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All Places > Esri Technical Support > Blog > 2011 > December
2011
An interview with Desktop Senior Support Technical Lead, Todd S. Before the end of the year, we wanted to introduce you to another member of our team - this time from the Charlotte office! We snapped a picture of him and his Charlie Brown tree as he reflects on his past GIS experiences and how he got to where he is today.Support Services Blog: Welcome Todd. Can you tell us what position you have within Support Services?Todd: I am the Senior Support Technical Lead for the Desktop Unit.SSB: What do you do as a Technical lead?Todd: I create content for our new Learning Management System (LMS) within Support Services. I also create and deliver training for new analysts as they come on board and help keep existing analysts up-to-date on the current software. In addition, I am a technical resource for analysts when working with users that need help troubleshooting issues with our software.SSB: How did you get into GIS?Todd: Honestly, it was by complete accident. Here’s the condensed version of how it happened… Against better judgment, I received my undergraduate degree in anthropology. The subject matter was interesting, but I decided that I did not want to spend the rest of my working career begging for money in the form of government grants and making next to nothing in the process. That being said, I decided to start taking masters classes for environmental planning. My advisor at the time suggested I take a GIS class over the summer. I had never heard of GIS but I took the class, and I’ve been hooked ever since.SSB: What brought you to Esri?Todd: Prior to Esri, I worked as a GIS analyst for eight years at a civil engineering firm in upstate New York. Then I ran an office concerned with providing mental health services. I oversaw the maintenance of their statewide GIS, which consisted of 28 campuses and nearly 3000 layers of data. Now I know this may sound like an exciting way of life, but it was too much of a good thing and I was antsy for something different. On top of that, my complete hatred of cold weather, snow, and long gray northeast winters made a job opportunity with Esri in Charlotte a no brainer.SSB: Do you use GIS outside of work and how?Todd: My wife is getting her PhD in geography, and she picks my brain every once in a while. Sometimes I’ll get driving directions online. Other than that, not really.SSB: What was the coolest/strangest/most interesting GIS project you worked on?Todd: The most interesting was a pavement management system I helped build at my old job for a busy local airport. The system itself was actually pretty boring, but the data collection was crazy. It was cool climbing under all the planes on an active tarmac and runway. The jet blast from some of them was pretty powerful. We ended up buying some of the guys in the control tower a couple of pizzas and they let us out on the runway a lot more than they probably should have.SSB: How do you describe to family members and friends what you do for a living?Todd: No one in my family really has a clue what GIS is. Most of the time I’ll tell them that I work for a company that makes mapping and analysis software. 90% of the time this is good enough, but sometimes I’ll need to explain in more detail. My mom, however, still doesn’t get it. Ask her what I do and, after nearly 14 year of explaining, she’ll tell you that I “do something with maps.” Sigh.SSB: What is one of your favorite hobbies or pastimes?Todd: I’m a home brewer. There’s nothing quite like coming downstairs in the morning and seeing ten gallons of pale ale happily fermenting in your laundry room.Previous "Getting to Know Esri Support" Interviews- Shan C.
- Grant R.
- Sumedha S.
- John G.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we lived in a world where our boss just handed us a 100 percent accurate table of XY data so that we could generate the point feature class using the “Display XY” tool and be done?

Hey, we can dream can't we?

In the real world, though, you’ll probably find that the XY locations you were asked to plot were not 100 percent accurate. The story usually goes like this:

“Two days after creating a point feature class from thousands of XY locations, my boss walked into my office and gave me updated XY information for a few specific points. Now, I have to update these locations on the table and recreate the feature class, or I have to create a feature class using the new table and then append the two. This sure is a lot of work!”


Well, read on, because I’m about to make your world a little brighter! It’s actually not too hard or too much work to handle these update-type jobs!

Running geoprocessing tools on thousands or even hundreds-of-thousands of features to update just a few points can be slow, depending on the size of the data. Consider the following alternative workflow when updating XY locations.Example: You have a feature class called ‘S’ that has 105 point features. You received a new XY table that has updated locations for 13 points. Update the point locations by doing the following:
  1. Bring the ‘S’ feature class into ArcMap.
  2. Add both the ‘Editor’ toolbar and the ‘Edit Vertices’ toolbar to the map document.
  3. Start an editing session using the ‘S’ Feature template.
  4. Select a point that needs to be updated either interactively (using the Edit Tool) or via a query (using the Select by Attribute function).
  5. On the ‘Edit Vertices’ toolbar, click on the Sketch Properties tool.
  6. Update the XY values and the points location will automatically change.

Now, we know the points are placed in the new “exact” locations, but the X and Y fields still need to be updated. How can the X and Y fields be updated for just these few features?

To update the XY fields in the attribute table, do the following:
  1. Select all of the points that need updated X and Y field information either interactively or via a query.
  2. Open the attribute table and right-click the Shape field. Open the field calculator.
  3. Using the python parser, load the python code (like the script shown below), and the job is done!
Sample Script
def XYsetVALUE( shape, X_value, Y_value):
   point = shape.getPart(0)
   point.X = X_value
   point.Y = Y_value
   return point

__esri_field_calculator_splitter__
XYsetVALUE ( !SHAPE!, !X_COORD!, !Y_COORD! )

Sisi Y. (with help from Todd S.) - Esri Support Services
As an ArcGIS Server Support Analyst, I often assist customers with web traffic related incidents. While there are many applications available to monitor and capture web traffic from an internet browser, I have found Fiddler (a popular freeware solution) to be invaluable in troubleshooting web applications that fail to display some or all of a web map.

This works fine on Windows machines where Fiddler can be installed and work with the Windows browsers, but what happens if the web application is being accessed from an iPhone or iPad? Fortunately Fiddler provides an option where it can be installed on another machine and configured as a proxy server to capture the web traffic from these types of mobile devices.
NOTE: This configuration assumes there is a Wi-Fi network available for the connecting mobile device. From this Wi-Fi network, the mobile device needs to be able to communicate with the machine that has Fiddler installed.

To configure Fiddler to capture web traffic from iOS devices, just follow these steps.

  1. Open Fiddler. Click Tools, Fiddler Options...
  2. Select the Connections tab. Fiddler listens on port 88888 by default but can be changed here if needed. Make sure the 'Allow remote computers to connect' option is checked. It is not checked by default.
  3. Click OK. You will need to close and re-open Fiddler for the changes to take effect.
  4. Once Fiddler is re-opened, make sure it is capturing traffic by clicking on File. The Capture Traffic option should have a checkmark next to it. It will also say ‘Capturing’ at the bottom left corner of the Fiddler window.
  5. Now that Fiddler is ready, we need to configure the mobile device to use Fiddler as a proxy server. The following screen-shots are from an iPad but the same concept can be applied to other mobile devices. On the iPad, tap on the Settings icon from the main screen and tap on Wi-Fi. This will display the Wi-Fi network it is currently connected to. Tap on the arrow next to the active Wi-Fi network (as circled below) to get to the details screen.
  6. At the bottom of the network details screen, tap on the 'Manual' button under HTTP Proxy.
  7. Type in the IP address (or hostname) of the machine with Fiddler running and the port number of 8888. This will route all network traffic from the mobile device through Fiddler. Now ArcGIS for iOS can be opened and access to basemaps and map services will be captured.

Jeff S. - Server Usage Support Analyst

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