Technology Directions – Popular Questions

What version of Python comes with ArcGIS 10? Can I batch validate my data reviewer jobs at a particular time of day? What is this COLLADA data format? These are just some of the questions that people came up and asked me during the recent Technology Directions roadshow. It is always so fantastic to have people come up and ask us about parts of the software and how they could use it, so I thought I would share the answers with you.

What version of Python is installed with ArcGIS 10?

Python 2.6 is installed with ArcGIS 10. Many people then asked me if can they use a later release of Python with ArcGIS 10. The short answer to this question is no. While ArcGIS 10 was being developed, Python 2.6 was available and tested. This was the version that ArcGIS functionality was based around and all testing was done on. This means that all of the functions, classes and modules will work. If you install a later Python release version it may mean that your Python scripts may not work, as various class or module names could have changed.

Will there be a new Object Model released for arcpy.mapping?

If you are currently working with Python in ArcGIS 9x then you will probably have (hopefully printed out above your desk!) the Geoprocessing Object Model. This Object Model maps out the classes and functions that are available so that Python can talk to ArcGIS. I know that many people, myself included, found this object model invaluable. The Geoprocessing Object Model diagram will not be updated to include the new Mapping module content.  There is a very good reason for this. All classes and functions are listed within the AexGIS 10 Help documentation, along with comprehensive scripting examples that you can… copy, paste and play with to get used to the new mapping module.

The alphabetical list of arcpy.mapping functions can be found here.

Can I batch validate my data reviewer jobs to run at a specific time of day?

Yes – once you have created batch jobs using the ArcGIS Data Reviewer they can be used to validate data at any time. After you install the ArcGIS data Reviewer extension you’ll notice that a Data Reviewer toolbox appears within ArcToolbox. The Execute Reviewer Batch Job script can be used to validate the checks that you have created. From here you can schedule a Windows task to execute with the specified parameters. The steps to setup a windows schedule task can be found here.

Another option is to use the Reviewer Console. The Reviewer Console allows you to validate and analyse batch jobs outside of ArcMap through a command line executable.

COLLADA – I have never heard of this format before… why would I use it?

COLLaborative Design Activity or COLLADA file format, is an interchange format for 3D applications (you’ll see a .dae extension). COLLADA files can be placed directly into the 3D view (ArcGlobe or ArcScene) as new multipatch features that can be moved, scaled or rotated. The new To Collada toolset inside of the Conversion tools in ArcToolbox will allow you to convert your geodatabase multipatch features to COLLADA  to update textured 3D GIS data, such as buildings, using third-party software like Sketchup. One of the biggest advantages of using COLLADA files as an interchange format is that the spatial reference currently applied to your multipatch features will be saved within the output, this means that these files ‘know where they are on the Earth’s surface’ and do not require any input from you when you view them inside of ArcGIS.

– Kellie L

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