Join Adam Wilbert for an in-depth discussion in this video Connecting to data sources, part of ArcGIS Essential Training.
- Sometimes large organizations or government agencies make their data available to download directly from their servers into ArcGIS. They do this through a system called a "REST Service," which stands for "Representational State Transfer." By searching the web for these types of services, you can tap into a wealth of additional data sources. We saw a brief example of this in the movie called, "Importing Data From Online Providers" back in Chapter Two but I'd like to run through the process again here in our catalog by connecting to the US Census servers. I'm going to go ahead and just open up a web browser here and type in, "us census rest service." When I do that, the first hit here is to this, "TIGERweb REST Services from Census.gov." Let's go ahead and click on that link there and that will load up the US Census web page.
Now here's a list of all of the different REST Services that are available. I have various map names here underneath "TIGERweb REST Services" and I have "Service Links" over here on the right. All I need to do is find something that I'm interested in and find the link. In this case, I'm going to come over here to the "Census Regions and Divisions" here and click on this link over here on the right. That will take me to the "Map Server" web page here. That will give me some information about the server. All I need to do here is go up to the URL bar at the top, click on it, and then right-click and say "Copy" to put it on my clipboard. Now, we'll switch back into our catalog. Inside of our catalog, I'm going to come down here to this section called, "GIS Servers" and if that's not available what you can do is go up to "Customize" and choose "ARC Catalog Options." On the "General" tab here, you'll want to make sure there's a check box in "GIS Servers" so that it appears here in the "Catalog" tree.
Let's go ahead and say, "OK" and I'll click on "GIS Servers" and then add an "ArcGIS Server." I'll double-click on it to launch the tool and it asks me, "What do I want to do?" Well, I'm going to use a "GIS Service" so I'll make sure that's checked there and say, "Next." Here we'll paste in the URL that we copied to our clipboard. I'll just right-click and say, "Paste." I don't need any username or password authentication so I'll just say, "Finish" and after a brief moment the Server is loaded underneath "GIS Servers" here and in "ArcGIS" on TIGERweb.geo.census.gov. Now, just like everything else in the "Catalog" tree, I can right-click on it and rename it if I want.
I can just call this "US Census" and if I expand it, I can see all of the data files that are available inside of it. Now, some of these are very large files. It might take a little while to load. I'm going to go into this folder here called "Data Mapper" and just click on "Base Map." I'll switch over here to the "Preview" tab to take a look at what this file includes. Again, it's going to take a moment to load but once it does, I can press "Full Extent" to zoom in and I can use the "Identify Tool" to identify the various features that are inside of this map. Again, because this is streaming over the internet, it might take a moment to load. Let's go ahead and close the "Identify Results" window and when I'm done using the US Census server, I can right-click on it and say "Disconnect" and when I no longer want to have it in my "Catalog" tree, I can just right-click on it and say "Delete." So adding data from online resources is an easy way to pull in large quantities of authoritative information.
Government agencies and universities often publish their data through these types of REST Services so head to your favorite search engine and see what's available near you.
- Getting to know the ArcMap interface
- Geocoding addresses
- Measuring distances
- Adding and importing data
- Labeling and adding graphs
- Editing layer properties
- Seeing multiple views
- Making selections
- Exploring geospatial data with ArcCatalog
- Working with vector and raster data
- Styling the map
- Adding your own data
- Using the ModelBuilder
- Adding a legend and annotations
Skill Level Intermediate
1. Getting Started with a Geographic Information System (GIS)
2. Organizing the Map
3. Working with Data Layers
4. Seeing Multiple Views of the Map
5. Selecting Map Elements
6. Exploring Geospatial Data
7. Geoprocessing Tasks
8. Working with Vector Data
9. Working with Raster Data
10. Styling the Map
11. Creating Your Own Data
12. Exploring the ModelBuilder
13. Finishing the Map
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