Friday, July 11, 2008

What's new in ArcGIS 9.3 - Mapping

There are quite a few improvements and new features relevant to mapping and cartography. Here are some of them.


Convert graphics to features

This is something that should have been in ArcMap long time ago. When you want to create some features quickly just create a graphics using tools from Drawing toolbar, give it a name and from data frame context menu or Drawing menu on Draw toolbar select "Convert Graphics to Features".




After conversion you can choose to add new layer to TOC. If you do you can quickly check new feature with identify tool - name of the graphic is now an attribute of new feature class.



Bookmark changes

Bookmark manager has options for Save and Load. This was something that many users wanted but was not easy to do. Now it is a lot easier to share and distribute bookmarks.  


To some of you this may look very similar to My Places dialog. In fact file for saving bookmarks is the same as for My Places (binary *.dat file). My Places has broader scope of use than bookmarks and thy are stored in central place and can be used in numerous map documents. What's new PDF describes how to get bookmarks to My Places and vice versa.


Legend transparency

Yet another frequently requested feature. In previous releases there was a workaround to get this but you had to convert legend to graphics and loose the link to TOC. Now this works much better and legend is still dynamically  linked.



Pause labeling

This could be a very popular tool. Until now labels had to be turned off in Label Manager for some or all layers. With a single click you can stop all labeling in data or layout view.



These are some the new features. In next post I'll describe new cartographic representation functionality and enhancements.


  1. hi,
    we haven't received the 9.3 yet.
    but want to know about
    "Convert graphics to features".
    is this future available for Web mapping application as well??


  2. Hello Pragnesh

    If you are referring to ArcGIS Server I haven’t checked that yet but I would say no since that would require a change of database schema.