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Learning ArcGIS Pro 2 - Second Edition

By Tripp Corbin
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  1. Free Chapter
    Introducing ArcGIS Pro
About this book
Armed with powerful tools to visualize, maintain, and analyze data, ArcGIS Pro 2 is Esri's newest desktop geographic information system (GIS) application that uses the modern ribbon interface and a 64-bit processor to make using GIS faster and more efficient. This second edition of Learning ArcGIS Pro will show you how you can use this powerful desktop GIS application to create maps, perform spatial analysis, and maintain data. The book begins by showing you how to install ArcGIS and listing the software and hardware prerequisites. You’ll then understand the concept of named user licensing and learn how to navigate the new ribbon interface to leverage the power of ArcGIS Pro for managing geospatial data. Once you’ve got to grips with the new interface, you’ll build your first GIS project and understand how to use the different project resources available. The book shows you how to create 2D and 3D maps by adding layers and setting and managing the symbology and labeling. You’ll also discover how to use the analysis tool to visualize geospatial data. In later chapters, you’ll be introduced to Arcade, the new lightweight expression language for ArcGIS, and then advance to creating complex labels using Arcade expressions. Finally, you'll use Python scripts to automate and standardize tasks and models in ArcGIS Pro. By the end of this ArcGIS Pro book, you’ll have developed the core skills needed for using ArcGIS Pro 2.x competently.
Publication date:
July 2020
Publisher
Packt
Pages
542
ISBN
9781839210228

 
Introducing ArcGIS Pro

Esri's ArcGIS platform has become well-entrenched as the primary solution for GIS professionals seeking to implement a scalable integrated solution, which can start with a single user and grow to support multiple users across various platforms. With ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Online, and ArcGIS Apps, Geographic Information System (GIS) professionals can design and implement a robust GIS solution that provides a wide range of functionality to meet the needs of a growing enterprise, which includes users of various skill levels, requirements, differing platforms, and data formats. However, Esri has not been content to rest on their laurels. They continue to push the GIS envelope.

In 2015, Esri released a new desktop GIS application named ArcGIS Pro. ArcGIS Pro has replaced ArcMap and ArcCatalog as the flagship desktop GIS application in Esri's solution stack. Those are not...

 

Technical requirements

To successfully complete this chapter, you will require the following:

  • Internet access
  • ArcGIS Pro 2.6Basic or a higher license
  • Sample data downloaded and installed for this book
 

Checking requirements for installing ArcGIS Pro

In order to use ArcGIS Pro, you must first install it. To install ArcGIS Pro, you will need to verify that your system meets or exceeds the minimum requirements. You will then need to download or have access to the installed files, and finally, have the rights to install the software on the computer you are using. We will look at each of these steps next.

It is possible to install and run ArcGIS Pro on a computer that already has ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap and ArcCatalog) installed even if ArcGIS Desktop is an older version. The two applications may exist side by side or on separate computers. These are completely separate, independent installations.

In the following sections, you will learn the ArcGIS Pro system requirements, how to download the installation files, and how to install ArcGIS Pro on your computer.

 

Understanding ArcGIS Pro minimum system requirements

As mentioned earlier, ArcGIS Pro is a 64-bit application that supports hyperthreaded processing. This allows ArcGIS Pro to take full advantage of modern processors, such as the Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen and Random Access Memory (RAM) larger than 4 GB. The ability of ArcGIS Pro to make use of this increased computing capability means it typically completes tasks much faster than the older applications it is replacing.

However, this ability to use modern computer hardware does come at a price. Compared with the older ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro has much higher minimum computer specifications. This includes increased hardware and OS requirements as well as supporting application requirements. This means that just because your current computer is able to run applications such as ArcMap, it will not necessarily be able to successfully run ArcGIS Pro. It is important to verify that your computer meets or exceeds the recommended...

 

Learning about OS requirements

ArcGIS Pro requires a 64-bit operatingsystem (OS). It will not run on a 32-bit OS. ArcGIS Pro currently supports the following operating systems:

  • Windows 10 Home, Pro, and Enterprise
  • Windows 8.1 Pro and Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2019 Standard and Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard and Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter

Esri dropped support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 after January 2020. They made this move because Microsoft ended their support for those operating systems. This means it might still be possible to run ArcGIS Pro on these operating systems, but neither Esri nor Microsoft will provide you with support if you encounter any problems. It also means that neither company will be providing patches or updates to fix security vulnerabilities or bugs in either of those operating systems...

 

Understanding the hardware requirements

ArcGIS Pro has some hefty hardware requirements. It requires modern processors and large amounts of RAM. It also requires a graphics card powerful enough to display 2D and 3D data. To ensure that ArcGIS Pro runs smoothly, you need to make sure that your computer meets or exceeds the requirements shown here:

  • A hyperthreaded dual-core. A 4 core processor is recommended with a 10 core or more processor being optional, such as the Intel Core i9-10900 or AMD Ryzen 9 3900.
  • A minimum of 4 GB of RAM with 8 GB of RAM is recommended. 16 GB is considered optimal by Esri.
  • A minimum of 32 GB of hard disk space to install the software. A solid-state drive is recommended.
  • A graphics card that supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.3 with 4 GB of video RAM minimum. Esri recommends a graphics card that supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.5 with 4 GB or more of dedicated video RAM.

Unlike ArcGIS Desktop...

 

Other supporting software requirements

ArcGIS Pro is dependent on other applications that must be installed prior to installation. They provide supporting services that ArcGIS Pro relies on to function. These supporting applications include the following:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.8 or later
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 or above
  • ArcGIS Online organizational account or ArcGIS Enterprise Portal – this is required if using Named User licensing

Although these are required for ArcGIS Pro to run successfully, the actual ArcGIS Pro install routine does not verify or check for these. It will install without them and indicate that the installation was successful. However, when you run the application, you will begin to experience problems. This might include the application not starting, the inability to access a license, frequent crashes, and more.

ArcGIS Pro does not require ArcGIS Desktop in order to be installed...

 

Author system recommendations

I have been working with ArcGIS Pro since it was first released in beta. This has provided the opportunity to run it on various computers as it has moved through multiple beta versions to the release of version 2.6. This firsthand experience, along with my experience running ArcGIS Desktop since it was first released, has led me to several recommendations when it comes to selecting a system to run ArcGIS Pro.

Based on my experience, I recommend the following specifications when purchasing a computer to run ArcGIS Pro:

  • Make sure that you have a separate graphics card. This will include a dedicated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and Dedicated Video RAM (VRAM). ArcGIS Pro is a graphics-intensive program. Every time you pan, zoom, or add a new layer, you will be taxing the graphics capability of your computer. A video card will allow your computer to handle this load by processing graphics rendering requests without burdening...
 

Testing to see whether your computer can run ArcGIS Pro

Before you attempt to install ArcGIS Pro, it is a good idea to test your system first to see whether it meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for installing the application. Luckily, Esri has a tool that can test your system. Let's run that tool now to check your computer:

  1. You will start by opening your web browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari.
  2. In your web browser, go to http://pro.arcgis.com. This site from Esri allows you to access various ArcGIS Pro resources. When it opens, you should see the following:

  1. Next, click on the Get Started tab located just below the banner.
  2. Click on Set up located in the left panel of the web page. This will expand the menu options located under Set up.
  3. Click on System Requirements located under Set up. This will take you to the System Requirements page...
 

Downloading and installing ArcGIS Pro

Now that you know your computer can run ArcGIS Pro, it is time to install it. First, you will need to download the install files from Esri. Then, you will need to run the install on your computer so that you can run the application.

In order to complete both these steps, you will need to ensure that a couple of conditions are met. First, you must have the rights to download software from the My Esri web portal. Second, you must have install or administrative privileges on your computer. These aspects will be covered in the following sections.

 

How to download the installation files

In order to install ArcGIS Pro, follow these steps:

  1. You will need to download the install files from the My Esri website at https://my.esri.com/.
  2. Once there, you will need to log in using your Esri global account. You will need to make sure that your global account is linked to your organization's Esri customer account in order to do this. Lastly, you need to ensure that your user account has download permissions, as mentioned previously.
  1. Once you are logged in to My Esri, you will need to click on the My Organizations tab and select the Downloads option, as shown in the following screenshot:

  1. If you are not the administrator for your organization's Esri account or do not have download permissions, you might not see the Downloads tab. If this is the case, you will need to request permission from Esri to view the Downloads...
 

Installing ArcGIS Pro

First, you will need to make sure that you have sufficient rights to install new software on your computer. This typically requires you to have administrative privileges on your computer. If you do not have the required permissions, you will need to contact your IT department to see whether they can provide assistance in installing ArcGIS Pro. Then, you or the IT staff will need to perform the following steps:

  1. To install ArcGIS Pro, click on the ArcGIS Pro installation file you downloaded. This will unzip the install files.
  2. You will be asked where you want to unzip or extract the installation files. The default location is C:\Users\your username\Documents\ArcGIS Pro 2.6, as shown in the following screenshot. You can accept the default location by clicking Next >:

If you wish to unzip to another location, such as a network drive, click the Browse button and navigate to the desired...

 

Installing ArcGIS Pro offline help files

By default, ArcGIS Pro uses online help documentation. This ensures that users have access to the most current help and how-to information for the multitude of functions and tools found in ArcGIS Pro. However, there may be times when you find yourself working in a situation where you do not have access to the web.

You might be working in the field where no cellular connection is available or maybe working during an emergency where communications are down. In these types of situations, you will not be able to access the online help. You will need to have the help files installed locally on your computer. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Open your web browser and go to https://my.esri.com.
  2. Log in to the My Esri web portal using your Esri Global Account.
  3. Follow the same steps you took to download the ArcGIS Pro application install files. The only difference is that you select the ArcGIS...
 

Managing and assigning ArcGIS Pro licenses

Unlike ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro is not just limited to traditional Single Use licenses or Concurrent Use licenses. ArcGIS Pro supports those in addition to Named User licensing. This allows you to pick the licensing method that best meets the needs of your organization. So what are the differences between these types of licensing methods?

In this section, you will learn about ArcGIS Pro licenses, and how to download and assign them. We will also begin with opening our first ArcGIS Pro project.

Single Use licenses are the traditional software licenses, where you are allowed to install and run the application on a single computer. This was the most common form of license or use authorization for software until recently.

Concurrent Use licensing is often referred to as a network license. This type of license requires a license server to be set up and configured. It acts as a librarian for your software licenses...

 

Understanding the number and level of ArcGIS Pro licenses

If your organization has been using ArcGIS Desktop and has been paying the annual software maintenance fees, you will get an equal number of levels of ArcGIS Pro licenses. So, if you have 2 licenses for ArcGIS Desktop Advanced, 4 licenses for ArcGIS Desktop Standard, and 10 Licenses for ArcGIS Desktop Basic, you will have the same number and level of ArcGIS Pro licenses, which you can assign to users.

Question: What is the default licensing method used by ArcGIS Pro?

For completely new users, the number of licenses and levels will be dependent on what you purchase from Esri or one of their authorized business partners. Esri does offer discounts for multiple licenses as well as for non-profit and educational institutions.

ArcGIS Pro has three license levels, namely, Basic, Standard, and Advanced. The license level you have or purchase will determine the functionality of the software. Basic will have...

 

Assigning ArcGIS Pro licenses

As we mentioned earlier, ArcGIS Pro supports multiple licensing models. The default model is Named User licenses, which are managed through ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS. To assign or manage licenses for ArcGIS Pro, you must be designated as an administrator. If you are, you can assign ArcGIS Pro and extension licenses to named users.

To manage or assign licenses, you must perform the following steps:

  1. Log in to ArcGIS Online (www.argis.com) or Portal for ArcGIS.
  2. Once logged in, you will need to click on Licenses, as shown in the following screenshot. This will require you to be an administrator for your organization:

  1. From the Licenses page, you can then assign ArcGIS Pro and extension licenses to named users within your organization's ArcGIS Online account or Portal for ArcGIS by clicking on the Manage link located under the license level you wish...
 

Downloading and installing the exercise data

Before you can proceed further in the book and complete the exercises, you will need to download and install the exercise data. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Download the exercise data from Packt Publishing by going tohttps://www.packtpub.com/ and click on Support from the ribbon menu at the top of the page.
  2. Then, click on Code Downloads and, in the search title box, type Learning ArcGIS Pro 2 - Second Edition. Click on the book title, which should appear under the search box.
  3. If needed, click on the register link to create your user account. Then, follow the links to download exercise data.
  4. Once the exercise data has downloaded, open Windows File Explorer, which is typically accessible by clicking on an icon located on your taskbar that looks like a small file folder in a holder.
  5. Navigate to the location you downloaded the exercise data to. If you downloaded the data to...
 

Launching ArcGIS Pro

Now that you have installed ArcGIS Pro and have a license, it is time to launch ArcGIS Pro for the first time. You need to ensure that you are connected to the internet because when you launch ArcGIS Pro, it will need to connect to ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS to make sure that you have a valid license.

Let's now open ArcGIS Pro:

  1. Open ArcGIS Pro. How you do this will depend on your OS and whether you have added shortcuts to your desktop or taskbar. In most cases, the first time you launch ArcGIS Pro, you will need to go to the Start button located on the lower-left corner of your monitor. It looks like the Windows icon.
  2. Once you click on the Start button, scroll through the list of installed programs until you see the ArcGIS folder or group and click on it. This will expand the list of installed ArcGIS programs installed on your computer.
  3. Select ArcGIS Pro from the list of programs to start the application...
 

Opening an ArcGIS Pro Project

ArcGIS Pro makes use of projects that can contain maps, data connections, toolboxes, and more. You will now open an existing project and begin your first journey into ArcGIS Pro to help verify the successful installation of ArcGIS Pro and your exercise data. You will get an opportunity to explore 2D and 3D maps, a layout, and other project items as follows:

  1. If you closed ArcGIS Pro from the previous section, open ArcGIS Pro and log in if required.
  1. In the ArcGIS Pro start page, click on Open another project, as shown in the following screenshot:

Take a moment to review the Start page. It is divided into three columns. The first is for opening existing projects like the one you are about to open. At the top of the first column is a list of recently opened projects. If this is your first time opening a project with ArcGIS Pro, this area will be blank, as shown...

 

Summary

You have now successfully installed and started to use ArcGIS Pro. So you now have the skills to install and get working with ArcGIS Pro. This new 64-bit hyperthreaded application from Esri provides an effective tool to visualize a range of data, including 2D and 3D. This increased capability does require a greater amount of system resources to run effectively compared with the earlier ArcGIS applications.

In this chapter, you discovered that ArcGIS Pro makes use of a new licensing model, Named Users, in addition to a traditional Single Use or concurrent license. You also learned that ArcGIS Pro Named User licenses are managed through your organization's ArcGIS Online account or Portal for ArcGIS. It was also pointed out that only users in your organization that are creators or professional user types may be assigned an ArcGIS Pro license.

From there, you opened your first ArcGIS Pro project. This provided you with the skills to deal with projects...

 

Further reading

You may want to check out these additional resources for more information associated with the topics covered in this chapter.

About the Author
  • Tripp Corbin

    Tripp Corbin, GISP has over 25 years of experience in the geospatial industry and is recognized as an industry expert in a variety of geospatial software platforms, including Esri, Autodesk, and Trimble products. He has assisted numerous organizations in implementing GIS to help solve problems and improve operations. He holds multiple certifications, including as a certified GIS professional, Esri-certified enterprise system design associate, and Esri-certified desktop professional. He is also the former president of URISA and the local Georgia Chapter. In recognition of his contributions to the GIS community, he has received several awards, including the URISA Exemplary Leadership award and the Barbara Hirsch Special Service award.

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