In a previous article ( Dimension Explorer in ArcGis 10.3: From Time Cursor to
Multidimensional Cursor ) we started the Dimension Explorer 1.1
Here is the last part of this article.
How to record and reopen three-dimensional models
By using the “Save / Open” panel you can save
and reopen dimensional models in the current document. To save the current
dimensional model, enter a name in the text box and click the “Save”
button . Be sure to save the document (.mxd) before closing ArcMap. Templates
are saved in the .mxd file . To re-open a saved dimensional model, simply
select it from the list.
How to modify three-dimensional models
The buttons of the “Edit”
panel allow you controlling the dimensional values that appear in the cursors.
Therefore, you can define the start and end values of a dimension and remove
and / or restore the selected dimension values. The buttons are only
activated when the conditions are adequate. For example, the “Start
= Current ” button is disabled when the cursor is placed on the
minimum dimension value (start and value current are already the same).
Start = current: sets the start value of the
cursor at its current position
End = current: sets the value of the cursor at its current
Start = Min: sets the start value of the cursor to the minimum
value in the layer
End = Max : sets the end value of the slider to the maximum value
in the layer
Remove value: excludes the current value of the cursor and
advances the cursor to the next value
Restore Value: restores the last excluded value of the cursor
“Time” panel contains the parameters of the time dimension.
This parameter defines the display format of the date / time in the navigation
window. Choose a display format from the list provided.
Time Window: This parameter defines the time range of the
displayed data, relative to the current cursor position. If the time window is larger
than the spacing between two divisions of the cursor, all the time steps
included in this time window are displayed simultaneously.
The extent of the time window is displayed on the cursor control as a blue bar
under the cursor.
Cumulative: This parameter forces the display of all time
steps between the start of the cursor and the current position.
The time dimension cursor includes a “full
time extent” button to adjust the display over all time steps of the
layer.When this box is checked, the map will display all the data included in
the entire temporal dimension.
To display only the data at the current cursor position, set the units
in the Time Setting window to “None”.
Time Update Mode : This setting controls how the time data displayed
on the map is read by the data source when you move the cursor. This option is
enabled only for temporal mosaic datasets and imaging services.
“Time Definition” is the default mode. When this mode
is selected, the Dimension Explorer cursorr controls the “Time”
parameter of the map display:
o All activated time layers in the map respond according to the cursor of
o The maximum time resolution is 1 second.
o The entire display of the visible map is refreshed when the time is updated.
It’s exactly the same as the classic ArcMap time cursor.
“Lock raster” provides a more precise mode of time
browsing for temporal mosaics and imaging services. This mode works by applying
the “Lock on Raster” mosaic method to the selected layer. When this
mode is active:
o Only the selected layer responds to the Dimension Explorer cursor command.
o The maximum temporal resolution is one millisecond.
o The map will only display data that corresponds to the defined spatial filter
when the dimensional model was built.
o The map view is refreshed only on the current imagery / frame envelope when
navigating with the Dimension Explorer cursor.
o The setting of the map time display is set to the full time dimension
measurement. Therefore, if the map contains other temporal layers, all
their data will be displayed simultaneously.
Note that the “Lock Raster ” mode is enabled only under
the following conditions:
o The dimensional model was built from a temporal layer, a temporal mosaic or
an image service.
o The map layer is defined with a projected coordinate system.
o The system of the card layer and the map (data block) are the same.
The settings in the “Playback” panel
control the behaviour of the animation when you use the buttons “Play
Forward” and “Play Reverse” on the cursors in the navigation
The “Play rate” parameter sets the time in milliseconds
between the last refresh of the map and the next time the cursor is switched on.
The default value is 500 milliseconds. When “Turn repeat on” is
checked, the animation will restart in a loop, from the beginning when it
reaches the end.
How to export
With the “Export” panel you can export
the visible map either as a single image or as a series of images. These images
can be used to create video animations using free programs such as ffmpeg and
Movie Maker (included in Windows Essentials). The exported images are stored in
a folder with the same name as the layer under “My Documents \ Dimension
Explorer.” These settings allows you to control the image output format,
compression quality, scale of the image. map, and the size (rows and columns)
of the exported image (s).
If you have multiple monitors, make sure that the main ArcMap application
window is fully positioned in only one of them while exporting the images.
Output format: PNG or JPEG
- PNG (Portable Network Graphic) supports compression
without missing any data.
- JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts
Group) Supports Data Loss Compression
Compression quality: Applicable only if JPEG is
selected as the output format. Lower values produce smaller image files, but
at the expense of image quality. Higher values produce larger files with
better image quality. To change the default value, type a value from 1 to 100.
Scale of the output map : The scale of the map file (s) exported.
By default, this value is equal to the scale of the current map. The value is
changed automatically whenever the visible map extent is changed. You can also
change the value by typing a value and pressing the Enter or Tab key. The value
of this parameter has an inverse effect on the number of rows and columns of
the exported image. For example, entering a lower value will increase the
number of rows and columns in the exported image.
Lock current : If unchecked, the value changes whenever
the visible range of the map changes. When it is checked, the indicated
value does not change with the change of scope of the view in ArcMap.
Output Resolution: columns androws : the
number of columns and rows in the exported image (s). These values depend on
the size and definition of the screen. You can modify the rows and columns of
the exported image by manually adjusting the size on the screen of the ArcMap
DPI: The dots per inch of the exported image (s). This parameter
has a direct effect on the number of rows and columns of the exported image
(s). The value is defined from the Current display settings in Windows. If
you want to export using a different DPI value, change the DPI setting in
Windows, then close and reopen the export panel.
* 2, * 3 These buttons can be used to
increase the number of rows and columns to a number higher than that available
in the display device (monitor). This can be useful if you want to export the
images at a resolution higher than that available in the display.
* 2 : doubles the number of rows and columns of the exported
image (s), changes the scale setting to half of the current value.
* 3 : Triple the number of rows and columns of the exported image
(s), change the scale setting to one-third of the current value.
Reset : Resets the number of rows and columns for
the current display settings, change the setting from the scale to that
of the current map.
Export Single Image: This button exports the visible extended map
to a single image. This is useful if you want to test your export settings
before generating a complete set of images for each dimensional value.
Export duringAutoplay(FWD) : When
this option is checked, a series of still images is generated for each
dimensional value (ie, time, depth, height, etc.) when the Autoplay
Forward button in the window navigation is checked.
These images can be used in applications such as ffmpeg or Windows Movie
Maker to generate video animations.
WARNING! When “Export during AutoPlay” is checked, the map
display will not be refreshed during AutoPlay when the cursor is moving. This
is normal : Exported images are generated off screen (they are not
During export, do not touch the cursor control buttons, otherwise, you
will abort the current export.
If you want to stop the export, click the Stop
During the export process, a message appears on the ArcMap status bar
that says “Exporting Map Images to: <Folder Path>. Please wait ….
“The export process will stop automatically when the cursor reaches the
end. When the process is complete, a message appears asking if you want to open
the folder where the images are stored. If you click “Yes”, a Windows
Explorer window will open at the location of the exported image.
Include world file : When checked, a file containing
georeferencing information (world) will be generated for the exported image
Once the images are exported, here is a link of a video made with
Windows Movie Maker from the surface layer of our example: