data Prep Tools to prepare your data for submission. These tools are version 2.0 of the previously released CM DataPrepTools_v1 ArcGIS 10.1 and CM DataPrepTools_v1 International Edition ArcGIS 10.1. Updates included in this release of the tools are outlined in the table below.

Need some guidance in using these tools? Our team is offering online training workshops. Read the blog below for the details.

New online Community Maps Data Preparation Tools workshop available in 2015.

Showcase your organization! If you work for an organization that is benefiting from Community Maps Participation and would like to share your work with our expanding user community, please contact Shane Matthews ( or Community Maps ( and tell us your story and have a chance to be featured in a Community Maps Webinar segment.

Here’s a list of all the community contributors for this release:

World Topographic Map

Imagery Basemap

These contributions were made through the Community Maps Program. For more information visit the Community Maps Program Resource Center.

The service was updated on the following servers: and 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 feedback on content, try our Imagery Map Feedback web map.

Metadata for Imagery Map: This service is metadata-enabled. With the Identify tool in ArcMap or the World Imagery with Metadata web map, you can see the resolution, collection date, and source of the imagery at the location you click. The metadata applies only to the best available imagery at that location. You may need to zoom in to view the best available imagery.

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

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ArcGIS 10.3: The Next Generation of GIS Is Here Wed, 10 Dec 2014 23:15:40 +0000 Sud Menon Continue reading ]]> We’re excited to announce that ArcGIS 10.3 is now available. ArcGIS 10.3 is a major release that will help you discover, make, use, and share maps from any device, anywhere, at any time.

ArcGIS 10.3 includes new apps and enhancements that will boost your efficiency and extend the impact of your work in your organization. Here are some of the highlights:

ArcGIS Pro – Your New ArcGIS for Desktop App

ArcGIS Pro reinvents desktop GIS. This brand new 64-bit desktop app lets you render and process your data faster than ever. With ArcGIS Pro, you can design and edit in 2D and 3D, work with multiple displays and layouts, and publish maps directly to ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS, making them available on any device.

ArcGIS Pro is currently in prerelease and will be available to you as part of your ArcGIS 10.3 for Desktop license. Stay tuned for the final release in January.

More Tools for ArcMap

At 10.3, ArcMap is better than ever, with improvements such as new analysis and automation tools, infographics capabilities, and tools for managing your data more efficiently. You can even run any version of ArcMap side by side with ArcGIS Pro.

ArcGIS for Server is now a complete Web GIS

ArcGIS Online provides Web GIS, hosted by Esri. With ArcGIS 10.3, ArcGIS for Server delivers Web GIS in your own infrastructure. This is possible because ArcGIS for Server Standard or Advanced now entitles you to Portal for ArcGIS. Portal for ArcGIS unlocks the full suite of ArcGIS apps, including the new Web AppBuilder, so everyone in your organization can leverage your GIS work.

ArcGIS Online continues to add new capabilities

Read about the Q4 update to ArcGIS Online.

3D begins to roll out across the entire platform

We are continuing to realize the vision of taking 3D information and bringing it to life in browsers and applications that run on devices. At 10.3, we’re delivering a whole new 3D editing and visualization experience for the Desktop with the introduction of ArcGIS Pro. What’s more, you can share the 3D scenes you create in ArcGIS Pro with anyone using ArcGIS Online, which now includes a new Web Scene Viewer. A web scene can have layers, including elevation layers, imagery layers, tiled layers, and feature layers. In addition to viewing scenes created and published using ArcGIS Pro, the ArcGIS Online Web Scene viewer can also be used to create 3D Scenes by mashing up existing layers in your Web GIS, right from your browser. Content that you have already captured can be brought into these scenes and displayed so users can work with that information in 3D.

Over the next few months, subsequent releases will deliver even more 3D capabilities including the ability to publish and disseminate web scenes and layers using your own ArcGIS Servers, including support for sharing photo realistic 3D models (such as detailed buildings), and 3D-enabled mobile applications that work on devices, such as tablets and smartphones.

Real-time GIS at 10.3

At 10.3, real-time, streaming data is fully integrated into ArcGIS. The GeoEvent Extension for Server delivers improved performance with increased throughput capability, faster spatial filtering, and the ability to scale-out by adding machines to a cluster.

A suite of new spatial operators have been added to GeoEvent for even more powerful spatial filtering options, such as intersect, touches, and overlaps, all of which can be applied to any or all GeoFences.

New spatial processors are included, such as Buffer Creator, Intersector, and Symmetric Difference, delivering an unprecedented array of real-time spatial analytics. Even more real-time spatial processors are available in the Esri Gallery on GitHub. You can even create your own.

At ArcGIS 10.3, real-time web maps are here thanks to the introduction of the Stream Service and Stream Layer. Now, real-time layers can be configured, symbolized, and filtered directly in a web map and added to ArcGIS apps and custom applications.

More opportunities for developers

There are different aspects to developing with the ArcGIS platform, and 10.3 introduces new capabilities for developers across the board. First, web development gets better, more powerful, and easier with enhanced APIs, new layers for working with information such as real-time that is streamed into browsers, new visualization capabilities for working with these layers, and new functionality for working with proportional symbols and performing dot density mapping. All of this is available in the JavaScript API and in our web GIS developer model.

Another area that is new in 10.3 is the introduction of Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, which not only allows users who are not developers to assemble applications, but also gives developers opportunities to build their own widgets that can be used with Web AppBuilder.

10.3 marks the beginning of a wave of releases that will further help developers build mobile applications using ArcGIS Runtime. This will allow developers to take advantage of the same technology that Esri uses to build our mobile applications including Collector, Explorer, and Operations Dashboard. These releases will expose the new 10.3 capabilities for working with 3D, real time, mapping, and offline to developers building native applications for the different mobile platforms.

Last but not least, developers working with ArcGIS Pro can leverage Python to automate tasks. Developers will also be able to extend ArcGIS Pro with add-ins using the ArcGIS Pro SDK for .NET. This will be available in beta during the first quarter of 2015.

Join the conversation about ArcGIS 10.3. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and GeoNet using #12DaysArcGIS.

By Sud Menon, Director of Software Development and Engineering

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ArcGIS 10.2.1 & 10.2.2 for Desktop Hydrology Tools Ready-to-use-Services Patch Fri, 05 Dec 2014 07:58:46 +0000 Caitlin Scopel Continue reading ]]> Ready-to-use ServicesDownload the ArcGIS 10.2.1 & 10.2.2 for Desktop Hydrology Tools Ready-to-use-Services Patch. The Ready-to-use Services in ArcGIS Online did not previously offer the Watershed and Trace Downstream Hydrology Geoprocessing tools. This patch adds the Hydrology tools to Ready-to-use Services, which you access from the ArcCatalog window.

For more information about the Online Hydrology Tools, please read our Official Release! blog.

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Data Visualization with ArcGIS API for JavaScript: Show Data by Size Mon, 01 Dec 2014 19:00:21 +0000 Jerome Yang Continue reading ]]>

When there are a bunch of numbers you want to visualize on map, in addition to the previously introduced show data by color approach, another popular technique is to show data by size. This technique is also called proportional symbol in cartographic context. In this blog post, you will learn how to create a sized-based visualization app with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, and some tips that help optimize the information presentation in your app.

First app (sample)

Creating a proportional symbol map with our API is easy and straightforward. Beginning a layer plus simple renderer application, you would set proportionalSymbolInfo on the renderer. All you need are a field, the min and max values you want to show, and the symbol sizes used for the min and max values:

  field: "Visitor",
  minDataValue: 100000,
  maxDataValue: 10000000,
  minSize: 8,
  maxSize: 50

Similar to colorInfo, the minDataValue and maxDataValue do not have to be the actual minimum and maximum of your data. What happens to the values below the minDataValue or above the maxDataValue is, they will get the same size as minSize (when below minDataValue), or as maxSize (when above maxDataValue).

Adjusted proportional vs. true proportional

You may notice that the relationship between values and sizes is not truly proportional – 10,000,000, which is 100 times as much as 100,000, is not mapped with a circle that is 100 times as big as the circle used for 100,000. Instead, all values are mapped between 8 pixels and 50 pixels. We call this approach adjusted (bounded) proportional symbol. Bounding symbol sizes within a minimum size and a maximum size prevents us from creating inappropriate large circles.

To use true (unbounded) proportional symbols, specify only minDataValue and minSize:

  field: "value",
  minDataValue: 1,
  minSize: 1

Read Better Vector Mapping for more technical details about adjusted and true proportional symbols.

What makes a good size-based visualization

Here are some tips you may find useful when creating size-based visualization.

  • Provide sufficient difference between the min and max sizes

    Left: minSize=25 and maxSize=50, which produce a map on which you can hardly tell the difference between symbols.
    Right: minSize=10 and maxSize=120, displays the difference more clearly.

  • Keep critical large values below maxDataValue

    Left: by setting maxDataValue to 1 million, all values above get the same size. It seems as if all popular national parks got similar numbers of visitors.
    Right: when maxDataValue is set to 10 million, we see the truth – Yosemite, with over 3M visitors a year, is a lot more popular than Sequoia (~0.9M per year).

  • Having some overlaps is fine, but avoid overcrowding. Transparency helps alleviate overcrowding.

    Left: symbols are overcrowded. Some symbols almost completely fall behind the others.
    Middle: by shrinking the minSize a little bit, information becomes much clearer.
    Right: even better when 20% transparency (i.e. 0.8 opacity) is brought in.
Legend support for proportional symbol

The API supports legend for proportional symbol in most cases. To enable legend, you must include valueUnit: "unknown" when setting proportionalSymbolInfo:

  field: "Visitor",
  minDataValue: 100000,
  maxDataValue: 10000000,
  minSize: 8,
  maxSize: 50,
  valueUnit: "unknown"

This will create a legend showing a series of numbers taken from the array [ ... , 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 50, ... ]. To enable custom values on legend, use legendOptions.customValues:

  field: "Visitor",
  minDataValue: 100000,
  maxDataValue: 10000000,
  minSize: 8,
  maxSize: 50,
  valueUnit: "unknown",
  legendOptions: {
    customValues: [100000, 1000000, 5000000, 10000000]
Advanced cases

1. Mapping data in real-world unit (Sample)

If you are mapping data in a real-world unit, such as area of tree canopy in square feet, width of a street in meter, the code can be even simpler. Just specify what your data’s unit is.

  field: "GroundArea",
  valueUnit: "feet",
  valueRepresentation: "area"

2. Mapping line data (Sample)

If the geometry type of your data is line, you can still produce good visualization with the API. Instead of applying the size you provide to a symbol’s diameter, the API uses the size as the width of line.

3. Mixing with other renderers (Sample)

You can mix proportionalSymbolInfo with a renderer other than SimpleRenderer. For example, with UniqueValueRenderer, you can show a categorical variable and a quantitative variable on the map simultaneously:

What’s comming next

We are not yet at the end of this series. Expect to find out more about dot density, predominance mapping and data preparation in the next few weeks!

Also check out this GitHub repo to review previous samples.

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Resolve recent problems with ArcGIS Pro authorizations Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:44:04 +0000 Rhonda Glennon Continue reading ]]> If you are experiencing recent problems with signing in and authorizing ArcGIS Pro, it is likely that your organization was still using beta license entitlements. These beta licenses expired on November 17, 2014.

There are two reasons why you would be experiencing sign in issues:

  1. Because you had both beta and prerelease licenses and all were assigned, you now have more Named Users assigned than you have licenses. If this is the case, you may have maxed out your licenses prior to you trying to sign in to ArcGIS Pro.
  2. You had ArcGIS Pro beta licenses, but never received your prerelease licenses. This is the case with a limited number of ELA customers. If you believe you are in this category, please contact Customer Service or your local distributor.

If you are in category 1 above, your administrator needs to review the licenses for your organization and reassign to the appropriate Named Users. You should have as many ArcGIS Pro prerelease license entitlements as you have qualifying licenses for ArcGIS for Desktop. The administrator will want to do this prior to December 1, 2014, or all named users will be unable to sign in to ArcGIS Pro.

Upon the expiration of any license in your organization, the administrator must revoke the expired license so that your organization’s members are only assigned valid licenses.

  1. Go to your ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS website.
  2. Verify that you are signed in as an administrator of your organization and that your organization has been provisioned for ArcGIS Pro.
  3. Click My Organization at the top of the site and click Manage Licenses.
  4. Revoke or reassign licenses as needed.

Organizations participating in the ArcGIS Pro beta program had access to additional trial licenses to evaluate the beta software. However, with the prerelease of ArcGIS Pro in October, an organization’s license entitlements started reflecting only the product levels, extensions, and numbers of licenses in accordance to its ArcGIS for Desktop licenses on Maintenance. Keeping extra beta licenses assigned following the ArcGIS Pro prerelease could result in a discrepancy where there are more licenses assigned than the organization actually has available. On November 17, 2014, any remaining unassigned ArcGIS Pro beta licenses in your organization were removed automatically, and assigned beta licenses expired.

If you have any questions regarding your license entitlement count, please contact Esri. In the United States, contact Customer Service at or 888-377-4575. Outside the United States, contact your local Esri Distributor.

Note: This post was edited shortly after initial publication to cover the scenario where prerelease licenses were never delivered to certain organizations.

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Increase your transparency with ArcGIS Pro Wed, 19 Nov 2014 08:01:56 +0000 Kenneth Field Continue reading ]]> By Kenneth Field, Senior Cartographic Product Engineer

One of the main benefits of redesigning a software package from the ground up is you can reflect on some of the limitations of what went before and deal with them head on. Most people who have a long history with ArcMap have at one time or another wanted to apply a little transparency to their symbols and have been frustrated to find the options limited (I’m one of these people!). This is something of which we’ve been acutely aware as we began the process of designing and building ArcGIS Pro. The completely redesigned graphics engine in ArcGIS Pro supports a rich array of possibilities for improved control over your graphics which has major benefits for your mapping. Let’s take a quick look at how modifying transparency for your map layers and symbols can begin to extend your cartographic possibilities.

Let’s say we’re interested in creating a bivariate choropleth map, which is essentially the graphical combination of two choropleth maps. Simply position one layer on top of the other in the Table of Contents and then apply 50% transparency to the top layer using the transparency tool on the Appearance ribbon…hey presto, the colors blend and create a bivariate map.

Breaking it down, the following two maps show different attributes, each classified into three quantiles showing the high, medium and low distribution of each variable. The small 9 x 9 grid is added to act as a legend so you can see what’s going on when the colors are combined. On the cyan colored map the legend shows the increasingly saturated color going left to right and on the magenta colored map the increasingly saturated color goes from bottom to top.

By setting the layer transparency of the top layer to 50% using the slider on the Appearance ribbon you end up with a map where the layer colors are properly combined. Because of the new way in which transparency is controlled (which directly uses your graphics card to do the processing) the result appears on-the-fly and fast!

As an aside, when creating a bivariate choropleth it’s important to limit the number of classes for each of the input layers. Here, we used 3 classes per layer. If we’d have used 4 then we’d get a 4 x 4 bivariate grid with 16 separate colors and it starts to get a little tricky to differentiate them. As a way to quickly see the relationship between two variables a bivariate choropleth is useful. We can very quickly see which countries are in the highest class on both variables, the lowest on both variables or perhaps where anomalies occur where countries are high on one variable and low on another. It’s an interesting way to visualize the relationship between variables…and it’s possible to take this concept further to create a trivariate choropleth, again simply by changing the layer’s transparency settings.

Another way to use transparency to represent more than one variable on a thematic map is to create a value by alpha map. It uses the same principles as the bivariate choropleth by combining two layers. In this case, though, the bottom layer contains the choropleth and the top layer contains a layer that represents some characteristic such as uncertainty. For instance, in the following map of the 2012 Presidential election we can see how the share of votes goes from a rich blue for counties that are predominantly Democrat to a vibrant red for those that are predominantly Republican. The marginal counties are those that occupy the merged purple colorspace. It’s a diverging color scheme that varies away from 50% equal share of votes by using colors that make sense as you go further towards a strong majority.

But this isn’t the full picture because it’s not just the majority share (as a percentage) that is important…it’s also the population density and, consequently, the voter density. As we know, different counties have very different numbers of voters. A value by alpha map uses a layer that represents the population density of voters as a way to subdue areas that have relatively fewer voters and focus our attention on the areas that have relatively more voters, and therefore more of an impact in the final tally.

Using the Color Scheme Editor we can easily create a Continuous Color Scheme that goes from near black to fully transparent by simply defining two endpoints of the color scheme. We’ll then apply it to a copy of the counties data so that areas with relatively low voter population density are shaded in the darker colors and counties with relatively high levels of voter population density are increasingly transparent.

We end up with a layer that looks like this with the transparent areas showing white because that’s the background color of the map:

When placed above our election results layer in the Table of Contents we can see how the transparent layer works:

Now, the counties that have the higher relative voter population densities shine more than those that don’t and begin to show us how voter population density has an impact on the outcome. The original map has a lot of vibrant red but the Republicans didn’t win the election. The reason is clear when you see the value by alpha map…most of those strong Republican counties have relatively few people. In fact, most of the counties with strong Democrat support are also those with higher populations which are brought into focus using the value by alpha approach.

With a slight modification we can also create a value by alpha map that symbolizes the population density layer from white to transparent which has the effect of making the counties with low population densities much lighter. It’s a different aesthetic but the same idea as above.

You may notice a few other things about this version where we’ve experimented with transparency in other ways. We added county boundaries in red for those that are predominantly Republican and blue for those that are predominantly Democrat. We added 50% layer transparency to just bring them into the same visual gamut and so they don’t dominate the map. They add a subtle extra way to recognize the distribution of voting by county and it makes for a more interesting map that using some default neutral colour like dark grey. We also used data for the location of cities, again colored these to denote a predominant Republican or Democrat voting pattern and added these into the map, again with 50% transparency. This has the effect of picking out the main populated places which adds a touch of emphasis to the cities as distinct from the counties they are in. It’s a graphical highlight

You can read more on the Value by Alpha technique in a paper published in The Cartographic Journal by Robert Roth, Andy Woodruff and Zach Johnson.

The examples so far have shown how you can use transparency at a layer level but in ArcGIS Pro, you can also apply transparency at a symbol level which can produce some great cartographic effects. Let’s see how it works on a map of global air routes.  There’s currently about 60,000 regularly flown global air traffic routes between civilian airports. Putting 60,000 lines on a small scale map will only result in a mess of overlapping lines such as:

There’s not much that’s pleasant about this map (actually it’s just a visual data dump) but if we apply some transparency to the blue lines; well, actually quite a lot of transparency – 98% – then we get a totally different version:

All that we’ve modified is the transparency of the symbol’s color but it brings a whole new dimension as well as a pleasing aesthetic to the same data dump.  In one step we’ve turned the data dump into an abstract map but one that reveals some structure about the density of air traffic corridors. This sort of technique has been used plenty of times before in maps of social media connections and also for this flights dataset but it’s worth demonstrating because it’s so simple to create in ArcGIS Pro.

The map allows us to begin to pick out densities of flight paths, particularly over Europe. The shape of the continents also begins to be seen as do the locations of key transport hubs and major cities despite no coastline or cities data being used. It’s also an abstract work of art and using transparency in different ways gives us flexibility to bring a touch of elegance and visual eloquence to our cartography. Here’s the same approach used to symbolize the U.S. street network to identify ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’.

Here we’ve demonstrated just a few ways that you can begin to use transparency in your work to create both useful maps and interesting effects. The possibilities for combining layers and symbols that have different transparency are endless. For instance…what about using transparent halos behind text instead of a solid color? That way you don’t lose any of the detail of your map, the background still appears but the use of transparency in the halo means the typographic elements get a visual lift.

One word of cartographic warning…overdoing transparency can happen. We’ve focused on thematics here and there is a temptation to use layer transparency on a thematic operational layer atop a topographic basemap. What you end up with is a map that instead of having a few easily interpreted colours, instead has thousands of convoluted color blends. Look at the following election map atop the National Geographic basemap. The use of the basemap adds visual noise, over-complicates the interplay with the basemap and the overlay as well as causing cognitive overload. Quite simply, it’s harder for us to ‘see’ the colors relative to one another and therefore harder for us to understand what’s going on.

If you want a basemap under your thematic overlay, you’re better off with something neutral like the Light Gray basemap. That way, if you apply transparency to your overlay then each color is modified in relation to the background in the same way.

Remember, thematic maps and topographic maps are different for a reason. Making them work together is more complicated than simply using transparency. Even with the use of transparency on a layer atop the Light Gray canvas basemap we lose a lot of definition. Top tip: if you’re creating choropleth (Graduated Color) maps, the map is its own basemap. Consider leaving it as it is rather than trying to tie it into a basemap.

With ArcGIS Pro you can change transparency of a layer on the ribbon, as part of a layer’s color scheme in the Color Scheme Editor and also at an individual symbol element level using the Color Editor. Any color can be transparent in ArcGIS Pro and making use of the new transparency tools can bring a real professional finish to your maps.

The possibilities are endless and we’re excited that ArcGIS Pro brings this huge improvement to the way in which maps can be styled. Next in our series of blogs on the new and improved capabilities for cartography in ArcGIS Pro…typography.

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The User Community Has Provided Updates to the Living Atlas Through Community Maps Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:30:53 +0000 Shane Matthews Continue reading ]]> The ArcGIS Content Team has updated the World Topographic Map! Another big thanks to the user community who are helping improve the Community Basemaps by submitting new and updated content to the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. Updates this week includes 3 new contributions and 1 update for locations in the United States.

Our newest contributors are City of Cupertino, CA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k), City of Newton and Boston College, MA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k), and the University of Richmond, VA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k).

City of Cupertino, CA

City of Newton and Boston College, MA

University of Richmond, VA

Also included in this release is an update from the City of Lawrence, KS (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k). This update also includes data from Douglas County, KS.

City of Lawrence, KS

We would like to thank these contributors for improving the Living Atlas of the World and the Online Basemaps.

Attending Esri’s Southwest User Conference? The Conference will be held at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, located at 201 West Marcy Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501, December 2 – 4, 2014. Members of the Content Team will be hosting a Post-Conference Workshop.

This hands-on workshop will introduce the benefits of participating in Esri Community Maps: a cooperative effort by the ArcGIS user community to build a living atlas of the world using the best available data sources from authoritative sources like your GIS organization.

You will learn how the program is structured and best practices for preparing authoritative content to be published in Community Maps online basemaps. This includes a thorough overview to the new Community Maps Data Prep Tools, which make the process of preparing your data for submission simple and straightforward. This interactive session includes hands-on exercises and software demonstrations.

Workshop details:

Date: Thursday, December 4, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: Kearney Room, Santa Fe Community Convention Center
Course Fee: Free (*) Seating is limited and is on a first come first serve basis.

Showcase your organization! If you work for an organization that is benefiting from Community Maps Participation and would like to share your work with our expanding user community, please contact Shane Matthews ( or Community Maps ( and tell us your story and have a chance to be featured in a Community Maps Webinar segment.

Here’s a list of all the community contributors for this release:

  • City of Cupertino, CA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contributor
  • City of Newton and Boston College, MA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contribution
  • University of Richmond, VA (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) New Contribution
  • City of Lawrence, KS (Topo 1:9k to 1:1k) Update

These contributions were made through the Community Maps Program. For more information visit the Community Maps Program Resource Center.

The service was updated on the following servers: and 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 Discussion Group on GeoNet.

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