From TOI-Pedia

What is ArcGIS?

Extensive explanation can be found on ArcGIS Help Library

ArcGIS is a system of software's used for designing, managing and analyzing geographical information (GI).

For more information about this product you can also navigate to the product page.

The desktop version of ArcGIS consists of three applications:

  • ArcMap: The main software used in the design, management and analyse of GI.
  • ArcGlobe: A optional software of the ArcGIS 3D Analyst plugin used for seamless globe 3D visualization.
  • ArcScene: A optional software of the ArcGIS 3D Analyst plugin used for 3D visualization.

There are also multiple plugins available for use with ARCGIS softares, one used on the TU Delft is Arcgis 3D analyst

[ArcGIS for Desktop] ArcMap interface

The user interface consists of a main window that incorporates a data view and a layout view. Both views are used for the interaction with the map. The data view provides the information in a set of map layers while the layout view provides a visual representation of the geographical information.

More on the user interface topic can be found on the User interface information page.

[ArcGIS for Desktop] ArcMap Navigation

The standard navigation scheme in ArcMap is mostly done using the mouse wheel.The most common navigation commands that are used in ArcMap are Pan and Zoom. In order to Pan press and hold the mouse middle button/wheel and then drag the mouse. In order to Zoom roll the mouse wheel back or forth. Other navigation shortcuts are:

  • Ctrl + mouse wheel roll: Zoom in and out with a finer increment
  • Ctrl + middle mouse button: Center and zoom in at the selected location
  • Middle mouse button : Center map
  • Ctrl + middle mouse button + mouse drag: zoom in

For more on the navigation topic visit the Navigation in ArcMap online manual page.

[ArcGIS for Desktop] ArcMap Project management

The following information is a summary of the ArcGIS Help Library

File locations

An ArcMap document is assigned a HOME folder, this is the folder in which the document is situated when it's opened. Related maps can share a HOME folder for easy file management. Every Map file also has a default geodatabase, the location for all the spatial content. Added datasets and saved geoprocessing operations are stored here. Geodatabases can be shared what can be useful when working collaborative. By default a geodatabase is created in the documents HOME folder. You can only work at one map at a time, when you open another the existing map will be closed and the new one will be opened.

Adding map layers
Adding a Dataset

  • when you add a dataset using the "add data" button, a new layer is created.
  • copying or dragging layers from one file to another
  • dragging a dataset from the catalogue window
  • dragging a dataset from the search window
  • dragging a dataset from the ArcCatalogue

Adding data from ArcGIS Online

Setting layer symbology

By using the symbology tab of the layer property window you can set the display properties of your layers.

Setting the layer drawing order

default drawing order:

  1. Annotation
  2. Features
  • Point
  • Line
  • Polygon
  • TIN/Terrain
  • Raster

Removing a Layer

By right clicking a layer and selecting "remove" you can remove a layer from the document.

[ArcGIS for Desktop] ArcMap Features

Map elements(Features) in ArcMap are created trough the features templates. The information that is essential for the creation of the feature is found in the feature templates. The information’s consists of the attributes of the feature, the layer where the feature is placed and the tool is used to create the feature with. Templates are organized by name, description and tags.

For a better overview of the features tool in ArcMap see the image bellow.

ArcMap Features Copyright © 1995-2013 Esri. All rights reserved.

For more information on features please navigate to the ArcMap Features online manual.

Data exchange

Commonly used file formats in ArcGIS are:

  • MPK (Map Packages)
  • MXD (Map files)
  • TIN (Triangular Irregular Network)
  • SDC (Smart Data Compression)
  • LYR (Layer File)
  • SHP (Shapefile)

ArcMAP also gives the user the opportunity to import/export a wide variety of geospacial, 2D-data.

ArcMAP can export to the following file formats:

  • AI (Adobe Illustrator)
  • SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
  • BMP (Microsoft Windows bitmap)
  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
  • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
  • GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)

Python scripring

ArcGIS environment offers the possibility to use Python scripting. The open-source scripting language is used for geoprocessing, it is the main language for data analysis, map automation, data conversion and data management.

The specific scripting environment that is used within ArcGIS is ArcPY, a site package build upon the arcgisscripting module. The scripts, classes and modules written with ArcPY extend the Python library and offer access to geoprocessing tools as well as additional functions that simplify complex workflows.

For more information on Python and ArcPY navigate to the Online ArcGIS Python manual and the Online ArcPY manual.

Common questions

For CQ please navigate to the Common Questions page.

For more information on the ArcGIS platform please visit the ArcGIS online Manual and the ArcGIS desktop video tutorial data base.

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