Enable visualization and measurement of sub-centimeter data in ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Enterprise

07-11-2023 10:56 AM
Status: Open
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NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission extracted a regolith sample from asteroid Bennu in October 2020.  The spacecraft, with sample in tow, is on it's way back to Earth to return the sample to be studied.  The sample is scheduled to arrive in September 2023!

The asteroid sample will be portioned out into many sub-samples, including thin-sections.  The mission is creating basemaps out of these thin-sections and is spatially registering the subsequent analysis from hundreds of microscopy techniques performed in labs all around the world to the thin-section basemaps.  The basemaps and data will be published from ArcGIS Pro to ArcGIS Enterprise where all members of of the OSIRIS-REx team will be able to visualize the entirety of analyses performed on the samples in the ArcGIS Enterprise Map Viewer tool.  

The OSIRIS-REx microscopy data goes down to the nanometer scale, but unfortunately, ArcGIS Pro and the Map Viewer tool do not currently support the visualization and measurement of data with a sub-centimeter resolution.  Beyond the centimeter scale, both tools cease to permit zooming-in.  Further more, when looking at coordinates or using the measure tool, the smallest metric unit available is meters and the precision is limited to 2 decimal places. This means any value smaller than 1cm is just reported as 0.  

I propose that zooming in ArcGIS Pro and Map Viewer not be limited by scale and that units down to the nanometer scale (and beyond even) are supported either by adding more unit options or by increasing the precision of meters by enough decimal places that nanometers is reported as a valid number instead of 0. 

Below is a video demonstration of  the type of maps OSIRIS-REx is planning to make for the Bennu samples.  Note the scale bars on the data:








@MathildeWestermann-GISTO2016 I see nanometer as an option:




@KoryKramer , Thank you yes I have seen this and it resolves the measurement issue in ArcGIS Pro, but not in ArcGIS Enterprise Map Viewer.  Also, most importantly it does not resolve the zooming-in issue.  Regardless of the selected measurement units in ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Enterprise, I cannot zoom in on my data beyond the cm scale.  Below are two screen shots to demonstrate the limitation.  The first screen shot is the full extent of a sample basemap.  The second screen shot shows how far I can zoom in.  You can't even resolve a pixel. Screenshot 2023-07-11 at 9.28.24 PM.pngScreenshot 2023-07-11 at 9.28.37 PM.png