October 17, 2012

ArcGIS for AutoCAD: Service Extents

I had to get my car towed to the shop today…  One company quoted a rather ambiguous rate schedule; this much for “hook-up”, transport fee, tax, and a  rate per mile on the odometer.  After I hung up, I wasn't sure if that odometer was round trip, or door to door,  and would that be their door or mine?   The next guy I called said, “…14 miles, eh? … I’ll  just charge for you 10 miles, that will be $$ bucks”.  “Come and get it”, I said.  

It is nice to keep things within boundaries, with auto transport or ArcGIS Services.  How does the service extent in ArcGIS for AutoCAD help me with different kinds of services?  For Maps and image services setting the service extent allows me to set the maximum size of a map I expect to see in a drawing.  This limit is honored by the ZOOM TO EXTENTS function on the ArcGIS for AutoCAD ribbon.  This is helpful, for example, when I am including global imagery from ArcGIS Online, and then want to zoom to the extents of the services.  I don’t really want to zoom out to the extents of the entire globe I just want to zoom to the extents of a certain area or region of the map.  I can set the extent individually on each different service.  I can set the extent in three different places within the application;  when I add the service in the add service dialog, with the SET SERVICE EXTENT button on the ribbon, or on the service property sheet.
The service extent is even more critical when working with feature services.  I may have global coverage of bazillions of features in a geodatabase.  I certainly don’t want bazillions of anything in one AutoCAD drawing.  Setting the service extent of a feature service limits the area of features that will be included in my drawing.  Similar to image and map services I can set the service extent in the same three ways.  Feature service extent has its own button on the ribbon.  When I edit feature services I will only see the features within my extent when I add the service, when I refresh the service and when I synchronize the service (which invokes a refresh).  Because of this I can add features outside the feature service extent, but I will not get those features returned to me after the refresh.  The feature will be added to the geodatabase over the internet, but I will not see them back in my drawing unless I expand my feature service extent to include the expanded area where I added features.  Makes sense, but when it happens it looks like the features didn't stick?  If I have a map service in the drawing that is showing the same data, I will see the features there in the raster map if that service extent is larger than my feature service extent.  This gives me confidence that the server has my new features.  If I really want those new features in my drawing I can expand the feature service extent and I will get them in my drawing.

Here is a short video where I’m working with service extent.  
And looky there…there’s the tow guy. 
PS.  (I ended up paying exactly $$ bucks, as quoted.   …best tow service experience ever.)


Anonymous Worknc said...

Very helpful informations. Thanks a lot.

4:38 AM  

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