What's New in ArcGIS 9.3

What's New in ArcGIS 9.3

Demo Showcase
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  • What's New in ArcGIS 9.3 Desktop Flash [15:28]

With ArcGIS 9.3 you can improve your entire GIS workflow. ArcGIS 9.3 includes tools and functionality to help you:
Manage spatial information more efficiently.
Make better maps.
Share common operating information.
Send and receive real-time information to and from the field.
Perform better planning and analysis.
ArcGIS 9.3 is now available.
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ArcGIS Desktop
With the ArcGIS 9.3 release, ESRI has implemented many of your enhancement requests and addressed a significant number of common technical support issues to help make you more productive.
View demo of what's new in ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.
View brochure of what's new in ArcGIS 9.3.
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General Enhancements
The new ArcGIS Desktop Resource Center makes it easy to access online resources such as documentation, help, support pages, forums, blogs, best practices information, and key data services such as ArcGIS Online basemaps. View demo
You can now add Microsoft Virtual Earth Web map services into your ArcMap maps to provide seamless imagery and road layers. Microsoft Virtual Earth support in ArcGIS Desktop is a subscription service offered through ArcGIS Online Premium Services.
A new Convert Graphics to Features function allows you to create features by drawing graphics without using the editor. View demo
Bookmarks are much easier to access and can be reordered, sorted, exported, and loaded between different maps. View demo

click to enlarge The new Bookmarks pull-down menu in ArcGIS 9.3

The ability to export layers to KML files is now built into ArcGIS Desktop 9.3 for all users and no longer requires ArcGIS 3D Analyst. You can now specify pop-ups for your KML features containing feature attributes, URLs, etc. You can use the KML files you export from ArcGIS Desktop in Google Earth, the Google Maps "My Maps" tab, Microsoft Virtual Earth "Collections," and other clients that support KML. View demo Improved KML support
View demo New KML export support

A new HTML pop-up tool has been added which allows different HTML content to be viewed on individual features. View demo
The labeling process can be temporarily paused to increase performance while you assemble your map or do analysis. View demo
Field aliases and definition queries are now retained when you join tables, and you can now sort tables on multiple fields. You can now view the properties of joins and relates, such as the name and location of joined tables. New table window shortcuts let you quickly toggle between showing field aliases or actual field names. View demo
The Identify window now respects field properties like primary display field and field aliases when you follow relates, and you can now launch a layer's properties and table window directly from the Identify dialog after identifying a feature. View demo
You can now add layer files into your maps by launching them from Windows Explorer, Outlook, Web pages, etc. This makes it easier to distribute layers to co-workers, and putting your layer files on Web pages provides a simple way for ArcGIS Desktop users to add your Internet-based maps services directly into their maps.
The new Address Inspector tool lets you click on the map and get the address for that location (reverse geocoding).
Markups created in ArcReader can be loaded into ArcMap as a guide for editing data.
A new error-reporting system automatically tracks errors and sends reports to ESRI.
You now have the option to display map scales throughout the ArcMap user interface in relative format, in the units of your choice, thus making scales easier to understand. View demo
All legend symbols now simulate transparency to more closely match transparent layers in your maps. View demo
ArcGIS 9.3 has new and improved functionality for exporting maps to Adobe PDF format. Feature attributes can be included in exported PDFs and accessed interactively by Adobe Reader users with the Object Data tool. Group layer and data frame hierarchies are now reflected in Adobe PDF layer lists. 9.3 also adds support for the new geospatial capabilities in the PDF formats introduced in Adobe Acrobat 9, including support for coordinate readout, find XY, measurement, and markup. Learn more.
Many enhancements in Maplex for ArcGIS include better contour labeling and more control over where labels are placed inside and around polygons.
New options for color balancing and matching make it easier to create seamless raster mosaics.
A new Disperse Markers tool allows you to spread out representation markers when they coincide.

click to enlarge Points placed with the new Disperse Markers tool

WYSIWYG editing of cartographic representations and geometric effects allows you to better see how an edit will impact your map. View demo
Modeling and Analysis
Geoprocessing error messages are improved and now let you hyperlink to a full description of the problem. The geoprocessing progress bar gives a better indication of current status. View demo
Python scripts can be run in process, significantly reducing execution time.
A new scatterplot matrix graph lets you explore relationships between sets of related variables.
The Near tool has been improved to work with points, lines, and polygons and can find multiple feature classes.
The new, advanced Ordinary Least Squares and Geographically Weighted Regression tools help you understand how processes vary over space.
New tools to create spatial weights matrices show spatial relationships in feature classes and network datasets.
Buffer tool improvements include support for geodesic buffers and better performance.
Geostatistical functions like kriging can now take advantage of multiple CPUs.
Viewshed, inverse distance weighting (IDW), and Combine functions now work with very large input datasets.
A new vehicle routing problem (VRP) solver in ArcGIS Network Analyst generates routes for fleets of vehicles.
3D Visualization
Improved contouring with the new Contour with Barriers tool is included.
Support for Collaborative Design Activity (COLLADA) models provides more realistic displays.
Support for graphics in ArcGlobe as well as billboard marker symbols has been improved.
The ArcGIS Tracking Analyst extension is now supported in ArcGlobe, enabling dynamic tracking and visualization of moving objects in 3D.
A new Point File Information tool makes it easier to create terrains by performing mass point QA/QC before loading them into the geodatabase.
The Profile Graph tool can now profile multiple lines in one graphic plot and graph line-of-sight results.
ArcGIS Server
Here are just a few of the quality enhancements and new features you get with ArcGIS Server 9.3.
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Create GIS Web Mashups with New ArcGIS JavaScript APIs
Innovative new ArcGIS JavaScript APIs make it easy to include ArcGIS Server maps in Web pages or develop complete GIS applications. You can easily combine your services with others such as ArcGIS Online basemaps. The ArcGIS JavaScript API extensions allow you to mashup ArcGIS Server maps, data, tasks, and geoprocessing services with Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth to take advantage of those popular Web maps.
These freely available APIs dramatically simplify creating Web applications and let developers unleash a new generation of GIS mashups incorporating trusted GIS content and professional grade GIS analysis.
Test drive Web mashup demos created with the ArcGIS JavaScript API.
Improved Support for KML and Other Standards
KML support has also been greatly enhanced at 9.3. Map services you publish with ArcGIS Server 9.3 can now be accessed directly via a URL in clients that support KML network links like ArcGIS Explorer and Google Earth, and the results of geoprocessing, queries, and geocoding can also be returned as KML. People can use search engines like Google to discover maps and other services you publish and launch them directly in Web clients for easy integration with other Geoweb content.
Support for additional OGC standards has been enhanced to include to cover Web Coverage Services (WCS), Transactional Web Feature Services (WFS-T), and Styled Layer Descriptor (SLD) support for WMS.
Easier to Create High Performance Cached Map Services
ArcGIS Server 9.3 makes it easier to create cached map services and gives you more control over how your cache gets built and updated. You can cache particular areas on your map or create the cache on demand as your service is used. Caching your map services for display with ArcGIS Online, Google Maps, and Microsoft Virtual Earth is much easier as those tiling schemes are now built into the caching tools.
Enhanced Security
ArcGIS Server's new role-based security at 9.3 lets you manage access to your services and applications for different users. It is easy to configure security using the new Security tab in the Server Manager. 9.3 also introduces the option to use token-based security for Web services and applications.
Better Diagnostics
More detailed logging at 9.3 makes it easier to track down problems and bottlenecks occurring on your GIS server.
Advanced Imagery Capabilities with the ArcGIS Image Server Extension
ArcGIS Image Server is now an optional extension to ArcGIS Server providing a complete imaging solution that enables you to manage and process huge volumes of raster data and provide enterprise-wide access to the data from GIS, CAD, imaging, and Web applications. Unlike simply serving your imagery as a map service, ArcGIS Image Server lets you serve image services that allow image processing and analysis to be performed directly by client applications. The ArcGIS Image Server extension dramatically shortens the time between image capture and making imagery available to end users. At 9.3, image services can be used as full raster data sources throughout ArcGIS, and performance, editing capabilities, and developer options have been improved.
New Resource Center and Improved Documentation
The ArcGIS Server Resource Center brings together the various online resources for the product including documentation, help, support pages, forums, blogs, Web basemaps, and best practices information.
Major additions have been made to the Server documentation, especially in the areas of publishing your GIS content and geoprocessing services on the Web, administering your server, and developing Web applications including many new code samples.
ArcGIS Engine
Here are just a few of the quality enhancements and new features in ArcGIS Engine 9.3.
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New ArcGIS Snippet Finder
This new tool makes it easier to search and choose how code snippets are inserted (e.g., fully qualified/using statements/commented). Previously, you could only browse the list of more than 250 code snippets.
New Configurations Supported
The ArcGIS Engine Java Developer Kit version 6 includes support configurations for SUSE Linux 10, 64-bit Red Hat Linux (must use 32-bit Java Virtual Machine [JVM]), and Windows Vista operating systems.
Improved IDE and Debugging Experience
Integrated with the Eclipse 3.3 plug-in, you can now inspect the state of ArcObjects under the Java platform.
New Topics and Samples
There are three or four times more help topics and samples to assist developers.
New MXD Editor Tool
MXD Editor is a tool that can be used to inspect and fix broken layers in map documents (.mxd files) on Windows, Linux, or Solaris machines that have ArcGIS Engine Java Developer Kit for the Java platform. The tool is based on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) framework and leverages the ArcObjects components provided by ArcGIS Engine.
The ArcGIS Engine Add Data Dialog Box Now Supports ArcSDE Geodatabases
The Add Data dialog box in ArcGIS Engine supports connections to ArcSDE geodatabases. This enables users of ArcGIS Engine applications to connect to any ArcSDE geodatabase (including personal, workgroup, and enterprise ArcSDE) to access data.
Improved Dynamic Display Capabilities
The dynamic display capabilities have been considerably enhanced in 9.3. Dynamic display can be used and configured using ArcObjects by developers on all supported ArcGIS Engine development environments.
At 9.3, dynamic display has been further improved with better display caching:
Background tiles loading thread
Reused during dynamic sessions (activate and deactivate)
Reused between dynamic sessions (layer files and map documents)
Generated before use
Invalidated areas
Tiles compression format
Layer drawing characteristics
Version 9.3 also supports feature selection, adds new continuous zoom/pan and roam tools, and has enhanced performance.
Personal ArcSDE Included in ArcGIS Engine Developer Kit
ArcGIS Engine 9.3 includes the SQL Server 2005 Express installation and the ArcSDE personal geodatabase Post Installation wizard. This allows ArcGIS Engine developers to use personal ArcSDE geodatabases as a data source.
New Resource Center and Improved Documentation
The ArcGIS Engine Resource Center provides documentation, help, support, developer community services, and access to other resource centers.
ArcGIS Mobile
ArcGIS Mobile extends the ArcGIS Server platform beyond the office with the addition of a new ArcGIS Mobile application and enhancements to the existing ArcGIS Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK).
New ArcGIS Mobile Application for Windows Mobile


At 9.3, the ArcGIS Mobile is enhanced with the addition of a new ArcGIS Mobile application for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices. This includes out-of-the-box mobile GIS capabilities that integrate with ArcGIS Server to provide central management, configuration, and deployment of mobile GIS data, maps, tasks and projects from the ArcGIS Server Manager. The ArcGIS Server Manager is a Web-based portal that is optimized for mobile Internet Explorers and enables any organization to host the ArcGIS Mobile application and their ArcGIS Mobile projects for deployment to Windows Mobile-based devices. The ArcGIS Mobile application provides mobile workers with the ability to access their specific ArcGIS Mobile projects from a centralized server to:
View and navigate mobile maps
Collect new GIS features
Edit existing GIS features
Utilize the device rocker, stylus or Global Positioning System (GPS) to sketch
Search for and manage a list of GIS features to perform future work
ArcGIS Mobile Software Development Kit Enhancements
ESRI released the ArcGIS Mobile Software Development Kit at 9.2 as part of ArcGIS Server Advanced Enterprise edition. This SDK currently supports customers and business partners developing custom mobile GIS applications.
The ArcGIS Mobile platform at 9.3 includes improvements to the software developer kit providing:
Enhanced map control rendering to support multiple data sources and graphic layers
Improved data storage capabilities with support for large compressed basemaps
Expanded projections for nongrid-based ArcGIS projects
Improved editing and new sketch tools for manipulating geometries
Increased Global Positioning System (GPS) performance
Signed cabinet file (CAB) including ArcGIS Mobile runtime components
New Resource Center and Improved Documentation
The ArcGIS Mobile Resource Center provides documentation, help, support, online content, and access to other resource centers.
The geodatabase continues to be the common data storage and management framework for ArcGIS. At ArcGIS 9.3, the geodatabase offers improved spatial data management and enhanced capabilities for integration with enterprise systems.
ArcGIS 9.3 geodatabase enhancements include
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Raster data management
New geoprocessing tools make the transfer of unmanaged raster catalogs (in Microsoft Access personal geodatabases and file geodatabases) from one location to another much easier.
Geodatabase replication
Microsoft Access personal geodatabases and file geodatabases can participate in one-way replication as child geodatabases.
ArcGIS 9.3 allows for more detailed logging of geodatabase replication activity.
Direct Connect backward compatibility
ArcGIS 9.3 clients can make direct connections to pre-9.3 enterprise geodatabases (e.g., 9.2, 9.1, and 9.0).
Backward compatibility allows easier implementation of phased migration strategies for new ArcGIS releases.
Versioned editing
The Merge Geometries option enhances conflict and reconcile management.
The Version Changes Viewer tool allows a version to be compared with an ancestor version without performing a reconcile operation.
Support for PostgreSQL (Open Source DBMS)
Enterprise geodatabases can be implemented on PostgreSQL with full support of the geodatabase data model.
Vector geometry is stored in the ESRI spatial type.
PostGIS Open Source spatial type is supported.
Listen to "Introducing ArcSDE Implementation for Postgre SQL" [MP3] New.
Note: ArcGIS 9.3 ships with PostgreSQL 8.3.0, which is fully supported and certified by ESRI. For the most up-to-date information on the environments supported for PostgreSQL and PostGIS with ArcGIS Server 9.3 Enterprise, please refer to the ESRI Support Center.
Support for SQL Server 2008
ArcGIS 9.3 will support the two new spatial types in Microsoft SQL Server 2008. A geodatabase implemented on SQL Server 2008 will be able to store vector geometry in either spatial type (Geography or Geometry). Learn more
New 64-bit platform support
Enterprise ArcSDE technology will be available as a native 64-bit application for Windows and Linux at 9.3 SP1.
Raster data management
New "clip to graphics" option makes it easy to clip rasters to any shape when exporting them from ArcMap.
New Resource Center and Improved Documentation
The Geodatabase Resource Center provides documentation, help, support, online content, developer tools, blogs, and access to other resource centers.
ArcGIS 9.3 is engineered for interoperability to enable users to easily integrate their geographic information throughout the organization. It includes enhanced and new support for Web standards, including the new OGC Keyhole Markup Language (KML) 2.2 standard.
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Enhanced and New Support for OGC WMS
In ArcGIS Desktop, new support has been added for accessing WMS 1.3.0 services. WMS services can be expanded to drill into specific layers and layer collections you want to work with and dragged directly into your map or globes. Also, a new command enables you to add WMS legends to your map as a graphic.
ArcGIS Server support has been enhanced for both the ISO-certified 19128 WMS standard and the OGC styled layer descriptor (SLD) specification.
Enhanced Support for OGC WFS
At 9.3, ArcGIS Server supports WFS 1.1, the simple features profile of GML, and Transactional WFS (WFS-T) 1.1. This allows any GIS client to carry out transactions against geodatabases using the WFS-T service published by ArcGIS Server.
Support Added for OGC WCS
New support has been added for the OGC WCS standard. The ArcGIS Desktop enables users to expand the server to see all the individual WCS services it contains, and ArcGIS Server allows users to publish any raster data type as an OGC WCS 1.0, 1.1, or 1.1.1 service. Using the WCS specification:
Clients can get subsets of the data.
Clients can request server-side resampling of the data.
Geoprocessing models that consume WCS services can be published.
Enhanced Support for KML
ESRI continues support for KML and has extended this to include the OGC specification of Keyhole Markup Language (KML) version 2.2. In ArcGIS Desktop 9.3, tools are included that enable you to quickly convert maps and layers to KML. This makes it easy to use your data with any client capable of reading KML including ArcGIS Explorer, Google Earth, and Google Maps.
ArcGIS Server maps and image services can automatically generate a network link that can be accessed via a URL.
Services can easily be integrated into Web maps.
Services available can be browsed and displayed in ArcGIS Explorer, Google Earth, or any other application that directly supports KML.
URLs to services can be embedded directly on your organization's Web site.
Service metadata will be indexed by search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo), allowing services to be found simply by doing Web searches.
Support Added for COLLADA
ArcGIS 9.3 includes support for the COLLADA file format. ArcGIS users can leverage COLLADA files in ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server as well as display more realistic 3D models.
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Adobe PDF Support
The quickest way to share the maps you create in ArcMap with the rest of the world is to simply export them to PDF. You can send the files by e-mail or put them on Web pages.
The PDF export function in ArcMap has been enhanced so that Adobe Reader users can customize maps by turning layers, group layers, or individual members of group layers on and off.
At 9.3, PDFs exported from ArcMa

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