Maps, Map Views and Layouts in ArcGIS Pro

Discussion created by simo Champion on Jul 5, 2018
Latest reply on Jul 19, 2018 by simo

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.