Tag Archives: geoprocessing

Ozri 2015 GIS Generations

Automating data updates using Geoprocessing

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.

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Spatial Join’s hidden trick or how to transfer attribute values in a One to Many relationship

From time to time, even the experienced GIS users (my 17 years in GIS allow me to call myself one) come across hidden tools and workflows that have existed in ArcGIS for Desktop for ages, but have never been used.

Recently, a couple of my clients asked me how to solve the following problem. Imagine you had a polygon feature class representing cadastral boundaries (i.e. properties) and another one representing zones (i.e. zoning). One property can fall within several adjacent zoning polygons, which effectively defines the cardinality (or the type of the relationships between features in both datasets) as One to Many (Properties to Zones).

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ArcGIS Pro

Directions LIVE

ArcGIS Pro has some exciting new things in the world of analysis, and we showcased some of those capabilities for the Directions LIVE 2015 series.

There are a few themes that have come through with the evolution of Desktop analysis in ArcGIS. Firstly, the goal is to make analysis easy; with the emphasis being on building workflows rather than working on individual components. Secondly, the software has grown to really exploit more sophisticated hardware capabilities as well as parallel processing to make analysis faster. There are also numerous improvements to make performance and drawing more efficient. Finally, it’s all about having more accurate analysis, for example, using geodesic measurements rather than straight line for global scale data.

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Automating Workflows

Directions LIVE

Whilst some people may enjoy the security of knowing that they have done something before and can therefore do it again, others find this work boring and unchallenging. Perhaps you have a repetitive task that is part of your work day routine, something you have done so many times you can allow your mind to wander and focus on more important things like what you’re having for dinner. Personally I dislike repetitive tasks about as much as repetitive music.

So in the interest of working smarter … I will be presenting a Tips & Tricks session at the Sydney Directions 2015 showing users how to automate workflows using ArcGIS Desktop Model Builder. For those who have not used Model Builder before you will see both how easy it can be to graphically create a model to automate your ArcGIS business processes, as well as how powerful using a model can be.

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Wondering how to use Python with ArcGIS? Esri Australia have courses that can help

Learning how to complete your ArcGIS Geoprocessing steps using Python will allow you to reduce the time spent on complex and/or repetitive tasks and will enable your staff to learn a more productive and dynamic pathway to return results.

So the question is; which course is for you?

The Introduction to Geoprocessing Scripts Using Python (10.2) course will teach you how to create Python scripts to automate tasks related to data management, feature editing, geoprocessing and analysis, and map production using ArcGIS. You will also learn how to share your Python scripts so your key GIS workflows are accessible to others. This course is designed for GIS analysts, specialists, data processors, and others who want to automate ArcGIS tasks and workflows.

After completing this course, you will be able to: Continue reading

Error handling with Python – writing messages out to a text file (log file)

Debugging geoprocessing scripts in Python is never easy, especially when these scripts are run as a scheduled task.
I’ve had a number of requests of how to debug a scheduled python script (especially when issues occur), and write the output to a text file.

Please find below a simple python script that I hope will help others to debug their scripts: Continue reading

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.

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Creating models with interactive input (ModelBuilder 10.0-10.2)

The ModelBuilder tool has been available in ArcGIS for Desktop since 2004 and it quickly gained a reputation of an easy-to-use application. It which can help the user to execute an entire geoprocessing workflow by adding and connecting tools and input/output datasets together in a graphical environment. Models created in the ModelBuilder are executable workflows that string together sequences of geoprocessing tools, feeding the output of one tool into another tool as input.

Such a workflow can be executed as a tool (if you right-click on it in the catalog window in ArcMap), or it can be exported to a python script and be incorporated into a larger script later on. And of course, you can trigger the execution of the model from within the ModelBuilder Window.

A model can have parameters – the elements that a user marks as “parameters” – so that they appear in the tools dialog if a model is executed as a geoprocessing tool using the tool’s dialog. You can find some information to get started with the ModelBuilder here: >>

Today I will show you one of the ways to turn your geoprocessing models into interactive geoprocessing tools by using the Feature Sets.

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The top five things you should try in the ArcGIS for Desktop v.10.2

As a technical support analyst and software trainer I am in constant contact with GIS users in Australia (predominantly in Queensland as I’m based in Brisbane). From time to time I realize that some of my clients are not aware of some of the simple improvements that the software developer implement with version upgrades. So I decided to make a brief overview of the “top five things” that my clients were not aware of or haven’t used in the new v10.2 software release.

So, if you’ve got ArcGIS for Desktop v 10.2, check out these hidden functions:

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Five New Tools You’ll Meet in 10.1

Here are some of my favourite new tools and improvements that have come with the 10.1 release. These should make your mapping and workflows just that much more enjoyable.

1. Searching for a projection

With ArcMap shipping with over 4000 projections, it is easy to feel a bit overwhelmed, especially if you are a new user. Although you have always been able to save the frequently used projections to your favourites, you can now input keywords and find exactly what you are looking for. If you have no idea what you are looking for, you can even let ArcGIS use your current extent to suggest the best projection.

2.Enable Editor Tracking

Trying to figure out who moved that feature without telling you? Now with Editor Tracking enabled on your feature class, any new features or modifications will be logged with the username and time/date of creation or modification. This works with SDE databases as well. This is going to make your metadata housekeeping a lot easier. Note: This will not tell you if a feature has been deleted – best to use versioned geodatabases for that.

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