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Create a project

Overview

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  • Video length: 4:01.
  • This video was created with ArcGIS Pro 2.4.

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 online portals such as your ArcGIS organization or the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World.

In this tutorial, you'll create an ArcGIS Pro project from the Map system template. You'll also use data from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World to identify critical habitat areas for endangered species within California's San Bernardino National Forest.

  • Estimated time: 25 minutes
  • Software requirements: ArcGIS Pro
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

  1. Start ArcGIS Pro and sign in if necessary.

    ArcGIS Pro automatically opens the start page. Here you find options to either open an existing project or create a project using one of the available templates. These templates provide a starting point for the project. Additional maps, scenes, and catalog views can be added to your project at any time, regardless of the initial template.

  2. On the start page, under Blank Templates, click Map.
    Start with the Map template.

    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, type CriticalHabitat.
    Create a New Project dialog box

    By default, projects are created in your <User Documents>\ArcGIS\Projects folder. You can change this location in the General options. To save a project to a different location without changing the default, 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 your project files organized in a folder.

  4. Click OK.

    The new project opens with a map view.

    If you've opened ArcGIS Pro before, the Contents and Catalog panes may be open. 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 will be San Bernardino National Forest in California. You'll navigate to San Gorgonio Mountain, located in the middle of the national forest.

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

    The Locate pane appears.

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

    The map zooms to the San Bernardino National Forest and a temporary marker is placed on the map. San Gorgonio is the tallest mountain in Southern California and is an important landmark in the national forest. 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 Settings tab at the top of the Locate pane.

    Alternatively, 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 button Pan To on the overlay to pan the map to San Bernardino National Forest. Click the Go To XY button again to remove the overlay.

    Next, you'll bookmark your area of interest so you can return to it easily later.

  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.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Close the Locate pane.

    The marker is removed from the map.

Explore the map properties

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click Map and click Properties Properties.

    The Map Properties dialog box appears. Here you can modify a variety of settings pertaining to your map.

  2. On the General tab, in the Name box, replace the default name with SBNF Critical Habitat.
  3. Click OK.

    The dialog box closes and the map's name is updated in the Contents pane.

Add data to the map

The Esri Living Atlas is full of freely accessible data that can inform a variety of analyses. It includes maps, apps, and data layers to support your work. You'll use data layers from Esri as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate which endangered species have critical habitat within the forest.

Note:

To add data from the Living Atlas, you must be signed in to ArcGIS Pro through an ArcGIS Online portal. The name of your portal appears in the upper right corner of the ArcGIS Pro window. If you are signed in through an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, you will be able to add data from the Living Atlas only if your administrator has enabled access. For more information, see Manage portal connections from ArcGIS Pro in the ArcGIS Pro help and Configure Living Atlas content in the ArcGIS Enterprise help.

Since you'll be examining natural areas, you'll switch to a basemap that displays accurate ground cover.

  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 the Imagery basemap.

  2. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, click Add Data Add Data.

    The Add Data dialog box appears.

  3. On the dialog box, under Portal All Portal, click Living Atlas Living Atlas, then type national forest in the search box. Press Enter.
    Search Portal for Living Atlas
  4. Click the hosted feature layer named USA Parks.

    If multiple layers with the same name are returned, choose the one with esri_dm as the owner.

  5. Click OK.

    The USA_Parks layer is added to the map. The map may zoom out to the layer's full extent.

  6. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click the Save button Save to save the project.

Outline and symbolize the study area

You'll select San Bernardino National Forest from your newly added data and add it to a new layer that you'll use to outline the study area.

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

    The large, green feature closest to the center of the bookmarked area represents San Bernardino National Forest. You'll quickly verify its identity.

  2. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Navigate group, make sure the Explore tool Explore Tool is activated.
  3. Click the national forest to identify it and see its pop-up. Read the information, then close the pop-up.
  4. On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Selection group, click Select Select. Click the feature representing the San Bernardino National Forest to select it.

    Ensure the feature is highlighted in the map view. San Bernardino National Forest is made up of two areas, so two polygons are highlighted in the map when the national forest is selected.

    San Bernardino National Forest is selected in the map view.
  5. Make sure the USA_Parks layer is selected in the Contents pane. On the ribbon, on the Feature Layer contextual tab set, on the Data tab, in the Selection group, click Layer From Selection Layer From Selection.

    A new layer is added to the map in the Contents pane called USA_Parks selection.

    Tip:

    If you prefer to navigate between panes and views without using your mouse, press Ctrl+Tab on your keyboard to display the Active Views and Active Panes window. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to choose a pane or view. For more tips, see the table of common keyboard shortcuts.

    Active Views and Active Panes window

  6. In the Contents pane, right-click the USA_Parks layer name and click Remove Remove.

    Note that your selection layer still works, even though the source layer from which it was derived is now gone.

  7. Right-click the USA_Parks selection layer and click Properties. On the Layer Properties dialog box, on the General tab, rename the layer to San Bernardino National Forest. Click OK.

    Your new layer only contains a single feature, but the symbology shown in the Contents pane still used the three-toned legend from the original USA_Parks layer. You'll change the symbology to reflect just the boundary of the forest.

  8. Ensure that the San Bernardino National Forest layer is selected in the Contents pane.
  9. On the ribbon, click the Appearance tab within the Feature Layer contextual tab set. In the Drawing group, click Symbology Symbology.

    The Symbology pane appears.

  10. In the Primary Symbology drop-down menu, click Single Symbol Single Symbol.
  11. Click the symbol patch to modify it.
  12. Under Format Polygon Symbol, click the Properties tab.

    Change Color to no color, Outline color to a bright yellow such as Solar Yellow, and Outline width to 3 pt.

    Format Polygon Symbol settings
  13. Click Apply.

    The symbology updates in the map view.

    Updated symbology shown in map view.
  14. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click the Save button Save to save the project.

Examine critical habitat in the park

Now that you've clearly outlined your study area, you'll add another layer containing information about endangered species in the United Sates.

  1. On the ribbon, on the Map tab, click Add Data Add Data.
  2. On the Add Data dialog box, under Portal All Portal, click Living Atlas Living Atlas. Next to the Categories header below the search box, click the drop-down arrow, expand Environment, and click Species.
    Browse Living Atlas categories

    The Living Atlas content is filtered to the selected category.

  3. Browse to the hosted feature layer named USA Critical Habitat.

    You can sort the list alphabetically by clicking the Name header on the dialog box.

    Search results sorted alphabetically.
  4. Click OK.

    The layer is added to the map.

  5. On the ribbon, click the Map tab, if necessary. In the Navigate group, click Explore Explore Tool.
  6. Click one of the shaded regions inside the national forest boundary.

    A pop-up appears describing the data that is located where you clicked. These pop-ups contain links to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service website, where you can learn more about the endangered species in the area. Read the information, then close the pop-up.

  7. Click Save Save .

Manipulate the data

The critical habitat polygons cover the entire United States, but for this analysis, you'll focus on the ones in San Bernardino National Forest. Previously, you used a selection tool to filter data but to trim polygons that cross the forest boundary, you'll need to use a geoprocessing tool.

  1. On 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. Press Enter.

    Several results are returned.

  3. Click Clip (Analysis Tools) to open the tool.
  4. Under Input Features, click the USA Critical Habitat\Polygons layer that appears in the drop-down list.
  5. Under Clip Features, click San Bernardino National Forest from the drop-down list.
  6. For Output Feature Class, type SBNF_CriticalHabitat. Your tool should look like the image below.
    Clip tool settings
  7. Click Run Run.

    The process may take several moments. When it is complete, a new layer is generated and added to the map in the Contents pane, showing all the endangered species that have critical habitat in San Bernardino National Forest.

  8. Remove the original USA Critical Habitat layer from the map. Your map should now look similar to the image below.
    Clip tool results shown in map view.

    Each of the polygons within the national forest boundary represent different endangered species. To better visualize what kinds of endangered species are in the national forest, you'll change the symbology to show a different color for each type of species.

  9. In the Contents pane, right-click the SBNF_CriticalHabitat layer and click Symbology Symbology.
  10. In the Symbology pane, in the Primary Symbology drop-down menu, click Unique Values Unique Values. In the Field 1 drop-down list, select Species Type.

    The symbology automatically assigns a unique color to amphibians, birds, fish, flowering plants, insects, and mammals.

  11. Now you'll open the attribute data to understand which species have critical habitat in the San Bernardino National Forest.
  12. In the Contents pane, right-click SBNF_CriticalHabitat and click Attribute Table Open Table.

    The attribute table for the layer appears.

  13. Explore the attributes to learn more about the types of endangered species living in the area.

    To conserve endangered wildlife and plants, it's important to both identify at-risk species and locate the places they inhabit. This map layer does both and can be a helpful reference for park officials, conservation professionals, and interested citizens.

  14. Save Save the project and close ArcGIS Pro.

Now that you know how to create a project, you can use the other quick-start tutorials to understand elements of ArcGIS Pro in more detail.

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