A bunch of ArcGIS Pro tips

7th April 2017

I’ve been running a few training session on ArcGIS Pro recently with people that are new to ArcGIS Desktop and some very experienced users. It’s great seeing people embrace the new ways of working in Pro and the cool new functions. Training always throws up some challenges to keep me learning, so I thought I’d share some recent tips and pointers.

Folder Connections and Project Templates

If, like me, you have common data you use across different projects that is held in a central location you might tire of adding folder connections to each new ArcGIS Pro project. To avoid this: create a new blank project, add the folder connections and save the project as a template. You can also set up you own default map before you save the template.

Since Pro projects automatically includes a file geodatabase you might want to remove that (and other default resources) from the blank project before creating your template.

Why can’t I save my Field changes?

Pro doesn’t use explicit edit sessions so you can  start making changes to a feature classes fields while you still have unsaved feature edits. You won’t be able to save the field changes and it’s not always obvious why. With the edit ribbon now hidden you can’t see that you have unsaved feature edits. If you flip back to the Edit ribbon and save your feature edits you can then go back and save the field changes.

Remembering to check you’ve saved your feature edits before making field changes will avoid this – but if you can’t save field changes remember to check your edit ribbon.

Reducing the number of features drawing in a scene layer

A 3D visualisation stretching to those far off hills looks great but can be a bit slow to work with. While you are setting up data and choosing key views for your output you can reduce the number of features being drawn using the options on the Appearence tab. The reference scale settings for a Scene work a bit differently and are based on distance, rather than map scale. Setting a lower value for Out Beyond for a scene layer will stop the objects in the distance drawing in the scene. Don’t forget to change the setting back for producing your stunning output!

Where is the layer I just shared to my portal?

If you’ve just published a layer to your portal and want to add a connection to that feature layer to a map you might not see it listed in your portal contents. To refresh the view of your portal content click on the stacked lines – Options – in the top right of the panel and choose refresh.

For folder connections the refresh is in the context menu – just right click on the connection.

Using the world elevation data in analysis tools

ArcGIS includes a hosted elevation dataset for the whole world, which is the default elevation surface used in scenes. If you have access to the 3D Analyst extension you can also use the data with the geoprocessing (GP) tools, if you don’t have your own local data for an area. To use it in a GP tool you need to first add the Terrain layer to your map – go to the Living Atlas in the portal content view and search for World Terrain. Once you’ve added it as a layer you can reference the layer as the elevation source in the tool.

Don’t forget that Pro includes Ready To Use Tools that are preconfigured to use the hosted elevation data to create viewshed and profiles.

Hope you find some of these useful.