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Must-have GIS Tools and Extensions

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#1
Brandon Tourtelotte

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Friends,
forgive me if this very topic has already been addressed (in which case please point me in the right direction). As I read each days' new posts in the GIS thread, I continually come across great advice for downloading a free extension that will do such and such. It makes me think that perhaps a good resource for us all to have is a single good starting point for the free extensions and toolsets (perhaps even low-cost) that this forums GIS'ers couldnt do without.

Sort of a dont-leave-home without it list.

For example, I just found two references for the Hawth Tools and it looks very useful for the stuff many of us do. Also the ARD Toolbar.

If this idea is agreeable, then let's start compiling and hopefully by the end we'll have a good resource ready, which I'll try to aggregate at the very end. Many thanks in advance!

For starters:

1) Hawth's Tools for ArcGIS 9.x
http://www.spatialec...ls/download.php

2) ARD Toolbar
http://mapping2.orr....stallation.html




Brandon
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#2
Hans van der Maarel

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3 GIS tools I can't do without: FME, Global Mapper and Manifold.
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#3
Brandon Tourtelotte

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Thanks Hans, but I think what I had in mind was extensions to or applications within ArcGIS 9.x
Brandon Tourtelotte
East View Cartographic, Inc.
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#4
Hans van der Maarel

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Thanks Hans, but I think what I had in mind was extensions to or applications within ArcGIS 9.x


Ah, but we're talking GIS tools here, and there's more to GIS than just Arc :rolleyes:

Even so, FME works along with ArcGIS (Data Interoperability Extension).
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#5
Brandon Tourtelotte

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No disagreements there Hans. So to further clarify, say I already have a fully-licensed copy of Arc and Global Mapper and Manifold and FME. Now my question is what about extensions or add-on toolsets that can be download for free or next-to-nothing to augment and enhance what my existing set of SW packages can do. Not a full list mind you (because of course that would be all possible extensions in existence), but just the main toolsets and extensions folks have found they cant survive daily without.
Brandon Tourtelotte
East View Cartographic, Inc.
Minneapolis, MN

#6
matt

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To add to the discussion, any time/date stamp and file path script is great. None to recommend though - there's no "ideal" one that we've found to date.

Also: ET Geowizards is at the top of our list.

Would also like to note that some of the best GIS tools out there are the ones that don't run within ArcMap. We use a number of other "free" apps to do spatial analyses, etc. without the thousands of $$$ investment required to do it within ArcGIS. These would include: SAGA GIS, MapWindow, JUMP, GRASS, to name a few.

#7
Darren Rattai

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Great Topic!

I have used tools from both of the extensions posted already!

Another extension that I use alot is XTools Pro 5.3. There are some great tools and tabular functions as well.

Visit My Website

Darren

#8
josie

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Hi,

I regularly have used the additional ENC chart viewer tools which provide me with the symbology I need for nautical mapping to a very good standard.

I also use Xtools pro which has some nice features that have been extremely useful.

Hope that helps!

Josie

#9
François Goulet

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In addition to all those already mentioned, I also use the NPS AlaskaPak, the CS Toolset and Jenness' Tools for Graphic and Shapes.

And I'm also learning ArcObjects so I'll be able to add my own tools to the list... ;)

#10
Brandon Tourtelotte

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Any others? That cant be all of them....
Brandon Tourtelotte
East View Cartographic, Inc.
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#11
MapMedia

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It all depends on what u do - Hawth and XTools are my real add ons. I also use ArcView 3.x for certain data crunching stuff, so thats a tool I use in addition to ArcMap.
Arcscripts is where its at!

#12
Matthew Hampton

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I think Arcview 3.2 is one the most important "extensions" that I use for Arc9.x - especially for raster operations. There could be a whole 'nuther thread about favorite ArcView 3.2 extensions (like Grid Pig and the REAL "Xtools").

I really appreciate the value of ArcScripts and also the spirit of sharing. I think it's unfortunate that profiteers have copied and repackaged free things for quick cash. I understand the motive and the justification for compensation - I just think it's unfortunate.

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#13
frax

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I find it interesting that we power-users resort to the outdated tools to get the real things done. I feel like ArcGIS - from 8 and onwards, has still not caught up in usability (with all that power underneath), and I find the user interface quirky at times.

I very rarely look at ArcView 3 these days, but I often go back to ArcInfo workstation, and primarily GRID. I have a lot of brain power invested in these old tools, and I appreciate the very clear topology concepts in old-school ArcInfo, and the clean (but quirky) command-line execution. It makes it so easy to tweak and and repeat a process later. But the real power there is ArcInfo GRID - raster calculations are so intuitive (and powerful) when written just like formulas.
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#14
François Goulet

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I find it interesting that we power-users resort to the outdated tools to get the real things done. I feel like ArcGIS - from 8 and onwards, has still not caught up in usability (with all that power underneath), and I find the user interface quirky at times.


For what I've been told in class, ESRI counts a lot on the the fact that users can customize the application and share their work... it helps the company to concentrate their efforts someplace else...

#15
MapMedia

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I write my own scripts but they are very specialized. But hats off the Hawthtools as I have found uses for it beyond biology uses. I have an old free copy of Xtools for 3.2 so use this from time to time. Again, I find the computational time for intense vector processing (large intersection) faster in Arcview than ArcMap, and combined with existing scripts, as opposed to writing own, I leap over the data crunching parts of jobs.
Topology in ArcMap 9.3 is better than anything else before it.




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