GIS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


 

Table of Contents

  1. How do I connect to the City of Tucson GIS Geodatabase?

  2. How do I access the the orthophotos?

  3. How do I change my license level (software product) in ArcGIS?

  4. How do I create a SQL Server alias?

  5. ArcMap randomly crashes.

  6. When I open ArcMap, it tells me that all licenses are currently in use.

  7. How do I install the Tucson Water font?

  8. When I open an MXD, I see a bunch of smiley faces for valves and other odd symbols.

  9. How do I connect to the Tucson Water GIS database?

  10. How do I get rid of the red exclamation marks next to the layer name in ArcMap?

  11. How do I get access to the PCLIS data on MARS?

  12. ArcMap automatically opens the last saved MXD.

  13. How do I edit an unversioned feature class/table?

  14. Why does ArcMap take a LONG time to open?

  15. What is the minimum required metadata?

  16. How do I use the ArcCatalog Set Data Source(s) tool?

  17. How do I connect to the City of Tucson 9.3 Geodatabase from ArcGIS 10?

  18. For More Information


  • How do I connect to the City of Tucson GIS Geodatabase?

    Solution: Follow the directions below to create a connection in ArcCatalog

    1. Open ArcCatalog
    2. Double-click on 'Add Spatial Database Connection' under the Database Connections folder -show me-

    3. Enter the following connection parameters -show me-


      • Server='leave this blank'
      • Service=sde:sqlserver:pw-sql2005
      • Database=vectorsde
      • Username=your novell login
      • Password=As assigned by the GIS database administrator or contact the Help Desk
    4. Click 'Test Connection' to confirm the parameters were entered correctly.
    5. Cick OK
    6. This connection can be used to drag 'n' drop data into ArcMap or it can be accessed from the 'Add Data' button in ArcMap. -show me-


    Discussion: This above directions will connect the user to a geodatabase with polygon, line and point data from the City and external sources such as Pima County.

     

  • How do I change my license level (software product) in ArcGIS?

    Solution: Close ArcMap and ArcCatalog. Click on Start...Program Files...ArcGIS...Desktop Administrator Click on the Software Product folder shown on the left hand side. Select the software product you need from the right hand side. -show me-


    Discussion: Tucson Water has several licenses at various levels: ArcView, ArcEditor, and ArcInfo. ArcView provides data visualization, query, analysis, and integration capabilities along with the ability to create and edit simple geographic features. ArcEditor includes all the functionality of ArcView and adds a comprehensive set of tools to create, edit, and ensure the quality of your data. ArcInfo includes all the functionality of ArcEditor and adds advanced spatial analysis, data manipulation, and high-end cartography tools.

    At a minimum, the geodatabase editors require ArcEditor. Because of the limited number of ArcInfo licenses, use only when the advanced functionality is required.

     

  • When I open ArcMap, it tells me that all licenses are currently in use.

    Solution: Try a different license level. Follow the instructions for How do I change my license level (software product) in ArcGIS?. If you are unsuccessful, email the Help Desk or call 791-4370. Please screen capture any error messages.

    Discussion: Tucson Water uses a floating license architecture which means the software can be installed on any number of machines, but only finite number of licenses are available. If all the licenses are checked out, the software will not function.

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  • How do I create a SQL Server alias?

    Solution:

    1. Run the SQL Server Client Network Utility executable cliconfg.exe normally located in C:\WINDOWS\system32
    2. When the utility window opens, click on the Alias tab
    3. Click the Add button
    4. Select the TCP/IP radial button option
    5. Enter GIS-SQL\GIS for the server alias (upper/lower case does not matter)
    6. Enter PW-SQL2005 for the server name (upper/lower case does not matter) -show me-

    7. Click ok to save the alias configuration and ok again to close the utility.

    Discussion:

     

  • How do I install the Tucson Water font?

    Solution: Click here to download the font to some temporary location on your hard drive. Open the Fonts folder. For Win XP users, go to Start...Control Panel...Fonts. For Win 2000 users, go to Start...Settings...Control Panel...Fonts. Select "Install New Font" from the File Menu and then navigate to the TTF file you just downloaded. Select the file and click OK to install. -show me-


    If you are unsuccessful, email the Help Desk or call 791-4370. Please screen capture any error messages.

    Discussion: The MXD layer datasource property stores the connection information. In the case of a 2-tiered connetion, or direct connect, the server name and SQL named instance is part of the connection string that is stored with the layer. If that server is not available, the layer cannot resolve the datasource. The MXD appears to "hang". It will eventually open, but may take as long as an hour. In the 3-tiered connection, click here for directions on editing the HOST file

     

  • When I open an MXD, I see a smiley faces for valves and other odd symbols.

    Solution: Close ArcMap without saving the MXD. Follow the instructions for How do I install the Tucson Water font?. If you are unsuccessful, email the Help Desk or call 791-4370. Please screen capture any error messages.

    Discussion: The layers in the MXD store a pointer to the Tucson Water font file with the valve map symbols. If this font file is missing, ArcMap uses a default Windows font file such as Windings.

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  • ArcMap randomly crashes.

    Summary: ArcMap randomly crashes and Windows returns one of the error messages shown below

    1. The instruction 0x0000000 referenced memory at 0x0000000 which could not be read
    2. ArcMap.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows
    3. ArcMap has encountered a problem and needs to be closed

    Solution: Try one or any combination of the following
    1. Reboot the computer
    2. Start ArcCatalog first, then ArcMap
    3. Use the MXDDoctor available for download here
    4. Export the layers to layer files and import to a new MXD
    5. Close ArcMap. Backup and delete the Normal.mxt file located under c:\documents and settings\your username\Application Data\ESRI\Templates\ArcMap
    6. Delete the MXD and start with a new empty MXD
    7. Try some of the suggestions on the ESRI Knowledge Base
    8. Reinstall or upgrade the video drivers
    9. Reinstall ArcGIS or apply the latest service pack

    Discussion: Some of the above suggestions will require administrator privileges. For assistance, email the Help Desk or call 791-4370. Please screen capture any error messages.

     

  • How do I connect to the Tucson Water GIS database?

    Solution: Follow the directions below to create a connection in ArcCatalog

    1. If you do not already have a login, contact the Help Desk.
    2. Open ArcCatalog
    3. Double-click on 'Add Spatial Database Connection' under the Database Connections folder -show me-

    4. Enter the following connection parameters -show me-


      • Server=le8-gdb-2003
      • Service=5252
      • Username=your novell login i.e. JDOE1
      • Password=your novell login i.e. JDOE1
    5. Click 'Test Connection' to confirm the parameters were entered correctly.
    6. Cick OK
    7. This connection can be used to drag 'n' drop layers into ArcMap or it can be accessed from the 'Add Data' button in ArcMap. -show me-


    Discussion: Read-only users have access to the GIS database called EMAPDB (5252). GIS editors requires a separate login and connection to VMDB10G. Every Saturday, EMAPDB is refreshed with the updates that were added to VMDB10G during previous week. EMAPDB is also the database that hosts the data seen in the eMap application.

     

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  • How do I access the City's orthophotos?

    Solution: Follow the directions below to create a connection in ArcCatalog

    1. Open ArcCatalog
    2. Double-click on 'Add Spatial Database Connection' under the Database Connections folder -show me-

    3. Enter the following connection parameters -show me-


      • Server='leave this blank'
      • Service=sde:sqlserver:pw-sql2005
      • Database=rastersde
      • Username=your novell login
      • Password=As assigned by the GIS database administrator or contact the Help Desk
    4. Click 'Test Connection' to confirm the parameters were entered correctly.
    5. Cick OK
    6. This connection can be used to drag 'n' drop orthophotos into ArcMap or it can be accessed from the 'Add Data' button in ArcMap. -show me-


    Discussion: This above directions will connect the user to a geodatabase with several years worth of orthophotos, DEMS and Hillshades.

     

  • How do I connect to the City of Tucson GIS 9.3 Geodatabase from ArcGIS 10?

    Solution: Follow the directions below to create a connection in ArcCatalog

    1. Open ArcCatalog
    2. Double-click on 'Add Spatial Database Connection' under the Database Connections folder -show me-

    3. Enter the following connection parameters -show me-


      • Server=PW-SQL2005
      • Service=5151
      • Database='Leave this blank'
      • Username=your novell login
      • Password=As assigned by the GIS database administrator or contact the Help Desk
    4. Click 'Test Connection' to confirm the parameters were entered correctly.
    5. Cick OK
    6. This connection can be used to drag 'n' drop data into ArcMap or it can be accessed from the 'Add Data' button in ArcMap. -show me-


    Discussion: Other database service numbers: rastersde=5252 and editsde=5353. Due to significant changes in the database schema, users cannot use direct connect from 10 to 9.3 database

     

  • How do I get rid of the red exclamation marks next to the layer name in ArcMap?

    Solution:

    1. If you know the datasource for the broken layer, proceed to the next step. If not, to find the datasource, right-click on the layer and open the layer's Properties. Select the Source tab to see the datasource name and location. Close the Properties box and proceed to the next step.
    2. Click on the red exclamation point.
    3. Navigate to the location of the datasource, click to highlight it and click the Add button. This step will automatically reconnect any other data sources in the same workspaces, so you may notice some of the other red exclamation points are gone.
    4. Repeat the above steps for the remaining red exclamation points.

    Discussion: The red exclamation points are indications of connection problems: database is down, data source missing, moved or renamed, invalid login/pwd.

     

  • How do I get access to the PCLIS data on MARS?

    Solution:

    1. On your desktop you will find an icon called My Network Places, right click on that icon and choose Map Network Drive
    2. In the folder box, type the following \\MARS\STORAGE\MARS1 -show me-

    3. Click the link 'Connect using a different user name'
    4. Type the following in the user name box Mars-User with password mars -show me-

    5. Click OK
    6. Click Finish
    7. If unsuccesful try the steps above using \\MARS\MARS1 or \\166.89.24.136\STORAGE\MARS1 instead
    8. If you are still unsuccessful, click here to download a script that will map the MARS folders to the M: drive.
      • To run the script, double click on the file in Windows Explorer.
      • If the M: drive is already in use, you will have to edit the script (use NotePad or WordPad) to select a different drive letter.
      • You can place the script in your Startup folder (C:\Documents and Settings\LoginName\Start Menu\Programs\Startup) to automatically map the MARS drive when your computer boots up or you can execute the script as needed.
    9. If none of the above worked, follow the instructions at MARS folder connection steps or email the Help Desk or call 791-4370. Please screen capture any error messages.

    Discussion: The PCLIS data is stored in the \az\counties\pima\shapes folder on the MARS server. The most commonly used data from MARS such as parcels and streets has been loaded for convenience into the GIS Database EMAPDB.

     

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  • ArcMap automatically opens the last saved MXD.

    Solution: When ArcMap starts up, you will see a message telling you to press the ESC key to show the Startup dialog. It won't stay up long, so be ready for it. When the Startup dialog box appears, uncheck the box next to 'Load last map on startup'. -show me-



    Discussion: When ArcMap starts up, you are by default presented with the Startup dialog. On this dialog is a checkbox to not show the Startup dialog and open the last mxd by default. At some point you checked this box.

     

  • How do I use the Arc Catalog Set Data Source(s) tool?

    Solution:

    1. Browse to the MXD in ArcCatalog and right click on the MXD -show me-

    2. Select the first layer, highlight it and click the Replace All... button -show me-

    3. In the replace with box, manually type in the new database connection name you created in ArcCatalog and add .sde file extension. The default connection name is shown in the example, but if you’ve renamed it, just type it in exactly as you see it in arc catalog (plus the .sde suffix). Click Replace All. -show me-

    4. Click Ok and the new connection will be saved to the Output File listed at the top -show me-


    Discussion: This tools makes a copy of the original MXD. Only the layers are exported. Customizations (VBA code, UI Controls, custom toolbars), graphs, and table window appearance properties are removed from the MXD.

     

  • How do I edit an unversioned feature class/table.

    Solution: Change the edit mode in ArcMap. Click Editor on the editing toolbar. Click Options. Click the Versioning tab. Uncheck Edit a version of the database with the ability to undo and redo. -show me-


    Discussion: In this mode, you will no longer have the UNDO option. If you later need to perform versioned edits, you'll need to turn this option back on. More information can be found in the online help topics Configuring an ArcMap edit session to perform nonversioned edits and An Overview of working with nonversioned data.

     

  • Why does ArcMap take a LONG time to open?

    Solution: First, determine if the problem is ArcMap or the MXD. Start ArcMap without opening an existing map. You can start ArcMap by clicking the Launch ArcMap button in ArcCatalog or by with the icon in the Programs folder of the Start Menu.

    1. If ArcMap opens without problems, then the MXD is the most likely culprit. Try one or more of the following:
      • The MXD may have connections to a server that was moved or no longer exists. Edit the c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file to redirect the old server name to the new IP. MAKE A BACKUP BEFORE EDITING!! -show me-

      • The MXD may have connections to a SQL Server database instance that was moved or no longer exists. With direct connect, the instance name is stored in the connection string. Click here for directions on creating an alias to redirect the connections to the new instance.
      • The MXD may have connections to an Oracle database that was moved or no longer exists. With direct connect, the TNSNAME is stored in the connections string. Update the TNSNAMES.ORA file. MAKE A BACKUP BEFORE EIDITNG!!
      • Click here for directions on using the ArcCatalog Set Data Source(s) tool to update the connections to the new server name.
      • You can re-create the MXD from scratch or try some of the suggestions under ArcMap randomly crashes such as backing up and deleting the Normal.mxt.
      • Wait until the MXD finally opens and click here for directions to change the datasource on the layers with red exclamation points.
    2. If ArcMap is not opening to a blank map, try backing up and then deleting the Normal.mxt.

    Discussion: If the server name or IP address changed, ArcMap may have difficulties resolving the data source address and get "hung up".

     

  • What is the minimum required metadata?

    Solution: Using the metadata editor in ArcCatalog, populate the ABSTRACT, PURPOSE and SUPPLEMENTARY tags. Also provide a list of the attributes with definitions and units of measure. Click here to view sample metatdata.

    ABSTRACT: A brief narrative summary of the data set
    PURPOSE: A summary of the intentions with which the data set was developed
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
        Currentness Reference:Ground Condition/Published Date/Date of last update (in reference to the time period of content)
        Time Period of Content:MM/DD/YYYY or date range (in reference to the currentness reference
        Known Error/Qualifications: Information about known errors, ommissions, selection criteria, generalizations, definitions and other rules used to derive the data set
        Maintenance Frequency: The frequency with which changes or additions are made to the data set after the intial data set is completed
        Maintenance Format: shapefile/geodatabase/MS Access table
        Maintenance Contact: individual name or organization, phone, email
        Maintenance Description: Explanation of the maintenance workflow and triggers
        Lineage: MM/DD/YY and explanation of the event
        List of attributes: Attribute name and definition, including units of measures where applicable


    Discussion: What does the "currentness reference" mean? Information about the currentness reference is another way of saying how up-to-date a data set is. Ground condition refers to when the "real world" looked the way it is described in the data set. Unfortunately, sometimes only the time the information was recorded or published is known. The currentness reference defines what date(s) appear the time period of content. If the data set is maintained on a continuous basis, it is not practical to constantly modify the "date of last update". Therefore, the producer can refer use a generalization for the time period of content such as "daily". For example, see
     

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