Using ArcGIS Pro can be as relaxing as a spring drive in the park! Have you switched yet?

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. 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.

Migration to ArcGIS Pro - as relaxing as a spring drive in the park!
Migration to ArcGIS Pro – as relaxing as a spring drive in the park!

So why should you consider migrating to ArcGIS Pro? There are many benefits ArcGIS Pro brings to the table. Here are a few of them according to Esri:

  • ArcGIS Pro features a modern ribbon-based user interface, 2D and 3D views, multi­threaded geoprocessing, support for multiple maps and layouts, and more (see image below)
  • 2D and 3D maps that you create in ArcGIS Pro can easily be shared as web maps and web scenes to ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise
  • you can customize ArcGIS Pro in numerous ways to fit your needs. Create Tasks in Pro to streamline repeatable workflows, automate your work with Python and more
  • ArcGIS Pro has many capabilities beyond ArcMap including better 3D visualization
  • There are SO many great learning materials for ArcGIS Pro, and a lot of them are free – be sure to check out  ArcGIS Pro lessons.
  • ArcGIS Pro doesn’t cost anything extra! It is included with ArcGIS Desktop, which also includes ArcMap and ArcCatalog
  • The majority of the ArcGIS Desktop extensions are available in ArcGIS Pro. These include 3D Analyst, Data Interoperability, Data Reviewer, Geostatistical Analyst and more
  • You can import your ArcMap documents directly into ArcGIS Pro projects. To learn try the Import an ArcMap document tutorial
  • The majority of geoprocessing tools that are available in ArcMap are also in ArcGIS Pro

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)

For more tips and resources to assist you in making the switch to Pro continue Reading


Did you know, ArcGIS Pro is included with your ArcMap and arcGIS Desktop license! Esri has some tips HERE to assist in getting started. Default licensing for ArcGIS Pro is managed via your ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS account.


What about your data? Import map documents (.mxd), scenes (.sxd), and globes (.3DD) into ArcGIS Pro and save them as projects (.aprx). 

Note, Administrators of Orgs using ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online should also consider adopting Admin Tools, now at version 1.1, to assist them in managing their users and being more productive.

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GEOspatial Evangelist & CMO

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