GIS Tips & Tricks

A weblog dedictated to the lifelong pursuit of cartographic bliss in GIS.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Cool Tools from XTools Pro

I think XTools Pro from the folks at Data East is probably the finest third party extension available for ArcMAP. Not only is it relatively cheap at $150 US for a single license but this feature rich extension is almost indispensible if you are running an ArcView - ArcGIS license. I orginally picked up a license when I was running ArcView - ArcGIS and needed the "identity" spatial overlay functionality. Once I started playing around with some of the other tools I soon wondered how I had managed without it. Some of my favourite functions are: the Aggregate Features/Records which performs an SQL-like group by aggregation query and spits out either a stand-alone table, shapefile or personal geodatabase; Multi-Delete Fields is another cool tool I use frequently which as the name suggest deletes multiple fields with a couple of quick clicks of the mouse; a younger co-worker of mine might call the Feature Report tool 'sick' which I think is hip-talk for really good...the Feature Report tool quickly generates an MS Word editable (not edible) report of a selected feature, showing geometry, projection and feature attributes like the one shown here>>

If you are an ArcGIS user and want to enhance the functionality of your GIS software without breaking the bank you may want to consider XTools Pro. There's even a trial software download so you can try the cool tools before you buy.

You may not believe it by my hyped up rant, but I don't work for or have any affiliation with XTools Pro or Data East.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Creating a Unique ID field in ArcMAP

The other day my friendly coworker, Karen, asked me if I knew how to create a unique id field for a dataset in ArcMAP. I remembered doing this before but I couldn’t remember exactly how since I typically still use ArcINFO TABLES for this process…I know that some of you may find it tragic that I continue to bang away at my keyboard using command line but somethings are still way more efficient that way. So answer Karen’s question I had to consult the mighty ESRI Knowledge Base and as is often the case the question had already been asked.

Basically, you need to add a numeric field and calculate values using the VBA code available at this ESRI Technical Article link

Hopefully this was helpful Karen?