ArcGIS Pro

Top 5 differences between ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro

Top 5 differences between ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro

Are you an occasional Esri software user that is needing to ramp up your game?  Maybe its been a couple of years since you dabbled with the GIS software and you have a project that needs a little geospatial touch.  One of the questions you may find yourself asking is "What is the difference between ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro"? 

Coming Soon...Esri Introduces New ArcGIS User Types

Coming Soon...Esri Introduces New ArcGIS User Types

Esri will migrate User Levels to ArcGIS User Types in the next ArcGIS Online release in December 2018. The User Types will provide ArcGIS Users a focused set of capabilities and apps to accomplish business needs in their ArcGIS Organization.

Are You ArcGIS Pro-Ready? Check Your System Settings.

Are You ArcGIS Pro-Ready? Check Your System Settings.

Are you ArcGIS Pro-ready? System Requirements Lab has provided a tool (available here or at the system requirements page for ArcGIS Pro)  that produces a detailed report in a matter of seconds showing how your system stacks up to the minimum and recommended requirements for running ArcGIS Pro. Please watch this video for more information on how you can easily check your system requirements for Pro.

Building a Hoops Tracker App with ArcGIS Solutions is a Three-Point Play

Building a Hoops Tracker App with ArcGIS Solutions is a Three-Point Play

Hoops Tracker is a Esri Story Map that displays information for the 2018 Class 1A and 2A Boys Basketball Tournaments in separate web mapping applications, paired with a view of IHSA's interactive ScoreZone web page and other IHSA links.

A Few Reasons for Pro

A Few Reasons for Pro

A fresh calendar year is upon us, and one of my goals this round is to give ArcGIS Pro a legitimate shot at being the go-to desktop GIS application. (TBD...)

As increasingly more development goes into ArcGIS Pro, we as GIS professionals are beginning to actually consider the gradual shift away from ArcMap. Many of us have dabbled with Pro by now, and many of us have been more or less disappointed by either our machines’ lack of drawing performance or the program's lack of familiar places or functions.

All of Illinois Geocaches in One Map*

All of Illinois Geocaches in One Map*

I work for a living, but in the off times I still play with this technology, so I have a Premium Geocaching subscription. This allows me to query their data in circular buffers and return a GPX file. After about 27 of these queries, I was confident that I had all of the cache locations I wanted. Running a few geoprocessing functions, I dropped any duplicates and union-ed these points to county polygons to get the number within each county. This data are reflected in the Classified inset map. What am I talking about? Geocaching of course. If you're reading this tech blog there's a pretty good chance you already know what geocaching is... 

Using ArcGIS Pro on a MacBook Pro

Pro on Pro (on Pro)

I've committed to learning Esri's ArcGIS Pro. Problem is, I use a Apple MacBook as my primary GIS machine and most software from Esri only runs on Windows. Up to this point, this is no big deal because ArcMap is 32-bit and not very memory intensive. It's been running on Parallels for Mac just fine for 2 1/2 years. Things change. 

ArcGIS Pro Running on Parallels for Mac in 3D

I had played with the Beta a while ago, and it didn't run too well on my current system. The display flickered & stuttered quite a lot and seemed to be constantly loading something. In anticipation for full release of ArcGIS Pro v1.0, I upgraded to the most current version of Parallels (10) and doubled my RAM to 16GB. Unfortunately, these easy answers didn't help with the display, I was still getting jumpy navigation and 3D felt like it was on Windows 2000. Great. Felt like i just blew $200 in upgrades. :-/

Last week during the Esri Business Partner Conference I spoke to a few virtualization experts who were demonstrating  ArcGIS Pro on a virtual machine. (it seemed like they were there waiting just for me!) We spoke about my set up, there was a bit of nose-wrinkling but I looked around and pointed out about a dozen or so Macs throughout the Expo center. You have to do this when you talk about Esri software running on a Mac. Do I even need top point out how Apple was the only PC maker to have double digit growth in the past year?  Point is there will be a lot of people trying to figure out how to run ArcGIS Pro on their MacBooks and the folks at the conference helped me out so I pass along that info to you: 

Very UnOfficial Benchmark Testing In ArcGIS Pro in Parallels and VMware Fusion
  • Don't use open source virtualization. Virtual Box is nice if you aren't doing anything serious but doesn't have the options or horsepower that a production machine requires. VM Ware Fusion and Parallels are virtually identical in benchmark testing with ArcGIS Pro. 
  • Do upgrade your RAM. I moved from 8 to 16 and dedicate a full 8 GB to my virtual machine. Parallels allows me do shave off another 2GB to the Video Memory still leaving 6 GB to run the MacBook. 
  • Do use DirectX9 instead of 10. I know this is counterintuitive but the virtualization experts told me that ArcGIS Pro uses DirectX11 by default if it's available then jumps down to DirectX9. There is some compatibility issue with DirectX10. Parallels has options for OpenGL, DirectX10 and DirectX9. My video stuttering problems STOPPED when I chose DirectX9. 
  • Do change ArcGIS Pro Display Options. Go ahead and monkey with the settings a little. Make sure your 3D accelerator matches your VM host. Enable Vertical Synchronization, and test the Speed --|-- Quality slider. I also set my system to delete the cache after I close the project. 
  • Do use a host machine with a Nvidia Graphics card. MacBooks with Retina displays usually have one of these but you can check to make sure. Unfortunately, I do not. Download the 'Clear Sailing' Nvidia demo to test your system. 


Final Notes:

Every system is a bit different. ArcGIS Pro is programmed to use a GPU if it's available. My Expert friends inform me that VMware Fusion leverages the GPU for 3D acceleration, but does not support GPU true pass-through. Parallels tries to create a virtual GPU by assigning RAM directly to 3D acceleration but it's not a direct GPU either. Look for this technology to keep advancing. I an a firm believer in SSD drives. I have two right now, one is completely for the Windows VM. 


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. 

A Look Forward: No Predictions, Only Productivity

Don't fall into the trap of thinking you know anything about the future. Sure, There's lots of neat confucus-iy quotes about knowing the future from learning about the past, or whatever. I've succumbed to the temptation myself to guess what will happen in the next 5 years. Here's the real deal. You can only control the "now".  Even then just a little tiny corner of your world. The future is ever changing,  take a lesson from Yoda.

Here at Cloudpoint, we are developing Principals to work by and not procedures or policies. We have no employee handbook or workplace guidelines. Even if we did it would be filled with bullet-point list of adages. For Example:

  • Be Professional.
  • Work Hard & Be Nice To People.
  • Are you Productive or Just Being busy?
  • Make it Better. 
  • Why are you here?
  • When the door is shut, don't bother me.
  • Never Stop asking Questions.

When you feel like you can (or try to) predict the future, your pride gets in the way of actually making it happen. Somewhere inside you become a spectator watching life rather than a participant in it: "I knew this was going to happen!" Not helpful. A bit of personal humility can go a long way when you are assisting people with a new technology. Rather, when you set attainable goals you set a standard for yourself, a personal guideline. American author Mark Batterson once said (paraphrased): 'Goals are Just Dreams with Timelines' Well Said, Everybody needs dreams. 

This is what 2015 looks like for us. These are our genericized Goals: 

  1. Increase Benefits to Team Members
  2. Expand our Territory
  3. Hire
  4. 7+ Speaking Engagements
  5. Learn New Software
  6. Read 13+ Books
  7. Freely Distribute Several Useful tools
  8. Centralize Cloud Offerings 

There are others that I'm not willing to share, but this is most of the list from our first 2015 staff meeting. Some of them are personal, some are corporate all are real and attainable. 

Don't let the lure of trying to predict the future fill you with apathy and pride.
What are your goals?