Even a monkey can use a map!  (Taken with Instagram)

Even a monkey can use a map! (Taken with Instagram)

Prevent ArcGIS Server 10.1 Services From Placing Locks On Your Data.

A lot of uses at ArcGIS Server 10 would have been used to going into their service config files and updating the SchemaLockEnabled tag to false, this stops AGS creating locks on your data. 

At 10.1 this and a lot of other admin tasks can be done directly on the rest endpoint as described below.

By default, ArcGIS Server map services use schema locking to prevent other users from altering the geodatabase schema while the service is running. If the schema locks are impeding your workflow, you can disable them by using the ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory.

To disable schema locking for a service, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to http://<server name>:6080/arcgis/admin.
  2. Click services.
  3. Click the service for which you want to disable schema locking.
  4. Click edit.
  5. Add the “schemaLockingEnabled” = “false” property within the service JSON, as in the following example:


    "maxImageHeight": "2048",

    "schemaLockingEnabled": "false",

    "maxRecordCount": "1000",


  6. Click Save Edits.

It’s Important To Plan Before Migrating To ArcGIS For Server 10.1


I know many users are keen to upgrade and start using ArcGIS for Server 10.1 but there needs to be a plan in place before one migrates. As many of you are aware, AGS 10.1 has been redesigned and comes packed many new features that make our lives easier. These are all wonderful but users need to understand these changes. 

New installations are easy and simple where as migrations are complex and time consuming.

I migrated our production basemaps last night. These are on http://services.arcgisonline.co.nz. This was an AGS running 10.04 and had ~ 4 services. One might think that this would be reasonably straight forward with a simple uninstall of AGS 10.04 and install of AGS 10.1. 

~ 4.5 hours later I was still going. I was also conscious of downtime as this is a production server. No the services were not down for ~ 4.5 because I did this in parallel. They were down for ~ 10 minutes. 

Why did it take so long? Well it had to do with existing data, caches and services and reconfiguring this for AGS 10.1

So I strongly suggest that existing clients with larger or complex installations of AGS 10.1 spend time planning their migrations. It’s not as simple as going from AGS 9.3.1 to AGS 10.

Perhaps a health check from a BP or our Professional Services Team might be required to understand what the impact will be and due to a typical migration being time consuming I would recommend this be done in parallel. 

Here are a few technical aspects to take into consideration when thinking of migrating to AGS 10.1:

  1. Make sure you thoroughly understand AGS 10.1. Conceptually it’s the same but technically very different.
  2. Understand the environment you are working in. AGS 10.1 ties itself closely to the network and if DNS’s and domain names are not configured properly the site creation will fail.
  3. Understand how the web adaptor works. This will be needed for those clients that are migrating so that backwards compatibility is maintained.
  4. All existing services will need to be republished. MXD’s and MSD’s are no longer supported. Users will have to go back to the source data, open this up in AG Desktop 10.1, run through the sharing wizard and analyse the document. Correct any errors. The analyser is a lot more sensitivity at this latest release.
  5. All existing data sources will need to be registered with AGS 10.1. You need to do this as part of the publishing process. 
  6. If you are publishing existing cached map services, you need to make sure that their conf.xml files can be read by AGS 10.1. This might require manipulating the conf.xml to suit so understanding how the new caching system works in AGS 10.1 is equally as important.
  7. There are many changes to the REST interface so familiarise yourself with where things are. Once existing services are published they are backwards compatible.
  8. Determine whether users require HTTPS. This requires a whole separate set of configuration. It’s also harder if you are working with the web adaptor so make sure this is planned. Existing CA certifications cannot be easily imported into AGS 10.1 but you can used the self-signed certificates easily enough. You need to work out if these scenarios work for your environment.
  9. There is a breaking change on the REST interface with the GeometryServer being moved to the utilities directory as opposed to the root so evaluate what impact this will have on other applications.
  10. Plan the relevant permissions. The authentication models are AGS 10.1 have changed. If you are using tokens, make sure these are configured appropriately.  

Yes I am being on the cautious side but this is important when you are dealing with production environments.

ArcGIS 10.1 for Server is a wonderful update that enhances the way we work with spatial information. It’s simple and easy to use but does need to be understood when considering migrating from existing installations.

ArcGIS Online Social Map - Clustered Tweets

Wellington Tweets

Light Grey Canvas Basemap Updated With New Zealand Coverage


The Light Grey Canvas basemap has now been updated with New Zealand coverage. This significant update provides nationwide coverage for a number of countries making it much more useful for thematic maps of subjects throughout the world.

The canvas basemap focuses attention on your thematic content by providing a neutral background containing minimal colors, labels and features.  Its reference layer sits on top of your thematic layers, providing geographic context and allowing your data to come to the foreground.

The most significant change in this release is that the canvas basemap now contains additional, useful coverage worldwide, and detailed nationwide coverage in nearly 50 additional countries.  This map was developed by Esri using NAVTEQ data for North America, DeLorme basemap layers, and Esri basemap data.

The canvas basemap also includes boundaries, city labels and outlines, and major roads worldwide from 1:591M scale to 1:72k scale.  Thematic maps of country data, major administrative units (states, provinces, counties, etc.) and some smaller geographies benefit from this change.

Light Grey Canvas Basemap Updated With New Zealand Coverage

How-To : Get OS Auth Username In Python.

Though I would post a quick note on a useful python module i discovered ‘getpass’

>>> import getpass
>>> getpass.getuser()

I am using it with arpy to set the ‘Created By’ field in the geodatabase when doing processing with tools or scripts.

Simple stuff but really handy!