ArcGIS Pro Demo-nado

OK. The GIS World has had the much anticipated ArcGIS Pro for about 3 months now, and everyone is still using ArcMap. Why? Because change is hard. 

Geo-Professionals should really change that, because ArcPro, Pro, ArcGIS Pro, AGP whatever-we-call-it is actually a pretty good product. YES, it has some shortcomings, as most first versions do. However, in a very unofficial tally from a group of 12 GIS professionals, the good outweighed the bad 8-5. Not a blowout be any means, but a positive result nonetheless. 

It's no surprise that we (Cloudpoint) are behind the product. Ok, I am. I recently doubled my RAM in may MacBook in-part to be able to devote more speed to Parallels to run ArcPro. It runs well too! Drawing does slightly stutter when in 3D but that doesn't matter because I have yet to be convinced that my clients want or need 3D GIS.

I digress. This morning I created the two videos below in order to demonstrate ArcGIS Pro and several of it's best qualities (not 3D). The videos are fast paced, packed full and I kept them between 6 & 7 minutes. This is not GIS training, you can't train any person GIS in 7 minutes, let alone on a new piece of software.  I hope you enjoy them and then download your copy of Pro to try it out. 

  • In this first video of a two-part series, We simply walk around the interface and perform some SIMPLE actions. Opening a Map, Editing map notes and understanding what happens.

  • In this Second video of a two-part series, we will talk about importing an ArcMap MXD, Editing and touch briefly on navigating layouts. 

Please leave a comment on YouTube if you like it. 

ArcGIS Collector App- Reviewed

It's no secret that Cloudpoint is an Esri Shop. Being in the Business Partner Network, receiving the AGOL Specialist  status ... we drink the kool-aid. I've been like that since forever.

So What? Get over it. 

Still, as skeptical consumers and technologists, there is still a part of us that wants to test. Make sure we're progressing rather than regressing. We want to make sure we know and understand the different options for our customers and what has been released. One of the worst things is to spend 100s of hours with your head down working away on a solution only to find out something very close was released for free or very cost-effectively months ago. (True Story)

Thus enters ArcGIS Collector. If you haven't used Collector and you have an Android or iOS device, go download and try it out. I don't have the time and you don't have the attention span to  address all the merits of the app. It's good. If you're in GIS, You should use it. 

Initially released as a Native iOS iPhone only app, Collector has had an upgrade recently and I want to compare new vs old:

New (10.2)

  • Optimized for iPad
  • Less Menus
  • Set GPS Accuracy Tolerance
  • Edit Lines!!
  • Addition of Bookmarks
  • Easier Basemap Switching

Old (10.1.12)

  • Quicker Menus
  • Further "Zoom" Ratio
  • More simple interface
  • Better Battery life
  • Map Icons Larger
  • Legend (albeit Buried)

Spoiler: I have the Old App here as a Zip file, Install it through iTunes & turn off Automatic Updates. 

Admittedly, there's no benchmarks for the battery life, and it could be that the iPads hare just older.  But the Zoom-In thing is real, because you have to 2x the app since it was built for the iPhone, that magnifies everything, icons, imagery etc. Sure if you go back to 1x or native resolution, everything is the same, but try explaining that to 10 burly Electrical Workers complaining about the update. 

Menus. This might seem like a 'small thing' as well but it takes a few seconds longer to enter information. You have to move across the screen to close the box or choose a drop-down. A few seconds times 10,000... now wer're talking real productivity. 


The Newer iPad app may have some problems and quirks, but so did the old app as well does the Android. The perspective we keep is that it's a great tool. And outweighing all of these issues is the fact that you can Edit Lines!!! Seriously that's huge. Aerial imagery is crucial. The GPS is never accurate enough to use in collection, but it'll get you to the right side of the street to click on the map. 

----- Update for Android Device -----

This is from Paul. Using the Android out on a Sign Inventory:

So the Android didn't work out so well. I went to use it when the iPad was getting low... Right off the bat I noticed the GPS was taking longer to settle. I found that I could complete taking a point but it would not submit. After messing about a while I figured I was starting to kill time so I used the inverter I had with me (thanks Jon!) with the iPad for the remainder of the day. It was a pain to keep it on life support, but it worked out.

I planned on doing some research this evening but found the Samsung acting erratic - locking up, powering down and giving internet access problems warnings. So I would say its the definitely something with the device...I did get it to act normal again after powering it down and back on, so I'll give it another go tomorrow and report back.

And here's the review-to-date. It's certainly not a fair assessment at this point but there are a few things I noted today:


  • Switching between saved users instead of entering username/password each time
  • Zooms in closer


  • Doesn’t work
  • GPS Location less responsive
  • Must reach across screen when adding more than one picture
  • Must reach across screen when submitting a feature
  • Portrait-only mode
  • Screen seems less responsive (may just be the case type)


I will really miss the strap on the LifeProof case. It allows you to hold the tablet securely without a constant grip

Jon Made a video on how to use Collector:

Cloudpoint Geographics has a commercial!

Do you ever have problems explaining what GIS is? Or maybe your Mother-in-Law still doesn't know how to explain your job to her knitting circle. We at Cloudpoint understand and can help with that as well. Recently, Seth Hodel (No relation to Jon) helped put what we 'Do' and the concept of GIS into a short video.

Enjoy and share.

Thanks to the City of Fairbury for permission.