ArcMap 10

FREE College-Level GIS Educational Resources from Penn State

Penn State is now offering Open Education Resources for a number of their departments including Geography that hosts coursework for a number of GIS and remote sensing related classes offered at the university. The bonus is, you are allowed to use and re-use materials you find on this website. 

From the website: 


GIS & Remote Sensing coursework currently up on their website:

Take a look:

ArcMap 10 Add-ins - Accessing the new LayerFetcher Tools

Add-ins are the new way to deploy and access ArcMap 10 custom applications and tools. There is a new and improved version of the LayerFetcher tools developed as an ArcMap 10 Add-in.   All you have to do to access the new LayerFetcher application is reference the network folder where it is located and turn on the toolbar.  To add the LayerFetcher , do the following:

1) Click Customize on the top menu bar in ArcMap 10 then click Add-In Manager.
2) Click click the Options tab then click the Add Folder button.
3) Navigate to Q:\IFWIS\AddIns and click OK. Then close Add-In Manager.
4) Click Customize then Tool Bars and check on the IDFG LayerFetcher Tools.

That’s it! No installation programs, no copying files.  And you only have to do the first three steps once.  Any other tools we place in this folder will automatically be available to you.  Just check on the tool bar. Any updates we do to existing Add-ins will be available without you doing anything.

If you find other Add-Ins that you would like to use, you can create your own AddIns folder in you folder on the Q:\ drive.  Just save the Add-in to that folder, and then follow the same steps listed above to reference it in the Add-ins Manager.

You can dock the LayerFetcher toolbar and LayerFetcher window anywhere on the main ArcMap window.

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:


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.


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.

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.