As oil and gas companies upgrade their ArcGIS applications from ArcGIS 9 to ArcGIS 10, we often get asked about the key changes in ArcGIS Desktop. To me one of the biggest changes between the two versions is in setting up the editing workflow.
In the example below, I have a scanned map containing two geological faults that need to be digitised. The feature class for the faults has already been created in ArcCatalog, and has then been added to the ArcMap table of contents.
In ArcGIS 10 it is now a two-step process to set up the Editor session correctly.
Step 1: Selecting editable elements
First, as with ArcGIS 9, I need to switch on the Editor toolbar and choose Editor > Start Editing. This opens the Start Editing dialog that allows for selection of either the layer to be edited, or the File Geodatabase in which the layer resides.
If the Faults feature class is selected, ArcGIS knows which File Geodatabase this resides in, and marks the corresponding File Geodatabase with a pencil ‘edit’ symbol, as well as the selected Feature Class. Additionally, any other layers in the same File Geodatabase are also marked in the dialog. On clicking OK, a dialog may appear with the following message:
This is usually associated with either a layer whose spatial reference does not match the data frame, or the File Geodatabase that the layer resides in is not editable, for example if it is write protected. This is a good prompt to check your data, and make any corrections if necessary, before proceeding with any editing. Remember that for efficient editing ensure all layers are in the same workspace and in the same coordinate reference system.
The first step is now complete and to the right of the ArcMap Data View a new pane has appeared called Create Features.
Step 2: Organising templates
ArcGIS 10 uses an editing concept called Templates. You need a new template to do any editing, in this case creation of line features to represent our Faults feature class. Clicking the Organize Templates tool starts the process, followed by selecting the New Template button.
To create the new template for Faults, check it is selected in the Create New Templates Wizard dialog then click Finish.
The Faults Feature Class is now displayed in the Create Features pane, and a Construction Tools pane is displayed below, showing that a line feature is going to be created.
You are now ready to create line features for the faults using on-screen digitizing.
For further information on the ArcGIS 10 template driven editing process, take a look at the ArcGIS 10 help topic A quick tour of editing.
Posted by Mike Phillips, Senior Consultant, Exprodat.