10 Tips to Help You Migrate to ArcGIS Pro, the CONNECTED GIS desktop

We recently heard the latest info from Esri reps regarding ArcGIS Pro at R 2, recall the latest major update to Pro was officially released to all back in the summer near UC (see Esri blogs). Simply put, ArcGIS Pro, which is part of ArcGIS Desktop, is the next step in the evolution of ArcGIS Technology from Esri. Users have access to ArcGIS Pro via the same organizational desktop license that they’ve always had. Pro is not really a new product, rather, it is new technology along with a new look and feel, new UI, and new capabilities. With Pro, users can take advantage of some cool new functionality including: working with multiple layouts, faster tools, side-by-side 2D and 3D visualization, and much more. Think of more collaboration between users in your org!

arcgis pro

In ArcGIS Pro, a project can contain multiple maps, layouts, tables, tasks, tools, connections, and more, and these items are all stored in one project file. Above is the new look ribbon UI.

ArcGIS Pro has been designed to work with your Web GIS and also works with Portal clients. Users can expect superior performance from Pro as well as access to much better cartography, symbology, georeferencing tools, and benefits of Web GIS like publishing dashboards directly within Pro and accessing a wealth of data directly via the Living Atlas and ArcGIS Online. Of interest, users are encouraged to also investigate a wealth of Ready-to-Use, configurable Maps and Apps from Esri via the ArcGIS solutions website. This is where anyone can Leverage hundreds of ready-to-use maps, apps, and platform configurations to meet your needs.

Some notable things about ArcGIS Pro:

  • Pro gets automatically installed and is accessible to your org (see your license Admin)
  • License is handled through ArcGIS Administrator
  • Think of projects and .aprx files rather than map documents (.mxd)
  • Project files can contain multiple maps, scenes (3D) and layouts
  • Esri made it easy to migrate and import maps from mxd.
  • New look ribbon-based user interface
  • Display 3D cartography using multiple variables in 3D (cool)
  • Pro can work in offline mode
  • New tasks, record workflows, like a macro, they can be automated, receive user input etc…
  • Compare 2D and 3D scenes
  • With Pro you can create apps for data analysis… much more than just a story map!
  • How to get it? Purchase desktop, or perpetual (no expiration), term or subscription, or ELA
  • Convert one concurrent user with 3 named users

Switching Users to ArcGIS Pro

Migrating or making the switch to Pro doesn’t need to be scary or intimidating, although it does seem that users have been somewhat slow or apprehensive to make the switch. Esri folks do indicate that pretty much everything you are used to as well as most of your existing projects and tools should be readily usable from Pro (expect about 95% of what you have created to come into Pro without any pain). After hearing from some users it seems that a number of orgs are also adopting a side-by-side approach of continuing with ArcMap in some capacity while easing into using Pro.  There are a number of resources to help you make the switch to Pro in your organization – A good place to start, once logged into your account is at My Esri

There’s also information about terminology as well as tutorials. Here’s 10 handy resources to help you make the switch to ArcGIS Pro:

  1. Installation Options (you may require help from an Admin)
  2. Tips for ArcMap users moving to Pro
  3. An introduction to Pro for ArcMap users – This guide answers general questions and will help get you started.
  4. ArcGIS Pro quick-start tutorials – intro to basic operations and more
  5. Esri Product manager Video – Intro to ArcGIS Pro
  6. From Tripp Corbin, Intro to ArcGIS Pro video webinar
  7. Understanding GIS: An ArcGIS Pro Project Workbook, Third Edition
  8. Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro teaches the the fundamentals of making 2D and 3D maps. From Esri, Getting started with ArcGIS Pro provides details of system requirements, how to access Pro and authorize your licenses.
  9. Video – Going Pro: ArcGIS Pro Essentials for ArcMap User, from Esri Training
  10. Request a free 21 day trialBONUS TIP… 10 Things I like about ArcGIS Pro, by Chris North

Note: for users of Admin Tools for ArcGIS Online, there are a number of Tools that can help you manage your ArcGIS Pro users. For example, in the Tools, Admin Tools -> Users Tools -> Add Entitlements is used to manage Pro access by your users as well as entitlements to extensions like Drone2Map etc… Users can also write a query for users and bulk update their access to Pro or any extensions for Pro.

If you ask me,  I think the coolest thing about ArcGIS Pro is the tighter integration with ArcGIS Online, the ability to work side-by-side with 2D and 3D data, and the ability to acces and use a wealth of ready-to-use-apps! According to Chris North, Director of Solutions for Esri Canada, he tells me to think of ArcGIS Pro as my connected desktop GIS!

ArcGIS Pro

Some of the things you can do with ArcGIS Pro:
Dashboard apps, create grids over imagery and snap to features, use LiDAR data, 2D and 3D side by side.

Have you made the switch to Pro yet? Why or why not? Share with us on Twitter @geojobegis

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GEOspatial Evangelist & CMO

Geographer, GIS professional, writer, and fan of all things mobile.