ArcGIS supports LiDAR! It supports both XYZ and LAS files. It can read and display these formats as point clouds or surfaces, in both 3D and 2D. These can be viewed in ArcMap, ArcScene, ArcGIS Pro and as elevation services through ArcGIS for Server. But this is common knowledge right? ArcGIS has been able to do this since 9.3 and we all knew that right?
Well I thought this was the case. Often though it is not. Many people are today just starting to investigate the best tools for LiDAR exploitation not realising the capabilities of the ArcGIS Platform and the wealth of knowledge available to support their investigation. If you want a good place to start take a look at this web page What is LiDAR data?.
But let’s take a step back from the tools right now and ask yourself for what purpose do I want LiDAR data? Do I want it for flood modelling, DEM creation, building extraction or power line detection. Do I want to just differentiate between ground and non-ground or do I need it classified into buildings, trees, ground and water? The reasons for asking these questions is that the answers will dictate the order you place for LiDAR.
In my previous blogs I have described how to make imagery available in both image and maps services and how you may then consume these services in cloud image processing analytics. But what about the actual image storage.
We know that imagery from ground up is always big! Everything about an image represents volumes and capacity. If you want to create image services and host them on your own infrastructure then you need to ensure that you have suitable attached storage but server storage is expensive and can be prohibitive.
Now we have all heard of cloud computing, how about cloud storage. Many of us would have seen by now the new cloud storage solutions Dropbox, OneDrive or Box. Can I put my imagery here? Well not really as ArcGIS for Server cannot reference these storage and the storage required for imagery would get expensive. Amazon and Microsoft do provide cheap storage options in the S3 disks and Azure Blobs. These are ideal storage mechanisms for imagery as they are relatively cheap and imagery is relatively static. Even better we can configure cloud servers to read this imagery and serve it fast!
I’ll let you in on a little secret – I was pretty happy when I found out what I’d be presenting at Ozri this year – it meant I would get to spend some quality time with new two apps! Over the course of the conference, I delivered a couple of sessions to introduce you to these apps that will help you do more with the ArcGIS Platform.
ArcGIS isn’t just for the geo-geek anymore, we want everyone in your organisation to benefit from Web GIS. Simple, focused apps can provide a way for you to connect and support a different profile of user in your organisation – perhaps your customer – who may not have specific GIS skills.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend these sessions – here are the highlights!
The geodatabase is the foundation with which the ArcGIS integrated platform is built upon. Walter demonstrated how central the geodatabase is to all levels of the ESRI product suite from field data capture with Collector for ArcGIS, to versioned editing in the office, and even replication of data across physical locations.
With ArcGIS for Desktop being such a complete piece of software with tools to suit a diverse range of professions, it’s easy to see how those of you new to GIS and Esri can quickly become daunted by all the options available. This is what today’s session was all about. With Richard and myself being able to combine our years of experience as ArcGIS for Desktop users we could give those of you new to the software, and even those with some more experience, a few of our favourite little tips. And hopefully you can take this knowledge away with you to improve some of your day-to-day workflows.
If you weren’t able to attend the session, here are some of the key highlights:
Today Craig Carpenter and myself have presented on geoprocessing in ArcGIS.
I think one of the challenges in any automation exercise is understanding exactly what the desired outcomes are and the most optimal method to achieve these results. If you know what the end game is, the detail can often take care of itself.
In this session the goal has been to highlight how you can use both model builder and Python scripting to perform structural changes and repetitive tasks against geodatabases. With the final outcome being reusable script which can be run automatically at a desired time without manual interaction.
This video goes through an introduction to the ArcGIS Open Data offering, and looks at some tips and tricks to getting up and running.