Top Nine Innovations with ArcGIS 9.4 Desktop

by Matt Ball on July 13, 2009

John Calkins outlined the Top Nine innovations with ArcGIS 9.4 desktop on the main stage at the user conference. Only nine this year, as Calkins indicated that he wanted to save some items for his colleagues.

9. New user interface with dockable windows that you can hide, with more real estate on your screen, along with a new catalog window embedded in ArcMap that lets you easily add new data layers, including a review of metadata and descriptions.

8. Attribute tables lets you look at selected records, and allows you to arrange the tables any way that you like.

7. New search capability that lets you locate the data that you’re interested in, with the capability to add multiple keywords or the search for geoprocessing tools or keywords. Access to both data and analytical tools

6. Reporting capability lets use select the fields that you want, grouping the data, sorting, with new templates that allow you to customize report layout, and save a design for use with other data.

5. New improvements with Model Builder – shows the input, output and parameters for each tool, without having to open each tool. There’s also an undo and redo function, and a new background processing function that allows you to continue your work as the process continues in the background.

4. New layers tab is a smart legend that highlights the items on the map as you click them, and hides the layers that no longer appear on the map.

3. Ability to change symbols via a search, rather than browsing all the individual symbols in a long list of more than 20,000 symbols that are included in the software.

2. Easier to create temporal maps with GIS. Complex expressions across multiple fields. Example is a fire history map, with a time layer that allows you to set the date and time for the display. ArcGIS 9.4 is becoming time aware.

1. Fast base maps with the ability to group a set of attributes to create a new basemap layer. The new basemap layer provides a continuous redraw rather than the traditional white space as you pan the map view.

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