Spatial-temporal cube with ArcMap and ArcScene: possible or not?

We have followed during the two latest articles ( The Spatial-Temporal Cube of ArcGis : 1- discovery , The spatial-temporal cube of ArcGis : 2 hot spots and cold spots ), an
example for the building and visualization of a spatial-temporal cube with
ArcGis Pro 1.0.
We will discuss here how to do the same without ArcGis Pro, but using ArcMap
and ArcScene 10.3.
To answer the question asked in the title, is it possible or not, we will answer
affirmatively , but at what price?
As for the first part , building the cube, it is possible with ArcMap.
The 3D visualization of the cube, even if this is not documented in the ESRI
documentation, it is possible with ArcScene.
Let’s take a look at all the obstacles to overcome , because it’s an obstacle race!

 

Building the cube with ArcMap

We resume using the two previous articles data,
the winds forecast for Brittany.

The two fields we are going to use are Gust ( bursts ) and DateTime
(date field).

Firstly, let’s consider what should be done (for the time being ).

To create the cube, which will be stored in
NetCDF format ( .nc ), we will use the tool Createaspace-timecubefrom the Toolsmodelsexplorationspatio-temporal  toolbox.
The Toolbox is available in the ArcMap Toolbox , and everything suggests that
you can execute it .

We launch the tool and the settings window opens :   

For the first three fields, no problem : data Input, output cube, input
date field data.

Where it starts to get tricky is when you have to inform the temporal
time step and the geographical time step .

When you click the Interval temporal window help
you get the following :  

For the first three fields, no problem : data Input, output cube, input
date field data.

Where it starts to get tricky is when you have to inform the temporal
time step and the geographical time step .

When you click the Interval temporal window help
you get the following :  

You can follow the instructions and type 2 days , 4 weeks … nothing
will work because the order was not designed to speak english ! If you want to execute
the command, you will have to type 12 Hours, 1 Day , …

With this discovery , you could think that it would work as well with
the distance interval . Well, yes (or almost) , since the field for the units
of distance ( meters , kilometers , …) is not modifiable! So not possible to
enter them in English or any other language. Since the field is not mandatory ,
we’ll leave it blank and the command will calculate it by default.

Viewing 2D results

We have discussed how to load a complementary toolbox with ArcGIS Pro:
to visualize the cube you must Download a Toolkit containing two tools, one to
visualize the cube in 2D and another to visualize the cube in 3D.
The Toolbox can be downloaded at http://esriurl.com/SpaceTimeCubeUtilities .
The 2D command should work for ArcMap and the 3D command for ArcScene. They
« work” since they run without error , read the file netcdf, load the resulting
layer in ArcMap and ArcScene, except that symbology is not taken into account .
If you look at the scripts, the layers are of. Lyrx type and not .lyr. The
extension . lyrx is specific to ArcGIS Pro and is not compatible with ArcMap
and ArcScene.

To display the cube in 2D with ArcMap, you can copy the script with a
new name and replace the called layers ( directory spacetimecubeutilities /
scripts / templates) by those present in the ArcGis / Desktop10.3 / ArcToolbox
/ Templates / Layers installation directory , for example the Emerging_All.lyrx
layer by Emerging_All.lyr .

How to view the 3D cube with ArcScene

Regarding the 3D visualization with ArcScene, here is the procedure to get
the same as with the ArcGis Pro Scene :

  • Open ArcScene
  • Open the ArcScene Toolbox window
  • Load the toolbox Space Time Cube Utilities

You have
to run the Visualize 3D Space Time Cube script to go from
the file netcdf to a ArcScene layer

The
layer is displayed in ArcScene, but not with the associated symbology.  

There is no symbology ready to use for ArcScene, you must create one ,
or download the layer we have created by clicking here .

Double click on the layer in ArcScene tab Symbology
, Import button and point to the downloaded and uncompressed layer .   

What
still remains to be done is, before closing the  symbology definition window, is to set the
size of the symbols .
In the types definition window, left-click on « Symbol » and Properties
of all symbols « -> Edit Symbol
You will have the window following :   

You must set the size , in map units, for each 3D pixel. To this end ,
divide by 4 the value of the distance interval that you have entered for the
construction of the cube ( in our example 40 km / 4 = 10000 m).

Close the window . You obtain the same result as
the  one obtained with the ArcGis Pro
Scene :  

Ready! 

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