3D Visualization & Analytics

ArcGIS 10.4 prerelease is now available

ArcGIS 10.4 prerelease software is now available for qualified customers. This prerelease software will allow you explore and test a variety of exciting new capabilities coming with ArcGIS 10.4 early next year, including publishing vector tile packages created with ArcGIS Pro 1.2 beta, new tools for Web GIS disaster recovery, an improved experience for setting up a highly available portal with Portal for ArcGIS, and displaying 3D content in a local (or plane) world view.

If you want to get a head start in testing new functionality before the final release of ArcGIS 10.4 in Q1 next year this prerelease is a great opportunity to start doing so. Remember though, that this prerelease is not intended for production use. The prerelease will not be able to be upgraded to the final version as only official release versions are support for upgrades.

New visualization with Vector Tile Layers

The latest release of ArcGIS Online in November introduced initial support for vector tile layers as a layer in a web map.  A vector tile layer references a set of web-accessible vector tiles and the corresponding style for how those layers should be drawn.  Vector tiles are similar to image tiles but they store a vector representation of the data.

Client-side drawing of vector tiles allows for vector tile layers to be customized for the purpose of the map and drives dynamic, interactive cartography.   The combination of tile access performance and vector drawing allows the tiles to adapt to any resolution of the display, which may vary across devices. Beta versions of Esri vector basemaps are available as vector tile layers and maps for displaying in the map viewer and use in custom basemap galleries.

Now, in ArcGIS 10.4 prerelease, vector tile packages you create in ArcGIS Pro 1.2 can be uploaded to your Web GIS as deployed using ArcGIS for Server, including Portal for ArcGIS, and published as hosted vector tile layers. Vector tile packages deliver cartographic content in a compact binary format that includes both geometry and metadata. Vector tile packages take less time to create, require less disk space compared to raster tiles, and can be rendered in multiple styles.

ArcGIS Pro 1.2 is currently in beta. In order to try the new vector tile publishing workflow, you will need to sign up for the beta program. You need to be a Desktop customer that is current on maintenance and have an ArcGIS Online account.

There are three specific areas that we’d like you to test:

  1. Sharing layers and maps using ArcGIS Pro 1.2 and Portal for ArcGIS
  2. Sharing vector tile packages created in ArcGIS Pro 1.2 as vector tile layers in Portal for ArcGIS
  3. Creating and sharing 3D scene layers and web scene enhancements

To sign up, go to ArcGIS Pro 1.2 beta.

For more details on understanding and using vector tiles see:

Vector Tiles preview

How to Customize Esri Vector Basemaps

Customize Esri Vector Basemap Boundaries and Labels

Understanding Esri Vector Basemap File Structure

Developers who want to create custom web apps that employ vector tiles can use the ArcGIS API for JavaScript 3.15.

Analysis Tools now included in the Portal for ArcGIS Map Viewer

In this prerelease, you will see that Portal for ArcGIS includes Analysis tools similar to what you known from ArcGIS Online. These spatial analysis tools allow you to quantify patterns and relationships in your data and display the results as maps, tables, and charts. The spatial analysis tools empower you to use the Map Viewer to perform basic spatial analysis to answer questions and make important decisions using more than a visual analysis.

These analysis tools enable you to perform analysis such as summarizing data, finding patterns, examining proximity (buffering, drive times), calculate the density point and line features, find hotspots, and more. The analysis tools are available to Portal members with access to analysis tools, and work on feature layers in a web map, including Map Notes. To use any of the tools, in the Map Viewer click or tap the Analysis button found on the map menu bar in the Details pane. This opens the Perform Analysis pane where you choose the type of analysis you want to perform, specify your analysis parameters, and run the analysis. The results are added to the map. Help is provided through every step.

For those with access to ArcGIS Online, the analysis tools can be augmented with additional tools using the content and services from ArcGIS Online. This includes GeoEnrichment, network analysis services, and more.

For more information on understanding and using the Analysis tools, see:

What’s New in ArcGIS Online (July 2015)

Visualizing online analysis using 3D web scenes

Create Watersheds and Trace Downstream in your ArcGIS Online web map

Improved Enterprise Readiness with ArcGIS for Server and Portal for ArcGIS

One of the primary goals with ArcGIS 10.4 for Server is improving enterprise readiness. In this prerelease, you will see new tools for ensuring better continuity of operations. Many of you have very specific requirements for keeping your GIS up and running, minimizing downtime and data loss, as well as protecting your GIS assets. At ArcGIS 10.4 prerelease, you can explore new ways to deliver a more resilient system that helps you respond quickly in the event that something bad happens. These improvements include a new, simplified high availability (HA) configuration that makes it much easier for you to achieve continuous operations when a component of your infrastructure goes down. You can also protect your Web GIS implementation with new tools for disaster recovery (DR). Now you can back up and restore your entire system, including Portal for ArcGIS and the ArcGIS Data Store, using a single tool. 


There are many more new features and capabilities in ArcGIS 10.4. In this blog post we’ve only highlighted a few of them. As we get closer to the final release of ArcGIS 10.4 over the next couple of months stay tuned here for even more highlights.


The ArcGIS 10.4 Team

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