ArcGIS Pro release makes it easier to get animated

18th July 2016

ArcGIS Pro 1.3 was released last week and it continues to expand the GIS capabilities in Pro. Support for geodatabase topology has been added, along with various additions and refinements to the analysis tools. You can now add and work with KML layers in your maps. Vector tile layers can also now be added to maps and scenes. As usual you can see the full details in the what’s new page, illustrated with examples.

A couple of other new features have allowed me to enhance some windfarm maps I’ll be using this week, so lets take a look at these. 

Adding a time-series chart

Charting now includes the option to create line charts. It becomes very easy to create a time series from your data that can be viewed alongside the map. In my case, as well as being able to see the distribution and capacity of windfarm planning applications in Scotland I can also look at the time trend:

Enhancing and presenting a 3D scene

ArcGIS Pro now supports procedural symbology – which uses a procedural rule created in CityEngine to present a 3D visualisation of a GIS feature. Handily a colleague had created a rule for a wind turbine and shared it with me. I exported this from CityEngine as an rpk file and could then use it with my turbine locations in Pro:

The rule has two parameters and mapping AxisHeight in the rule to the equivalent attribute in my features means that the symbol will automatically reflect any change to the height: 

This is a relatively simple example but the same approach could be used to generate 3D scenes for a built environment. Previously this could only be done within CityEngine, but once a suitable rule package has been created (some have been shared in ArcGIS Online) it can now be done by an ArcGIS for Desktop user.

Having created a 3D scene one way to share it with a wide audience is via a video file. I hadn’t used the Animation function in Pro before but creating a series of bookmarks let me quickly create a fly through of the site. A new interactive timeline then makes it easy to adjust the duration and transition style for each frame, before reviewing the changes. Once you’ve got something that works well you can export it to a choice of formats:

Don’t forget that rendering video is processor intensive and takes a bit of time – especially if you want high quality output – so time for a quick cup of tea.

Note, I needed to upgrade Microsoft .NET Framework first, since ArcGIS Pro 1.3 requires .NET Framework 4.6.1. I also found that my Display options had been reset by the upgrade so if you’ve tweaked these then it’s worth taking a screenshot first so you can reinstate your preferences.