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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.
Posted by idfg-pbond at 05/27/2011 in
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:
Posted by idfg-pbond at 05/27/2011 in
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.
Posted by idfg-pbond at 05/27/2011 in
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.
- In the attribute table of your polygon layer and under Options choose Add Field.
- Add an X and Y field of type Double
- Right-click on the New X Column Header and choose Field Calculator.
- 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.
- 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.
Posted by idfg-bthomas at 05/17/2011 in
Are you a red means "Stop" and green mean "Go" kind of person? You might want to rethink this approach for cartography.
Here's an example of just how poorly your maps may translate for the color-blind.
So before pressing print, save an image and run it through some software to see how it translates to those with Deuteronopia, Protanopia and Tritanopia:
- Vischeck lets you upload images to their server to view with various kinds of colorblindness.
- Color Oracle installs on Windows, Mac and Linux for local processing on large files.
Don't forget the real world too... ask around and find coworkers who can evaluate your maps before publishing.
Posted by idfg-bthomas at 02/23/2011 in
I just stumbled on this most helpful post About geographic transformations and how to choose the right one by Aileen Buckley of ESRI's Mapping Center. I even learned a few things from the comments...
I'd highly recommend the read, but if you only have a moment, read this:
So how do you choose the geographic transformation that should be used? Here are two Esri Knowledge Base articles that can help you:
HowTo: Select the correct geographic (datum) transformation when projecting between datums. This article contains links to downloadable zip files (for different versions of the software) that contain a list of all available datum transformations and their appropriate geographic areas of use.
HowTo: Determine which NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984 transformation to use. The gist of this article is summarized below:
- NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984_1 - for the entire North American continent.
- NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984_2 - for the Aleutian islands.
- NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984_3 - for Hawai'i.
- NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984_4 - superseded by _5; this transformation method should no longer be used!
- NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984_5 - for the 48 contiguous United States.
- NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984_6 - for the Canadian province of Quebec.
- NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984_7 - for the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.
- NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984_8 - for the Canadian province of Alberta.
Note that geographic transformations work in either direction. For example, the transformation listed as NAD_1983_To_WGS_1984_5 transforms from NAD 1983 to WGS 1984, as well as from WGS 1984 to NAD 1983. When using the Project Tool, the geographic transformation is recorded in the metadata.
Posted by idfg-bthomas at 02/03/2011 in
The best programming question and answer site on the web now has a dedicated GIS section.
This is a great resource to try next time you have a question that you know others have faced. You can limit your results to just gis.stackexchange.com performing a google search by adding the parameters "site:gis.stackexchange.com" to your query.
Here's a demonstration
Posted by idfg-bthomas at 10/21/2010 in
Take a minute to check out the ESRI Mapping Centers' ArcGIS Styles page and you will see that we have included graphics of the contents of the styles you can download. The center is easy to browse and you can download any style or symbolset to use in ArcGIS. Ofcourse, some of the symbols will be a little hard to see in their full glory in these screen captures (for example, marker symbols that are bigger than the space allotted in the ArcMap Style Manager large thumbnail view.) However, you can still get a good idea of the contents.
Here's a couple examples to whet your appetite:
Elevation color ramps for different biomes. download ShadeMax
Set of light shades of a variety of hues. download Subtle Artist Light Colors
Set of colors for maps for the color deficient. download Color Deficient
View all the styles, plus models, scripts, expressions and more at the ESRI Mapping Center ArcGIS Resources Gateway
Also, just advertised, and to be added soon to the MapCenter Resource Page are National Park Service (NPS) symbol sets.
You can download these today from the NPS Harpers Ferry Center.
It is available there for download in a multitude of formats:
Recreation pictographs, north arrows, bar scales, road shields, etc.
- Adobe Acrobat PDF (268k – July 2006).
- Adobe Illustrator (1.4 MB – July 2006 Adobe Illustrator CS2 format).
Pictographs for accessibility, winter recreation, water recreation, etc.
- Adobe Acrobat PDF (200k – July 2006).
- Adobe Illustrator (1.0 MB – July 2006 Adobe Illustrator CS2 format).
NPS symbols are free and in the public domain. They derive from Ultimate Symbol Collection, a commercial product that offers hundreds of additional symbols.
TrueType Font Symbols
Fonts include both the Map Symbols and Other Symbols shown above.
Includes both the Map Symbols and Other Symbols shown above.
- ESRI.style (748k – November 2007).
Lava/reef, sand, swamp, and tree patterns (accessed as a swatch library in Adobe Illustrator CS or later).
- Adobe Illustrator (448k – July 2006 Adobe Illustrator CS format).
There's lots of great options out there! Try a new style today!
Posted by idfg-bthomas at 04/02/2010 in
What do you do when you open your map and you have a layer that looks like this? What does it mean?
The red exclamation point is a visual indicator that something is incorrect in the layer's data source. To fix it you'll need to know where the data lives and tell the layer in the map this information. You're giving direction to poor lost layer so it can find itself, you're a metaphysical geographer!
Repairing a data source:
- Right-click on the layer, from the contextual menu choose Properties
- In the Properties dialog box choose the Source tab
- Click Set Data Source
- Browse to the location of the data layer, select and click Add
- OK out of the Properties dialog
If all went well your data is now displayed.
But what if it isn't one layer? What if you have an entire map of mis-pathed layers?
Here's where ArcCatalog comes to the rescue:
- Locate the map in ArcCatalog
- Right-click and select Set Data Source(s)
- Highlight one of the Data Layers that is in error and click Replace...
- The find box should load with the erroneous path of the layer you select, if not enter it
- In the replace box enter the correct path and click Ok
- Repeat as necessary
But what if they are SDE Layers? This whole batch thing is no help at all.
Yes, this is where it gets nasty. Basically, you're left out in the cold. You can either fix them one at time, or you're going to need a little script my coworker developed and that isn't so simple.
Posted by idfg-bthomas at 10/07/2009 in
I had to select a ton of records today for a project in ArcGIS. You know the normal method, hellish SQL repetition:
ID = 1 OR ID = 5 OR ID = 6 OR ID = 12 OR ID = 14 OR ID = 27 OR ID = 41 OR ID = 43
The past few months I've been working a lot in SQL Server and this experience made this repetition seem like too much work. So I got lazy and I made an inquiry into IN query:
ID IN (1,5,6,12,14,27,41,43)
And it just worked. There's no documentation in the main help file that even mentions it. If you do open the ArcGIS Help and search on "SQL Reference" nearly half way down you find a section on Subqueries. Here they explain that IN queries are supported in geodatabases and EXISTS is supported as well! Who knew? How was I supposed to know this if I hadn't gotten lazy?
Here's what you'll find in the ArcGIS Help File:
Remix IN with some external SQL that EXISTS here in ArcGIS One-to-Many Labeling and you might confuse ArcSDE for an RDMS. Just don't try look for anything meaningful in a RELATE.
Posted by idfg-bthomas at 04/29/2009 in
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