Author Archives: Allison R.

ArcGIS Developer Subscriptions : What’s Included, What’s Not?

What is an ArcGIS Developer Subscription ?

The ArcGIS Developer Subscription provides developers with access to Esri API’s and SDKs, as well as developer tools and services that supplement the process of application development with Esri technology. As with numerous other Esri offerings, the developer subscription is available via a variety of plans, starting with the “Essentials” level. The Essentials developer subscription is obtained by signing up for a developer account at  – This is a freely available Subscription, and provides the developer account holder with access to the inclusions outlined below.

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Developing & Licensing ArcGIS Runtime Applications, Demystifying the Requirements

This post describes ArcGIS Runtime licensing and the developer’s requirements, for developing and deploying an ArcGIS Runtime application.

If you’ve wondered about building an ArcGIS Runtime app and associated licensing requirements, navigating the abundance of ArcGIS Developer information, can be a little daunting. Coupled with this, is the January 2021 release of ArcGIS Platform, and the associated aspects that it brings to the table.

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Ozri 2015 GIS Generations

Introducing: ArcGIS Online – smart mapping

Smart mapping emerged with this year’s March release of ArcGIS Online, providing a smarter, more sophisticated approach to symbolising data. Replacing the formerly available ‘change symbols’ option, smart mapping is available to a variety of ArcGIS Online layer types (feature services, dynamic layers, stream services and CSV, SHP and GPX map added data, to name a few), and is accessed via a layer’s change style control () in the map viewer contents display.

The smart mapping toolset presents logical symbology options to the ArcGIS Online map maker. These options are derived based on a subject layer’s characteristics, the data type (point, line or polygon), as well as the spatial distribution of the layer’s features together with the variation of values across a subject display field.

Additionally, other evident display characteristics are assessed, such as symbology used by an underlying basemap. Consequently aesthetic, meaningful and size appropriate symbology options are proposed in this data driven, ‘smart’ approach to layer symbolisation.

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ArcGIS Pro – The Word on Customisation

Most of you may have heard by now, there is new desktop GIS product from Esri in our midst  – ArcGIS Professional, or “ArcGIS Pro”,  being the generally accepted nick-name. Targeting the desktop GIS professional, this new 64-bit product is fast, responsive, and positioned to please. Based on a modern, multi-threaded architecture, “Pro” is truly able to leverage the processing power of a capable host machine, giving new life to high intensity GIS operations. ArcGIS Professional is included as part of the recent 10.3 release of ArcGIS Desktop.

ArcGIS Professional is  not an ArcMap replacement, rather an ArcMap alternative, containing a subset of present ArcMap functionality, plus a range of new capabilities. It has its own new look and feel, and may be installed alongside existing Desktop applications, ArcMap, ArcCatalog, ArcScene, and/or ArcGlobe. – Notable here, is that your existing Desktop install can remain at an earlier version, 10.1 for example, and ArcGIS Pro, fresh out of the box at 10.3, can happily co-exist installed on the same machine.

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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: Continue reading