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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.

 

Share

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

Configure

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

Launch

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:

 

Screenshots

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.

 

Exporting

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.

 

Copying

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 https://ago-assistant.esri.com.

 

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 http://www.geo-jobe.com/admin-tools/. There are free and paid tools to choose from. For the free tool:

 

Click on Admin Tools ( https://marketplace.arcgis.com/listing.html?id=c34019b0623041608df4d06970a7a96a).

 

Click on View Item.

 

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

 

Then click View Application (https://apps.geopowered.com/admin-tools/basic/# )

 

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:

https://YourOrg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/home

 

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 (https://arcgis.com/...), but that bypasses some security checks.

 

Click the Create Dashboard button. It will route you to: https://YourOrg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/new


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

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/9ef296f66f724c36bcaf01fc69768ecd 


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

https://YourOrg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/new?id=9ef296f66f724c36bcaf01fc69768ecd

 

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 https://go.esri.com/collector-lts

 

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 https://go.esri.com/insights-lts
sboden-esristaff

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 GIStraining@esri.com 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 esri.com/training.

 


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.

Happy Geography Awareness Week! This is a fun time for the GIS community. It's also time for our third and final giveaway of 2017. Between now and November 24 at 5pm Pacific, you can enter to win an Esri technical certification exam voucher valued at US$225. On November 28 we will randomly select four individuals to receive a free voucher. Vouchers must be redeemed within six months, but you can schedule your exam appointment at a later date.

 

Esri offers certifications in three domains: desktop, developer, and enterprise. Earning a certification validates your expertise and is a great way to advance your career goals. Whether you've been thinking about achieving your first Esri certification or your fifteenth, now is a great time to put those thoughts into action. 

 

Only one entry per individual will be accepted. Good luck!

 

Enter the Giveaway

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ModelBuilder (included with ArcGIS Pro) provides a visual canvas to create geoprocessing models that automate GIS workflows. Invaluable for conducting sophisticated spatial analyses, models are everyday workhorses too. If built with reuse in mind, models can be your go-to shortcuts to get a lot of work done quickly.

In fact, you can think of ModelBuilder as a visual programming language and a model as a workflow map. Like a map:

  • A model can be navigated (it has direction built in).
  • A model uses shape, color, text, and symbols to represent and communicate about its features.
  • A model reveals data relationships that can spark ideas and collaboration.

 

If you've never created a model in ArcGIS, there's just one thing you need to know to get started: take a five-step approach:

1. Plan the Workflow

Obvious, but...before creating a model, know what you want it to do. List the data input, identify the required geoprocessing tools, and describe the desired output. If the workflow is simple, just think it through in your head.

For more complicated workflows, you may want to sketch everything out on paper or a whiteboard. If you're not sure which tool to use or what a tool's required inputs are, check the geoprocessing tool reference.

2. Create the Model Shell

In ArcGIS, a model is stored inside a toolbox. In ArcGIS Pro, when you create a new project, a toolbox with the same name as the project is automatically created.

  • On the Analysis menu, click ModelBuilder to open a model window.

Tip: You can also open a new model by right-clicking the toolbox folder in the Catalog pane and choosing New > Model. 

New model item in ArcGIS Pro Catalog pane

 

Now set the model properties.

  • On the ModelBuilder tab, click Properties.

 

In the General tab, the option to “Store tool with relative path” should be selected. This is what you want, because using relative paths prevents headaches down the road if your data gets moved around.

Set the properties below, then click OK.

  • Name — the filename; no spaces allowed.
  • Label — the plain-English name; spaces are fine.

 

ArcGIS Pro model properties dialog box

 

3. Add Tools and Set Parameters

With the basic setup done, now comes the fun part. You can't beat ModelBuilder for easy drag-and-drop building and tinkering. But hang on a sec, you need to understand some ModelBuilder vocabulary.

  • A model consists of one or more processes. A process consists of three elements: input data, a tool, and the tool's output. Each output becomes input to the next  process.
  • Just like when you run a geoprocessing tool outside a model, if your input data has selected features or records, the tool processes only the selection.

 

When you add a tool to a model (by dragging/dropping from the Catalog or Geoprocessing pane), its output element is also added and both elements are colored light gray. In model parlance, gray means "not ready to run." You need to double-click the tool and set its parameters.

New model tool in ModelBuilder window

  • Tip: In a tool dialog box, a red asterisk means the parameter is required.

 

ArcGIS Pro tool dialog box

Once you click OK to set the tool parameters, the input element displays and the process colorizes, Oz-like.

ArcGIS Pro model process

As you add processes, the model window may fill up. Use the Fit to Window and Auto Layout buttons to see the big-picture view and zoom in and out as needed.

Be sure to save periodically as you build the model (ModelBuilder tab > Save).

To add the final model process output as a layer to a map, right-click it and choose Add To Display. Otherwise, you'll have to manually add it to the map.

4. Validate the Model

After you've added all the tools and set their parameters, it's time to ensure the model will run properly. Validation is easy—just click the Validate button on the ModelBuilder tab.

During validation, if there's an error, processing will stop at the first process that requires a fix. Figure out what's wrong and make the fix, then validate again. Repeat if necessary, then save your work.

5. Run the Model

You have two basic options to run a model:

  • On the ModelBuilder tab, click the Run button.
  • Outside of ModelBuilder, run the model as a tool or service.

 

Running a model as a tool or service has distinct advantages for collaboration and sharing. We'll cover model tools in an upcoming post. 

It's fun to run a model inside ModelBuilder. As the model progresses, each process turns red and then gets a drop shadow. The drop shadow indicates the process has completed correctly. If a process turns gray, that means an error needs to be fixed and the model stops running. If you've validated, this shouldn't happen.

ArcGIS Pro completed model

(Optional) 6. Maybe Run It Again

A model's final output may raise a question. For example, suppose a model process created a 50-meter buffer around a feature. After examining the model output, you wonder what would result if you used a 100-meter buffer instead.

To find out, simply open the buffer tool, enter the new distance value, and run the model again starting at the buffer process (right-click the buffer tool and choose Run).

Because you're not altering preceding processes, you don't need to rerun the entire model.  This is the beauty of a model. It's a perfect medium to explore and test what-if scenarios.

Like scripts, models are encapsulated workflows. Once built, they can be reused as a fast alternative to manually performing a set of individual processes. You can build a model to automate any geoprocessing task or series of tasks, from the complex to the straightforward.

Now that you've learned the steps to create a simple model, why not try it for yourself? 

Want to learn more on this topic? Check out these training options:

By Aaron Zureick, Esri global training program manager

 

The Esri Technical Certification program launched in January 2011 with one primary objective—to establish a means of recognizing and validating ArcGIS expertise. The program now offers nine exams, across three domains and three levels to span the breadth of the ArcGIS platform and associated user roles. More than 6,000 certifications have been awarded to date.

Esri technical certification domains and levels

 

The growth of the Esri Technical Certification program mirrors the trend seen in the IT certification industry as a whole. What is responsible for the continued demand in the IT space for certified individuals?

 

According to ManpowerGroup’s 2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey, globally, employers have reported the highest talent shortage since 2007. The hardest talent to find include IT staff (developers, programmers, database administrators, and IT leaders and managers). Since the previous survey, IT roles have jumped seven places to become the second most difficult talent position to fill. Employers were asked why it is increasingly difficult to fill positions.

 

Lack of available applicants and hard skills were the top two reasons provided.

 

Esri Technical Certification enables individuals to validate their hard skills with Esri technologies, helps potential candidates position themselves as strong applicants, and provides employers with the ability to more easily find potential employees with the correct and proven skillset.

 

Woman with laptop showing GIS technology

 

Not surprisingly, the upward trend in technology-related jobs is expected to continue. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50 percent of jobs today require some degree of technical skills. Experts estimate that the percentage will jump to 77 percent within the next decade. Additionally, over the next four years, it is expected that 51 percent of all IT jobs will be software-related.

 

This is good news for individuals who pursue a software-related career, and even better news for individuals who have validated their expertise with a certification.

 

In a 2016 survey by Pearson VUE (Value of IT Certification), individuals who obtained an IT certification noted several benefits, with “a positive impact on their professional image” and “moving into a career in IT” as the top two benefits cited.

 

Nearly 40 percent of survey respondents noted that certifications helped them perform complex tasks more confidently. These survey findings show that job candidates with a certification have a competitive advantage and, organizations that employ certified individuals receive key benefits.

 

The numbers are in! An Esri technical certification can play a valuable role in individuals’ ability to competitively differentiate themselves in the marketplace and in the workplace. Employers can leverage Esri technical certification to select candidates with a proven ability to perform a GIS-related role within their organization.

 

For information on the Esri Technical Certification program, visit esri.com/certification.

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