ArcGIS Pro helps you organize and manage the resources related to your work. To do this, it uses a project file (.aprx) as its default file type. An ArcGIS Pro project can contain maps, scenes, layouts, and other items. It can also contain connections to data stored in folders, databases, and servers. Maps, layers, and other GIS content can also 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.
In this tutorial, you'll create an ArcGIS Pro project to identify critical habitat areas for endangered species in California's San Gorgonio Wilderness. The tutorial introduces you to operations, such as analysis and symbology, that are covered in more depth in other tutorials.
- Estimated time: 45 minutes
- Software requirements: ArcGIS Pro
- ArcGIS Online portal connection
If you are signed in to ArcGIS Pro with an ArcGIS Enterprise account, you will not be able to add the web layers used in this tutorial. To complete the tutorial, you should sign in to an ArcGIS Online portal, if one is available to you. (You can use an ArcGIS public account.) Alternatively, you can download data equivalent to the web layers from the Create a project item page on ArcGIS Online. After you download the .zip file, extract it to a convenient location, such as C:\Temp. Instructions for adding these datasets to the project are provided as needed in the tutorial.
Create a project from a default template
When you start ArcGIS Pro, the start page appears. The start page has options to open a recent project or to create a project from a template. Templates define the starting state of the project. For example, the Map template creates a project that opens with a map view.
- Start ArcGIS Pro and sign in if necessary.
- On the start page, under Blank Templates, click Map.
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.
- On the Create a New Project dialog box, in the Name box, replace the default project name with San Gorgonio.
By default, projects are created in your \Users\<username>\Documents\ArcGIS\Projects folder. To save a project to a different location, click 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.
- Click OK.
The new project opens with a map view showing a topographic basemap.
Your map may be different because the default basemap and map extent depend on administrative settings in your ArcGIS organization. You do not need to make any changes to your map display.
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.
- On the ribbon, click the View tab. In the Windows group, click 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. To orient yourself, you'll search for San Gorgonio Mountain, a prominent landmark inside the wilderness area.
- On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Inquiry group, click Locate .
The Locate pane appears. At the top of the pane, the Locate tab is selected by default.
- In the Locate pane, in the search box, type San Gorgonio Mountain and press the Enter key.
The map zooms in to the San Bernardino Mountains and a highlighted 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.
You'll add a permanent graphic marker that will persist after you close the Locate pane.
- In the Locate pane, under ArcGIS World Geocoding Service, right-click San Gorgonio Mountain: California and click Add Graphic .
A marker with selection handles appears at the temporary marker location. In the Contents pane, a layer named Locate Graphics Layer is added.
- On the ribbon, under Map, click the contextual Graphics tab.
- On the Graphics tab, in the Edit group, click Clear Selection .
- Close the Locate pane.
The temporary marker is removed from the map. The graphic remains. You'll change the default pushpin symbol.
- On the Graphics tab, in the Edit group, click Select All .
There is only one graphic element in the map and it is selected.
- On the Graphics tab, in the Symbol group, click the overlined drop-down arrow to expand the symbol gallery.
- In the symbol gallery, scroll down, if necessary, and click Triangle 3.
- In the Edit group, click Clear Selection .
The graphic symbol is updated on the map.
- In the Contents pane, right-click Locate Graphics Layer and click Properties .
The Layer Properties dialog box appears. Here you can view and modify layer settings. On the General tab, which is selected by default, you'll change the layer name.
- In the Name box, delete the name Locate Graphics Layer. Type San Gorgonio Mountain.
- Click OK.
The layer name is updated in the Contents pane. You'll bookmark this location so you can return to it easily.
- On the ribbon, click the Map tab. (Click the gray Map tab next to the Project tab, not the highlighted tab.)
Some ribbon tabs are core tabs. Core tabs are always present when a certain type of view is active. For example, there is always a Map tab on the ribbon when a map is active. Other tabs are contextual: they appear when additional conditions are met. For example, a Graphics tab appears on the ribbon when you add a graphic to a map. Contextual tabs appear under tab sets, which are highlighted and may include multiple contextual tabs.
- In the Navigate group, click Bookmarks and click New Bookmark .
- On the Create Bookmark dialog box, in the Name box, type San Gorgonio Mountain. Click OK.
Next, you'll give your map a more descriptive name.
- In the Contents pane, under Drawing Order, right-click Map (the default map name) and click Properties .
The Map Properties dialog box appears. The General tab is selected by default, just as it was on the Layer Properties dialog box.
- In the Name box, replace the name Map with San Gorgonio. Click OK.
The map name is updated in the Contents pane and on the tab at the top of the map view.
- On the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of the ArcGIS Pro window, click Save to save the project.
Add wilderness data to the map
ArcGIS Living Atlas is a collection of authoritative geographic data that can inform a variety of analyses. To add data from ArcGIS Living Atlas or ArcGIS Online to ArcGIS Pro, you must be signed in to your organization; typically, you are signed in automatically when you start ArcGIS Pro. If you are signed in to an ArcGIS Enterprise organization, see the note in the Overview section, above, before you continue.
Before you add a layer of wilderness data from ArcGIS Living Atlas to the map, you'll switch to an imagery basemap.
- On the ribbon, click the Map tab (the core map tab) if necessary. In the Layer group, click Basemap and click Imagery.
The default basemap is replaced by an imagery basemap.
- In the Layer group, click Add Data .
Click the icon, not the drop-down arrow. If you click the drop-down arrow, click the first option, Data, in the list.
- On the browse dialog box, under Portal , click Living Atlas . In the search box, type wilderness and press the Enter key.
Several potentially useful results are returned.
If you are using downloaded data, do not search under Living Atlas. Instead, on the browse dialog box, under Computer, browse to the location where you extracted the data, such as C:\Temp. Double-click the Create a project folder. Click Wilderness Areas in the United States.lyrx to select it. Click OK to add the layer to the map.
- In the list of search results, click the Wilderness Areas in the United States feature layer to select it.
You can click Show/Hide Details Panel in the upper right corner of the browse dialog box to see thumbnail images and metadata for your search results. This information can help you decide whether an item meets your needs before you add it to a map.
- Scroll across the list of results, if necessary, to confirm that the layer owner is wildernesswebmaster99. Click OK.
The Wilderness Areas in the United States layer is added to the map. In the middle of the view, adjacent green and yellow features comprise the San Gorgonio Wilderness.
- In the Contents pane, expand the Wilderness Areas in the United States layer.
The layer is a group layer composed of two layers: Non-Federal Lands within Wilderness and National Wilderness Preservation System. You can work with these layers independently. The nonfederal lands are symbolized by white blocks. The federal lands are symbolized with different colors according to the agency that manages them.
- In the Contents pane, uncheck the check box next to the Non-Federal Lands within Wilderness layer to turn off the layer display.
- On the ribbon, on the Map tab, click Explore if necessary. On the map, click the green feature, representing Forest Service land, in the middle of the view.
The feature flashes. The Pop-up pane appears and identifies the feature as San Gorgonio Wilderness.
- Click the adjacent yellow feature, representing Bureau of Land Management land.
In the Pop-up pane, this feature is also identified as San Gorgonio Wilderness.
- Optionally, identify some other nearby wilderness areas. Close the Pop-up pane.
Make a layer from a selected feature
The National Wilderness Preservation System layer has hundreds of features representing wilderness areas. In this project, you'll work only with the portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness managed by the Forest Service. There are different ways to isolate one or more features from others. In this case, you'll select the feature you want to work with and make a new layer from it.
- On the ribbon, on the Map tab, in the Selection group, click Select . Click the San Gorgonio Wilderness feature managed by the Forest Service to select it.
The feature is highlighted on the map.
- In the Contents pane, click the National Wilderness Preservation System layer to select it.
On the ribbon, the Feature Layer tab set appears with three contextual tabs under it.
- Under Feature Layer, click the Data tab. In the Selection group, click Layer From Selection .
A new layer named National Wilderness Preservation System selection is added to the map and to the Contents pane. The new selection layer contains only the single feature you selected on the map. (This is not yet apparent because the original layer is still visible.) You no longer need the Wilderness Areas in the United States layer.
- In the Contents pane, click the Wilderness Areas in the United States layer to select it. Right-click the selected layer and click Remove .
On the map, you see the single feature from your selection layer. The layer name and its symbology need to be updated.
- Right-click the National Wilderness Preservation System selection layer and click Symbology.
The Symbology pane appears.
- At the top of the pane, click the Primary symbology drop-down arrow and click Single Symbol.
The four unique values, representing different agencies, are replaced by a single symbol with a randomly chosen color.
- In the Symbology pane, right-click the symbol to open the color palette. In the color palette, click Apple Dust or a green color you like.
The symbol color is updated on the map and in the Contents pane.
- In the Contents pane, right-click the National Wilderness Preservation System selection layer and click Properties .
- On the Layer Properties dialog box, on the General tab, rename the layer San Gorgonio Wilderness - Forest Service.
- On the dialog box, click the Source tab.
The URL field shows the path to the web-based data source. This is the same URL as the National Wilderness Preservation System layer you added from ArcGIS Living Atlas. When you made a new layer from a selection on the original layer, you did not create new data—you made a different representation of the same data.
If you added the layer from your computer, the data source is a file geodatabase with a path such as C:\Temp\Create a project\Create_a_project.gdb.
- Click OK on the Layer Properties dialog box.
- On the ribbon, under Feature Layer, click the Appearance tab. In the Effects group, highlight the Transparency value of 0.0% and type 30. Press the Enter key.
The partial transparency makes the imagery and the mountain symbol visible underneath the wilderness feature. Learn more about visual effects such as transparency and layer blending.
- In the Contents pane, click San Gorgonio Mountain to select the graphics layer. Drag it above the San Gorgonio Wilderness - Forest Service layer. (As you drag, the layer position is represented by a horizontal bar in the Contents pane.)
The layers are reordered, and the mountain draws on top of the wilderness area.
- In the Contents pane, right-click the San Gorgonio Wilderness - Forest Service layer and click Zoom To Layer .
The map zooms in to the extent of the layer.
- On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Save to save the project.
Add critical habitat data to the map
ArcGIS Living Atlas maps and layers are curated by Esri and based on authoritative data. Much 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. Be cautious about using datasets with no metadata or incomplete metadata.
You'll add a layer of critical habitat shared publicly by an Esri-based ArcGIS organization.
- On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Layer group, click Add Data .
- On the browse dialog box, under Portal , click ArcGIS Online . In the search box, type "southern california critical habitat" (include the quotation marks) and press the Enter key.
If you are using downloaded data, on the browse dialog box, under Computer, browse to the location where you extracted the data, such as C:\Temp. Double-click the Create a project folder. Click SoCalCriticalHabitat.lyrx to select it. Click OK.
- In the search results, click the Southern California Critical Habitat feature layer to select it.
Use quotation marks if you know the exact name of the item you are searching for. If you search for southern california critical habitat without quotation marks, many search results are returned and the layer you want may be hard to see. Use Sort and Filter to order and narrow long lists of search results.
- Scroll across the list of results, if necessary, to confirm that the layer owner is ArcGISProTutorials. Click OK.
The SoCalCriticalHabitat layer is added to the map.
- On the ribbon, click the Map tab if necessary. In the Navigate group, click Bookmarks and click the San Gorgonio Mountain bookmark you made earlier.
The map zooms out and gives you a better sense of the local critical habitat.
- On the Map tab, in the Navigate group, click Explore .
- On the map, click any orange critical habitat feature.
The Pop-up pane appears and identifies the feature you clicked. The pop-up includes a link to the species profile on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) website.
- Identify some other features. Close the Pop-up pane.
The layer includes threatened and endangered species of amphibians, birds, fish, flowering plants, insects, and mammals.
- In the Contents pane, right-click the SoCalCriticalHabitat layer and click View Metadata .
The catalog view opens. The catalog view presents an inventory of items in your project and is used to manage maps and data. It is also used to view and edit metadata. Metadata for the SoCalCriticalHabitat layer is displayed in the details panel of the catalog view.
When the catalog view is active, the Contents pane shows the contents of the project, not the contents of the map.
- Scroll through the SoCalCriticalHabitat metadata.
Under Description, you can see that the layer was clipped from an authoritative data source. It may not represent the current state of the data, but it is suitable for this tutorial.
- Close the catalog view.
- In the Contents pane, right-click the SoCalCriticalHabitat layer and click Properties .
- On the Layer Properties dialog box, click the General tab. Rename the layer Southern California Critical Habitat. Click OK.
The layer name is updated in the Contents pane.
- On the Quick Access Toolbar, click 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'll use a geoprocessing tool to clip the critical habitat features to the boundary of the San Gorgonio Wilderness - Forest Service layer. This will create a new layer in your map. Unlike the selection layer you made earlier, it will also create a new feature class—a permanent dataset—in your project geodatabase.
When you clip the layer, features that lie completely inside the wilderness will be preserved. Features that cross the wilderness boundary will be split, and only the portion inside the boundary will be preserved. Features and partial features that lie outside the boundary will be discarded.
- On the ribbon, click the Analysis tab.
If the Analysis gallery isn't wide enough to display the Clip tool, click the overlined drop-down arrow to expand the gallery. The Clip tool is located in the first row of Default tools (and in the row of Overlay Features tools).
- In the Analysis gallery, click the Clip tool.
The tool opens in the Geoprocessing pane.
- On the tool, hover over the help icon to see an illustrated description of what the tool does.
- On the tool, click the Input Features drop-down arrow and click Southern California Critical Habitat.
- Click the Clip Features drop-down arrow and click San Gorgonio Wilderness - Forest Service.
- For Output Feature Class, highlight and delete the default file name. Replace it with CriticalHabitat (no spaces).
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.
- At the bottom of the pane, click 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.
- In the Contents pane, right-click the Southern California Critical Habitat layer and click Remove .
- Right-click the CriticalHabitat layer and click Zoom To Layer .
The map zooms in. The critical habitat is located mostly near the edges of the wilderness. You'll open the layer attribute table to see which species are included.
- In the Contents pane, right-click the CriticalHabitat layer and click Attribute Table .
The attribute table for the layer contains three rows. Each row corresponds to a feature. Each column, or field, is a feature attribute, such as common name or species type.
To widen a field, hover over the edge of the column heading and drag.
- Close the attribute table.
- Make the Catalog pane active by clicking its tab. Expand Databases and expand San Gorgonio.gdb.
The new feature class is stored in the default geodatabase for your project.
- On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Save to save the project.
Learn more about geoprocessing in the Use geoprocessing tools tutorial.
Symbolize the layer
On the map, 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 (just as the features in the National Wilderness Preservation System layer were symbolized with unique colors corresponding to federal agencies).
- In the Contents pane, right-click the CriticalHabitat layer and click Symbology .
- In the Symbology pane, under Primary Symbology, click the drop-down arrow and click Unique Values . Confirm that Field 1 is set to Common Name.
- In the lower half of the pane, on the Classes tab, click Add all values .
There are three unique common names. Each is assigned a different symbol.
- In the Symbology pane, click the Color scheme drop-down arrow. At the bottom of the drop-down list, check the Show names check box.
- Scroll toward the bottom of the list of color schemes and click Dark 2 (3 classes) or another color scheme you like.
The new symbology is applied to the map and the Contents pane.
- In the lower half of the Symbology pane, on the Classes tab, click the More button and uncheck Show all other values.
In the Contents pane, the gray <all other values> symbol is removed from the layer.
In a layer with many unique values, you may want to assign unique 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, with only a few unique values, you don't need it.
- In the Contents pane, right-click the symbol for the Southwestern willow flycatcher. On the color palette, click a shade of purple that stands out better (or choose any color you like).
The change is applied on the map, in the Contents pane, and in the Symbology pane. Learn more about symbolizing data in the Symbolize map layers tutorial.
To undo a change, click Undo on the Quick Access Toolbar or press Ctrl+Z.
- On the map, click the critical habitat features to see their pop-ups.
A single feature can be spatially discontinuous. In this layer, the California taraxacum and the Mountain yellow-legged frog are single features made up of two polygons. They are single features because they are represented by one row in the layer attribute table.
- On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Save to save the project.
In this tutorial, you created a project and followed several common workflows: you added data to a map, used a geoprocessing tool, and symbolized a map layer. For a more advanced example that incorporates similar workflows, try the Author a map tutorial.