Batching - Running Geoprocessing Tools Multiple Times Automatically

Let’s say you have a polygon shapefile that you want to buffer using 3 different buffer distances.  You can use the Batch command to do this automatically; you just have to fill in the necessary information. (Note: Batch can be performed for any tool in ArcToolbox).

o   Find the Buffer tool in ArcToolbox, right click it and choose Batch… The dialog box will ask you for all of the same information that the regular Buffer tool dialog box asks for, the only differences is you can make multiple entries by clicking the  button.

Most Frequently Used Coordinate System

Most Frequently Used Coordinate System

In the ArcCatalog, drag and drop your most frequently used coordinate systems into the top level of the Coordinate Systems folder to put a copy of them into that location for quick access to them on dialog boxes.

o   In ArcCatalog, choose Customize ► ArcCatalog Options… from the main menu bar.  In the General tab and check the box next to Coordinate Systems.

o   Expand the Coordinate Systems folder to where your desired coordinate systems are and then drag them up to the main Coordinate Systems folder.

Large Menu & Toolbar Buttons

For those of you who have a hard time seeing the small tool buttons (commands) on your toolbars, it is possible to make them larger.

o   Choose Customize ►Customize Mode…from the main menu bar.

o   Choose the Options tab and check the box next to Large icons.

Regular Menu & Toolbar Buttons:

Large Menu & Toolbar Buttons:

Customize ArcMap 10 Toolbars

Creating custom toolbars is one of the easiest ways to tailor ArcGIS desktop applications to the way you work. In addition to positioning toolbars in a specific area of the application, you can group commands on a custom toolbar.  Save mouse clicks by creating a new toolbar that contains frequently used menu choices, new macros, or custom commands from another source.

o  Choose Customize ►Customize Mode… from the main menu bar.

o   To turn toolbars on/off simply check/uncheck the box next to the toolbar in the Toolbars tab.

o   Shortcut:  right-click on the standard toolbar (just below the main menu bar) and the select the toolbar(s) you would like to be visible. 

o   Toolbars can be docked anywhere or float in the application.

o   While the Customize dialog box is open, the tool buttons on visible toolbars can be rearranged and new tool buttons (aka commands) can be added from the Commands tab, just drag and drop the tool button to the visible target toolbar.

Adding X,Y Centroids to Polygons in ArcGIS ArcView

Creating a centroid point file from a polygon in ArcEditor or ArcInfo is quick and painless.  In ArcToolBox go to Data Management Tools/Features/Feature to Point and follow instructions.

There is a downside to this convenience however.  8,910 dollars of them in fact, the cost of an ArcInfo license.

How to calculate centroids in ArcView.

  1. In the attribute table of your polygon layer and under Options choose Add Field.
    Add Field


  2. Add an X and Y field of type Double
    Add Field Dialog
  3. Right-click on the New X Column Header and choose Field Calculator.

  4. In the Field Calculator Dialog that opens, click Help

    Here's all the instructions you need, but they are written in ESRI.  Allow me to translate.  Copy this section:
      Dim Output As Double
      Dim pArea As IArea
      Set pArea = [Shape]
      Output = pArea.Centroid.X

    Paste it into Field Calculator.  Check Advanced, and enter Output into the final textbox.

    Like this:
    Field Calculator


  5. Click OK and repeat for Y.

You now have the X,Y coordinates of the polygon centroids.  If you really need a separate point layer, copy the DBF file for your polygon layer to a new file and add as a point layer using the Add X,Y Data... dialog under the Tools menu.

Exporting, Downloading and Linking to Roadkill Reports

The Export Roadkill Data feature allows you to download or live link to roadkill reports in a variety of format and subsets.

By default, the page will show the 50 most recent roadkill reports statewide.  You can paginate through the reports by using the next, previous, and last links at the top and bottom of the table.  Click details at the start of any individual row to see all the information publicly available (contact details are omitted from public views), a map, and associated files and photos if they have been approved for web publication.

HTML is not the format you are looking for?

You'll notice that there are four icons immediately above the table.  These formats allow you to break the information you are viewing out of the webpage.

CSVCSV - Opens in Microsoft Excel and other Spreadsheet software.  It also easily imports into various databases

KMLKML - Opens in Google Earth, ArcGIS and imports into many GPS Units.  You may download this file for remote viewing, or link to it live to see new roadkills on a map as they are entered.

JSONJSON - Is a format that allows script remote computers to link live to data streams on detached computers.  This format enables robust web "mashups" of roadkill reports.

RSSRSS - Is a syndication format which allows you to keep track of the most recent updates.  You may consume RSS through a news reader, Microsoft Outlook or use third-party services like Feedburner (to get receive daily email digests) or Google Feeds (to embed recent roadkill on your blog or webpage)


Are you only interested in part of this?

Use the filter features to subset the dataset by species, observation date, highway, milepost range, report date.  You may also change how many records are retrieved.  At this time, 1000 records is the maximum download, but we'll be working on caching features soon to enable complete downloads.  All filters are optional.  All formats are available.

Slice, dice, download, embed and link to your heart's content.

Roadkill is our first public demonstration of the new IFWIS Core API that will soon be powering more of our IFWIS Applications. 

We want to make data, open, accessible and easy to use.  Please let us know what works, what doesn't and how we can make this better.

GeoTagged Photos Simplify Roadkill Reporting

We've tried to make reporting roadkill as simple as possible, but even still, it took five steps to outline in our post How to Report Roadkill.  Until now.

When 5 Steps is Two Steps Too Many.

Reporting Roadkills with your Photos.

We've just finished a new feature in our Roadkill Reporting, Photo Upload.  The best part isn't even all the pretty pictures of schmeared and desiccated wildlife that met an unfortunate fate attempting to cross our roadways. 

The best part is that if you have a camera phone or GPS-enabled device your photos will automatically record the location and datetime of the observation. 

Combine this with your contact information auto-filling when your logged in and you're down to  entering the Observed Species and pressing Save.  Yes, it's that easy.

Roadkill GeoTagged Photo Report in 3 Steps

To get started visit

1.) Upload Your File

In the right-hand sidebar click Upload File and select the photo to upload.

In modern web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or IE9+) you may drag and drop your photos to upload.
Drag and Drop your Photo

After the photo has uploaded you will see a summary of the information extracted from the image.  This may include both the date and location.

If you are already logged in and you are the observer, you may now skip ahead to species details.

2.) What

Enter the Observed Species Details
Start typing a scientific or common name and select from the dropdown list.  For the selected species answer the short list of questions as best as you are able.

Here is an example for the observed elk we uploaded in Step 1.

The location section will already be completed from your photo, so you may enter a precision (likely with 10 meters if using GPS) and you are done!

3.) Press Save Wildlife Collision to submit your Roadkill Observation.


We were able to skip a quite a few steps using our geotagged photo.  For complete instructions detailing every question on the form, view our post How to Report Roadkill.

How to Report Roadkill

Would you like to share roadkills you witness?  It's quick and easy and helps Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) and the Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD) work to avoid future wildlife collisions.

Reporting Roadkill is Quick and Easy

How to Submit a Wildlife Collision in 5 Steps...

To get started visit

1.) Who

Enter a few details about yourself, the Observer.
Don't worry we won't share this, but we do need to contact you if we have questions.

We admit that entering all this information is quite a pain if you'll be reporting often.  That's why we encourage you to create an account.

Once you have created an account your contact information will auto-fill.  You'll also be able report for friends and family members with a single click.  In fact, all your commonly used settings will be stored in quick-access shortcuts.

2.) When

Enter the date of the observation and an accuracy
You may type a date, or pick a date from the calendar.  Choose from the list an accuracy for the selected date.

Optionally, you may enter any more details you may have about the time of the observation (e.g. "Observed at Time Zone Rapid in Riggins and I'm not sure if this observation was at 2:05PM or 3:05PM").

3.) What

Identify the species
Start typing a common name (e.g. Moose) or scientific name (e.g. Alces americanus) and pick a species from the dropdown list that appears.

Add some Detail
How many? How old? What gender? Was it still alive? Other details?

4.) Where

Provide a location of the roadkill
Use one of four options to provide a location:

  • Click on the map  (You can pan, zoom and click again to move the marker)
  • Pick a Highway and Mile Marker  (US 93, Milepost 486)
  • Type an Address or Intersection  (600 S. Walnut St. Boise)
  • Provide an X & Y Coordinate   (43.5,-114.72 or 43 30,114 43.2 or N43 30,W114 43 12)

Add a Confidence Level for your location and optionally any Additional Location Information and you're done!

5.) Click Save Wildlife Collision to submit your observation!

The full details of your observation will appear upon submission.

You may review and download your previous submissions in the sidebar.  For larger exports in a variety of formats from csv to xml use the Export Roadkill Data tool.

Improved PDF Maps on the HuntPlanner

We're happy to announce that we've added new improved PDF Maps to the Huntplanner!  The maps have been redesigned to be easier to read and use in the field. 


  • Hunt and National Forest boundaries clearly marked
  • Prominent physical features and towns noted
  • Improved streams symbols and shaded relief to assist with navigation.
  • Public and private land management are clearly defined
  • Customized rendering for improved readability and various scales
  • Designed for regular and colorblind hunters

You can view and download the new maps on details page for each hunt or directly from the map index.

Here's a preview of the new design.  Thanks for all the hard work Angie!

New Feature: View your observations in KML


new features

Logged-in Observations or Roadkill users, we've added a feature to share your data with you. On the right-hand side of any Observations pages, you'll see the familiar google earth icon "Google Earth" icon and a link to "View My Observations in Google Earth."


When you click a link, your browser will ask you to download a KML file (keyhole markup language, a file that Google Earth uses to show locations). Opening that file will plot your past observations within Google Earth#.

We hope this is a useful feature while we continue to enable further gis or mapping options for your observation data.


#Note: At this point-in-time, don't worry about saving the file. It is only a snapshot of your observations. It currently will not update within Google Earth with your latest observations, we plan to add this feature in the future. To view the most current snapshot of your observations, you will have to download the file each time.