Rinse and Repeat! Working with Modelbuilder Iterators


Modelbuilder is often an afterthought to most GIS analysts, however, it can be a powerful tool when it comes to building and replicating complex workflows, as well as automating those boring, tedious tasks.

Iterators are unique to models, and allow you to loop through a process on unique values, tables, layers in your map document, or even workspaces.

Let’s have a look at iterators, and how you can use them.


April 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

Disconnected editing in Collector for ArcGIS v10.2.2. Part 1: Take your maps offline.

How to enable disconnected editing on your Collector for ArcGIS maps.

Esri Inc has recently released a new version of Collector which includes a few key updates, such as “offline” editing mode. Due to the positive feedback from our clients regarding the series of blogposts about the Collector for ArcGIS app that I published earlier this year, I decided to share some additional workflows and practices for use with the new version of the application that is now available for download.

The new version of the Collector for ArcGIS ( 10.2.2) was released in March 2014 with some key improvements that now make field data collection more interesting and useful than ever. These improvements include: (more…)

April 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

Got ArcGIS Desktop? Go get ArcGIS Online!

Directions wraps up its final stop at Hobart today.  I was lucky enough to be on the tour and it was a lot of fun travelling to the various stops and getting to talk to ArcGIS users and see how they have been using the technology.  Some of the projects I heard about actually make me quite envious on how your doing some really valuable work with ArcGIS as opposed to just cooking up demos! (I work in pre-sales).  For a full summary of the event, go check out this wrap-up over on the main Esri Australia blog.

Josh Venman is an excellent presenter. He kicked off every event with a great presentation on how GIS is not just for the GIS team anymore.  I think it took him around five minutes to take some raw data on insurance customers, geocode it up, serve it up to ArcGIS Online, and then serve it up to the Summary Viewer template to allow a CEO (that has no idea about GIS) to whip out his/her iPad and easily see their customers mapped out as clusters and some dynamic metrics around the customers as you pan the map.  A takeaway message from both Josh’s and the rest of the Esri presenters talks, was that the ArcGIS Online platform is something that as ArcGIS users, you should be taking a look at it and seeing how it can benefit your organisation.

Did you know that if you have a license for ArcGIS for Desktop, you are entitled to be part of an ArcGIS Online Organization Plan. Every Desktop license on maintenance counts as one Named User for the plan. Alternatively, if you want to implement Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS for Desktop licenses on maintenance are entitled to be part of the Portal for ArcGIS Named User license.  This gets you 100 credits each (renews on maintenance rollover) to start using the ArcGIS Online platform.  We did send out emails to those that have ArcGIS for Desktop to activate their subscriptions, but from looking at our records, it looks like only around 20% of  Desktop users have activated their FREE subscriptions.

So – if you have an ArcGIS Desktop license and your on maintenance but are unaware about this, no time like the present:

  1. Contact our Customer Service Care team.
  2. Paste this:

Hi Support

I believe I am currently an active ArcGIS for Desktop user, and would like to activate my entitled ArcGIS Online for Organisation account please.  Can you please send me the relevant token for me to activate.


Don’t have an ArcGIS for Desktop license or not paying mainteance? No problemo. Go sign up for a free ArcGIS Developer plan.  This gets you 50 credits a month FOR FREE.  I use mine as a playground to work with ArcGIS Online and services like GeoEnrichment, spatial analysis, geocoding, routing, and the new GeoTrigger service.

Web GIS is the best way for GIS professionals to share their ArcGIS for Desktop work with non-GIS users.  People are eager to use maps but are not necessarily ArcGIS for Desktop experts. In fact, people expect to be able to find and use maps right from their own consumer devices, like a smartphone or tablet. People also expect to be able to take maps and use them as a starting point for their own creations and purpose. Web GIS enables all this, and now as an ArcGIS for Desktop user, you have the ability to take the lead in your organization. You have the power to create interesting and useful content, tell amazing and compelling stories, and share those stories in informative and novel ways.

Already looking forward to meeting more of you at Ozri later on in the year!




April 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm Leave a comment

The “HOW” of the ESRI AddIn

Much of what I have read about Esri Add-Ins describe these unique containers of custom ArcGIS Desktop functionality as having behaviours that make deployment, installation and development “easier”. That is, easier than that required by their predecessor – the Classic COM component, which became an essential for Desktop customisation when ArcObjects first hit the scene in the late 90′s.

I have “walked through” numerous help references and tutorials that are based around the Esri Add-In type, but none that I have found articulate the “how” of the Esri Add-In. That is, how can the Add-In type have such new and appealing deployment characteristics ? – There is many a forum posting and support request focused on the intricacies of COM registration and deployment; The first Add-In type , to which we were introduced at Desktop 10.0, utilises ArcObjects libraries; ArcObjects libraries are COM libraries. How then, could the Esri Add-In model employ ArcObjects “COM” libraries, without the need for registration on the underlying operating system?

….And so for an explanation: (more…)

April 5, 2014 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

CAD Data Made Useful

Who draws in millimetres? And why is that facility drawn in some arbitrary location with no spatial reference what so ever?

In the world of engineering drawings spatial reference is almost irrelevant, after all that’s the surveyors concern, they’ll tell them where needs to go. The engineering plan is there to explain the size and materials etc of a particular feature. So what can we do with that data? How can we integrate it with the data that is already in our spatially aware GIS? Well with a few simple steps we can easily bring this data into our maps and make use of it.

The Georeferencing Toolbar

If you’re often working with CAD data you’ll need to familiar yourself with this useful set of tools. This tool bar is made up of tools that simply allow us to position our data in the right place as well as precision tools for applying geographic coordinates to control points.

georeferencing tool bar (more…)

March 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm Leave a comment

Let’s Talk About Labels

As map makers we use maps as a medium to convey and inform information to our readers, a pivotal part of our workflow is labeling our maps to help us.

By looking at the map below, I think we could use some better labeling and positioning make locating features easier. The labels for a few of the cities such as Darwin and Birdum are difficult to read as the boundary of Australia is overlapping and in the west Fremantle and Perth seem to be one city. Additionally we can see that there are two rivers but they are not labelled. It is also probably a good idea to label Australia.


Let’s get down to business and begin to clean up our map so our readers are able to better identify and locate features using different labeling tools. (more…)

March 17, 2014 at 9:11 am Leave a comment

FAQ: What will take the place of the SDE Command line tools?

With the release of 10.2 and plans to deprecate the ArcSDE command line tools, there has been lots of talk about how all these tools will be replaced.

The following technical blog and forum addresses some of the questions you may have regarding the deprecation of the SDE command line tools: (more…)

March 6, 2014 at 9:31 am Leave a comment

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