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Create a project

Overview

ArcGIS Pro helps you organize and manage the resources related to a work project. To do this, it uses a project file (.aprx) as its default file type. An ArcGIS Pro project can contain maps, scenes, layouts, data, tools, and other items. It may contain connections to folders, databases, and servers. Content can be added from portals such as your ArcGIS organization or ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. Content you create in ArcGIS Pro can also be shared to your portal as web maps, web scenes, and web layers.

In this tutorial, you'll create an ArcGIS Pro project from the Map system template. You'll locate an area of interest and modify map properties. Then you'll add data to identify critical habitat areas for endangered species in California's San Gorgonio Wilderness. This part of the tutorial introduces you to operations, such as analysis and symbology, which are covered in greater depth in other quick-start tutorials.

  • Estimated time: 25 minutes
  • Software requirements: ArcGIS Pro
  • ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal connection
Note:

The tutorial steps in the online help reflect the look and capabilities of the current software release. If you have an earlier software version, use the offline help system to open the tutorial. To switch from the online to the offline help system, see Set the help source in the topic About ArcGIS Pro Help. If you don't have ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Online, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

Create a new project

When you start ArcGIS Pro, the start page appears. The start page has options to open an existing project or create a project from a template. Templates provide different starting points for new projects. Additional maps and scenes can be added to a project at any time, regardless of which template you use.

  1. Start ArcGIS Pro and sign in if necessary.
  2. On the start page, under Blank Templates, click Map.

    Start with the Map template.

    The Map template creates a new project that contains a 2D map.

    Note:
    If you already have a project open, click the Project tab on the ribbon. In the list on the left, click New. In the list of project templates, click Map.

  3. On the Create a New Project dialog box, in the Name box, replace the default project name with San Gorgonio.
    Create a New Project dialog box

    By default, projects are created in your <User Documents>\ArcGIS\Projects folder. To save a project to a different location, click the Browse button Browse and browse to the folder you want.

    The Create a new folder for this project check box is checked by default. It is usually convenient to keep project files organized in a folder.

    To learn how to change these and other default project settings, see General options.

  4. Click OK.

    The new project opens with a map view showing a topographic basemap centered on the United States.

    Topographic map of North America

    Note:

    Don't worry if your map is different. The default basemap and map extent depend on administrative settings in your ArcGIS organization. You'll change the basemap and area of interest later in this tutorial.

    The Contents and Catalog panes are open in most projects. Depending on your work in previous ArcGIS Pro sessions, other panes may be open as well. You'll set the pane state to the default for mapping.

  5. On the ribbon, click the View tab. In the Windows group, click Reset Panes Reset Panes and click Reset Panes for Mapping (Default).

    The Contents and Catalog panes are now open if they were not open before. Any other open panes are closed.

Locate the study area

Your area of interest for this project is the San Gorgonio Wilderness in Southern California. You'll navigate to San Gorgonio Mountain inside the wilderness area.

There are several ways to navigate from the default map extent to your area of interest. For example, you can pan and zoom using the Explore tool Explore Tool. You can add data, which pans your map to the extent of the first layer you add. Here, you'll use the Locate pane to search for a natural landmark.

  1. On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Inquiry group, click Locate Locate.

    The Locate pane appears. At the top of the pane, the Locate tab is selected by default.

  2. In the Locate pane, in the search box, type San Gorgonio Mountain and press Enter.

    San Gorgonio Mountain with marker
    At 11,503 feet (3,506 meters), San Gorgonio is the tallest mountain in Southern California.

    The map zooms in to the San Bernardino Mountains and a temporary marker is placed on the map. The location is found by the ArcGIS World Geocoding Service, one of the default locate providers (location-finding services) in ArcGIS Pro.

    Tip:

    If the ArcGIS World Geocoding Service is not available, you may have a different default locate provider. To see your locate providers, click the Options button Options at the top of the Locate pane.

    If necessary, you can find the mountain by its coordinates. On the Map tab, in the Navigate group, click Go To XY Go To XY. In the overlay that appears on the map, type 116.8W for the longitude and 34.1N for the latitude. Click the Pan To Location button Pan To on the overlay. To remove the overlay, click Go To XY Go To XY to deselect it.

    You'll bookmark the area so you can return to it easily.

  3. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, click Bookmarks Bookmarks and click New Bookmark New Bookmark.
  4. On the Create Bookmark dialog box, in the Name box, type San Gorgonio Mountain. Click OK.
  5. Close the Locate pane.

    The marker is removed from the map.

    Next, you'll give your map a name that reflects the area of interest.

  6. In the Contents pane, under Drawing Order, right-click Map (the default map name) and click Properties Properties.

    The Map Properties dialog box appears. Here you can view and modify map settings. In this project, you will only change the map name.

  7. On the Map Properties dialog box, click the General tab if necessary. In the Name box, replace the default name with San Gorgonio.
  8. Click OK.

    The map name is updated in the Contents pane and on the tab at the top of the map view.

Add wilderness data to the map

Living Atlas is a collection of authoritative geographic data that can inform a variety of analyses. It includes maps, apps, and data layers to support your work. You'll switch to a basemap that displays realistic terrain and then add a layer of wilderness data from Living Atlas to the map.

Note:

To add data from Living Atlas to ArcGIS Pro, you must be signed in to your organization. If you are a member of an ArcGIS Enterprise organization, your access to Living Atlas data depends on settings made by your organization administrator. For more information, see Configure Living Atlas content in the ArcGIS Enterprise help.

  1. On the ribbon, click the Map tab if necessary. In the Layer group, click Basemap Basemap and click Imagery.

    The default basemap is replaced by an imagery basemap.

  2. In the Layer group, click Add Data Add Data.
  3. On the browse dialog box, under Portal Portal, click Living Atlas Living Atlas. In the search box, type usa wilderness and press Enter.
  4. In the list of search results, click the USA Wilderness feature layer Feature layer to select it. (Don't click the USA Wilderness imagery layer Imagery layer.)

    Browse dialog box with USA Wilderness feature layer selected
    Living Atlas content changes, so your list of items may be different.

  5. Scroll across the list of results, if necessary, to confirm that the layer owner is esri_landscape2. Click OK.

    The USA_Wilderness layer is added to the map. The map zooms out to the layer's full extent.

  6. On the Map tab, in the Navigate group, click Bookmarks Bookmarks, and click the San Gorgonio Mountain bookmark to navigate back to your area of interest.

    The green feature in the center of the view is the San Gorgonio Wilderness. You'll confirm its identity.

  7. On the map, click the wilderness feature.

    The feature flashes in the view. The Pop-up pane appears and identifies the feature as San Gorgonio Wilderness.

  8. Optionally identify some other nearby wilderness areas, such as San Jacinto and Joshua Tree. Close the Pop-up pane.

    In this map, you are only interested in the San Gorgonio Wilderness. You'll select this feature and make a new layer from it.

  9. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Selection group, click Select Select. Click the San Gorgonio Wilderness feature to select it.

    San Gorgonio Wilderness selected on the map.

    The feature is highlighted on the map.

  10. In the Contents pane, if necessary, click the USA_Wilderness layer to select it.

    On the ribbon, the Feature Layer contextual tab set appears with three tabs under it.

  11. Under Feature Layer, click the Data tab. In the Selection group, click Layer From Selection Layer From Selection.

    A new layer named USA_Wilderness selection is added to the map and Contents pane. You no longer need the original USA_Wilderness layer.

  12. In the Contents pane, click the USA_Wilderness layer to select it. Right-click the selected layer and click Remove Remove.
  13. Right-click the USA_Wilderness selection layer and click Properties Properties.
  14. On the Layer Properties dialog box, click the General tab if necessary. Rename the layer San Gorgonio Wilderness and click OK.

    The new layer contains one feature instead of hundreds.

  15. On the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of the ArcGIS Pro window, click the Save button Save to save the project.

Add critical habitat data to the map

Living Atlas maps and layers are curated by Esri and based on authoritative data. More content is available from ArcGIS organizations that share their web maps and layers publicly. This content may or may not be authoritative. Before you use any data—whether web-based or file-based—you should review its metadata. Datasets with no metadata or incomplete metadata generally should not be used.

You'll add a layer of critical habitat shared publicly by an Esri-based ArcGIS organization.

  1. On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Layer group, click Add Data Add Data.
  2. On the browse dialog box, under Portal Portal, click All Portal All Portal. In the search box, type southern california critical habitat and press Enter.
  3. In the list of search results, click the Southern California Critical Habitat feature layer Feature layer to select it.
    Southern California Critical Habitat layer selected on the browse dialog box.
    Note:

    If you are connected to an ArcGIS Online portal and don't see this layer, make sure the Search The Active Portal button Search The Active Portal is selected at the top of the browse dialog box.

    If you are connected to an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, you will not have access to this dataset. Instead, on the browse dialog box, under Portal Portal, click Living Atlas Living Atlas. In the list of content, click the USA Critical Habitat feature layer Feature layer. The geoprocessing operation you run in the next section will take longer, but the results will be the same.

  4. Scroll across the list of results, if necessary, to confirm that the layer owner is ArcGISProTutorials. Click OK.

    Map of San Gorgonio Wilderness and critical habitat

    The SoCalCriticalHabitat layer is added to the map.

  5. On the ribbon, click the Map tab if necessary. In the Navigate group, click the Explore tool Explore Tool to select it.
  6. On the map, click any orange critical habitat feature.

    The Pop-up pane appears and identifies the feature you clicked. (There may be more than one.) The pop-up includes a link to the species profile on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) website.

  7. Optionally identify a few more features, then close the Pop-up pane.

    The layer includes threatened and endangered species of amphibians, birds, fish, flowering plants, insects, and mammals.

  8. In the Contents pane, right-click the SoCalCriticalHabitat layer and click View Metadata.

    The catalog view opens. The catalog view is used to manage data and other items inside and outside your project. It is also used to view and edit metadata. On the Metadata tab, metadata for the SoCalCriticalHabitat layer is displayed.

    Note:

    When the catalog view is active, the Contents pane shows the contents of the catalog, not the contents of the map.

  9. Scroll through the metadata.

    Under Description, you can see that the layer was clipped from an authoritative data source. It is suitable for use in this tutorial.

  10. Close the catalog view.
  11. In the Contents pane, right-click the SoCalCriticalHabitat layer and click Properties Properties.
  12. On the Layer Properties dialog box, on the General tab, replace the default name with Southern California Critical Habitat. Click OK.

    The layer name is updated in the Contents pane.

  13. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click the Save button Save .

    Learn more about adding data in the Add data to a project tutorial.

Clip the critical habitat layer

The critical habitat layer covers Southern California. You are interested in the features that lie inside the San Gorgonio Wilderness. You'll use a geoprocessing tool to clip the critical habitat features to the wilderness boundary. This will create a layer in your map and a corresponding feature class in your project geodatabase. Features that lie outside the wilderness will not be included. Features that cross the wilderness boundary will be split and only the portion inside the boundary will be preserved.

  1. On the ribbon, click the Analysis tab. In the Geoprocessing group, click Tools Tools.

    The Geoprocessing pane appears.

  2. In the Geoprocessing pane, in the search box, type Clip.

    In the list of search results, Clip should be the first result.

    Clip tool in the geoprocessing search results

  3. Click the Clip tool to open it.
  4. On the tool, hover over the help icon Help.

    A window appears with a visual example of how the tool works.

  5. On the tool, click the Input Features drop-down arrow and click Southern California Critical Habitat.
    Note:

    If you added the USA Critical Habitat layer from Living Atlas in the previous section, set the input features to Southern California Critical Habitat\Polygons (or USA Critical Habitat\Polygons if you did not rename the layer).

  6. Click the Clip Features drop-down arrow and click San Gorgonio Wilderness.
  7. For Output Feature Class, highlight and delete the default file name. Replace it with CriticalHabitat (no spaces).

    Clip tool settings

    Tip:

    You can replace the entire output feature class path and replace it with a feature class name. The path to the default geodatabase is restored automatically.

  8. Click Run Run.

    When the process is complete, a message appears at the bottom of the Geoprocessing pane and a new layer is added to the map. You no longer need the Southern California Critical Habitat layer.

  9. In the Contents pane, click the Southern California Critical Habitat layer to select it. Right-click the selected layer and click Remove Remove.
  10. Right-click the CriticalHabitat layer and click Zoom To Layer Zoom To Layer.

    Clip tool results shown in map view.

    The map zooms in. The amount of critical habitat in the San Gorgonio Wilderness is small and mostly near the edges. You'll open the layer attribute table to see which species are included.

  11. In the Contents pane, right-click the CriticalHabitat layer and click Attribute Table Open Table.

    Attribute table for the CriticalHabitat layer

    The attribute table for the layer appears. Each row corresponds to a feature in the layer. Each column, or field, corresponds to a feature attribute such as common name or species type.

    Tip:

    To widen a field, hover over the edge of the column heading and drag.

  12. Close the attribute table.
  13. Click Save Save to save the project.

    Learn more about geoprocessing in the Use geoprocessing tools tutorial.

Symbolize the layer

On the map, all the critical habitat features are symbolized with a dark orange fill color. You'll assign a unique symbol to each feature according to its common name.

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the CriticalHabitat layer and click Symbology Symbology.
  2. In the Symbology pane, under Primary Symbology, click the drop-down arrow and click Unique Values Unique Values. Confirm that Field 1 is set to Common Name.
  3. In the lower half of the pane, on the Classes tab, click the Add all values button Add All Values.

    There are four unique common names. Each is assigned a different symbol.

  4. In the Symbology pane, click the Color scheme drop-down arrow. At the bottom of the drop-down list, click the Show names check box.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the list of color schemes and click Pastel 1 (4 classes) to select it. Alternatively, click another color scheme you like.
  6. In the lower half of the pane, on the Classes tab, click the More button and uncheck Show all other values.

    In a layer with many unique values, you may want to assign distinct symbols to a few important features and a generic symbol (such as a gray fill) to the rest. That is the purpose of the Show all other values symbol. However, you don't need it here.

  7. Close the Symbology pane.
  8. Click the critical habitat features to see their pop-ups.

    Features can be spatially discontinuous. In this layer, the California taraxacum and the Mountain yellow-legged frog are single features (each has one table row) made up of two polygons.

    Note:

    The habitat of the Southwestern willow flycatcher is hard to see. It consists of a very thin strip along the wilderness boundary. To locate it, open the CriticalHabitat attribute table. Click the gray box at the edge of the row to select the Southwestern willow flycatcher record. In the row of tools at the top of the table, click Zoom To Zoom To Selection. Click Clear Clear Selection to clear the selection.

  9. In the Catalog pane (not the Contents pane), expand Databases and expand San Gorgonio.gdb.

    Catalog pane showing project geodatabase and feature class

    When you create output data, as you did with the Clip tool, the new data is stored by default in your project geodatabase.

  10. ClickSave Save to save the project.

    Learn more about symbolizing data in the Symbolize map layers tutorial.

In this tutorial, you created a project and followed several typical workflows: you added data to a map, ran a geoprocessing tool, and symbolized a map layer. For a more advanced example that incorporates similar workflows, try the Author a map tutorial.

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