Top 10 Geoprocessing tools you’ve never heard of

September 27, 2013 Jonathan Nowlan

ArcGIS for Desktop 10.2 has close to 900 geoprocessing tools available. It’s close to impossible to remember every single tool that's available, so I thought I’d compile a list of the Top 10 geoprocessing tools you may never have heard of. Here they are, in no particular order:

Send Email With Zip File Attachment -  Yes, ArcMap really can send an email for you. Don’t let the name of the tool fool you. It can send any file, not just zip files.

Table to Excel - This tool will convert a table into a Microsoft Excel .xls file.

GeoTagged Photos to Points - This tool creates points based on the coordinates of geotagged photos. It also provides the option of storing the photo as an attachment.

Consolidate Map - Have you ever worked with a map that had dozens of layers referencing data scattered over several different folders? This tool will create a new map document and copy all of the referenced data into a specified folder.

Recover File Geodatabase - If you’ve ever found yourself with a corrupt file geodatabase, this tool is for you.

Create Random Points - This tool will generate a specified number of random point features in a specified extent.

Sort - The Sort tool will permanently sort records in a table.

Feature Compare - Feature Compare will compare two layers and report differences with geometry, tabular values, spatial reference, and field definitions.

Check Geometry - If you ever suspect a feature class of being corrupted, this tool will check for geometry errors and output a table outlining those errors. Errors can then be repaired using the Repair Geometry tool.

Bearing Distance to Line - This tool creates line geometries based on a starting coordinate, distance and bearing values stored in a table.

Are there other obscure tools that you feel should've made the list? I'd love to hear from you.

About the Author

Jonathan Nowlan

Jonathan Nowlan is a Senior Support Consultant for Esri Canada. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Mount Allison University and a GIS Application Specialist diploma from Fleming College. With over 12 years of experience in GIS, Jonathan has expertise in ArcGIS for Desktop and Extensions, ArcGIS Online and ArcPad. Aside from offering support to Esri Canada clients, he also occasionally instructs Esri Canada training courses and contributes technical articles for the Esri Canada Web site and publications. Jonathan also serves as a mentor to participants of Esri Canada’s GIS Associate Program. Jonathan is fully bilingual in French and English.

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