ArcGIS Pro

Dev Summit 2021: GeoAnalytics in ArcGIS Pro

Wakes are water disturbances produced by high-speed water traffic. These disturbances can increase shoreline erosion and result in loss of property and critical habitat. Areas that are most at risk of erosion can be identified by analyzing water traffic data.  

The GeoAnalytics Desktop Toolbox  allows you to analyze trends, patterns, and anomalies in large datasets. In Bethany’s plenary demo (shown below), she uses GeoAnalytics in ArcGIS Pro to process and analyze one month of ocean traffic vessel data to identify problematic and potentially harmful nearshore traffic patterns. She then identifies coastal areas that may be at risk for shoreline erosion due to wakes caused by ocean vessels.  

Bethany starts by downloading one month of vessel traffic data from Marine Cadastre. This dataset includes 31 files that each contain over 6 million records of ocean vessels. Each record contains a point location, timestamp, and vessel ID.   

She uses the Create Big Data Connection geoprocessing tool to create a connection to her dataset in ArcGIS Pro. A big data connection can represent multiple files as a single dataset, in this case, 31 CSV files. The Create Big Data Connection tool automatically detects time and location fields within the dataset, so Bethany can connect her data and enable location and time on her layerall in one step.  

Create Big Data Connection Geoprocessing tool

The first step in Bethany’s analysis is enhancing her data with movement statistics. She uses the Calculate Motion Statistics tool to calculate statistics for the speed and acceleration of the ocean vessels.  

Map showing speed and acceleration of ocean vessels

She then uses these statistics in the Reconstruct Tracks tool to calculate change in vessel movement over time. The Reconstruct Tracks tool ties together time-enabled features using a common identifier, like a vessel ID. This concept is demonstrated in the diagram below. 

Time-enabled points reconstructed into tracks.

Bethany splits the tracks using Arcade expressions. She splits the tracks at locations where the change in track speed from the previous point (TrackSpeedAt(-1)) to the current point (TrackCurrentSpeed()) is greater than two nautical miles per hour. She uses the following arcade expression to calculate this:

(TrackCurrentSpeed() – TrackSpeedAt(-1)) > 2

Her resulting tracks are symbolized and displayed with the time slider to visualize vessels approaching and exceeding a speed of 8 nautical miles per hour. 

Animation of vessels approaching and exceeding 8 nautical miles per hour

Using this visualization, Bethany can identify problematic nearshore traffic patterns. In this example, she identifies these patterns around Florida and the BahamasThis insight can be used to monitor vessel movement and implement speed limits to reduce the negative impact of wakes.   

Bethany also demonstrates how this workflow can be automated using Notebooks in ArcGIS Pro. She uses ArcPy and embedded images to easily share her analysis story. The notebook is publicly available, so you can download it and try it out for yourself: Analyze potential impacts of ocean vessel wakes on shorelines.

Notebook in ArcGIS Pro

This is just one example of how GeoAnalytics can accelerate your data preparation and analysis workflows. This large analysis was accomplished using GeoAnalytics Desktop tools and parallel processing on a laptop with 16GB and 4 cores. You can also complete this workflow in a distributed environment using ArcGIS Enterprise with GeoAnalytics Server. 

Learn more 

Check out the following resources to learn more about GeoAnalytics: 

About the authors

Josh is a Product Engineering Writer with a background in geography and comparative literature. When he isn't writing for the field apps team, he enjoys reading short stories, trying new recipes, and playing his bass clarinet.


Bethany (she/her) is a Product Engineer on the Data Pipelines team and the GeoAnalytics team. Her background is in biology and GIS with experience in data management and spatial-temporal analysis.


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