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arcgisscripting and arcpy object model diagrams

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  • For python scripters, the most useful piece of documentation at 9.x was the Geoprocessing Programming Model (seen here:  This is extraordinarily useful because it presents the whole of arcgisscripting concisely on a single page.

    In the documentation for 10.0, this item cannot be found for arcgisscripting or arcpy.  Can you please add this?

    Tags :
     Geoprocessing Object Model Diagram, Geoprocessing Programming Model, Python, Scripting, Geoprocessing, Documentation
    Posted by   nbw  to ArcGIS Desktop Aug 17, 2010

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Comments (65)

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May 17, 2012
I must agree with nbw.   I too found the Python GPM to be an essential part of my programming toolkit and would urge ESRI to continue providing this valuable tool in current ArcGIS versions

Apr 26, 2012
This is a must for any arcpy scripting geek.

Feb 29, 2012
An unofficial arcPy OMD has just been posted on the ArcGIS Forums.  Just for a nice poster to hang on your wall.

Feb 29, 2012
This is a no-brainer

Feb 21, 2012
I can't believe the lack of documentation extends this far....just when I abandon one plan of attack because of a lack of documentation.....guess what I run into?  Another lack of documentation.  Don't realease the new version guys unless the documentation is there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 23, 2012

Please create this model.

Jan 4, 2012
Essential ingredient please....

Nov 30, 2011
Definitely needed -- thumbs up.

Nov 25, 2011
Definitely required since there are so many subtle changes that a quick reference guide such as an OMD will most effectively clarify for us all (10 seconds glance at an OMD versus 10 minutes search through help files). If ESRI feels a single poster will be too large then it's simple enough to split into two or more panels (with text referencing which panel the object is expanded on). With all the talented people on staff at ESRI, I bet they could have this completed and posted within a week. Enough of us have requested this - it's about time!

Nov 14, 2011
this diagram really sold me on using arcgis 9.3... I do not like the idea of not having it to work with in arcgis 10

Nov 1, 2011

Great ...

Oct 27, 2011
This needs to happen ASAP, there's no excuse for not having an object model.  This is just poor customer support.  I remember a few years back at the UC Jack talking about improved documentation.  How does improved intellisense equal better documentation.

Oct 12, 2011
original post was more than a year ago...still no PDF?

Sep 29, 2011
This was a great reference in 9.3, especially since the methods have changed and are case-sensitive in 10.

Sep 29, 2011
In the dark without it...

Sep 20, 2011
Data modelling diagrams and flow charts are extremly useful and importamt when designing a database. Equally I feel they are also useful and important in this case.

I very much would like to have this overview...

:-) Martin

Aug 30, 2011
A set of arcpy object model diagrams would be VERY helpful.  The 'Help' documentation approach is cumbersome at best.

I am disappointed that ESRI believes that such diagrams are unimportant to its customers.

Jul 15, 2011
Give the people what they want!  Just because you spent extra time developing the help system doesn't mean that user's shouldn't have a visual guide.

Jul 13, 2011

I would find an arcpy OMD helpful. Pretty please.

Jul 13, 2011
The 9.x geoprocessor model diagrams were VERY helpful to me.  Please create a new one for arcpy.

Jun 29, 2011
@Chris_Fox - Your comments in context of the improved documentation of the arcpy site package are useful, however they assume one major factor. That factor is that everyone who wants to find something out about arcpy is going to now do a search in the help documentation for the answer. While the documentation is improved, the results provided by a keyword search at times are so varied that it is nearly impossible to find the correct documentation. Also from a contractor's standpoint, there is a lot more efficiency and utility in a quick reference document, than having to do a search through the help, every time you want to find a particular object reference. Someone made a good point about being visual learners. Having an Object Model Diagram is useful for the same reason that GIS and Mapping is useful. It makes following a chain of objects through a tree, visual, instead of having to interpret written documentation which leads to the same answer. An Object Model Diagram for ArcPy would be a HUGE benefit. Please provide one!!

Jun 27, 2011
I support this idea. It would be helpful as an instructor and also for my students.

Jun 26, 2011
I support this idea !
As an occasional Geoprocessing-Programmer the object model diagram has always been a great help for me.

Jun 14, 2011
Would be a great help 

May 26, 2011
For new people, this is a must becasue the geoprocessor model is used in the class.

May 13, 2011
I agree - as a college instructor, having this diagram was invaluable for myself and my students.  The intelisense, while incredibly useful, does not help with the full learning process of putting together what all you can do with the scripting environment.  Please reconsider.

Apr 28, 2011
I strongly disagree with ESRI's position on this, and think an OMD should still be constructed, at least for 10.0.  First off, the quantum leap that countless Joe/Jane GIS users are making now is from VBA to Python to solve basic workflows, not arcgisscripting to arcpy.  Good for you if you already know Python, but it is fairly obvious that a lot of people are learning Python because of ESRI's ArcGIS 10.

Second, even if were just about a move from arcgisscripting to arcpy, Fox himself notes that those changes are much more than cosmetic.  There are small changes like cases of functions used to big changes like multiple modules.  Using an OMD for this fundamental design (10.0) change helps give a starting point, particularly when Python is now pretty much the only show in town.  It is nice that current Python experts can jump on in with a site package method of documentation, but that leaves a lot of people behind.  This makes it doubly difficult:  not constructing one ignores that the object haven't disappeared, but still exist, e.g., row, field, etc.  I've found help info on functions and so on, but it is not organized in a way that addresses the objects they manipulate.  To me, it's a little like giving someone a key and saying it can lock and unlock doors, but not telling them 1) if it's for a door and 2) what door it opens.  If you didn't know, you really wouldn't know where to start.  The OMD is quite simply, a map for arcpy, and I'm hoping that ESRI can see it that way.

Apr 18, 2011
Please update.

Apr 13, 2011
I am very happy for the improved intellisense. It's a very useful addition to the help resources, or at least it should have been an addition. I find the OMDs very helpful in seeing what's avialable at a glance and their positions relative to each other. We are poorer for not having them available (or better said as not being up to date).

(((sorry for the all-italics. I can't get the editor to turn it off)))

Apr 12, 2011
The OMD is my scout in dark nights of program disorientation...

Apr 4, 2011
I need this to hang on my wall. Please update for 10

Apr 1, 2011
Live by it.  Please update!

Mar 23, 2011
I miss the geoprocessor model diagram for 10. It would be very helpful.

Mar 16, 2011
 A 'slight' oversite on esri's behalf.

Feb 23, 2011
 Sounds like this idea has been shut down, as per Chris_Fox's reply. As an ESRI Distributor employee and ArcGIS instructor, I am seriously disappointed by this. Still, keep asking your friends and colleagues to promote this idea! you never know

Feb 20, 2011

As a visual learner, I have always loved Object models as it helps filter through all the Python doc files. I find that in order to search for the right doc file you need to know where to start, as a python learner trapsing through all the ESRI doc files is in my mind a waste of time if I don't know where to start. For example, without the 9.3 geoprocessor model I wouldn't have been able to find the Centerpoint property because when you search for centerpoint in the help files, you get a lot of garbage before you get to the programming side of things.

Personally I think ESRI has done a great diservice to customer by not providing this as it made programmers lives a hell of a lot easier to get around updates and additions to geoprocessing with python.

Feb 18, 2011

Thank you for posting the idea along with all your comments for why you feel the OMD is particularly valuable in your work. There are a few reasons we have chosen not to produce object model diagrams for the ArcPy site package. Traditionally Python’s own modules and other 3rd party site packages do not carry Object Model Diagrams. An OMD was provided with arcgisscripting to help customers comfortable with ArcObjects and its Object Model Diagram make the transition to Python. At ArcGIS 10, ArcPy was more than just a name change; it was a change in the way we organized and presented our python implementation, something that is more in line with the idea of a true Python site-package. In addition, major efforts have been made to improve the help for Python at ArcGIS 10. With arcgisscripting, there was limited intellisense and doc strings, so without some visual help directly in front of you, it was very difficult to know what functions and properties existed. The help is also better structured in ArcGIS 10.0 under the topic ‘The ArcPy Site-package’ with a list of all the functions and classes and embedded links between related topics. With these improvements to the documentation and built-in help within Python we believe all the resources are in place to successfully navigate ArcPy.

Feb 17, 2011
it would be very very useful

Feb 14, 2011

Feb 11, 2011
Would be a great help ...

Feb 10, 2011
Would be a huge help...

Feb 8, 2011
Even if it isn't all-encompassing, the programming model was a great tool to hand to newbies to give them an overall picture.  And helpful to those of us that forget things.  It doesn't have to be 10 stories tall, just a basic road map.  ESRI does do mapping, doesn't it?  ;)  Even the old models didn't contain all things Python; it just helped you navigate through different aspects the geoprocessor.  If a new model isn't created for v10, I think people will just continue to hand around the 9.3 version and try to verbally explain changes.  Not the most convenient approach.

Feb 7, 2011
I don't care if it takes up three or four posters, it is a necessity in my office!

Feb 6, 2011

An empty A3 sized space on my wall is waiting for this poster !!!

Jan 18, 2011

Jan 17, 2011
 I teach the Intro to Python course, and everyone relies  on the OMD (9.3.1) , and I expect the version 10 course participants will expect the same... a useful takeaway from the course.... and even if large, people could purchase a small book/guide etc.

Jan 14, 2011
I really miss this documentation as I am fairly new to python, and used it extensively in the python course based on 9.3

Jan 12, 2011
 I would also really like to see Full ArcObject access.

Jan 3, 2011
Definetly! A full ArcObjects access would be great for Python! Can remember so many cases when I reached the limits of the Python API for ArcGIS scripting!

Dec 14, 2010
How about just giving Python full ArcObjects access? That would solve a few problems.

Nov 18, 2010
 I am trying to learn python for GIS and it would be extremely helpful to have.

Nov 15, 2010
yeah bump
no body wants to read the man

Nov 3, 2010
I need the geoprocessor model diragram for 10, it is a necessary tool!!!!

Nov 3, 2010
Amazingly useful for 9.3, certainly lacking in 10. 

 Me too!

I use my v9.3.1 GP OMD all the time...

Oct 21, 2010
I too would find this a very useful tool.

Sep 25, 2010

Thanks for posting, all.  Our company is set to go to 10 in the next several months, but we're all still on 9.3.1.  I wholeheartedly agree with everyone's comments on getting a geoprocessing model diagram for 10.  I had hoped to preview a 10 diagram before we made the switch.

I used to rely heavily on VBA to get work done, particularly the code block with "Calculate Field" in 9.3.  When I saw the writing on the wall with announcements about ArcGIS 10, I started learning Python and the 9.3 geoprocessing object model so I could smooth the transition into more of a scripting environment, or at least be integrated within Modelbuilder.

This diagram for 9.3 was critical to me learning the object basics.  Getting it on to one page is nice, but not as important as having the information in the first place and in a visual, usable form (The OMD for ArcPad 7.1 wasn't 1 page either).  It was concise, but the other great things about the 9.3 diagram were that it was a PDF: downloadable, printable, zoomable, searchable, self-contained and covered the material.  ESRI, please don't make arcpy, arcane.

Sep 24, 2010
I support this idea.  

Sep 22, 2010
I completely support that idea. An OMD is an absolute must and it was a great help for me to have access to OMD's while programming with VBA.

Sep 16, 2010
I would like to at least see diagrams for each of the libraries/modules (eg. mapping, spatial, and geostat). Either that, or some way of downloading the arcpy documentation (that contains examples) (eg. PDF), instead of having to open the online help, so that the whole documentation may be printed easily.

Aug 27, 2010
I understand that it has gotten larger.  However, I figure if it can be done for arcobjects then it can be done for scripting too.  I'm not picturing a single giant diagram, I'm picturing three or four different diagrams (at the very least separate out the mapping, spatial, and geostat modules).
I also know that they have said there won't be one, but isn't this what this ideas site is all about, advocating for things that aren't in the software but we users feel should be?  :)

Aug 23, 2010
I was told at the UC that there will not be one for arcpy. The poster would just be too large so they were going to make the help files as through as possible.

Aug 17, 2010
It isn't going to fit on a page anymore but David Wynne posted a useful module that will allow you to browse what is there without having to use Python's help(module) or dir(module) options
perhaps a small volume will be needed.  The help files still contain the most information



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