Aviation Charting in ArcGIS Pro - Webinar Q&A

09-17-2020 03:37 PM
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Esri Contributor

The following questions and answers are in response to the Esri webinar - Aviation Charting in ArcGIS Pro. The webinar ran September 9, 2020 with presentations by: 

Jonathan Weaver

Global Aviation Business Development

Amit Jain

ArcGIS Aviation Product Manager

Nick Jones

ArcGIS Aviation Product Engineer

You can view the full webinar recording here.

Q: Were airlines asked to participate in designing the extension?

A: Our requirements are driven largely by users of the Charting solution that include organizations like CAAs/ANSPs, Military agencies, international organizations (ICAO, Eurocontrol), and more. We want to ensure our user community’s voices are heard and take suggestions seriously. We do this all while ensuring compliance to applicable regulations. If you’d like to provide suggestions or ideas, you can email us at aero@esri.com.


Q: Are the PDF exports of charts raster or vector PDFs?

A: The PDFs that are generated during export may contain both raster and vector layers.  Most vector data will be exported to vector layers and any raster data in the layout (i.e. hillshades, terrain) will be rasterized.  Vector data that is placed below raster data in the layout may be rasterized as well.


Q: On some of the sample charts shown during the demonstration, the distance labels were obscured by the route.  Can the route be terminated at distance boxes, waypoints, or TMAs?

A: Yes, this issue is typically handled with masking, in which certain features are configured to mask out other features to improve the visual appearance of the chart.  This capability is available in ArcGIS Pro, but we’re still working on some additional functionality and improved workflows to make the process more efficient, so it wasn’t demonstrated during the webinar.  We use a layer masking strategy as described in the online help here: https://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/tool-reference/cartography/intersecting-layers-masks.htm


Q: Will you be providing Controller charts for the United States?

A: Controller charts will be supported by ArcGIS Aviation Charting.  Of course, the configuration process will depend on the nature and quality of the source data being used.  Since FAA has traditionally relied on their own internal data sources rather than AIXM data, it may be less likely that we’ll release a Controller chart configuration template with the solution. 


Q: Does the extension offer support for “copper penny” diagrams showing the enlarged runway patterns at airports?

A: Yes, the software can be configured to depict the “copper penny” diagram that depicts the runway configuration, provided the airport and runway data is properly populated.  We typically achieve this by layering the runway symbols (enlarged) on top of an airport symbol.  This is something we’ve seen a lot in our work with VFR charts.


Q: Is there functionality available to explore airspace alternatives (new navaids, approach/departure procedures, etc.)?

A: The ArcGIS Aviation Charting and Airports products include tools for creating surfaces around navaids, airports, and obstacles.  The parameters used for constructing these surfaces can be modified using an included utility to enable the exploration and evaluation of alternatives.  ArcGIS Aviation Airports includes additional tools for performing analysis of these surfaces against obstacle data.  Some of these capabilities were demonstrated in our previous webinar: Enhancing Collaboration for Obstacle Assessment.  You can view a recording of the webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkchYdZbhNc.


Q: How is ArcGIS integration with airport platform to BIM Integration for real-time flight review on the contact stands?

A: ArcGIS Aviation is part of the ArcGIS Pro Platform, which provides seamless integration of BIM and real-time observations for analysis and visualization.  For more information about BIM in ArcGIS, see the documentation here: https://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/help/data/revit/what-is-bim-.htm.  You can also read more about BIM and GIS integration in this blog post: https://www.esri.com/arcgis-blog/products/arcgis-pro/transportation/common-patterns-for-bim-and-gis-...  and in this story map: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/efc03f5cda964567ae512e9522d2f11a.  Finally, you can read more about real-time visualization and analytics in ArcGIS here: https://www.esri.com/en-us/arcgis/products/real-time/overview.  


Q: Since approach chart Profile Views, MSAs, and TAAs are in the long-term roadmap, how are they created in ArcGIS Pro today?

A: There are few ways to include these items in a chart with the current capabilities.  ArcGIS Pro includes tools that allow users to add graphics and text to layouts, so the elements could be drawn directly on the chart.  Similarly, existing elements managed outside of ArcGIS Pro could be inserted as images.  These approaches are not ideal as they are largely manual and produce results that are not data driven; the long-term items in our road map would provide functionality to automate the creation and update of these elements for improved efficiency.  Keep in mind that the road map is influenced by user demand so these items may move forward if necessary.


Q: How can I get training from Esri for using this software?  What about offline training?

A: Esri currently offers an Instructor-led training course called Introduction to ArcGIS Aviation.  However, this course is currently designed around the ArcMap version of the software.  We hope to begin building an ArcGIS Pro version of the class soon.  We can also provide hands-on instruction through virtual implementation workshops.  When travel restrictions are lifted, onsite workshops will be another great opportunity for hands-on engagement.  In addition, a great resource is the ArcGIS Aviation community on GeoNet (https://community.esri.com/community/arcgis-for-aviation).  We often post short instructional videos to this community and can answer questions that are posted there.  So far, most of the videos we have posted relate to our Airports product, but videos for the Charting product should be coming soon. 


Q: Would you be providing UAS (Drone) NOTAMs?

A: The ArcGIS Aviation Charting product is not designed to be a NOTAM system, but it can consume and display NOTAM information.


Q: How easy is it in Pro to replicate complex aeronautical representations currently in ArcGIS?

A: Most of the complex representations that are currently supported in ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) are already supported in ArcGIS Pro.  Our goal has been to make the configuration required to create these representations even easier in Pro.  For example, the Visual Specifications (VST) functionality that we use in ArcMap to apply symbols and generate text for labels has been largely replaced by the Prepare Aviation Data tool in Pro.  A configuration that required a dozen or more VST rules in ArcMap, now requires a configuration expression for Prepare Aviation Data and two Arcade expressions (one for symbology and one for annotation).


Q: Can we have more than 1 AIXM file as a data source to produce a chart?

A: Yes, multiple AIXM files can be ingested into the ArcGIS Aviation Charting geodatabase to provide data for charting.


Q: Were the graphics in the sample charts simplified for the webinar?  Several arcs appeared as multi-sided polygons.

A: The graphics themselves were not simplified for the webinar, but they were generated using sample data that was created by Esri and was fairly simple.  Specifically, the data was not highly densified, meaning vertices were placed at large intervals along some curved segments resulting in the multi-sided appearance seen during the presentation.  Production data is typically more densified, resulting in smoother curves in the output charts.  As a side note, Esri is always happy to work with user-provided data when possible.  If you have data that you would be willing to share and/or see in demos, please contact us!


Q: How are extensions to AIXM handled in ArcGIS Pro.

A: The AIXM tools in ArcGIS Aviation Charting use configuration files that are installed with the product to manage the import of AIXM data.  These configuration files can be modified to add support for AIXM extensions.


Q: With ArcGIS Aviation, how can we verify data integrity (spatial, attribute, topological) before it is committed to the database.

A: ArcGIS Aviation utilizes native geodatabase versioning functionality to manage the validation of data before it is made available for production or publication.  Data is first imported into a “load” version where it can be inspected using built-in data validation capabilities before being posted to a “production” version for charting.

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