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If you're attending this year's Esri User Conference, are you going to San Diego with a plan to collect specific technical information to support an upcoming ArcGIS project? Or do you have a flexible plan to discover what’s possible with the latest ArcGIS capabilities and take that information back to your colleagues?


Either way, to achieve real business impact, your organization needs sustained technology adoption.


As organizations deploy ArcGIS software and new geospatial capabilities to improve their operations, a common challenge that leaders face is preparing the impacted workforce to quickly adopt new technology-driven workflows. Low adoption means a longer timeline to achieve the intended business results—or worse, results may not materialize as intended.


When individuals have a high comfort level with established processes, embracing new workflows requires a willingness to change. For most humans, change is uncomfortable. Leaders who focus on supporting the workforce through a time of change will be rewarded with a smoother transition to new workflows, faster technology adoption, and a more confident workforce.


This year, a two-day preconference seminar is specially designed to support conference attendees who are modernizing GIS-supported workflows, planning a new ArcGIS deployment, or expanding ArcGIS access outside the current user base.


The Preparing for Change Workshop addresses practical steps organizations can take to, yes, prepare for change. Guided by Prosci-certified Esri change practitioners, attendees will complete activities from the first phase of the popular Prosci ADKAR model of change management, including


  • Document the strategic implications of ArcGIS adoption at all levels of the organization.
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of impacted stakeholders.
  • Establish a support and sponsorship framework to ensure long-term successful adoption.
  • Communicate effectively by understanding the organizational impacts of new technology from the perspective of executives, managers, and employees.


As a takeaway, attendees will get templates they can use to start actioning change-management efforts immediately after the conference.


If your organization is planning a technology change that will significantly impact existing workflows, take the opportunity to learn how to prepare your people to quickly embrace change, adopt new workflows, and get meaningful results with the cool technology you will see in July.


Where and When

San Diego, California

July 6-7, 2019

8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


Who Should Attend?

Preconference seminars have an additional fee and are open only to registered conference attendees.


  • Senior managers who want to increase the overall adoption rate of new geospatial capabilities
  • GIS managers who want to plan a people-focused change management effort
  • Influencers and change agents who are involved in ArcGIS projects and user adoption initiatives


View registration details.

In the annals of Esri history, “training” meant instructor-led training. (It took a few decades for e-Learning to become a thing.) Back in the day, an instructor-led class was a two-week affair taught only in physical classrooms with a projector, plastic sheets of slides, and something called a floppy disk.


Those days are long gone, but one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to help individuals achieve their ArcGIS learning goals and help customer organizations achieve maximum value from their ArcGIS investment.


Today’s instructor-led training is available online and in person. It’s an active learning experience that uses the latest classroom technology, and every course is designed and built to a set of specific and measurable learning objectives. Everyone’s time is valuable. We want attendees to leave class feeling they got their money’s worth and then some. We want to exceed expectations.


Expectations, however, can be hard to predict. In order to exceed expectations, first we must set the proper expectations. Which brings us to our new tool.


Our instructor-led class readiness tool, released today, is intended to better communicate the knowledge and skills that course designers assumed attendees would have when starting a class.


Image showing a question in the assessment tool panel

The readiness tool provides a set of multiple choice questions that measure prerequisite knowledge and skills that were defined at the outset of a course development project.


Our intention with this tool is to help those who are looking for an instructor-led class determine whether a course is a good match for their existing skills. It’s also useful for those who are registered to attend and want to make sure they’re well prepared before class begins.


The tool doesn’t just spit out a numeric score at the end—in fact, it doesn’t return a score at all. Results are qualitative. If the tool detects that skills may be weak in a specific area, a list of relevant e-Learning resources is provided.


Image showing recommended resources in the readiness tool results

From the tool results, you can add suggested resources directly to an Esri Academy learning plan.


Image showing a personalized Esri Academy learning plan

You can add resources to an existing learning plan or create a personalized learning plan from scratch.


There’s no requirement to use this tool or complete any recommended resources before attending class. We simply want to offer the opportunity for individuals to self-assess and use available resources to refresh their knowledge and skills if they so choose.


Time spent in an instructor-led class should be engaging and insightful, and most importantly yield practical results—knowledge and skills that can be applied to get real work done, faster and with better results.


Today, the readiness tool is available for a select group of instructor-led courses, including our popular ArcGIS Pro: Essential Workflows and ArcGIS Enterprise: Configuring a Base Deployment courses. We will add the tool to other courses over time.


About the Tool


What is it?

  • Instructor-Led Class Readiness tool

Who should use it?

  • Anyone who is considering registering for an Esri instructor-led class or is already registered and planning to attend on a specific date.

How do I access it?

  • Click the tool link on the course description page. Simply sign in with your Esri account to get started. Signing in allows us to store the results so that you can easily access the assessment and list of recommended resources (if there are any) at any time.
  • Answer each question, then review the results. If resources are recommended, plan some time to review them before class starts.

Lesson 1 - Foundations of the utility network 

Benefits of a utility network


Utility Network Tab


Utility Network Package Tools


ArcGIS solutions


Utility Network Configurations


Get started with the Electric Utility Network Configuration

Top Ten things about the Utility Network for electric



Get started with the Gas Utility Network Configuration



Get started with the Water Distribution Utility Network Configuration:


Sewer Home:

Get started with the Sewer Utility Network Configuration


Utility network layer properties


Lesson 2 - Network Topology Management

Network topology


Branch versioning


Adds a rule to a utility network


Networks, graphs, edges, and junctions - older historical info



Lesson 3 - Managing Connectivity and Associations

Help - Connectivity and associations


Lesson 4 - Network management

Set Subnetwork Definition


Lesson 5 - Tracing analysis

Trace utility networks


Utility network trace types


Configure a trace


Lesson 6 - Network diagrams

About network diagrams


Enable dynamic diagram mode


Manage the rules and layouts definition on your templates


Lesson 7 - Creating a utility network

Create a utility network


ArcGIS Solutions Deployment Add-In installation


Download the ArcGIS Solutions Deployment Tool


An overview of the Utility Network Package Tools toolbox


Install the Utility Network Package Tools toolbox


Apply Asset Package


ArcGIS Pro 2.2 and working with Python environments and packages


Utility Network Package Tools FAQ


Introduction to Industry Configurations for the Utility Network


Other topics

Video - Utility Network Management in ArcGIS: Migrating Your Data to the Utility Network


Video - Esri's Utility Network - Understanding the Impact and Planning the Journey

Electric slant from a Pasadena example, from 2017 and some beta stuff

Some great demos start at 18:25 in this video with containment and diagrams

Insight into the ArcGIS Utility Network Management Extension

Erik and Tom – Overview of the product from 2018 develop summit

Density analysis calculates the number of events or objects across an area. The calculation results reveal where the highest concentration of points is within that area.


Did you know that you can also analyze points that represent a value greater than 1? Just because there may be a cluster of points does not necessarily mean that a certain area has the highest concentration.


All you need is an attribute with the quantities.


The following example shows you how density analysis is performed using attributes with the Point Density tool in ArcGIS Pro 2.2.


 This map shows the address locations of reported crimes.

 Example of points


Each point may represent more than one report. The number of reports is stored in the Reports field in the attribute table.


Points table



  1. On the Analysis tab, click Tools.

  2. In the search box, type Point Density.

  3. On the Analysis tab, click Tools.

  4. Select your input points.

  5. For Population field, select the attribute with the quantity value.

    Your Point Density geoprocessing pane should look something like this:

    Point Density tool

  6. Set your output raster.


The output density raster shows the areas with the highest density based upon the number of reports at each address location. When you compare running the Point Density tool without a population field versus with a population field, you can see the difference in the results.


Point density without population

Point density without population

Point density with population

Point density with population



By adding in the population field, a high-density area becomes more apparent in the northern area of the map. Upon further investigation, that particular area contains a mall, shopping center, and movie theatre—which probably contributes to the higher number of crime reports.


Spatial analysis provides the tools you need to make informed decisions. Learning how to use the available tools will help you choose the specific analysis tool that will best meet your particular needs.


Are you new to spatial analysis? I suggest that you take a look at the Getting Started with Spatial Analysis web course. This course builds a foundation of knowledge on the six categories of spatial analysis and how they are used in the spatial analysis workflow. Additional information on density analysis can be found in the Calculating Density Using ArcGIS web course.



*Note: The data used in this example is fictitious and does not represent real crime data.

Organizations all over the world are using focused web apps to share authoritative 2D and 3D content that's been published to their ArcGIS  organizational site or ArcGIS Enterprise portal. App users are visualizing data, performing analysis, finding the shortest route between two points, and completing many other tasks powered by GIS—in most cases, without even realizing they’re using GIS.

Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS makes it easy to create feature-rich web apps without writing code. The user interface (UI) is friendly and makes quick work of creating apps that meet your functional requirements.

The basic workflow is only three steps:

  1. Share
  2. Configure
  3. Launch

3-step process to build a web app

Let's walk through the steps.



Sharing is the fastest step. On your ArcGIS  organizational site or ArcGIS Enterprise portal, select a web map or 3D web scene and choose to “Create a web app using the Web AppBuilder.” That's it!

Share web maps and web scenes to an app


Now you’re in the AppBuilder facing an “app shell.” In this step, you assign a theme to define the layout and color scheme and if desired add branding elements, such as your organization’s logo. You can also add other content layers.


The most important part of this step is selecting the widgets that will provide end users with the specific functionality you want them to have. There are lots of widgets to choose from but, as a general rule, don’t overwhelm end users with too many widgets—four or five is plenty for a focused web app.

Configure a web app


After configuring the theme and functionality, launch the web app to preview and evaluate your design. Previewing the app is essential to test both the app’s appearance and functionality—and make sure it will accomplish your intended purpose. If necessary, make changes, then launch again (as many times as needed) to finalize the app design. When you’re confident the app will accomplish your intended purpose, deploy it to your organization’s users—or to the world!

Launch a web app


Want to learn more?

If you'd like to learn time-saving tips and best practices for working with Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, check out these training options:


Jamie Powell, Esri This post was contributed by Esri education specialist Jamie Powell. Based in Olympia, Washington, Jamie is a course developer with extensive experience in the IT and GIS industries.

This post shows how to apply a five-step process to complete an analysis project using ArcMap (the same analysis could be performed just as easily in ArcGIS Pro). Suppose you want to analyze access to health care services in Riverside and San Bernardino counties in southern California.

The five steps in the analysis process are:

  1. Frame the question
  2. Explore and prepare data
  3. Choose analysis methods and tools
  4. Perform the analysis
  5. Examine and refine results

Map of Riverside-San Bernardino counties


Step 1. Frame the Question
This step seems straightforward because typically you're assigned a project to obtain specific information. Some projects involve answering several questions derived from a high-level question. How you frame the questions helps determine which GIS tools and methods you use for the analysis.

In this example, you might frame a preliminary high-level question: Is the distribution of health care facilities consistent with the population distribution in Riverside-San Bernardino, CA? This question could be broken down into the following sub-questions:

  • Where are facilities that provide health care services located?
  • What is the population distribution within the study area?
  • Do areas with the highest population density have the greatest number of facilities?
  • Within the study area, are there areas with high population density but no health care facilities?


Step 2. Explore and Prepare Data
This step can be the most time-consuming. If you don't have all the data needed for an analysis project, you must collect it. The ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World is an excellent source of high-quality spatial data. In the U.S., the Census Bureau has a multitude of spatial, population, and demographic data. State data clearinghouses are another useful resource.  


Step 2a: Explore Data
For each dataset, explore the feature geography, attributes, and metadata to determine whether the data will be useful for your analysis and what kind of preparation, if any, may be required. Questions to ask about the data include:

  • What is the data format?
  • When was the data collected (how current is it)?
  • How detailed is the data—at what scale was it collected?
  • What coordinate system does the data use? Is the data projected?
    • Best practice is to project all datasets into a common coordinate system before doing analysis.
  • Does the feature geometry (i.e., point, line, polygon) work for the analysis?
  • Does the data have the attributes you need?
  • Does the data have any access or use constraints?

For this example, the following datasets were used. All use the WGS 1984 geographic coordinate system.

  • Hospitals — this data includes "traditional" hospitals as well as other medical facilities.
  • ZIP Codes — this data includes population attributes.
  • Counties — this data provides the geography for the area of interest (Riverside and San Bernardino counties).
  • States — this data provides additional geographic reference for the area of interest (California).


Step 2b: Prepare Data
To start, you need to decide what data format to use. Project data doesn't have to be all in the same format, but it can make things easier. The important thing is to verify that the analysis tools you need to use accept your data format; also consider whether you will be distributing the data created by the analysis. You can use the geoprocessing tools in the ArcToolbox Conversion Tools toolbox to quickly convert data to another format. If you have access to the ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension, you can directly work with many data formats.


Organizing data into a project folder helps simplify analysis tasks (you can specify a default input workspace for all the geoprocessing tools).

  • For this project, a file folder was created to organize the shapefiles.

If you are working with feature classes stored in different geodatabases, you could copy or import them into a single file-based project geodatabase. You might also want to create separate folders or geodatabases to store intermediate (temporary) data output from analysis operations as well as final data.


Extracting data to have the same extent as the study area helps speed up processing time and enhances data visualization in ArcMap. In this example, the project datasets cover the entire U.S.

  • Clipping the hospitals and ZIP Codes to the extent of the two counties will be part of data preparation.

In order to clip the data, you can create a selection layer of just Riverside and San Bernardino counties, or just select the two counties on the map. If you plan to use the same study area for multiple analysis projects, it's a good idea to export selected features and selection layers to their own shapefile or geodatabase feature class. That way, you have your study area feature data ready to go. For this example, we will simply select the two counties of interest. 

Here's are the data preparation tasks for this project:

  • Start ArcMap, add the project data, and zoom to the study area.
  • Using the Select Features tool, select Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Now you will clip the U.S. ZIP Codes to the extent of the two counties.
  • Open ArcToolbox, expand Analysis Tools, expand Extract, and double-click Clip to open the tool dialog box.
  • For Input Features, choose U.S. ZIP Codes. For Clip Features, choose Counties. When the clip layer has selected features, only the selected features will be used to clip the input features.
  • Accept or change the output location and name, then click OK to run the tool.
  • The clipped layer that contains only ZIP Codes in Riverside and San Bernardino counties is added to the Table of Contents.

Map of Riverside-San Bernardino ZIP Codes

Repeat the steps to clip the hospitals.

  • Double-click the Clip tool to open its dialog box.
  • For Input Features, choose Hospitals.
  • For Clip Features, choose Counties.
  • For Output Feature Class, accept or change the default output location and name, then click OK.

When the clip operation completes, a layer representing hospitals within the study area is added to the Table of Contents.

  • Change the default symbol as desired and remove the U.S. hospitals and ZIP Code layers (right-click each layer in the Table of Contents and choose Remove).

The data preparation tasks are now complete.


Map of hospitals and ZIP Codes in Riverside and San Bernardino counties


Step 3. Choose Analysis Methods and Tools

To choose the appropriate methods and tools for an analysis project, consider the questions framed in step 1 and document the methods and tools that will answer each one.


QuestionMethods and Tools
Where are facilities that provide health care services located?Examine distribution of hospitals on the map.
What is the population distribution within the study area?Symbolize ZIP Codes layer based on population density using graduated colors.
Do areas with the highest population density have the greatest number of facilities?First, do a visual analysis of the map to get a general idea, then do a spatial join operation between the Hospitals and ZIP Codes. The output of the spatial join will be one record for each hospital and the ZIP Code attributes.
Within the study area, are there areas with high population but no health care facilities?Summarize the ZIP field in the table output from the spatial join. The summary table will include a count of hospitals in each ZIP code that contains a hospital, plus population data for each ZIP Code.

It's helpful at this step to diagram the analysis. The diagram doesn't have to be anything fancy (although it can be if you like that sort of thing). An easy thing is to quickly draw on paper or a whiteboard like the example below.Workflow diagram example


Step 4. Perform the Analysis
If you've diagrammed the process in step 3, then in this step, you simply follow the diagram, completing each task in sequence. For complicated analyses, you may want to create a model in ModelBuilder to automate the process. A model also allows you to quickly change a parameter and run the model again to explore different scenarios.

  • Examine the distribution of the hospital features on the map. Zoom and pan around as needed.
  • Symbolize ZIP Codes with graduated colors based on the POP07_SQMI (2007 population density) attribute.

A visual analysis of the data shows the greatest number of hospitals and the most densely populated ZIP Codes (in darker shades of green on the map below) are in the southwestern part of the study area.

Map showing population density in Riverside-San Bernardino counties

You can get more information by doing a spatial join between the Hospitals and ZIP Codes layers.

  • Right-click Hospitals and click Joins and Relates > Join.
  • In the dialog box, choose to join data from another layer based on spatial location.
  • Choose ZIP Codes in the drop-down list of layers, specify the output feature class name and location, and click OK.

The output of the spatial join is a new point layer that contains all the hospital features plus the attributes of the ZIP Code each facility falls within. The ZIP field contains the five-digit ZIP Code in which the hospital is located, and the PO_NAME field contains the post office name (corresponds to the city name) for that ZIP Code. The POP07_SQMI field shows the population density associated with each hospital's ZIP Code.


Sorting the PO_NAME field reveals that multiple hospitals are located in some ZIP Codes.

Attribute table of joined Hospitals and ZIP Codes layers


The last step is to summarize the ZIP field. This operation will output a table that contains one record for each ZIP Code that contains a hospital, plus a field containing the count of hospitals within each ZIP Code. You can also choose to output statistics for numeric fields (such as POP07_SQMI).

  • In the joined table, right-click the ZIP field and choose Summarize.
  • For summary statistics, check First and Last for NAME (this is the hospital name) and check Average for both POP2007 (total population) and POP07_SQMI.
  • Specify an output location and name, then click OK.
  • Choose to add the result table to the map and open it.


Step 5. Examine and Refine Results

So what information does the summary table provide?

The Count_ZIP field tells you the number of hospitals in each ZIP Code that contains a hospital.

Summary table of hospitals and ZIP Codes


Sorting the POP07_SQMI field reveals that all the ZIP Codes that have more than 2,000 people per square mile have at least one health care facility.


The analysis shows that the distribution of health care services is generally consistent with the distribution of the population within the study area—that is the most facilities are located where the population is most dense. You could refine this analysis by considering the number of patients each facility can serve and other variables of interest. You could also extend the project to analyze whether access to health care services in the low-population areas is adequate. The current map indicates that residents of ZIP Codes with a low population density may have to travel a great distance to reach a hospital.


Want to learn more about performing analysis in ArcGIS? Check out these training options:

Maybe you're taking a class or an Esri MOOC and using a temporary ArcGIS organizational account, or maybe you're going to lose access to an organization account you were using at school or work. You've created some great maps and apps, and would reeeally like to keep them! If you're allowed to, there are some ways to do that. Let's explore:



First, if you just want to show off some things you’ve done, such as with a portfolio for job-hunting, remember you can take screenshots, of maps, apps, code, etc. This is the easiest route.


On a Windows PC, hold down the Alt key and press PrtScn. This will save it to your clipboard, so you can paste it in to a graphics application such as Paint and then save it as a jpeg or png file.


For mobile apps, on your phone, hold down either the power and volume-up buttons together, or the power and home buttons for older iPhones.



You can export some items, such as files and feature layers (including Survey123 results layers), to a variety of formats. You would then just republish it from your other ArcGIS account. You can export from the item’s Item Details page:


You can also save a web map in another organization, as long as the option to allow others to save the map is enabled.



You can also directly copy some items to another ArcGIS  account. There are different options for using other accounts.


The option that would work best would be to have another ArcGIS organizational account that you can use, such as in your school or employer’s ArcGIS organization. Other options include:

  • Get a free ArcGIS Developer account.
  • Use an ArcGIS for Personal (small annual fee, different in different countries) includes access to Esri desktop software, training, and an ArcGIS organizational account.
  • You can use a (free) public account, you won’t be able to move hosted feature layers.


Here are the copy tools that I know of that are worth trying. The Geo Jobe tools offer the most functionality in the premium tool, while functionality is more limited in the free tool. I’d recommend trying the AGO Assistant tool, a free, unsupported tool. 


AGO Assistant tool

Go to


You’ll need to log in with your ArcGIS  account.


Note: If you see a Request For Permission pop-up, your web browser may have automatically logged you in with your Esri account, which may not be the same as your ArcGIS  account. Click your username at the top right and switch to sign in with your AO account.


You will see your items listed on the left side.


At the top, click I Want To.., and select Copy Content.


In the dialog, click Another Account.


Select ArcGIS for the destination, and click Log In (to the other account that you’re copying to).


The items from that account will then be listed on the right side.


Open a folder on the left, such as Root, and drag the items you want to save into a folder on the right.


For some items, you will see a pop-up to choose between Simple and Full copy type.


Click Full.


Simple is just a reference back to the item in your student account, which will be deleted. With any tool you find for copying content, you need to verify that the tool downloads and publishes new layers, and does not continue to reference layers in the MOOC organization.


If you go back to ArcGIS  and log into the other account, you’ll see the copied items on your Content page.


Note: Unsupported tools are not perfect or guaranteed, but improving all the time.


Geo Jobe tools

If you want to try the Geo Jobe tools, go to There are free and paid tools to choose from. For the free tool:


Click on Admin Tools (


Click on View Item.


Important: make sure you're signed in the organization you want to copy from first.


Then click View Application ( )


In the search box, start typing "copy", then click Copy Items.


There is also a separate Geo Jobe tool for ArcGIS Portal organizations. In fact, much of this information applies to Portal as well. There is also the concept of Enterprise collaborations with Portal, meant for easy sharing between organizations.


Copying dashboards

There are certain items that can’t be copied yet (at least with the free tools), including Operations Dashboards. For these you would just need to recreate them in the other account, using the layers that you copy or export and then republish. You also might be able to copy the dashboard. Remember that copying a dashboard does not create a copy of the webmap(s) or layer(s) used, so you would need to have them copied or republished in your other account.


Go to the Operations Dashboard home page. You can use the App Launcher. Or, enter the URL directly, for example:


Note: Replace YourOrg with whatever org your account is in. You technically don't need to have the org name at all, it will work without it (, but that bypasses some security checks.


Click the Create Dashboard button. It will route you to:

Copy the item ID of the dashboard you'd like to save a copy of, such as the following: 

Add ?id=
<the item ID> to the Create Dashboard URL and press enter (to reload the page):


The page will load with the Title, Tags and Summary already filled in with the dashboard you are copying.


Click Create Dashboard.


It will open the copied dashboard in edit mode, and you can edit and save the dashboard into this organization.


Good luck!


If you haven't seen the Esri MOOC program yet, check it out:

Esri MOOC - Massive Open  Course 


Credit to David Nyenhuis, Kelly Gerrow and others for some of the info - thanks!

New Date: The seminar formerly scheduled for October 25 is now scheduled for November 15. 


Join us for a free live training seminar to hear all about the latest capabilities of Collector for ArcGIS—direct from the product experts. Three one-hour live sessions will be broadcast throughout the day. Each session includes Q&A time with the presenters.


Seminar Details:

  • Name: Field Data Workflows with Collector for ArcGIS
  • Date: November 15, 2018
  • Time: 9 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. Pacific
  • Location:  at the Esri Training website. Add a seminar session to your calendar at


Esri Training Collector for ArcGIS live training seminar banner

The difference between relates (often called table relates) and relationship classes is a source of much confusion, especially for new ArcGIS users. Though they sound similar, the terms refer to different things. Both have benefits and there are reasons to use each one. Here are the main things to know.


  • A relate exists in a map or layer file.
  • A relationship class is an object in a geodatabase.
  • Relates can be created and edited with an ArcGIS Desktop Basic, Standard, or Advanced license.
  • Relationship classes can be created and edited with an ArcGIS Desktop Standard or Advanced license. They are read-only with a Basic license.


All clear now? No? Let's continue then.


Deconstructing the Terminology


Relates are great because they allow you to select features in a layer, then easily see related features in a different layer or related records in a nonspatial table. Relationship classes are great because they enable "smart behavior." You can set up rules for how the participating feature classes or tables behave when something happens. For example, with a relationship class in place, if a feature is deleted, then its associated record in the other feature class or table can be automatically deleted as well. 


Both relates and relationship classes rely on cardinality, which describes how records in two different tables are related to one another—cardinality can be one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, or many-to-many.


  • One-to-one: Every feature has exactly one related record in the other table.
  • One-to-many: Features in one table may have more than one related record in the other table.
  • Many-to-one: Multiple features in one table have one related record in the other table. 
  • Many-to-many: Multiple features in one table have multiple records in the other table.


Relates support one-to-many and many-to-one cardinalities, while relationship classes support all cardinalities. Feature classes and tables that participate in a relate or a relationship class must have a field of the same data type (text, short integer, long integer, object ID, etc.). That field will be the "connection point" (AKA key field) between the two.


The Relate Example


The map below contains a layer of fire stations and a nonspatial table that stores data about the city's fire department personnel. A relate was created between the layer and the nonspatial table, which have a many-to-one cardinality (every fire station has multiple personnel).The relate is based on a short integer field in both tables that stores a fire station ID number. The fields have different names, but that doesn't matter at all.  


ArcMap map of fire stations


Thanks to the relate, it's easy to find out which personnel are assigned to any given fire station. Just use the Identify tool and click a fire station on the map. In the Identify window, the related table name displays below the fire station feature name. Expanding the table shows the records associated with that station (the Washington station in this example, which has six assigned personnel).


ArcMap Identify window showing Washington station personnel


Suppose Brian Butler is transferred to the Adams station. His record in the FirePersonnel table is edited to replace the Washington station number (2) with the Adams station number (202). When the edit is saved, the data shown in the Identify window will reflect his new assignment. Washington now has only five assigned personnel...


ArcMap Identify window showing data for Washington station


...while the Adams station personnel list now includes Brian.


ArcMap Identify window showing Adams station data


The Relationship Class Example


Table relates are super-useful to quickly view feature data stored in separate tables (for efficient data management purposes). Relationship classes give you the ability to do more than easily view data, however. With a relationship class, you can set rules and properties that control what happens when data in either table is edited. You can also ensure that only valid edits are made.


Using the example above, suppose a relationship class named StationsPersonnel has been created between the Fire Stations feature class and Fire Personnel table. Also suppose the city requires that all stations have a minimum of five assigned firefighters and a maximum of 15 assigned firefighters. A rule has been created in the relationship class to enforce this requirement.


ArcMap Catalog window showing a relationship class object


With Brian Butler's transfer to the Adams station, Washington is left with five assigned firefighters. Jean Fiorini, however, has requested a transfer, and her request was approved. A GIS technician responsible for maintaining the fire department's GIS data tries to update Jean's record in the personnel table with the new station number. But she gets a message that the edit cannot be made.


The database knows that without Jean, Washington will have fewer than four assigned personnel. To comply with the relationship class rule, the technician must first add a firefighter to the Washington station, then edit Jean's record to reflect her new station assignment.


In this example, the relationship class ensures that data edits are valid and that the city's GIS database reflects and supports real-world needs. Suppose the person who approved Jean's transfer didn't realize that Washington would be left with only four firefighters. The relationship class rule surfaced that piece of key information, and perhaps prevented loss of property or lives down the line due to insufficient staffing. You never know. 



Want to learn more about relates and relationship classes? Check out these help topics:

Join us for a free live training seminar next week and hear all about the latest features of Insights for ArcGIS—direct from the product experts. At version 3.0, Insights provides even more support for advanced analytics and enhancements in visualizing results--whether you're using Insights with ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise.   


Three one-hour live sessions will be broadcast throughout the day. Each session includes Q&A time with the presenters.


Seminar Details:

  • Name: Insights for ArcGIS: Powerful Data Analytics Made Simple
  • Date: September 27, 2018
  • Time: 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Pacific
  • Location: Online at the Esri Training website. Add a seminar session to your calendar at

Learning Plans 101

Posted by sboden-esristaff Employee Jul 11, 2018

The recent Training site release introduced a new look, some new pages, and a next step for lifelong learning here at Esri. One of the main highlights of the updated site has to do with learning plans. 


What's the big deal about learning plans? Well, they've evolved.


For the last two years, a learning plan was a set of learning resources on a focused topic, designed around defined learning goals. Those learning plans were (and still are) created by our team of curriculum specialists.


Today, learning plans are a much more robust tool. Even better, they're an open tool. Anyone with an Esri account can now create a learning plan and easily share a learning plan—with specific people or publicly with the community of learners on the Training site. And anyone can assign a learning plan and monitor progress through it.


These are useful capabilities that a lot of people have requested. So how do you put the capabilities into action? Let's dive in and go through the steps to create, edit, share, and assign a learning plan.


Step 1: Create a learning plan.

There are two ways to create your own learning plan.

  • Copy an existing plan and modify it.
  • Interactively add items from the catalog or your wish list to build a plan from scratch.


Suppose you're a GIS professional who wants to learn how to create Python scripts. You've been putting it off but projects have been coming fast and furious lately. You know scripts will save you time, but you have no idea how to go about learning Python code and syntax. A learning plan to the rescue!


It's always a good idea to start by exploring what's already available. Why reinvent the wheel?


Esri Training homepage with Learning Plans button


  • Search for "python."


Learning Plans page with 0 search results


Now you know there are no existing learning plans on Python (spoiler alert: there will be soon). You will have to create your own. Fortunately, this is super-simple.


Training catalog page with 16 search results for Python



Now you see there are 16 resources that can help you learn Python scripting. Since you're working with ArcGIS Pro, you can narrow the search results further.

  • In the Products drop-down list, click ArcGIS Pro.


Now there are only five results.


Training catalog page with five Python resources for ArcGIS Pro users


After viewing the details of each resource, you decide to create a learning plan that includes all five.


  • Click the plus sign  on the card for one of the items and click Add to Learning Plan.
  • Sign in with your Esri account.
  • In the Add to Learning Plan dialog, click Select a Plan, then click "Add course to new plan."


Each learning plan on the Training site must have a title and, optionally, a description. If you plan to publicly share a learning plan, the title has to be unique and a description is a must. Like other forms of metadata, the description should provide enough information to help other users understand the plan's purpose and content and decide whether they want to enroll in it. 


Add to Learning Plan dialog with plan title and description


  • After adding a title and description, click Create New Plan, then close the dialog box. 
  • Repeat the process to add the other four resources to the new plan (click the plus sign on each card and click Add to Learning Plan).


Your new learning plan is accessible from your My Learning Plans page.


New learning plan on My Learning Plans page


At any time, you can click the View Courses tab to open a resource and start learning right away. As you work through the resources in the plan, your progress (percent completed) will update.


Notice that one of the resources in this plan has a dashed circle to the left of its title, while the others have a solid circle.


Courses list for a learning plan


The dashed circle indicates that you will need to self-report completion (just click inside the circle after completing the tutorial). The Training site tracks completion of instructor-led courses, web courses, training seminars, videos, and MOOCs. It currently cannot automatically track completions of tutorials, story maps, documents, and teacher resources.


Learning plans are intended to be dynamic. As the plan creator, you can add or remove items at any time.


Suppose you visit the Training catalog a week or so later and see another Python resource of interest (we add new resources every week). You can easily add it to your learning plan.


Step 2: Edit a learning plan.

  • In the catalog, click the resource card and choose Add to Learning Plan.
  • Choose your learning plan title in the dialog's drop-down list.
  • Click Add to Plan.
  • That's it!


Alternatively, if you know the title, you can add a catalog resource directly from your learning plan page. 

  • Find the learning plan on your My Learning Plans page.
  • Click the Edit Plan tab.
  • Start typing the title in the box under Add Courses.
  • In the list that displays, click the resource title, then click Add to Plan.
  • Click Save Plan.

Training page showing the Add item to learning plan feature


Step 3: Share a learning plan.

After talking with you, a coworker has expressed interest in learning Python too. To help him out, you'll share your learning plan. 

  • Find the learning plan on your My Learning Plans page.
  • Under the plan's title, click Share Plan.


You can choose to copy/paste the URL that displays or, directly from the Share dialog, you can send an email or share a link to Facebook or Twitter and @ mention the person. You'll share via email.

  • Click the email icon.


In the email message window, the Subject line and a short message that includes the link are prepopulated. 

  • You just need to add the person's email address in the To line, update the message content if desired, then click Send. 

Email message


Step 4: Assign a learning plan.

Six months have elapsed since you created your Python learning plan. Congrats! You've just been promoted to a supervisor position. You no longer have to perform data management tasks yourself. Because you completed your Python learning plan and were able to realize significant time savings by scripting those tasks, you want your direct reports to also learn Python. The scripts you created will probably need to be updated at some point, and new ones created. 

  • From your My Learning Plans page, find the plan and click Assign Plan under its title.
  • In the Assign Plan dialog box, type or copy/paste the email addresses of your direct reports separated by a space or comma.
    • Tip: There is no limit to the number of email addresses you can enter in the box. Copy/pasting from an Excel spreadsheet that stores emails in one column with no header row or from a text file is easy and fast.
  • Add a personal note to the boilerplate email text if desired.
  • Preview the email if desired, then click Send Invitation.


Your direct reports will receive an email from with a link to enroll in the plan. After clicking the link, they will need to login with their Esri account and accept the terms (acknowledging that you will be able to see the name and email address associated with their Esri account and their plan progress).


To monitor their progress:


The Status column shows whether a person has enrolled. "Not Accepted" means the person has not clicked the link in the invitation email. You can resend the email if needed. When enrollees start working through the learning plan, you will see their progress through each resource and the date each resource is completed.


Learning Plans page with View Assignments tab active


Now you know how easy it is to customize learning plans for your own unique needs, share them with others who may benefit, and assign them to grow geospatial skills and knowledge at your organization or your school. We hope you take advantage of these new capabilities to support professional development and generate more data-driven insights.


Related post:  Changes Coming to the Training Site

2018 Esri User Conference theme banner: GIS: Inspiring What's Next


This year, the Esri User Conference theme seems especially thought-provoking. We’ve been reflecting on it a lot. What’s next for us—Esri Training?


In case you don’t know, Esri Training is a team of teams. We like to say we’re the people part of the platform. Did you know your ArcGIS license included people? Figuratively speaking of course.


Our teams include top-notch instructors, education specialists, designers, systems support superheroes, dedicated training consultants, certification experts, and a host of smart, talented people. We all agree that helping other people knowledgeably apply ArcGIS capabilities is a pretty awesome way to earn a paycheck.


After all, we play a role in enabling hundreds of thousands of ArcGIS users to make a difference in their organizations and the world…and earn a paycheck of their own. That’s rewarding.


In August 2016, when we last released a major update of our website, we said

The new Esri Training site is dedicated to the idea that learning should be easy, timely, and fun. Over time, even more features will be added to motivate and engage learners.


Fast-forward almost two years. Today we remain dedicated to easy, timely, fun learning. Our redesigned website, releasing in just a few days, has more features to motivate and engage learners. The new website also represents the future: it’s what’s next for us.


Esri Academy—brought to you by the people of Esri Training—is the new digital destination to discover, explore, consume, plan, and continue your learning. It’s a destination designed to help you build geospatial skills, grow your ArcGIS expertise, and advance your professional and personal goals.


You may be thinking, “Esri Academy? What’s this all about?”


In geographic terms, Esri Academy is the intersection of training and learning. It’s where “how” meets “why.”


Banner image from Esri Academy


A lot of people connect “training” with mastering the series of clicks needed to accomplish specific tasks using specific software. A bit boring but useful and necessary.


Of course we create courses that teach how to accomplish specific tasks using specific software. And we do so much more.


Our teams create content that explains GIS concepts, the geographic approach to problem-solving, and the choices that must be made before the clicks—content that goes beyond teaching how to use features and functions.

We address the “why” because we think it’s important that ArcGIS users understand the context in which they’re applying tools. We aim to help the community adopt best practices to produce accurate data, maps, and apps.


We support the many users who are excited about GIS and the customer organizations that see the strategic value of a geospatially literate workforce. We want to make it easy for managers and education professionals to support geospatial learning. We also really do want learning to be fun.


These are the “why’s” that have brought us to Esri Academy.


Esri Academy is where you go to attend a class, watch a video, join a live seminar, take all kinds of e-Learning, interact with thousands of other learners around the world in a MOOC, and download white papers to stay up to date with the latest ArcGIS capabilities.


When you’re at Esri Academy, you’re not alone. At any given moment, a large community of learners is right there with you. The experience is personal. You control what, when, and how you learn.


Esri Academy is where you have tools to craft your own learning journey—because everyone has unique goals. We’re especially excited to bring you new tools to create, share, and assign learning plans.


We believe individuals and organizations empowered to knowledgeably use the ArcGIS platform can accomplish great things and make a positive impact in the world.


Starting June 26, Esri Academy is your new and improved location for lifelong learning. You will still find us at


Want to know more about Esri Academy?

Over the coming weeks, we’ll dive into new Esri Academy features you will definitely want to check out.


Related post: Changes Coming to the Training Site

Every industry has its own unique GIS workflows. Some of these are as simple as running a tool or two. Others are more complex, involving multiple tools and processes. For each workflow, someone has to spend time working through each step of the process, then repeat the process again (and again) when new projects crop up or data is provided.


These manual, repetitive workflows not only cost time, they can also be prone to error. If a step is missed or an error is introduced within any one of the steps, the results can be problematic, to say the least.



What if there was a way to repeat your workflow without having to touch every single task? What if you could find a way to save time? You can! Python provides a solution to these issues.


Python scripts can help you:

  • Streamline your GIS work.
  • Easily repeat processes on different datasets.
  • Save time by automating a series of complicated steps.

But where do you begin? Exactly what tasks can you perform using Python? How can you improve the performance of your current Python scripts?  


For example, suppose you want a Python script that takes a table of customer locations and creates an outer polygon boundary of those locations. You have been manually drawing a polygon around an XY event layer of the locations each time they are updated, but the process takes a lot of time and is not entirely accurate.  


You can use Python lists and ArcPy geometry objects to complete this workflow efficiently and accurately.


The Python script can be broken down into basic tasks:

  • Define input and output variables.
  • Create a Python list from the table of XY coordinates.
  • Create a multipoint geometry object from the Python list.
  • Use the convexHull() geometry method to create the boundary.
  • Save geometry object of the boundary to a feature class.



You can run this script as often as you need by simply modifying the variables. You can also create a Python script tool from it.


Would you like to learn how to script your GIS tasks and workflows?


Creating Python Scripts for ArcGIS is a new Esri course that takes you from minimal Python knowledge to creating Python scripts that automate a complete workflow. You’ll learn practical Python skills such as how to access and run geoprocessing tools, automate tasks with lists, work directly with GIS data, create Python script tools, and more.



If you want to simplify your GIS workflows and get more work done in less time, take a look at the upcoming class schedule.

It's official: next month we're releasing a new version of (and some exciting enhancements to) the Training site. The new site features an updated design and new tools to strengthen learner engagement, support focused learning goals, and personalize the user experience. One thing that's not changing: our laser focus on providing easy access to authoritative learning resources that support individuals and organizations using the ArcGIS platform.


Here's a sneak preview of two features you can expect to see in late June.


Interactive Curriculum Map


The Training catalog houses hundreds of professionally curated resources created by Esri education specialists and subject matter experts. Resources are available in a variety of e-Learning and instructor-led formats.


Given the number of available resources, it can be challenging to determine which resources best meet your unique learning needs, how resources relate to one another, and how to sequence through them. Interactive functionality on the new site helps solve this challenge.


Users will be able to select high-level ArcGIS topics and drill down to see related, focused topics. As they go deeper, a progressively more targeted set of related resources displays. Site users will be able to quickly filter hundreds of learning resources to a very manageable level.


Learning Plan Enhancements


Esri-created learning plans were introduced two years ago to help ArcGIS users build knowledge and skills on specific topics. Each plan contains a set of resources that individuals complete at their own pace. They track their progress through a plan on their My Learning Plans page. On the new site, Esri-created learning plans will still be available.


But there's more! On the new Training site, after identifying resources that meet your needs, you will have the option to add those resources to a learning plan. Yes, you can create your own custom learning plans—from scratch or by making a copy of an Esri-created plan and then adding or removing items to reflect your personal learning goals and interests.


Just like on Pinterest, where you create your own boards and pin interesting items to them, as you explore the Training catalog, with a single click you will be able to add interesting items to your own learning plans. 


Esri Training catalog cards with Add to learning plan feature


You can create as many learning plans as you like and you can share them if you want—with specific individuals or publicly so they are available to all Training site users. 


And there's more! Learning plan enhancements are directly based on customer feedback. Managers have told us they want a mechanism to leverage their unlimited e-Learning benefit, train new ArcGIS users, support professional development paths, and prepare team members for GIS projects. Educators have told us they want an easy way to assign Esri e-Learning to their students. On the new Training site, you will be able to assign learning plans (Esri-created or custom) and monitor individuals' progress through the plan. Learning plan reports will be available through the Training site.


Lifelong Learning Anytime, Anywhere


The Training site is designed around the idea that authoritative ArcGIS learning resources should be easy to access at any time, from anywhere. With the rapid pace of technology change, individuals and organizations that prioritize lifelong learning will be well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities to gain insight, add value, and advance their goals.


The Training site is where you go to find up-to-date ArcGIS learning resources. In late June, it will also be the place to set and achieve your own learning goals, on a timeline that works for you.


Related post: Introducing Our What's Next

Updated September 19, 2018


They're ubiquitous, the discussions and suggestions about which skills professionals need to stand out in today's competitive hiring climate, and how to successfully navigate a dynamic workplace environment in which new technology-enabled capabilities arrive at lightning speed (or seem to).


The suggestions are usually directed at individuals. But the last decade has seen major technology-enabled shifts in expectations, and new expectations have had a huge impact on organizations and their leadership. Many organizations are looking for ways to not just meet expectations, but create opportunities. Forward-thinking organizations are leveraging technology to realize greater efficiencies and reach new customers. More and more, innovative organizations are using GIS technology to drive new opportunities and growth


Grow People to Grow Business


Less talked about is the idea of developing employees as a key growth driver. Despite the amazing technology that permeates modern life, human ingenuity and creativity remain indispensable. Organizations that pay attention to motivating and retaining employees have leaders who understand that people are their most important asset—the employees who execute day-to-day operations, engage with customers, and come up with new ideas that move the business forward.


Workforce development is a people-centric approach to achieving strategic business goals. Like anything, to be done well, workforce development requires planning. Planning should encompass support for known projects and initiatives but, more importantly, help prepare individuals and teams to execute the unknown ones—the new opportunities. 


Photo of a group of technology workers


Planning Process


Planning starts with strategic alignment. Managers need to effectively demonstrate how workforce development directly supports the organization's strategic business goals. If they can do that, they earn executive buy-in (and budget approval).


In the GIS realm, managers can identify strategic business goals by reviewing the organization's mission statement (typically stated on the main website) and internal executive presentations and communications. Document how the GIS program supports the strategic goals. From there, document the workforce roles involved in creating, managing, and using the GIS infrastructure and applications. Ask:


  • What are my organization's strategic business goals?
  • How do our GIS applications support the strategic goals?
  • Which workforce roles support the GIS applications that support the strategic goals?

Next, analyze the knowledge and skills needed for each role. If there are gaps, start identifying workforce development resources and delivery methods to fill the gaps. Consider priorities, project timelines, and budget. Document your findings. This is the genesis of an actionable workforce development plan. Ask:


  • What knowledge and skills are required for each role?
  • Based on current and future plans, what are the workforce development priorities?
  • What resources are available to develop the required knowledge and skills?
  • What's the budget?

Once the plan is documented, take action and execute. It's important to periodically review progress and the plan itself. If a key staff member retires or switches roles, a new role is created, or a new technology component is introduced, modify the plan. It's critical that a workforce development plan maintains strategic alignment over time. If that doesn't happen, the plan becomes irrelevant. Ask:


  • Is the plan being executed as intended?
  • Does the plan need to be modified?
  • Is the plan still relevant?


Workforce Development Planning Outcomes


Explicit outcomes are people developing the right skills at the right time, with an approved budget in place. With the right knowledge and skills in place, day-to-day operations are more efficient and projects launch successfully.


Just as important, managers are able to demonstrate how their team functions as a strategic asset and employees feel valued and excited about their contributions.


From a leadership point of view, the key outcome is a skilled workforce able to navigate the disruptions that technology changes may bring—and, more importantly, take advantage of the opportunities enabled by new technology.


Want to talk with someone about developing your GIS-enabled workforce? Esri training consultants offer complimentary planning services to help prepare individuals, teams, and entire organizations to get the most value from an ArcGIS deployment.

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