Ozri 2014

ArcGIS Enterprise Systems: performance and scalability

Plan your success with ArcGIS

Planning, for anything, always seem like a good idea, but often we don’t get around to it – just ask the NSW Rural Fire Service, whose Planning to Plan is not a Plan campaign is trying to get that message across to all rural homeowners (myself included).

With this considered, I was excited to be teaching part of the ArcGIS Enterprise Systems: Performance and Scalability workshop. Information Technology like fire prevention demands a level of planning for growth and sustainability.

Sometimes it is a new project, a hardware/software refresh, or an upgrade to new OS and software version, and the ability to generate information from the Capacity Planning tool provides key guidance and parameters for the analysts, architects and engineers planning the ArcGIS platform deployment. Server benchmarks, TPS calcs and capacity estimation provide the planning process with a direction that can be used across the project lifecycle.

Other times, your capacity to plan and make change is just not going to fly – resources, scope and time constraints often mean, as GIS managers and admins, you just have to deal with the servers, network and storage that you have. What can you do? Let’s consider the basic quality engineering principles of plan-do-check-act (if you haven’t heard of Edward Deming, look here).

You can still plan using the Capacity planning tools and get an understanding of the capacity of today’s environment – that’s “plan”. In an existing solution the “do” has been done and we need to evaluate what is done. “Check” – the process of using tools to capture performance metrics to give the manager and administrator a way to optimise services and MXD, look at server performance bottlenecks and review heavily used services. From the performance metrics it’s time to “act” and then look at the “plan”. With an approach like this you can use the Enterprise monitoring tools to optimise the existing infrastructure and build a solid business case for future changes.

What about cloud? With the growing use of cloud hosted server and hardware scalability planning is even more crucial. The ROI predicted will only be realised if the servers run to spec and the CPU and memory resources are not beyond the planned level. Auto scaling is great, but it does cost – all the more reason to plan. What about Software as a Service, ArcGIS Online? You need to monitor usage, performance and credits. The ArcGIS Activity Dashboard provides statistics you can use to monitor your organisation’s ArcGIS Online account.

While preparing for the workshop, I got the chance to work with Christopher Brown from the Perth office – CDB knows his stuff and now knows more about MongoBD from his work on the System Monitor deployment. It’s always good to work with Christopher.

Remember, as the RFS says, “Planning to Plan is not a Plan”!

For the full details on the System Design Process, head to http://wiki.gis.com/wiki/index.php/System_Design_Process

I’ve been working in GIS for a long time and changes in technology are making it more accessible (to everyone) all the time. You can find me on Twitter (@dhaipola) and Linkedin.

Daniel H

Ozri 2014

Python Map Automation: beyond the basics of arcpy.mapping

Easy improvements to your Python experience

This morning Stoyan and I shared our knowledge of Esri’s ArcPy mapping module, as well as some other handy Python tips and tricks in our three-hour workshop: Python Map Automation – Beyond the Basics of ArcPy Mapping.

During this workshop we covered everything from how to manipulate layers within a map document to using time aware layers, printing multi-page PDF documents and publishing GP services to ArcGIS for Server. We also explained how it is possible to use any geoprocessing tools within a Python script.

If you would like to have a go, the course material has been made available online for everyone.

Haydn D

Why wont my Imagery Basemap on ArcGIS Online in the Map Viewer zoom beyond 1:1128

So you have built an Image tile set that you have published to ArcGIS Online. It is made up of high resolution imagery (may be 10cm), and as a result you have created a tiling scheme that goes down to level 22 which is a scale of 1:141.

Now you have it on ArcGIS Online. It has published the tiles from .tpk and “The Manage Tiles” dialog clearly shows that the tiling scheme goes to 1:141 but when you load the imagery as a basemap in the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer it only zooms to 1:1128 and nothing you seem to be able to do will change this. What’s going on? Why won’t it zoom beyond 1:1128 even though the image data has tiles that go to 1:141?

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It’s time to get on board and set up your profile on GeoNet!

Hi everyone,

Most of you all have already probably noticed that Esri has transformed their old support forums into a new and exciting community endeavour – GeoNet.

GeoNet Logo

So what is GeoNet?

GeoNet is the place where you can share, chat, and collaborate on all things Geo. It’s your chance to connect with other geospatial enthusiasts around the globe. GeoNet is more than just a new forums location. Forums now are only a part of a larger community. This community is there as a tool to help you, the GIS user. You can upload files, collaborate on documents, upload files, write blog posts, share videos and much more.

So what are the cool new features of GeoNet?

Well the first thing you will notice when logging in with your ArcGIS account is a recent activity feed. Here you can see all the most recent updates from everyone in GeoNet – similar to a twitter or Facebook feed. The next big tick from me is your own profile page. Here you can upload a profile pic, create an avatar; add a bio about yourself and note your skills and expertise.

New Feed - GeoNet

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Data quality checks and ArcGIS 10.x

As with any task carried out in the ArcGIS software suite,  data is the foundation.  The old saying of “Garbage in Garbage out” still applies.  Data, whether it is in a text format or geographic (shapefile or File Geodatabase Feature class) will impact on the behaviour, use and display of data in ArcGIS.

Data quality and ArcGIS 10


I do have one proviso in this situation and that is that I’ve given up on perfection.  Deviation from the real world is expected.  Distortions from the coordinate system chosen, method of capture and scale are some of the sources of error in geographic data.  What is important is what error is acceptable for the task you are carrying out.


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Learn 3D with CityEngine!

In response to the growing demand in providing education and training to interested users around Esri’s cutting edge 3D software tool CityEngine, Esri Australia’s training team has recently developed a new training course- CityEngine 2014.

This training course has been designed to provide students who are about to begin constructing realistic models of 3D cities with some foundational knowledge of how CityEngine works, and how to use it to create models, import GIS data and publish their results on ArcGIS Online.


The CityEngine 2014 training course will also be of interest to those who are already CityEngine users, and have made their first steps in navigating this advanced 3D modelling software, guided by Esri Inc’s tutorials and exercises.

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