ArcGIS Tips – What is ArcGIS Pro? Pro at ESRIUC, and 10 ArcGIS Pro Migration Tips

ArcGIS Pro ( is Esri’s flagship desktop app for professional GIS. According to Esri, Pro is built for usability and performance, with a modern user interface and combined 2D and 3D visualization, 64bit architecture, project-based workflow environment and deep integration with ArcGIS platform capabilities like analysis and sharing. Pro is customizable and extensible, and while it is a completely new application, supports easy migration of existing ArcGIS Desktop documents, data and tools. We share some ArcGIS Pro migration tips, a look at what is ArcGIS Pro and a list of 10 useful resources.

arcgis pro tips

In ArcGIS Pro, the core tabs—Project, Insert, Analysis, View, Edit, and Share—are always available. ArcGIS Pro also has contextual tabs, which means that new tabs or buttons appear on the ribbon as you need them. Click the tabs to reveal their associated tools, and click a button to start using a tool.

What is ArcGIS Pro?

ArcGIS Pro is included with ArcMap as a part of ArcGIS Desktop. This 64-bit addition to the ArcGIS Desktop collection of applications lets you render and process your data faster than ever. Import map documents (.mxd), scenes (.sxd), and globes (.3DD) into ArcGIS Pro and save them as projects (.aprx). You can use and share services published with ArcGIS Pro via ArcMap. Also, run ArcMap side by side with ArcGIS Pro on the same machine. This means you can use both ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap to access and work with local data and online services. Default licensing for ArcGIS Pro is managed via your ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS account.

With Pro users can accomplish many things including:

  • Migrate maps, scenes and globes to Pro projects
  • Deploy Pro configured for your needs
  • Create and share maps, scenes and analysis
  • Customize Pro using the ArcGIS Pro SDK
  • Import your data into customizable templates
  • Use web services, live feeds, and 300+ supported data formats
  • Create maps that combine 2D and 3D GIS

arcgis pro

Getting started is easy as you can import existing maps from ArcMap, Scene, or Globe (will integrate seamlessly/import) , mxd sxd 3dd maps layouts symbology, scenes, models and more will all come into Pro seamlessly –  Note, the Maplex labeling engine is used by default. It is important to understand that ArcGIS Pro will eventually replace ArcMap (not for a long time but it is the future) and the company is spending all development resources here (Source: ArcGIS Pro webinar, June 2017)

As you make the migration to ArcGIS Pro you will notice that there are some differences to be aware of. A few of the differences include:

  • A new user interface – very microsoft app like
  • “contextual ribbon” Ribbons at the top change based on the context
  • Takes a large app and makes it simpler to use
  • Views are dockable, can be synched (pan and zoom in concert with each other)
  • Panes are modeless and popup to the side of your work
  • In Pro you work with projects (See below) – multiple maps and layouts, tools and toolboxes, a default geodatabase – all can be packaged and shared as a project – can be shared as a file or via AGO (you work with projects and not MXDs)

arcgis pro projects

Note: Be sure to watch this recorded webinar, Going Pro: ArcGIS Pro Essentials for ArcMap Users


If you plan on attending the 2017 ESRIUC there will be much focus on the latest release of ArcGIS Pro. In addition to prominent mention and attention on the main stage you can expect to find many interesting and informative sessions on “Pro” during the week. Some of the noteworthy sessions you might wish to consider include:

ArcGIS Pro Panel Discussion
SDCC – Ballroom 20 D, Thurs 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm
Come meet the senior members of the ArcGIS Pro team and ask your question about ArcGIS Pro capabilities now and what’s planned for the future. The team will also be address common migration questions received via Social Media and Esri Support.

Getting Started with ArcGIS Pro SDK Add-Ins and Configurations
SDCC – Demo Theater 11, Tues 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm, Wed 11:30 am – 12:15 pm
This session will provide a walk-through on how to get up and running with the ArcGIS Pro SDK for .NET and build your first Pro add-ins and configurations

Sharing to Portal from ArcGIS Pro
SDCC – Demo Theater 09 – Wed 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm
ArcGIS Pro is designed with Enterprise GIS in mind, so the Share tab is filled with different ways to share your work. With ArcGIS Pro, you can share web feature layers, web tile layers, web elevation layers, and web scene layers. Additionally, ArcGIS Pro also allows you to share your maps and geoprocessing tools directly to your Portal organization.

Setting-Up and Working with Your Geodatabase in ArcGIS Pro
SDCC – Demo Theater 06 – Wed 12:30 pm – 1:15 pm
Learn about the ArcGIS Pro user experience for creating and managing your data. Discover how to model fields, domains and subtypes, and also how to leverage versioning and archiving in ArcGIS Pro.

See these 10 fine suggested resources to learn more about ArcGIS Pro:

  1. ArcGIS Pro Terminology Guide (PDF)
  2. Everything you need to know about migrating to ArcGIS Pro
  3. Esri training and getting started with Pro, Free training
  4. Quick start tutorial
  5. Are you using ArcMap and interested in migrating to ArcGIS Pro? Be sure to consult this resource
  6. Free ArcGIS Pro web course
  7. What is arcgis pro? Video
  8. Georeferencing in ArcGIS Pro 1.4
  9. ArcGIS Pro license management instructions
  10. ArcGIS Pro resources from Esri CA


Introducing ArcGIS Pro video (below)

Note: you can stay informed by following @ArcGISpro on Twitter also!

See Also:

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