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ArcGIS Pro: Your questions answered – Part 1

We’re answering your questions from our “ArcGIS Pro: Take Desktop GIS to the Next Frontier” seminar in a three-part series. In this first post, we cover topics including templates, data storage and more.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the “ArcGIS Pro: Take Desktop GIS to the Next Frontier” seminar. We received many great questions throughout the session. As we didn’t have time to cover all questions during the event, we will be answering them through a three-part blog series. In this first part, we cover questions asked during the first session. Watch the recordings.  

Let’s get started.

Q: When an MXD is imported into ArcGIS Pro, are database connections maintained?

A: Yes.

Q: Which version of ArcGIS Pro is being used for the demos?

A: For all the sessions, we are using Pro 2.7.2.

Q: Can ArcGIS Pro access layers in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise simultaneously, and publish services to ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise, without having to change the connection using the ArcGIS Administrator like you need to in ArcMap?

A: Yes, you can maintain multiple ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Online connections.

Q: Are these construction features being added to the attribute table? Or are they just icons?

A: They are real features – both for geometry and attributes How easy is it to edit and create buildings as a vector file with ArcGIS Pro and grab heights for building tops (possibly LiDAR) – specifically buildings with sloped rooflines? There are some great 3D tools in 3D Analyst for exactly this type of requirement.

Q: Is it possible to export back to an ArcMap .mxd from ArcGIS Pro?

A: No.

Q: Can you use 3D features and perform analysis with a basic license in ArcGIS Pro?

A: Yes, the 3D scene features and some of the 3D measure and analysis tools are available at all license levels. There is the 3D Analyst extension for analysis too.

Q: Do you have to re-source connections in models?

A: You should not have to unless the paths or database connections change.

Q: Does ArcGIS Pro only have one level of licensing?

A: ArcGIS Pro has the same licensing levels as ArcGIS Desktop: Basic, Standard and Advanced.

Q: How does ArcGIS Pro bring in formatted templates from ArcMap (dynamic text, logos, custom symbology/north arrows, etc.)?

A: There are a few things that don't export (layout graphs) but almost everything comes in as-is.

Q: How would ArcGIS Pro be used to publish a map service?

A: You can publish the same services to the server component of ArcGIS Enterprise with geoprocessing tools. Moreover, ArcGIS Pro publishes many more types of services such as web maps, web layers and others.

Q: Are live stream gauges a snapshot? Or can you set refresh intervals?

A: They are a snapshot. You can set refresh intervals on a layer in ArcGIS Pro.

Q: Is the Live Stream Gauges layer including all the WSC stations?

A: The Live Stream Gauges layer includes 2154 of the WSC stations. (For details on the coverage in this map and to find out how to contribute your organization's gauges, please email

Q: Is metadata in its own tab?

A: The Catalog view lets you view metadata just like ArcCatalog in its own tab.

Q: Are the demos running on local PCs or virtualized PCs?

A: All the demos are running on local PCs.

Q: Is Business Analyst available in ArcGIS Pro?

A: Yes. More information is available on the Business Analyst for ArcGIS Pro pages.

Q: What is the lowest ArcGIS Server version supported for publishing services with ArcGIS Pro?

A: ArcGIS Pro will publish to any supported version of ArcGIS Server. Here’s more information on  version compatibility.

Q: Can we share to a closed group only?

A: Yes. Group sharing from ArcGIS Pro matches the rules from your ArcGIS Online organization or ArcGIS Enterprise.

Q: What happens if you are utilizing a service in your app or scene and the provider then deletes that service? How does this affect your map/scene? Do you get a warning that a service you are using is no longer available?

A: In ArcGIS Pro, it will appear as a broken link. We use a lot of Python add-ins using the Add-In manager in ArcMap. We've built them ourselves, and we found them online.

Q: How can these transfer to ArcGIS Pro?

A: Unfortunately, there is no direct transfer of add-ins from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro. Python is similar in both, but the ArcGIS Pro SDK and ArcObjects are different. Learn more about ArcMap add-in migration to Pro.

Q: Using ArcGIS Pro, where is the data physically stored? In the cloud or a client server? Or are both options available to select?

A: ArcGIS Pro is no different that ArcMap, in this respect. It uses data from shapefiles, file geodatabases, enterprise geodatabases, map services, feature services and CAD data. We have ArcMap add-ins. For example, InfoAsset Planner by Innoyze. This software is preventing us from moving to ArcGIS Pro completely.

Q: Is Esri collaborating with these companies to notify them about ArcMap becoming decommissioned?

A: You will need to contact the third-party suppliers, but most Esri business partners are either well on their way to migration to ArcGIS Pro, or are already there.

Q: What happens to the point symbols being 5 metres apart when added to the template when you zoom out? Do they stay apart or do they overlap?

A: The features will stay 5 metres apart and as you zoom out to a smaller scale, they will appear to overlap.

Q: Can you add feature linked annotation to your editing/building template?

A: Yes. Learn more about feature-linked annotation.

Q: How are the construction features created for output? Are they raster or vector? How would they look when printed?

A: These are features with point symbols. They will print like any other point feature.

Q: Is there editing template functionality available in an editable feature service?

A: Yes, you can have templates for feature service layers as well.

Q: Could you tell me what was the function Mike used to place icon on a grid?

A: Mike used the reference grid to place the points on the grid.

Q: What is the level of accuracy for the building footprints?

A: That is dependent on many factors. If you have accurate survey data, you can use that. Some variables include: are you snapping to other features? Are you importing data? If so, where did that data come from?

Q: How easy is it to set up a geometric network on utilities and how can you adjust network editing once you have it in ArcGIS Pro? Is it similar in what ArcMap currently does?

A: The geometric network is not supported in ArcGIS Pro, but as the Miramichi session demonstrated, you can get the same capabilities from the trace network. There is a simple tool available that can migrate your geometric network to the trace network.

Q: How easy is it to create a library of standardized map frames at different page sizes and then use them for various maps?

A: Please refer to the map series in ArcGIS Pro for information on this.

Q: I have noticed that aerial imaging is very good. How can I access this service?

A: ArcGIS Pro uses ArcGIS Online basemaps, including the imagery basemaps.

Q: How many staff members were involved in the Miramichi transitions for data migration?

A: Just one.

Q: Are the photos and documents for viewing locally only, or are these available in ArcGIS Online as well?

A: They are available in ArcGIS Online once the layer is published.

Stay tuned for parts two and three, which will be released shortly. If you haven’t moved to Pro yet, learn more about migrating to ArcGIS Pro.


Advertisement for the “All Systems Go!” ArcGIS Pro 2.8 webinar on June 22 at 1pm Eastern Time.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Chris North is the Director of Technology Adoption for Esri Canada. With over 20 years of experience in geomatics, Chris is an accomplished GIS professional who brings an in-depth understanding of enterprise GIS and technology trends to the company. He has a master's degree in GIS from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and an undergraduate degree in geography from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Chris is also a graduate of the Cartography Program at Sir Sandford Fleming College, Ontario. He is the recipient of several industry awards and continues to be involved with many industry groups.

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