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Check out the new Sciences Portal in ArcGIS Online at with some nice introductory material about it already posted by Joseph Kerski


And in support of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Week and the GEO-XIV Plenary, 23-27 October 2017 in Washington, DC, Esri offer Insights for a Changing World: The Complete Platform for Earth Observation with an assortment of links to spatially intelligent scientific apps and additional landing pages.

Did you know that the fall season can be ALMOST as busy as pre-UC for Esri staff in terms of important science conferences? Here is the road ahead from my perspective.


October 17-19 – It will be great to have the Esri Health and Human Services GIS Conference here in Redlands this year, where Jack himself will speak, as well as Director of Sales Chris Cappelli, our own Chief Medical Officer Dr. Este Geraghty, spatial stats queen Lauren Bennett and spatial epidemiologist Dr. Linda Beale (of Insights fame). They will be joined by a host of distinguished plenary speakers including the COO of Kaiser Permanente and the Chief Medical Officer of Inland Empire Health Plan. Science-of-Where approaches toward stemming the opioid epidemic are sure to be among the many important timely and topics.


October 31-November 2 – The Esri Ocean GIS Forum here in Redlands moves into its fifth offering and is on track for its largest attendance ever. It has become more than just a small esoteric, specialist meeting. It is in fact a very important community-building event cutting horizontally across many business sectors, especially national govt, state/local govt, natural resources, nonprofit, education, defense. And did you know that it is often at the FORUM that new tech is demoed or introduced even BEFORE the Dev Summit or UC (e.g., dry run of VR/AR, launch of the SciPy Stack, advancements in multidimensional sci analysis, etc.). This year’s keynote will be given by former astronaut & NOAA administrator Kathryn Sullivan. And we will again be honored by Chris Cappelli’s plenary participation.


November 7-10ACM SIGSPATIAL in Redondo Beach. Esri plays a large and significant role in ACM SIGSPATIAL, one of the best academic conferences directly relating to key topics being addressed by Esri software development. Esri is a corporate sponsor for this event along with Google, Lyft, Facebook, Oracle, nVidia, Microsoft, IBM, and Ordnance Survey). With Esri's Erik Hoel at the helm as conference co-chair, Esri Dev staff serve as conference officers and members of the program committee. And Esri Dev staff have had two full papers accepted for presentation and publication (one on spatio-temporal join in Apache Spark and one on a new utility-centric graph information model). This is quite an achievement given the highly selective 17% acceptance rate (~40 papers out of ~230 were accepted). Esri had 2 of the top 7 ranked papers by numerical evaluation score!


November 9-10Imagery Education Summit here in Redlands - This one-time-only, invitation-only event will host 75-100 remote sensing/imagery faculty members from top universities across the country to discuss Esri’s technical advancements in imagery, drive platform adoption at these top universities and help them transform their imagery curricula. Conceived and convened by Imagery Director Lawrie Jordan, and co-sponsored by NASA and Oak Ridge National Lab.


December 11-15 – American Geophysical (AGU) Fall Meeting in New Orleans. AGU is the world largest, more pre-eminent Earth science conference. It dwarfs our UC with an annual attendance of over 25,000. AGU is a meeting that we not only serve as exhibitors, but co-organize sessions with scientists, present papers and posters, participate in science communication and career/education workshops. Dan Rather is speaking at this year’s event. In the past, keynoters have included Elon Musk and Al Gore.


A few weeks ago, Esri released an update to the ArcGIS API for Python. The newest release includes:

Hopefully, you can tell that the new functionality in the API that I am most excited about is the spatial dataframe! The spatial dataframe extends the pandas dataframe by adding geometry, spatial reference, and other spatial components to the dataframe. In adding the spatial dataframe to the API, ArcGIS users can now read feature classes, feature services, and image services directly into a dataframe. Once in a spatial dataframe, users can perform fast statistical and spatial analysis on the dataupdate existing feature services, and convert the dataframe to a feature class or shapefile. These are just a few examples of how you can use the spatial dataframe.

What really interests me is how this can be used with an ArcGIS image service. Can I use the spatial dataframe to extract image footprints from an image service? Can I use it to perform statistical analysis image footprints over a specific part of the world?

The answer to both of these questions is Yes! In this post, I’ll walk through how to use the API for Python to extract image service footprints from the Landsat 8 Views image service, show how to use a spatial filter to extract only footprints over New Jersey, determine the mean cloud cover and most recent acquisition date of the images, and share those image footprints as a feature service. If you have ever been interested in doing any of these, check out my post on!

Esri Science pre-UC news items:


(1) You can download a separate copy of the Esri UC Q&A item: “How is Esri advancing geographic science?” on Box at .


(2) We have over 700 RSVPed for the Esri Science Symposium on Tuesday of UC. Even if you didn’t get a chance to RSVP, you can still come at any time, especially for the beer and networking at the end. There should be enough seating in SDCC Ballroom 20A. The networking reception at 5:00-6:00, will be at the SDCC Center Terrace, outside and to the LEFT of Ballroom 20, overlooking San Diego Bay.


(3) Thanks to @[Steve Kopp] for the item below:


Regarding ArcGIS on the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE; i.e., supercomputers): the licensing for this is figured out now and plans are moving forward with allowing research and education use of ArcGIS on the NSF XSEDE supercomputer system. Final details are getting worked through and there will be a formal press release in a month or so.


If you are someone from research or academia who wants to run something really big (geoanalytics, raster analytics, geoevent), there is now a place you can do this FOR FREE, and you can run as many ArcGIS processes as you want, again, FOR FREE.


If interested and want to know more, contact Eric Shook at Univ of Minnesota  He is the GIS domain lead for XSEDE and the primary person we are coordinating through. He can help them understand XSEDE qualification requirements and how to apply for an allocation.


Esri and XSEDE will collaborate to set up ArcGIS Enterprise with big data extensions with a Jupyter sandbox later this summer where XSEDE users can easily play and get started. For those who want to run specific or larger projects they will also be able to configure and manage their own cluster.


Background: XSEDE is the eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, the NSF funded collection of research supercomputer centers in the US. Their hardware includes supercomputers running special OS and middleware, as well as large windows clusters for cloud configuration, including JetStream, which has over 15,000 cores and 80Tb of RAM.



Good luck at UC!

While many parts of the Esri ArcGIS Platform are able to run natively on Macs, such as ArcGIS Python API, AppStudio, Workforce for ArcGIS, and the Web GIS tools, Esri's ArcGIS Desktop products are not supported for native use on Mac OS.  Many of my sciences customers ask me how to optimize the performance of their ArcGIS inside their Parallels instances, so I wanted to publish a post with some best-practice recommendations.


  1. MacBooks and MapBook Airs are probably not going to have the power inside needed to run ArcGIS in a performant manner if you're running intensive processes.  Starting off on the right foot with a MacBook Pro will help to ensure the best performance possible.
  2. Power down your Mac, and then turn it back on (you can't do the next steps if you're already running/have run Parallels since your laptop has been turned on for some reason). 
  3. Before launching Parallels, inside your Mac OS launch your Parallels Desktop Control window. 
  4. Click on the Gear/Cog to open the settings
    1. Under Optimization:
      1. Set Performance to Faster Virtual Machine
      2. Check the box to Enable Adaptive Hypervisor
      3. Check box to Tune Windows for Speed
    2. Under Power:
      1. Set it for Better Performance (and try to always be plugged in when using Parallels)
  5. Use Parallels in Fullscreen instead of Shaddow Mode
  6. Make sure sufficient cores and RAM have been allotted to your Parallels instance
  7. Running Parallels via Bootcamp will also enhance performance when you're working heavily in ArcGIS, allowing Windows to use as many system resources as possible.  If you're gearing up for a significant amount of work in ArcGIS, rather than just quickly jumping in and doing things, consider Bootcamp.
  8. If you're using ArcMap, make sure you have the free 64-bit Background Geoprocessing Add-On installed from MyEsri to eliminate out-of-memory errors when running certain GP tools.  Remember ArcMap is native x32 bit.
  9. While ArcGIS Pro is native x64 bit, it won't necessarily run faster, it just means it can handle bigger, more complex data.  ArcGIS Pro more heavily leverages the GPU onboard, so make sure it's spec'd appropriately.  Also, if you're switching back and forth between using Pro in your Parallels and your Mac OS again and again, it can impact the acceleration, having an impact on performance (see recommendation about using in fullscreen )
  10. For those of you running ArcGIS Enterprise (previously ArcGIS Server), consider using the free Python API, which you can use natively on your Mac without Parallels to do the processing Server-side.


Are you a Mac owner who runs Parallels to leverage ArcGIS Desktop?  If so, please post any additional tips you've found for enhancing performance in the comments.  Let's turn this into a resource for the Community!

Join Esri for the Create Together Citizen Science Event


Not too late to register for the Wednesday, May 17th (9:00am – 4:00pm central) event during the CSA conference in Minnesota.  No GIS experience is necessary.  Bring ideas and mobile devices, event team will supply breakfast, lunch and coffee.  Registered participants receive extended trial versions of ArcGIS and will gain hands-on experience in creating Survey123 for ArcGIS apps for citizen science projects.

Details are here:


Look forward to seeing you in the Twin Cities.  Charmel Menzel (