Esri ArcGIS Pro 2.6 New Functionality Overview

by | Jul 13, 2020

In the Q&A for the Esri 2020 User Conference, Esri announced it will be releasing ArcGIS Pro 2.6 after the virtual UC in July. This blog post gives an overview of some of the highlights of this new release.

As the version number indicates, Pro 2.6 is a major release and a follow-up of the 2.5 release from February of this year. Esri listed a selection of features to be the highlights of the new release, but closer inspection of the Q&A revealed some additional new functionality which is also included here. Major new features of Pro 2.6 include Map Graphics, Voxel Layers, Trace Networks, Project Recovery, OLEDB Connections, Bookmark Map Series, Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP), Parcel Adjustment, Non-spatial Objects in Utility Networks, 3D Mesh Manipulation and Interactive Suitability Analysis.

Map Graphics

This refers to added support for graphics and free text in the map window, as well as improvements to the Insert and Format tabs to improve the user experience when working with graphics and text in both maps and layouts.

Project Recovery

ArcGIS Pro 2.6 will include a Project Recovery option that allows users to configure recovery settings so that in the event of an unexpected failure, loss of work will be minimized or eliminated.

Vehicle Routing Problem

ArcGIS Pro now has the support for creating and solving Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) analysis layers. The VRP layer ribbon enables users to interact with the solver settings, and additional geoprocessing tools enable loading properties such as breaks and routes.

Voxel Layers

ArcGIS Pro 2.6 introduces a new layer type called Voxel layers for creating 3D volumetric visualizations from NetCDF data. This lets Geostatistical Analyst users visualize and interactively explore the details of the 3D geostatistical layers created by the EBK 3D tool. To prepare 3D geostatistical layers as a voxel layer in ArcGIS Pro, there’s a new Geostatistical Analyst Layer 3D To NetCDF tool available in ArcGIS Pro 2.6.

Interactive Suitability Analysis

Described by Esri as “the biggest new feature for Spatial Analyst with the ArcGIS Pro 2.6 release”,  the interactive suitability modeling lets users create a suitability model through interactive and dynamic user experience. More and more Spatial Analyst tools now have built-in parallel processing capability for better performance.

Database Management and OGC Geopackage Support

Esri added support for Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for Oracle at the upcoming ArcGIS 10.8.1 and ArcGIS Pro 2.6 release. Also, Esri continues to add data management capabilities to ArcGIS Pro, such as OLE DB/ODBC support, trimming geodatabase archive history for non-versioned archive enabled feature classes and editing of SQLite and OGC Geopackage files starting at the upcoming ArcGIS Pro 2.6 release.

GeoPackage is an OGC standard for storing vector, raster, and tabular GIS data in a SQLite database. A SQLite database is a GeoPackage if it has the file extension “.gpkg.” GeoPackages can be created by the Create SQLite Database geoprocessing tool. Data in a GeoPackage can be used by ArcGIS Pro 2.6 for visualization, analysis, and editing of simple features. It is often seen as a data-sharing format that is more powerful than shapefiles or image files.

Non-spatial Objects in Utility Networks

Pro 2.6 will introduce the trace network. The trace network is designed to be a path forward for geometric network users who are not utilities or telecoms. The new network type uses a simple approach to network modeling with the benefits of the updated environment and implementation found in ArcGIS Pro. The target audiences for the trace network are hydrology (streams), rail, and other disciplines.

Parcel Adjustments

Version 3 of the ArcGIS Parcel Fabric, released with ArcGIS Pro 2.6 will include the capabilities of performing Least Squares Adjustments. Beyond version 3, the ArcGIS Parcel Fabric will support digital submission of plats, graphical depiction of parcel lineage, coordinate cadaster, and support for addition clients such as mobile and web-based editing.

LAS Dataset Rendering Performance

In ArcGIS Pro 2.6, the 3D point rendering performance has been enhanced with the addition of a pyramid (fast, reduced-resolution view) to the LAS Dataset. For users performing manual/interactive class code editing within LAS files, the LAS dataset pyramid is updated on the fly.

Feature Binning for Visualizing Large Datasets

Through the upcoming ArcGIS Pro 2.6 release, the visualization of large amounts of points has been improved through the implementation of feature binning, which is a process that aggregates large amounts of point features into dynamic polygons called bins. A single bin represents all features within its boundaries and appears wherever at least one feature lies within it. As a method of feature reduction, feature binning vastly improves the drawing performance of layers that contain millions of point features.

CAD and BIM Data Support

ArcGIS Pro 2.5 supports versions of Autodesk Revit RVT files version 2012-2020. ArcGIS Pro 2.6 adds support for Autodesk Civil 3D drawings, providing access to attributed information on Alignments, Pipe Networks, Survey Points and other useful AEC Entities from Autodesk Civil 3D drawings.

Source: Esri UC Q&A

Image credit: Esri NL

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Eric van Rees
Eric van Rees is a freelance writer and editor. His specialty is GIS technology. He has more than eight years of proven expertise in editing, writing and interviewing as editor and editor-in-chief for the international geospatial publication GeoInformatics, as well as GIS Magazine and CAD Magazine, both published in Dutch. Currently, he writes about geospatial technology for various clients, publications and blogs.

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