ArcGIS 10.4 Released and ArcGIS Pro 1.2 Coming Soon

by | Feb 22, 2016

This is a guest post by Tripp Corbin, CEO of eGIS Associates and an instructor with Geospatial Training Services.

Esri has just released ArcGIS 10.4. This includes updates for ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS for Server, ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS. Next month, Esri is expecting to release an update to ArcGIS Pro as well which will include some big changes for their newest app including a big change on how licensing will work which many users have been asking for.

So what are some of the changes or enhancements included in this newest release of Esri Software. Well below I have identified some of the ones I think are key and will be most useful This is by no means a complete list.

[dt_sc_h2]ArcGIS for Desktop 10.4[/dt_sc_h2]

Esri has added several new tools to ArcGIS for Desktop and its extensions for 10.4. This includes new tools for working with Lidar data.  They have also updated several existing tools.  Here are several new or updated tools you will find in 10.4.

  1. Classify LAS Ground – new tool – 3D Analyst Extension – Classifies ground point in LIDAR datasets
  2. Extract LAS – 3D Analyst Extension – new tool – Extracts LAS files that overlay a clip feature or extent
  3. Transform Features – new tool – Desktop – Converts the coordinates of input features from one location to another through scaling, shifting, and rotating based on the transformation links between known corresponding control points.
  4. Create SQLite database – new tool – Desktop
  5. Copy Raster – updated tool – Desktop – Added two new parameters: Transform and Format
  6. Create Feature Class – updated tool – Desktop – Geometry Type parameter has new option: Multipatch
  7. Create Map Tile Package – updated tool – Desktop – New parameter added: extent
  8. Export Topology Errors – updated tool – Desktop – Now works at all license levels including Basic
  9. Topology Edit Tool – updated tool – Desktop – Now supports additional commands and keyboard shortcuts.
  10. Press the N key to select Topology Nodes
  11. Press the E key to select topology Edges
  12. Move and Move To commands now available on the topology edit context menu.
  13. New raster formats now supported:
  14. SPOT-7
  15. UAV/UAS
  16. WorldView-3 with SWIR bands
  17. netCDF and HDF stored as irregular spaced arrays

In addition to these new and updated tools, ArcGIS for Desktop 10.4 now supports Python 2.7.10. Plus, additional third party libraries have also been added such as SciPy, pandas, Sympy and nose. These further increase the capabilities of Python Scripts used with ArcGIS.

To see the complete list of updates to ArcGIS for Desktop go to –

[dt_sc_h2]ArcGIS for Server 10.4[/dt_sc_h2]

Esri has also made many changes to ArcGIS for Server at the 10.4 release. Here are a couple I thought were important. Again this is by no means a complete list.

  1. Limited Support for Windows 10 – Windows 10 is supported only for basic testing and application development. It is not recommended for production deployment
  2. .NET Framework 4.5 – ArcGIS 10.4 will require the .NET Framework 4.5 to install the .NET Extension Support feature.
  3. IIS 10 Support – ArcGIS 10.4 Web Adaptor now supports IIS 10
  4. Extract Capability – You can now enable this capability when you publish a feature service from ArcMap.
  5. Date Field support – You can now specify a time zone for date fields
  6. Security fixes – 10.4 includes several security patches or fixes. The exact fixes are not listed by Esri but they recommend you upgrade to 10.4 if you are concerned about security and want to protect your infrastructure.
  7. HTTP & HTTPS – These are now both supported by default on new installs. Upgrades from existing installs will retain previous settings
  8. Geoprocessing Service Publication – Only Admins can publish a geoprocessing service at 10.4 by default. This can be disabled if desired.
  9. GeoJSON – This output format is now supported on map and feature service layer query operations

To see all the new functionality and changed made to ArcGIS for Server 10.4 go to

[dt_sc_h2]ArcGIS Online[/dt_sc_h2]

Esri continues to add new functionality to ArcGIS Online. 10.4 is no exceptions. Here are some of the new features I feel are key that were added.

  1. Smart Mapping – adds map styles that illuminate multiple attributes
  2. Support for vector tiles – Vector Tiles are similar to map tiles but are a vector representation as a opposed to a raster. Vector tiles provide improved performance similar to map tiles but also allow users to customize symbology for their own purposed.
  3. Credit Budgeting – Admins can now allocate credits to specific users within their organization
  4. AppStudio Licensing – You can now manage these licenses as well as ArcGIS Pro
  5. Limit feature editing to only features added by user – Admins now have the options to limiting editing of features to only the features added by that user
  6. New app templates added – Minimalist and Story Map Basic

To see a complete list of all the changes made to ArcGIS Online go to –

[dt_sc_h2]ArcGIS Pro 1.2[/dt_sc_h2]

Esri has been focusing a lot of attention on their newest desktop application, ArcGIS Pro.  For those that may not be familiar with ArcGIS Pro, it is a new 64 Bit GIS application that makes use of a modern ribbon interface similar to what you now use in Microsoft Word or Autodesk’s AutoCAD programs. Its 64-bit architecture allows it to take full advantage of all the resources a new computer has to offer such as multi-threading across multiple processor cores and use as much RAM as you can throw at it. This all means it will often perform operations and processes much faster than ArcGIS for Desktop.

So here are some of the key enhancements that Esri says will be included in ArcGIS Pro 1.2 when it is released next month.

  1. Support for Traditional Single Use and Concurrent Use Licensing – Will no longer be required to manage ArcGIS Pro licenses in ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS. Those two options will still be available through if you wish to continue to use them.
  2. Support for Vector Tiles – These are now being supported across the ArcGIS Platform
  3. Publishing 3D Local Scenes to AGOL and Portal for ArcGIS – You will now be able to publish local 3D scenes in a projected coordinate system
  4. Lidar Ground Classification tool – 3D Analyst extension – Allows you to perform a ground classification with a LAS dataset. This tool can also allow you to create a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for display and analysis
  5. Align Features tool – This popular ArcMap editing tool has now been added to ArcGIS Pro
  6. Reshape Edge tool – This popular ArcMap editing tool has been added to ArcGIS Pro
  7. Improved 3D rendering speed and quality
  8. Support for heat maps
  9. Support for WMS and WMTS services
  10. Map Series (Data Driven Pages) – ArcGIS Pro will now be able to generate a map book using a specified index similar to data driven pages in ArcMap

Things still not supported in ArcGIS Pro with the release of 1.2 include:

  1. Topologies and Geometric Networks
  2. Find routes
  3. Export to CAD
  4. Map to KML
  5. Representations
  6. Parcel Fabric
  7. Tracking Analyst Extension
  8. Personal Geodatabase (don’t think this will ever be added)

I have been using the beta version of ArcGIS Pro 1.2 for a while now. It seems to be a very stable. Given the lack of support for topologies and geometric networks, its use as a full time production application is still limited.

So there you have it. Some of what you can expect with Esri’s latest releases. As always you should test each new version before you put into your production environment. Make sure all your key operations and workflows continue to work before you upgrade. Also remember that Esri no longer releases service packs. So the old method of waiting till the first service pack comes out no longer applies.

I hope this information proves useful as you begin to consider upgrading.


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Tripp Corbin
Tripp is Chief Executive Officer and Lead Instructor for eGIS Associates (our business partner). He is an award winning Esri Certified Trainer with over twenty years of experience orchestrating and managing surveying, mapping and GIS projects. He is recognized as an industry expert with a variety of geospatial software packages including Esri, Autodesk and Trimble products. Tripp was the primary author of several of our GIS courses including: Using AutoCAD data in ArcGIS class, ArcGIS Desktop Associate Exam Prep, ArcGIS 10: What’s New and assisted in the development of our ArcGIS Server Basics class. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the GITA Southeast Chapter and a past board member of URISA International and the Georgia URISA Chapter. Tripp holds many certifications including GIS Certified Professional, ArcGIS Desktop Associate, ArcGIS Enterprise System Design Associate, Esri Certified Trainer, CompTia Certified Technical Trainer, Microsoft Certified Professional, URISA Workshop Instructor and Certified Floodplain Manager. Tripp is also the author of Learning ArcGIS Pro.

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