Just improve model builder performance

04-18-2012 01:58 AM
Status: Open
MVP Notable Contributor
I am constantly disappointed with model builders performance and often abandon model builder in preference to another language or application. I think ESRI should concentrate hard to improve model builder performance.

Recently I had the simple task of creating a model using an iterator to loop through a folder of ascii files add a projection, and convert to a shapefile. We had many ascii files to process. Sounds a perfect job for model builder! Yet it took over a minute to run through each iteration (the longest times spent on the raster to polygon tool).

A colleague of mine fired up gdal, wrote a script that did exactly the same and the whole process of ascii to shapefile takes about 10 seconds!

Why is model builder so slow, it's your data format in your premier desktop product? This must be embarrassing for you guys? I can get gdal free and it runs considerably faster that your most advance application.

Stop worrying about the "cloud" just make your core desktop application run better...
I'm not sure how RasterToPolygon comes into the equation?
Your friend fired up gdal and wrote a script.  You could have just as easily fired up a script and written some python.  I think its clear given the development goals for 10.1 that, at least in terms of python, there has been a great deal of focus on performance.
@nbw, in all likelihood if Hornbydd had fired up his own python script to do the same it still would have been markedly slower than gdal.  This isn't a modeller limitation, gdal is just faster than arcgis, especially for conversion. It's library of functions, relative to arcgis, is just not that big. It also helps that it doesn't have to do a license checkout.

Compare the performance of these two scripts:

import gdal
print "Hello World"

import arcpy
print "Hello World"