Maps, Map Views and Layouts in ArcGIS Pro

07-05-2018 08:18 PM
by MVP Regular Contributor
MVP Regular Contributor

Is it reasonable to separate Map View from Map in ArcGIS Pro? Why do you need multiple views for a map?  in my mind, a map is literally a VIEW!

The concept of Map View in ArcGIS Pro is causing confustion, not only among users, also seems among ArcGIS Pro development team themselves. The following are from my Python experience in ArcGIS Pro.

Firstly, MapView class in the seems have nothing to do with the Map View we interact in ArcGIS Pro. in its help

MapView—ArcPy | ArcGIS Desktop 

"Used in conjunction with ConvertWebMapToArcGISProject in a web map printing web tool to access a map view to print or export.

Provides access to a map view in order to print or export a web map that doesn't contain page layout surroundings (for example, title, legends, and scale bar)."

 You see, MapView class is designed to facilitate printing, not Map View interface with Python code.

Secondly,  there's no way to access the Map View using ArcPy.

In ArcGIS Pro help:

Map—ArcPy | ArcGIS Desktop 

"The only way to visualize the contents of a Map is in either a map view, that is, as a tab in the application with its own table of contents, or in a map frame on a page layout."

"Note: does not provide access to map views within the application; it only provides access to MapFrames."

This is devastating: as a developer, most of the time I work with the map views not the layout ! ! This makes ArcGIS Pro and all the benefits it has as a ideal python environment having ArcPy and Python API for ArcGIS in one place, useless. At least for me, for now.

And I will not recommend my peer developers to migrate their python project from ArcGIS desktop (ArcMap, ArcCatalog) to  ArcGIS Pro without knowing its maturity status, despite it seems the ultimate environment to work across cloud and on-premise GIS platforms.

I created an ArcGIS Idea related to this topic, please vote it up if you agree with me.  

Allow to change the map extent in ArcGIS Pro 

The above ArcGIS Idea was created before I created this discussion, it's more specific: If there have to be Map Views in ArcGIS Pro, we need means to access the map view to navigate the map in it programmatically.

1 Reply
by MVP Regular Contributor
MVP Regular Contributor

Just dump my latest thought here:

If it is really by design to seperate ArcPy from ArcGIS Pro applicaiton, so that your python scripts won't rely on the Pro application too much, that's fine.

If Arcpy is not designed to access Pro function, it's OK, but, should the map view (ArcGIS Pro component) be allowed to fully refreshed when the map is changed by ArcPy? currently it will be refreshed when you add a new layer or make some changes on the existing layers, but it won't update the camera . I think multiple map view is complicating the situation: each map view has its own camera which is independent from the default camera as well as each other.

Why do you need multiple views? The only reason I can think of is to accommodate the 3D map needs. for 2D maps, multiple view are not really that much needed if you can't have different layer visibility is in different map views.

So I guess there are some comprises made in functionalities to accommodate 2D and 3D in one application, not very sure though. if it's true, the problem is very deeply rooted and won't be fixed easily and quickly.

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