What's new in Esri’s ArcGIS Pro 2.5 release

Esri has announced a number of new features in the ArcGIS Pro 2.5 release. 

There are dozens of new enhancements and additional features to the platform, so we have noted our top three favourite new features of Esri’s ArcGIS Pro 2.5: geoprocessing, Jupyter notebooks and visualisation.

GEOPROCESSING 

There are many new geoprocessing features in ArcGIS Pro 2.5, however, the favourite updates among the NGIS team are the geoprocessing scheduling and ModelBuilder tools.

Older versions of ArcGIS Pro allowed users to schedule automated geoprocessing tasks using the analytical tool by writing a Python script and scheduling it to execute via Windows Task Scheduler. For this, users were required to have an understanding of the Python language in order to automate execution and write the scripts. Costs associated with upskilling GIS users to learn  Python was a significant investment for the business and a time-consuming burden on the team.

In the ArcGIS Pro 2.5 release, users now have the ability to automate geoprocessing tasks or scripts at regular or predefined times.The geoprocessing tool messages can now be scheduled through a graphical user interface (GUI) and have been reorganised to support embedded tables, images and charts, making it easier for users to navigate the platform. 

Enhancements have also been made to the output models to Python code via the Export to Python File and Send to Python Window commands within ModelBuilder. These models are now also available for export to SVG and PDF formats.

For GIS teams working across many maps and layers, the scheduling tool and ModelBuilder enhancements will save users time and create a better overall application experience.

JUPYTER NOTEBOOKS

ArcGIS Pro 2.5 has integrated the notebooks from open-source application, Project Jupyter, into the ArcGIS Pro environment, ArcGIS notebooks.

Jupyter Notebook is currently used to create and share documents that host live code, equations and visualisations. ArcGIS Pro users now have the comfort of writing documentation to produce analytics products onto their document to describe things using the familiar Jupyter interface and then execute, analyse and store those notebooks within the ArcGIS Pro environment, rather than moving between the Jupyter and ArcGIS Pro interfaces. 

Users can also leverage the ArcGIS Pro Python environment when they create notebooks, allowing users to customise through Anaconda, the Python Package Manager or the Python Command Prompt

As a GIS user, imagine you wanted to automate a task to find new weeds in your tenement area. You can now write up a Jupyter notebook to describe the data source for the weeds, the intersection of your tenement area and then report on the new weeds in your area. The document would execute and update at the scheduled time or when the team runs the process manually.

Want to read more about creating and adding Python notebooks into ArcGIS Pro 2.5? Check out this article!

VISUALISATION

The symbology, labelling and styling of a map are crucial in communicating information in an easily digestible format. Esri has announced a number of new visualisation features across their platform to help users create clearer insights and get more from their maps. Here are our favourites: 

Symbology: Pie charts, bar charts and stacked bar charts are the new chart symbology added to the point, line and polygon feature layers. Alongside these new charts, there are additional new features to help with styling the charts and saving them for later use, keeping consistency across future map production.

Labeling and annotations: Labeling is the automatic generating and placement of the descriptive text for map features and scenes. Label placement is a feature offered under the ArcGIS Pro 2.5 updates, providing an enhancement on the pre-existing ‘pause’ offered for labels. 

Converting labels and annotation tools have also been modified under the new release, providing a way of including feature layers, converting labels to annotation and supporting memory and in_memory workspaces. 

Styles: There are two new system styles available in the latest release, 3D Infrastructure and 3D Recreation. The 3D Infrastructure style includes six-point symbols varying from a cell phone antenna to a wind turbine. The 3D Recreation style contains seven-point symbols ranging from a slide to an American football goal post. These new system styles enable users to create more realistic 3D models and representations. 

Alongside this new selection of symbols, Esri has added point symbols in 3D Street Scene and Transportation systems to the polygon symbols in the ArcGIS 2D system styles.


DOES YOUR TEAM NEED ARCGIS TRAINING AND SUPPORT?  

NGIS Australia is an Esri silver business partner and has a team of specialists that serve a number of industries including resourcing, environment, government, utilities and transport and logistics.

The team at NGIS also provides a dedicated ArcGIS Pro training program with both public courses and specialised corporate courses. Find out more about our 2020  training dates here

For the full list of bug fixes in the ArcGIS Pro 2.5, check out these release notes. 

Check out Esri’s ‘What’s new in ArcGIS Pro 2.5’ video

About the author: Sarah Butler

Sarah is the Marketing Manager at the NGIS Australia Group. The group consists of location focused companies including NGIS Australia, Winyama, Liveli and EO Data Science.

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