Spatial Analyst in ArcGIS Pro

As you will have heard by now, ArcGIS Pro is now available for download.  What does this mean for you as a Spatial Analyst extension user?  Here we’ll cover some of the specific details about what you need to know to get going.

The ArcGIS Pro experience
Much of the effort in ArcGIS Pro has been put into a new interface for visualizing, editing data and performing analysis. The ArcGIS Pro – Reinventing Desktop GIS blog post covers some of the capabilities of the new system, and an Overview of ArcGIS Pro in the online Help is a good starting point for learning more about it.

Geoprocessing in ArcGIS Pro
Some of the important details to be aware of when using Geoprocessing have been covered in the recent blog post Analysis and Geoprocessing in ArcGIS Pro. This is recommended reading that will help you get up to speed quickly.

Analysis with Spatial Analyst
From an analytical perspective, what you can do with the Spatial Analyst extension in ArcGIS Pro is very much the same as what you can do in ArcGIS Desktop.  This means you can employ your existing geoprocessing workflows in the new environment, as well as develop new ones.

Nearly all of the tools are available, and will work the same as before.  Your existing models, scripts and script tools should work (with some exceptions for other functionality that might have changed substantially, such as ArcPy Mapping).  See ModelBuilder: migration to ArcGIS Pro for some more details on compatibility of models between ArcGIS Destktop and Pro.

What Changed?
The biggest change in the Spatial Analyst experience is a result of the design of ArcGIS Pro doing away with floating toolbars.  This means that there is not an equivalent for the Spatial Analyst toolbar and the Image Classification toolbar in this release.  Rest assured that we are working on replacements for these toolbars for future releases.  Aside from the interactive components, any important changes to specific tools are noted in a subsequent section.

As mentioned previously, toolbars are not available in ArcGIS Pro. As an alternative to the Spatial Analyst toolbar interactive Contour, you can use the Contour geoprocessing tool.  While there is not an alternative for the interactive functionality of the Image Classification toolbar of ArcGIS Desktop, the Maximum Likelihood Classification, Iso Cluster Unsupervised Classification, Class Probability and Principal Components geoprocessing tools are still available.

Changes to Geoprocessing Tools

Tool dialog behaviors
The interface for Pro is contextual, and as a result you may not see some of the controls in certain tools initially as you would have in the past.  For example, consider the Path Distance Allocation tool.  In the optional Horizontal Factor Parameters parameter, you won’t see the Horizontal Factor parameter until you’ve specified the Input Horizontal Raster parameter.  This is a general behavior of tools in Pro, meant to simplify the interface whenever possible but still provide full control when needed.

Contextual tool parameter
That about covers things from a high level view.  Please download ArcGIS Pro and give it a try!  We welcome any feedback about any issues you may find so that we can get to work fixing them for subsequent releases.

About the author

Juan is a Product Engineer and Documentation Lead on the Spatial Analyst team.

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