Blogs

GIS Support: Arc doesn't start. Error: Cannot find SERVER hostname in network database OR The lookup for the hostname .. failed

PROBLEM:

On a local installation of ESRI's ArcGIS desktop, this error appears on startup and ArcMap will not load.

 

‘Provide your license server administrator with the following information:

Cannot find SERVER hostname in network database

The lookup for the hostname on the SERVER line in the license file failed. This often happens when NIS or DNS or the hosts file is incorrect.  FLEXlm error: -14,7. System Error: 11001 “WinSock: Host not found (HOST_NOT_FOUND)” ‘

SOLUTION 1)

We do like to encourage IDFG folks to use Citrix. Consider using Citrix for your ArcGIS useIf you don't see the option to use ArcGIS, send us a support ticket and we'll get you on the user's list.

 

SOLUTION 2)

The problem is that your copy of ArcGIS desktop isn't looking at a valid licensing server. 

To fix it, follow these steps:

  1. Open "ArcGIS Administrator." It's in Start --> Programs --> ArcGIS 

Depending on your version of ArcGIS, the administrator dialog will look different. But what you'll want to do is "change" the server. The basic IDFG ArcGIS License Server for ArcView is "IFWISARC"

  1. "Change" the server to IFWISARC and click OK. You should be off and running.

 

Thank you, Brian for bringing this to our attention.

=-Ben

Sorry, but we had a weekend outage 6/18/2011-6/20/2011

It just came to my attention that there was an error was introduced in the Observations and Roadkill forms by an update made on Friday, June 18.

I personally apologize if you encountered any frustration because of this error. However, there is a silver lining on the cloud. The error was introduced when we updated our taxonomy database, a change that will give you better access to information about all of our species and it should speed up search performance as well.

The error would occur when selecting a species from the list. You could select a species from the list, but after selecting the species from the drop-down, the error "We need to know what you saw. Please search the species' list, then click on the appropriate match from the drop-down box." would appear. A dialog box might have appeared as well, depending on your browser.

To the best of my knowledge, this error is now corrected. Please let us know if you find otherwise, OR, any other bugs.

Thanks for being patient. I look forward to introducing the taxonomy browser and additional taxonomy features which led to this outage.

=-Ben

 

P.S. A big thanks to Roy and Angie for bringing this to my attention this morning! We wouldn't be able to get to our programming destination without supporters and users like you!

Fix for PDFs failing to download or downloading sporadically

 

Problem: PDFs downloaded from your website do not load on most client machines. Specifically happens with larger PDF files and sporadically happens across browser clients.   

Atmosphere: Windows Server 2008 R2 running IIS7.5

Cause: According to this lengthy forum post, Windows Server 2008 changes the byte order for downloaded files that Adobe reader didn't know how to read.

Solution: Apply the Windows hotfix #KB979543. Reboot required.

 

 

That pesky IE compatibility view... how to turn compatibility view off

Internet Explorer is a tricky browser to design for. I, like others, spend countless hours making my web standards pages work in IE, too. 

Here's a patch/hack/fix I applied today to fix the problem of Internet Explorer rendering my web page differently to a user with IE's compatibility view "on" than "off." Just as a note, You can tell if IE compatibility mode is on if the little page icon in the browser shows up as a solid color instead of an outline.

You might need this method applied if your site works well without compatibility view (or in webkit browsers), but does weird things due, usually, to stylesheets using conditional formatting or for html5 compatibility.

<meta content="IE=8; IE=9" http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" />

For a list of the different meta content options to include, this article was phenomal.

Make this be the first meta tag in the list of metas, otherwise IE9 won't be happy.

When the above meta tag is included in the <head> element of your page, the user is no longer presented the option to "toggle into" compatibility view. In my case, they don't need compatibility view. This is a great hack if rendering the page to work without compatibility view is not an option.

 

 

Note: This workaround won't do it for you if the user has already added your website specifically to the Compatibility View list from within IE's compatibility settings. You may have to direct them to instructions to remove it, if that's the case. But... let's face it, if they figured out how to add it to that list, then either they aren't in control (a domain policy may add the site via security settings) or they already know what they are doing and will probably google it faster than you can walk them through it.

 

 

 

Highway 21 Wildlife Underpass is Working (with Photos)

As the scenic State Highway 21 snakes its way across the Boise Mountains, it also intersects another favorite travel route.

For millennia, mule deer and elk have traveled to and from low elevation ranges where they spend the winter, to mountain meadows where they grow fat each summer feasting on the rich vegetation found at higher elevations. In doing so, they must cross State Highway 21.

In recent years, from 75 to 200 or more mule deer and elk, crossing the highway between Boise and Robie Creek, have been killed by vehicles each year.

So far this spring, only one animal has died in the stretch with a recently completed wildlife underpass.

The underpass was completed in October on Highway 21 near milepost 18.2, at the site of a well-documented big game migration "funnel" and subsequent collision "hotspot." A bridge replaced the fill that had supported the road, opening this migratory corridor to deer and elk. By physically separating wildlife and motorists, the underpass now provides protection for both.

The second phase of this project involves building a wildlife fence on the east side of the road to direct deer and elk away from the highway and towards the underpass.

Federal stimulus money was used to build the bridge and part of the fence. But additional funding is still needed to complete the fencing project.

A group of local people working together to find ways to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions on our roads and highways worked with the Idaho Transportation Department to get the underpass built. The group's focus now is raising the money to complete the wildlife exclusion fencing to make the underpass even more effective than it has already been shown to be.

Dubbed the Boise River Wildlife Linkage Partnership, the group includes private citizens, business people, non-profits and city, county, state and federal representatives.

Underpass Photos (click for full-size):

Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo

Story cross-posted from IDFG Press Release, Highway 21 Wildlife Underpass is Working
Photos courtesy of Idaho Transportation Department

Multi-line & Multi-colored Labels in ArcMap

Right-click the layer you would like to create multicolor/multi-line, choose Properties… and go to the Labels tab, and click the “Expression…” button.

For example, to have the New ID on top and the Old ID on the bottom:

[New_ID]&vbnewline&[Old_ID]

To have each a different color:

“<CLR Red=’255′>” & [New_ID] & “</CLR>” &vbnewline&”<CLR blue=’255′>”&[Old_ID]&”</CLR>”

The tricky part was figuring out that you had to put double quotes around the formatted text, and drop the normal double quote down to a single quote around the 255.

 

Create a Circular ArcMap Data Frame

Ever wished you could create a circular data frame to highlight an area on your map?  Just follow these steps:

  1. In the data frame properties (Size and Position Tab) make the height and width the same.                           

  2. In the data frame properties (Frame Tab) ►Border Section change the Rounding to 100% ► Background Section change the Rounding to 100%.

Violá!                      

         

Map Packages: Easily Share ArcMap 10 Map Documents & Associated Data

A new feature at ArcGIS 10 is the ability to create a map package (file extension of MPK) using all the data that is in a map document (MXD). It will act just like the layer package that was introduced at ArcGIS 9.3.1. The package includes the map document (version 10 mxd) and the data (even if the data is from diverse places).

The map package will self-extract using the ArcGIS File Handler utility (ArcGISFilehandler.exe utility in your Program Files\Common Files\ArcGIS\bin folder, it also automatically installed with ArcGIS Explorer 900), it will by default place the files in your My Documents (XP) / Documents (Vista & Win7) > ArcGIS > Packages.

This is a great way to share a whole map with someone at a different location, however they will need to have ArcGIS 10, it won't work in ArcGIS 9.x. You will also be able to upload map packages to ArcGIS Online.

Revert Back to the ArcMap 9.3 Editing Environment in ArcMap 10

By default, the ArcMap editing environment uses feature templates and the Create Features window when adding new features. Feature templates define all the information required to create a new feature: the layer where a feature will be stored, attributes new features will be created with, and the default tool used to create that feature. In addition, the tools on the Editor and Topology toolbars contain easy-to-use tools to create and edit features.

Due to the usability benefits that feature templates provide, it is recommended that you learn to use them when editing. However, for organizations that are unable to adopt the template-based workflow, there is an option available to revert to the ArcGIS 9 editing environment. This allows organizations that rely on extensive editing customizations to transition at their own pace to the feature template workflow. You can return to using feature templates once you are ready to migrate to that workflow. You can revert by running ArcGIS\Desktop10.0\Utilities \AdvancedArcMapSettings.exe, clicking the Editor tab, and unchecking Create features using templates and restarting ArcMap.

Differences between the 9.3 and 10 editing environments

The following are some of the differences you will find when you revert to the ArcGIS 9 editing environment:

  • The Editor toolbar contains the Sketch tool and palette. The contents of the toolbar are returned to how they appeared in ArcGIS 9.
  • Any user interface element used with feature templates, such as the Create Features window, is removed from ArcMap.
  • Edit tasks are used to specify whether features are being created or edited. The Cut Polygons, Reshape Feature, Edit Vertices, Reshape Edge, and Modify Edge tools are removed from the Editor and Topology toolbars, and the Editor toolbar Task list is used to access that functionality.
  • The active layer in the Target drop-down list is the layer in which new features will be created. The exception is when using Copy and Paste and certain feature-creation commands—Buffer, Copy Parallel, Union, and so on. In those cases, a dialog box will appear allowing you to choose the target layer rather than requiring you to set the Target layer on the Editor toolbar prior to accessing the command.
  • The Annotation toolbar and Dimension toolbar contain the tools used to create those feature types.

Data Frame Tools Toolbar

A handy little toolbar you may have never used:

Ever need to rotate a map?  It will even rotate the north arrow in Layout View.

The My Places dialog box lets you create and work with a list of your most frequently used or favorite addresses, locations, features, and spatial extents. You can use this dialog box to navigate around to view these places. You can also annotate your map to show their locations and add the places into the route finding dialog boxes as stops and barriers. Adding items to the My Places list makes it easy for you to store your frequently used addresses, gazetteer locations, features, and extents and use them to navigate around maps and globes.

Click the My Places button  Description: My Placeson the Data Frame Tools toolbar to open the My Places dialog box. You can also open the My Places dialog box by right-clicking a location that you find using the Find dialog box or the Geocoding toolbar and clicking Manage My Places.

Your list of places is available regardless of which map you are using. Places are stored in a separate file on your computer, not in the map document, as is the case with spatial bookmarks. So you work with the same list of places in any application that supports them.

You can add items to the My Places list using the buttons on the My Places dialog box or through the Find dialog box.

  • Right-click an item you find in the Find dialog box or Geocoding toolbar, or any stop or barrier you define in the Find Route dialog box, and click Add To My Places.
  • Select one or more features on the map or globe and click Add From > Selected Feature(s) on the My Places dialog box.
  • Select one or more graphics on the map or globe and click Add From > Selected Graphic(s) on the My Places dialog box.
  • To add a spatial extent to the list, first zoom or pan to the extent you want to add, then click Add From > Current Extent on the My Places dialog box. This option is unavailable if you are working with a globe.

Each place is shown with an icon indicating what type of place it is. Double-click a place to flash and pan to it. Right-click to get a menu of options that apply to the currently selected place or places in the list. You can also click a place's name to rename it and click the column headings to sort the list by type or name.

You can export places to a file on disk. This allows you to share places with other users, for example, you can send a list of point locations to another user via e-mail. Sending a places file saves you from having to send a shapefile or whole geodatabase if you want to quickly share a location (keep in mind, though, that places are just coordinates with a label, and they don't have other attributes or symbology). Saving and loading your places also makes it easy for you to copy the places onto a different machine or install a common set of places, such as study areas, on a number of machines in a workgroup so that all team members can access them. An ArcGIS Place File (.dat) can be loaded into either the My Places list or as spatial bookmarks.