forum for ArcGIS Desktop

02-27-2015 12:52 PM
Occasional Contributor

The frustration I get every time I try to use this new "forum" continues to reach new heights!  SOOOOOO difficult to use.  You come here for 2 reasons, to browse a sub-forum to help others, or to post a question into a particular sub-forum.  Both of these tasks are very difficult to do now! 

I need to ask a question regarding ArcMap or ArcGIS Desktop....and there is no "forum" for this application!!!???  It's the flagship product and I have no way to ask a question about it?  I am getting so freaking disgusted by GeoHell I don't even want to come on here anymore.   Add a damn sub-forum for this...presumably under GIS > Applications, since it doesn't fit anywhere else in this convoluted mess.

6 Replies
Esri Notable Contributor

Eric, I understand your frustration. When GeoNet was launched, it was originally organized by functionality/tasks and not by product. For example: 3D‌, Analysis‌, Managing Data‌. We were also focusing on tags instead of a granular space structure. The feedback that we received was that we needed to create a little more depth, so we added spaces similar to how the old forums were set up. We did not create a ArcGIS for Desktop because its functionality already existed in other spaces.

Now if the community feels we need to add this product, then I would like to hear that feedback from others just like you have shared above. Creating a space takes a little more time, but we can start with a group and work from there. Thanks!

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MVP Frequent Contributor

Eric Gardecki‌, *

First stop for any user of GeoNet really should be the Community Structure table:

GeoNet Community Structure

And you are correct that no product specific "place" for ArcGIS for Desktop was established by name. Meaning that it all goes into the GIS‌ ‌place,   Alternatively, it may start off in personal spaces and then is moved during moderation, or at community request.

Point is it is all there in the GIS space. And, the entire scope of community content (new and archived) can be efficiently queried--rather than prior UI that had deeply segregated arrangements by topic, but very week query support.

Meaning that it is really not overly difficult for users--even casual users-- to filter down to the content of interest.  The Jive v7 based GeoNet does that filtering extremely well--and it is improved with some attentive moderation, and user tagging of content.

The greatest issues with GeoNet has been lack of content tagging, and a reluctance of users to exercise the search and filter functions expecting instead a familiar handling by subject.

The Jive v7 implementation is now a hybrid of old and new,  It will never be perfect or satisfy everyone, but it can be improved if folks stay engaged.

For example, and because there are holes in the topical spaces that have thus far been established in the Community Structure, I've recommended

"...establishment of a new Installation & Configuration sub-space to GIS

And  possibly three additional sub-spaces under that:

Desktop GIS (to hold issues for Licensing, Deskto, ArcPro, CityEngine, Reader,...)

Server GIS (to hold issues for installing and configuring Server, Portal,...)

Mobile GIS (to hold issues for installing and configuring/connecting Explorer, Collector, ArcPad, ...)

Believe this clear categorization is overdue and is needed to direct users to a space where their questions can be asked, or they can review existing content."

Waiting for some movement on that, but the idea is that if it makes sense to the Community to further remove some of the flatness to GeoNet it can still be done.  As to an ArcGIS for Desktop "place" --by process of removal of content you already pretty much have it in the GIS‌ place.


Esri Esteemed Contributor

I think most of us (if not all of us) have had some problems trying to adapt to the new forum format on GeoNet. Although you mention two fundamental uses of GeoNet (help others and ask questions) GeoNet provides a lot more. This may be confusing at first, but also offers some great possibilities.

I noticed that you where able to start some threads, like arcmap service publishing error and have interacted with others, so it is really not an issue of Finding Content and Creating Discussions and you're obviously aware of what's GeoNet (So what's GeoNet? ). Have a look at the GeoNet Help and a lot will become clear. Timothy Hales​ is doing a great job trying to make things even better.

It just takes some time to adapt to this new format. We all went through this (or are still going through this). Be patient, keep using it and you will start to enjoy it and appreciate some of the new features.

Keep in mind some things are changing: Changes coming to where you post content on GeoNet

Kind regards, Xander

Occasional Contributor

I appreciate the responses.  I still can't say I understand the point of all of this though.  To me, the only purpose is to ask questions (or have discussions) and help others.  This was easy to do before and logical.  Probably due to just the familiarity of how forums work, but there really wasn't anything to learn.  Now however, even after reading things you guys linked, I still do not see the advantages to making those two tasks so much more difficult.

I wanted to post a question, and simply didn't know where to put it in this new format.  Apparently tags are what are more important than where to put it? I then have to figure out what tags apply to my question and if I get it wrong no one will see my question?  Why is this better than just putting it in a sub-forum?

While I'm here I try to spend a little time seeing if I can answer any questions.  Usually I'm within a sub-forum, or go into one on a topic I'm familiar with, and then browse the threads. Well now I simply have difficulty finding links to the sub-forums at all and just don't see a logical way to do what I want to do.  Based on what I read the way to do this now is to subscribe to a particular tag or something?  Well that doesn't help me at this particular moment, nor do I want to get emails for everything either.

I don't even see where to filter posts by tags anyway...

I'm sure I'm missing something yet, and I believe that my disconnect is simply how my brain works, or expects the workflow to be, but I thought maybe if I explained what it is like from my perspective that it would help...or I would better learn how to navigate this since honestly right now I simply don't want to use it.

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Esri Esteemed Contributor

Small comment on:

I don't even see where to filter posts by tags anyway...


New Contributor III

I must agree with the concept of the original post.

It might be that full-time professional GIS folks understand the finer nuances of where questions and answers reside, but for us that don't come here often, the information that might be available seems to have been lost in the structure.

Since the questions we have are foreign to us, we don't even know the correct search terms.

In other forums we could browse to see if anyone else has the same problem and knows the correct search terms, but with ESRI, that is not possible.

I asked a question yesterday about finding green areas in aerial photos in ArcMap.

Was that "Mapping"? "Analysis"? "Imaging"?

I should browse through all of them?

In the end I stumbled upon a YouTube video that mentioned "Unsupervised Image Classification".


How could I have not guessed any of those search terms?

The ability to browse an ArcMap forum for "imaging" would have probably saved me from having to go to YouTube to find something about an ESRI product.