The road to a well-managed and secure enterprise network is not always a smooth ride. Many spatial data woes may present themselves along the way, throwing us for loop and causing us to face even more challenges than we had already planned to conquer before the next deadline. We like to think we have the answer to some of these questions and concerns.

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ARCGIS PRO MIGRATION


Your team is gearing up to move all of your organization’s spatial data to versions that are compatible with the newest ArcGIS Pro software. How do accomplish this quickly, efficiently, and with as few data casualties as possible? Upgrading ArcGIS Map Documents and those files attached to them is simple enough once you find the right tools and workflows. The real hurdle is deciding which files can be migrated now, which need to be fixed first, and which can wait for another sprint. This is not an answer you are likely to get from run-of-the-mill toolkits but is a solution that can be tackled full force with the proper Knowledge Management software. Meet the ArcGIS Pro Migration Trifecta - Marco Desktop, Marco Mystic, and Marco Pro. To help your team answer the looming questions regarding those datasets and ArcGIS Map Documents that will require more attention prior to upgrading to ArcGIS Pro, Marco Desktop and Marco Mystic are essential. Designed to scan your enterprise system – locally for Marco Desktop or server-wide for Marco Mystic’s Commander components – these solutions generate details on the health of every piece of spatial data at which it is directed. With this knowledge, you can tackle a plan to clean, migrate, and upgrade any files as desired. Already in ArcGIS Pro and want a better look at what has been ported over? Marco Pro has you covered. This Add-In for ArcGIS Pro allows you to inventory those ArcGIS Pro Map Projects and Layer Files files found on the system as well as upgrade ArcGIS Map Documents in bulk. Bonus: Check out our ArcGIS Migration Checklist to learn more about the Migration Process, the differences between the ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro platforms that may impact data, and more!




DATA INVENTORY


The IT department is on the verge of introducing new security protocols company-wide. It is likely that with these new measures at least one or two of your most utilized network drives will be replaced or even retired. You need to figure out what is stored is there and where it can be moved…quickly. Aside from waving a magic wand, how do we make this happen? In situations like these, you not only need to know what data is stored at those locations that may be lost, but also what data is located at potential new homes for these datasets. The former should be obvious as you need to know what to move and what it is attached to in order to avoid broken reference paths. The latter? Well, we don’t want to cause any disturbances in current data that may possess the same file or folder names. Depending on the size of the job at hand, either Marco Desktop or Marco Mystic are great candidates for this common spatial situation. Both applications are built to inventory spatial data across the network – Marco Desktop is intended more for local connections while Marco Mystic’s Commander functionality is ideal for server connections and multiprocessing. This inventory can then be used to make a game plan for moving forward with securing new homes for your most trusted spatial data files.




KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT


Unsure what we mean by Knowledge Management? Let us explain... This refers to the process of creating, sharing, using, and managing the information of an organization. When Geographic Information System (GIS) technology is relied upon by an organization to perform analyses and conserve assets, spatial data and how it is or is not used becomes a large portion of the intelligence that must be maintained. However, simply knowing you have spatial data is not enough. Good Knowledge Management plans involve identifying where each dataset, Layer File, feature class, and more lives on the network. Practices outlined in this plan determine the health of the data, assessing its brokenness, and establishing procedures to fix it as well as safeguard against similar situations in the future. Great Knowledge Management plans, on the other hand, expand upon these details, applying them for the evaluation of current standards that are and are not working in favor of defining methodology that would be a better fit for your organization. Each application within the Integrated Marco Studio suite is designed to be used for both good and great Knowledge Management plans, providing your team guidance in better grasping the extent of your extents and damages to your data.




BROKEN DATA SOURCE CORRECTION


Someone has been at it again, jostling around spatial data across the network. Now, every time you open an ArcGIS Map Document, you are confronted by a field of red checkmarks warning you that the data reference paths are broken. What is the best way to fix this when it is an insurmountable collection of data? When one or two links in a single document are broken, we do not mind fixing them with Esri’s prefer built-in workflow of editing the Properties. However, what about dozens of ArcGIS Map Documents? Or…even worse…drives of these files? We shudder just to consider the possibility. Formerly known as Repoint and Repath, Marco Desktop was originally built around the concept of alleviating one of our biggest spatial data woes – broken data sources. Its tools allow you to find those broken files, identify their correct paths, and finally – fix them so they are as good as new. With its utilization of Remap File configuration, it also keeps a record of those datasets that were addressed so that you have them on hand for future reference. Need a solution with the power to do a bit heavier lifting? Marco Commander, the server-side component of the Integrated Marco Studio suite, allows them same functionality as it applied to enterprise servers.




GEOENRICHMENT


I have come across many Microsoft Word documents and PDF files that reference geographic locations. Rather than spend my time searching for each location in File Explorer and hoping I hit my mark, I would rather be able to view where they fall on a map. Is that even possible? Any GIS professional knows that not all of the information we use day-in and day-out for projects and tasks alike is classified as spatial data. However, many of those files – like PDFs exchanged with our clients or Powerpoint presentations compiled to explain a concept – may contain spatial details. While these files carry the name of the location, they do not carry the coordinates – that missing component you need to view them within ArcGIS. That is…until now! The GeoEnrichment extension of Marco Commander is designed to scan these non-spatial files, pulling out all geographic references, and geolocating them. These details may then be opened in ArcGIS for a worldview of those documents at hand.




METADATA SEARCH


Our company is currently undergoing metadata maintenance. We want to make sure all files are up to company standards and update any that do not meet those requirements. What is a way to accomplish this without opening each file by hand? The solution to this is two-fold. First, you must collect metadata details for each file. Second, you must update these files to include more current details. Simple, right? Thankfully, Integrated Marco Studio has just the key…well, keys. Among the many Spatial Data Discovery capabilities of Marco Commander, Metadata functionality is included. With this application, Metadata tools may be used to pull metadata details for files across a network. Want to bring it home? Marco Desktop contains a full resume of Metadata magnificence. From the import and export of metadata components to updating elements like Item Descriptions on the fly, this is the perfect solution for ensuring geospatial files across your organization have every detail they need.




PROJECT DATA CONNECTION


My team is involved in multiple projects at a time – each one with a unique set of spatial data required. I want to make sure they have access to these files without needing to worry about hunting them down across the network. Is there a way to do this without physically moving data? We all like the idea of having our data centrally located, but it is typically not the reality. For any given project, you may need to access to multiple drives or folders, taking care that you are connecting to, referencing, and editing the correct dataset. Fortunately, solutions like Marco Palette help bring us one step closer to maintaining a central inventory for this data without the need to shuffle it around. By employing a Data Registry – essentially a list of accessible Layer Files for a project, team, or task accompanied by its path and select metadata – an Administrator can easily share these files amongst his or her team without every needing to alter their location.




REPOINT AND REPATH


Someone has been at it again, jostling around spatial data across the network. Now, every time you open an ArcGIS Map Document, you are confronted by a field of red checkmarks warning you that the data reference paths are broken. What is the best way to fix this when it is an insurmountable collection of data? When one or two links in a single document are broken, we do not mind fixing them with Esri’s prefer built-in workflow of editing the Properties. However, what about dozens of ArcGIS Map Documents? Or…even worse…drives of these files? We shudder just to consider the possibility. Formerly known as Repoint and Repath, Marco Desktop was originally built around the concept of alleviating one of our biggest spatial data woes – broken data sources. Its tools allow you to find those broken files, identify their correct paths, and finally – fix them so they are as good as new. With its utilization of Remap File configuration, it also keeps a record of those datasets that were addressed so that you have them on hand for future reference. For those already working on the ArcGIS Pro platform, the Marco Pro application also incorporates this functionality for ArcGIS Pro Map Projects (.aprx) and Layer Files (.lyrx). Need a solution with the power to do a bit heavier lifting? Marco Commander, the server-side component of the Integrated Marco Studio suite, allows them same functionality as it applied to enterprise servers.




SPATIAL DATA DISCOVERY


I know there are spatial files scattered across my network, but I do not know their status, ownership, or…really…anything about them. What is the best way to discover these details? We like to call this process Spatial Data Discovery, and it is Marco Commander’s forte. When searching across an entire network, you need a hefty place to store the information gathered as well as enough power to perform such an involved task. Just like Marco Mystic, Marco Commander employs the Marco Database – a collection of approximately 20 database tables – to hold file paths, ownership details, status updates, coordinates, metadata, and more encountered during the Discovery process. Not to mention, it is designed for multiprocessing, allowing you to gather this information in a shorter amount of time given the resources.





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Integrated Informatics Inc is a leading consultancy for Geographic Information System (GIS) implementation and development. Our teams are located throughout the United States and Canada with offices in Houston TX, Calgary AB, and St. John's NL.

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