Automation with ArcGIS Pro

Within ArcGIS Pro, several key capabilities offer opportunities for automation. ArcGIS Pro is designed as professional GIS desktop application, and many workflows in that application are intended for direct, dynamic expert use. However, some workflows like analysis, editing and visualization are very appropriate for automation, and opportunities exist to make the user experience more efficient for these users.

Geoprocessing automation

The many geoprocessing and analysis tools in ArcGIS Pro can all be run interactively or through several batch or automation approaches, including:

  • Use of ModelBuilder, which can tie together multiple tools, inputs and outputs, and create full workflows that automate many manual tasks or sequential tools.
  • Scheduling and Batch processing of geoprocessing tools allow for future and repeated scheduling, or running the same tool against many similar input datasets.
  • Geoprocessing can also be automated through Python scripts and notebooks, by accessing and sequencing tools in the ArcPy module, passing in datasets and writing outputs to specified locations.
  • Geoprocessing workflows (both Python-based and ModelBuilder-based) can also be published as geoprocessing services to enable request-based processing, which can provide other automation avenues.

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Many ArcGIS Pro workflows include a repeated set of steps, often run in a similar order by a similar user type or persona. A task is a set of pre-configured steps that guide you and others through a workflow or business process. A task can be used to implement a best practice workflow, improve the efficiency of a workflow, or create a series of interactive tutorial steps. Tasks provide a way to connect together data interactions, editing and geoprocessing into one clear sequenced definition, and manage a mix of manual and automated step completion.

More information on tasks can be found in the ArcGIS Pro documentation, including information on sharing tasks through ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online.

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Map automation

Another category of automation includes activities related to Maps and Layouts in ArcGIS Pro. Python can be used (specifically, the package) to automate map updates, symbology changes, layout creation, map elements and exports. These tools can also be added to other Python scripts or run in Python notebooks.