What's new in ArcGIS 10.2

ArcGIS 10.2 is a full release of the ArcGIS platform. It includes enhanced functionality, stability improvements, and better support for connectivity, security, and enterprise readiness.

ArcGIS 10.2 introduces several new products. Portal for ArcGIS is now a core product that you deploy on your internal network to share maps, applications, and other geographic information with other members of your organization. It enables the capabilities of ArcGIS Online behind your organization's firewall. With the introduction of a new extension to ArcGIS for Server called ArcGIS GeoEvent Processor, organizations can process extensive real-time data on the fly and display relevant information from these feeds in ArcGIS clients.

Other enhancements in ArcGIS 10.2 include improved support for using maps in the field in an enterprise, many new geoprocessing tools, support for new data formats and databases, and better search capabilities for rasters and imagery. In addition, new mobile applications and updated SDKs and APIs have been released.


Click here to download a PDF version of What's new in ArcGIS 10.2

The following sections summarize changes in the software in different functional areas. Each section includes links to topics with more information for that specific area of the software.


There are a number of new tools, improvements to existing tools, and new ArcPy functions at ArcGIS 10.2.

New and improved tools

The following geoprocessing tools have been added or improved for ArcGIS 10.2:

3D Analyst toolbox

The new CityEngine toolset in the 3D Analyst toolbox includes two new geoprocessing tools to help you process and display 3D data using embedded CityEngine capabilities:

  • Features From CityEngine Rules tool creates multipatch geometries from 2D or 3D input features using rules authored in CityEngine. This allows you to generate detailed 3D models directly from within ArcGIS.
  • Export To 3D Web Scene tool exports ArcScene documents to a CityEngine Web Scene format (.3ws) which you can upload and share via ArcGIS Online. Web Scenes can be viewed on any WebGL-compliant browser.

The Visibility toolset contains a new tool for visibility analysis: Intervisibility tool.

The Raster To TIN tool now honors the output extent environment setting.

The Construct Sight Lines tool includes a new Output The Direction parameter which adds two additional fields to the output sight lines to indicate direction: AZIMUTH and VERT_ANGLE (vertical angle).

Cartography toolbox

The Delineate Built-Up Areas tool includes a new Minimum Building Count parameter to control the minimum number of buildings that must be collectively considered for representation by an output built-up area polygon.

Conversion toolbox

A new Excel toolset has been added for converting Excel spreadsheets to and from tables.

A new JSON toolset has been added for converting features to and from their JSON representation.

The new Multipatch to Raster tool provides the ability to convert a Multipatch dataset to a raster surface.

Data Management toolbox

The Data Management toolbox includes a new Archiving toolset, which contains tools for working with geodatabase archiving.

The following changes have been made in the Raster toolset:

Data Reviewer toolbox

The Data Reviewer toolbox includes a new tool, Delete Reviewer Session. This tool removes one or more Reviewer sessions and all records associated with them. Use this tool with other Reviewer geoprocessing tools such as Create Reviewer Session and Execute Reviewer Batch Job to automate quality-control workflows.

Geostatistical Analyst

A new GeostatisticalDatasets ArcPy class has been added. For more information, see the Extensions section below.

Spatial Analyst toolbox

A new Visibility tool has been added to the Surface toolset.

Multi-core support has been added to the following tools: Reclassify, Weighted Overlay, Weighted Sum, Zonal Statistics, Zonal Statistics As Table.

For more information on these updates, see the Extensions section below.

Spatial Statistics toolbox

A new Optimized Hot Spot Analysis tool has been added.

Both the Cluster and Outlier Analysis and Hot Spot Analysis tools have a new Apply False Discovery Rate (FDR) Correction parameter.


  • You can now automate publishing geocode services using Python. CreateGeocodeSDDraft function can be used to create service definitions from your address locators.
  • You can create an SQLite database that contains the Esri ST_Geometry type or SpatiaLite using the new CreateSQLiteDatabase workspace function.

ArcPy functions

Raster functions

RasterToNumPyArray now supports the direct conversion of multiband rasters to three-dimensional numPy arrays. Specifically,

  • If the input Raster instance is based on a multibanded raster, it returns a three-dimensional (3D) array, where the length of the first dimensions represents the number of bands. The 3D array will have the dimensions (bands, rows, columns).
  • If the input Raster instance is based on a single raster or a specific band from a multibanded raster, it returns a two-dimensional (2D) array with the dimensions (rows, columns).

NumpyArrayToRaster supports the direct conversion of three-dimensional numPy arrays to multiband raster.

  • If the input array has three dimensions (3D), it returns a multiband raster, where the number of bands equals the length of the first dimension and the size of the raster is defined by the second and third dimensions (bands, rows, columns).
  • If the input array has two dimensions, it returns a single-band raster, where the size of the raster is defined by the dimensions (rows, columns).


Note: If the input array has three dimensions, and the first dimension has size 1, it returns a single-band raster.

Geoprocessing services

Geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS Server Linux are on average 25 percent faster due to file input/output optimization.

Signing in to ArcGIS Online from ArcGIS for Desktop

Signing in to ArcGIS Online allows you to access your content, your organization's data and applications, and public content from Esri, communities, and users. You also need to sign in to publish and share on ArcGIS Online.

ArcGIS 10.2 includes enhancements to the process of signing in to ArcGIS Online from the ArcGIS for Desktop applications. These include security improvements and the ability to specify how often ArcGIS for Desktop checks for a connection to ArcGIS Online.

Signing in from an ArcGIS for Desktop application is performed similarly regardless of whether you are accessing the ArcGIS Online website or a local portal. Many users will sign in with an ArcGIS account, either an ArcGIS public account or one that is part of ArcGIS Online for organizations. Your administrator can utilize your organization's enterprise security infrastructure and set up other forms of authentication, such as allowing you to sign in to ArcGIS Online with your Windows login. In that case, you see the same ArcGIS Online sign in dialog box, but you enter the login information provided by your administrator. Your administrator could also allow you to insert a security card to sign in to ArcGIS Online. By default, ArcGIS for Desktop connects to the ArcGIS Online website. To sign in to a portal or use these security methods, your administrator needs to enter the portal URL in the Manage ArcGIS Portal Connections dialog box.

By default, ArcGIS for Desktop checks for a connection when you start an application, such as ArcMap. If you have an intermittent connection, such as if you are in the field with periodic connectivity, you should change this setting to have ArcMap test for a connection at an interval. This way, you can be alerted when you lose your connection and are unable to access the functionality dependent on it. If you work completely offline, you can tell ArcGIS to never check for a connection. You can change the frequency of the check through the properties of the ArcGIS Connection Utility in the Windows system tray.


Document compatibility between ArcGIS 10.1 and 10.2

ArcGIS 10.1 and 10.2 map, globe, and scene documents are directly compatible with each other. You can open an ArcGIS 10.2 document in ArcGIS 10.1 without any special steps.

Bing Maps

Complimentary use of Bing Maps is being phased out for Esri products. With ArcGIS 10.2, you need to obtain a license key directly from Microsoft to use any of the basemaps in the Bing Maps collection. If an administrator registers a Bing Maps key with an ArcGIS Online for organizations account, any user in the organization can access Bing Maps when signed in. You can enter the key through the Set Bing Key application (SetBingKey.exe), which you can access in the \bin folder in the location where you installed ArcGIS.

As a replacement, consider using the ArcGIS World Imagery basemap. It provides one meter or better satellite and aerial imagery in many parts of the world and lower resolution satellite imagery worldwide.


ArcGIS reporting tools now allow you to create customizable mailing labels from data in a layer or table. See Creating mailing labels for more information.


Geodatabases and databases

Support has been added for IBM Netezza 7.0 and INZA 2.5, which includes the Netezza Spatial Esri Package. The Netezza Spatial Esri Package is an ST_Geometry data type rather than a varchar.

Support has been added for PostgreSQL 9.2. You must use the 9.2 versions of the st_geometry libraries when creating a geodatabase or installing ST_Geometry in a PostgreSQL 9.2 database. The 9.2 st_geometry libraries can be found in the DatabaseSupport directory in ArcGIS client installation directories.

Beginning with ArcGIS 10.2, you can connect to and work with simple feature data in a Teradata database or SQLite database. This allows you to view and analyze the spatial data you have stored in these databases without having to move your data to a geodatabase. An ArcPy function is provided with ArcGIS 10.2 that creates an SQLite database. See CreateSQLiteDatabase for more information.

The following changes have been made in ArcGIS 10.2 that affect versioned views:

  • The Create Versioned View geoprocessing tool is no longer available; however, existing scripts and models that use the tool will still work.
  • You can create a versioned view on a versioned dataset that does not have one by right-clicking the dataset in the Catalog tree in ArcGIS for Desktop, pointing to Manage, and clicking Enable SQL Access. Enable SQL Access replaces the Create Versioned View menu item.
  • Versioned views created in ArcGIS 10.2 or later releases follow the naming convention <table name>_evw.

Geodatabase archiving is now supported on tables that are not registered as versioned. When the nonversioned table is enabled for archiving, an archive view is created. Use the archive view to update, insert into, or delete rows from the archive-enabled table using SQL. If you need to create an archive view on the table after it is enabled for archiving (for example, if you did not have privileges to create views when you enabled archiving), you can use Manage > Enable SQL Access in ArcGIS for Desktop.

After you create a table or feature class, you might decide that one of your field definitions needs to change to fit your workflow. For example, you may find that a field you defined as not nullable actually needs to allow null values. Starting with ArcGIS 10.2 for Desktop, you can alter certain field properties in existing tables and feature classes. See Modifying field properties for more information.

To let you determine the exact version of your geodatabase, the Upgrade Status on the General tab of the Database Properties dialog box in ArcGIS 10.2 for Desktop will show the version and service pack or patch level of the 10.2 or later release geodatabase to which you are connected.

At 10.2, you can publish data from your DB2, Informix, Oracle, PostgreSQL, or SQL Server database as a feature service on your ArcGIS Server. See Publishing feature services from databases.


Desktop search for imagery was previously limited to search based on file format. The Search window has been extended to enable the searching of imagery based on accessible metadata. The search index can be configured to search specified paths for raster products, mosaic datasets and items within a mosaic dataset and will extract from imagery key metadata. Once indexed, users can quickly find imagery from a specific sensor, covering a specific location with specific metadata tags, such as cloud cover. From the search results imagery can be added directly to desktop or into a mosaic dataset. See Searching for images in ArcGIS for more information.

Support for three new raster types has been added: DMCii, Pleiades, and SPOT6. Also, ArcGIS 10.2 supports a new extension that allows you to add various raster types for Chinese Satellite Imagery into a mosaic dataset. See Raster Types for Chinese Satellite Imagery for more information.

There are three new raster geoprocessing tools: Merge Mosaic Dataset Items, Split Mosaic Dataset Items, and Compute Pan-sharpening Weights. As well, there were many upgrades to existing raster geoprocessing tools.

The Local function is a new raster function that allows you to perform bitwise, conditional, logical, mathematical, and statistical operations on a pixel-by-pixel basis. The Spatial Analyst extension is required to use the Local function.

The Sum operator has been added to any tools and functions that use the mosaic operator. The Sum operator allows you to add the pixel values of all the overlapping cells into the output mosaic.


Direct-read support has been added for AutoCAD 2013 DWG drawing file format 19.0. This is a new DWG file format introduced by Autodesk for all AutoCAD 2013 related products and a critical format for customers who work with AutoCAD source data.


Parcel editing

Creating new parcels

When creating a new parcel, you can click Load Cadastral XML Load Cadastral XML on the Parcel Details dialog box to append a parcel traverse from a cadastral xml file into the Lines grid. The load cadastral xml functionality appends a single set of parcel traverse lines. Any populated line attributes saved with the cadastral xml file are also appended into corresponding attributes in the Lines grid.

Parcel history

When creating a new plan, if a LegalDate attribute is entered for the plan attributes, this attribute will be copied down to the LegalStartDate attribute of new parcels created in the plan. The LegalDate attribute is also copied down to the LegalEndDate attribute of any parcels that become historic as a result of a new parcel transaction, for example, merging parcels to create a new parcel.


GIS services are supported on Portal for ArcGIS

Portal for ArcGIS is now a core product that you deploy on your internal network to share maps, applications, and other geographic information with other members of your organization. The content that you share is delivered to the people in your organization through a website, which you can customize to fit your organization's look and feel.

You can configure ArcGIS 10.2 for Server to work with Portal for ArcGIS. This allows you to host map and feature services on ArcGIS Server that you can make available to the users in your organization through the portal. You can also use your ArcGIS Server print and geocode services to support maps and applications your users create in Portal for ArcGIS.

Back up and restore your site configuration

You can now make a backup of your site configuration and use it to restore your settings if your site is taken offline unexpectedly or experiences other changes that you want to roll back. The backup and restore operations are invoked through included command line utilities or through the ArcGIS Server Administrator API. The backup information is stored in a single file that you can reference when you perform the restore.

See Backing up and restoring your ArcGIS Server site configuration.

Publishing feature services from databases

Prior to 10.2, you could only publish a map service with feature access enabled (a feature service) to ArcGIS Server if the database contained a geodatabase. At 10.2, you can publish editable feature services from supported database management systems. See the ArcGIS database management system requirements for a list of supported databases and spatial data types.

Beginning with ArcGIS 10.2, you should use ArcGIS Server feature services to publish data from a database rather than using ArcGIS Spatial Data Server feature services, as these have been deprecated.

Map, feature, image, and WFS services now use standardized queries

ArcGIS Server includes a security option that forces developers to use standardized SQL queries when working with map, feature, image, and WFS services through REST or SOAP. This helps prevent SQL injection attacks and also makes it easier for developers and applications to query ArcGIS Server services. Standardized queries are enforced by default, but can be disabled by the server administrator.

For more information, see About standardized queries.

New CachingControllers service improves stability when multiple cache jobs are submitted at once

A new geoprocessing service CachingControllers is preconfigured in the System folder. This service manages all the jobs being processed by the CachingTools service.

The CachingControllers service can help your server from becoming overwhelmed when multiple publishers submit caching jobs at the same time. The maximum number of instances you allow for the CachingControllers service represents the maximum number of caching jobs you can run simultaneously. Additional caching jobs are queued.

ArcGIS Server Manager enhancements

ArcGIS Server Manager includes a number of improvements that can help you administer your ArcGIS Server site:

  • If you're an ArcGIS Server administrator and you want to prevent publishers from automatically copying data to the server when they publish, you can disable data copying using Manager. Previously, this functionality was only exposed through the ArcGIS Server Administrator Directory. For full instructions, see Disabling automatic data copying when publishing to the server.
  • A new dialog box—Service Workspaces—has been added to ArcGIS Server Manager to help you keep track of which folders or databases your services are using. For more information, see Reviewing service workspaces in Manager.
  • The Restart button Restart has been removed from the Manage Services module in Manager. Additionally, the Stop button Stop is active only for a service if the service is running, and the Start button Start is active only when a service is stopped. To restart a service, click Stop then click Start to restart it.

OLE DB data source support

OLE DB connections provide uniform access to data from a variety of sources but are nonspatial connections. At ArcGIS 10.2 for Server, you can now use these data sources in your map and geoprocessing services. When publishing, you can have the OLE DB data copied to the server as part of the publishing action, or alternatively, you can register it with the server to prevent data copying. OLE DB data sources are not supported with feature services.


ArcGIS 3D Analyst extension

LAS dataset

At ArcGIS 10.2 when statistics are calculated, a LAS auxiliary file (.lasx) is created for each LAS file. It stores the calculated statistical information and a new spatial index for each LAS file. Spatial indexes provide faster access to the source lidar data and they improve the overall performance of a LAS dataset. The improvements are particularly effective for larger LAS files (e.g., greater than 500 MB) and for organizations that have a central LAS repository that is exposed on a network.

3D Web Scenes

ArcScene documents can now be exported to 3D Web Scenes using the new CityEngine toolset. The output 3D Web Scene (.3ws) is a new ArcGIS Online item type for ArcGIS 10.2 and can be easily uploaded and shared to ArcGIS Online, Portal, or a local Web Server. This new capability allows you to visualize and share your 3D data in a web browser, making it easier to communicate complex 3D content with others.

Rule-driven 3D content

ArcGIS 10.2 allows ArcGIS 3D Analyst users to utilize rule packages authored in CityEngine 2013 with their existing geoprocessing workflows. Multipatches are generated from existing 2D and 3D features with the applied rules.

ArcGIS GeoEvent Processor for Server extension

The ArcGIS GeoEvent Processor for Server extension is a new extension for ArcGIS for Server that enables real-time GIS for streaming data. It allows you to connect with virtually any type of streaming data and automatically alert personnel when specified conditions occur—all in real time. GeoEvent Processor changes your everyday GIS applications into frontline decision apps, helping you respond faster with remarkable accuracy whenever and wherever change occurs.

For more information, see What is the ArcGIS GeoEvent Processor for Server extension?.

ArcGIS Geostatistical Analyst extension

The new GeostatisticalDatasets ArcPy class can be used to automate geostatistical interpolation by providing a mechanism for applying interpolation parameters to new datasets.

ArcGIS Schematics extension

Packaging schematic data and copying schematic data when publishing a schematic service

Map packages (.mpk) have been enhanced to support schematic diagram layers. This means that starting with ArcGIS 10.2 for Desktop, you can package schematic diagrams that are referenced in a map document. For more information, see About packaging schematic diagrams.

Due to this enhancement, schematic data can also be copied to the server when publishing. Moreover, this is now the default behavior when your schematic data is not registered with the server. For more information, see About publishing schematics data.

Migration and export schematic dataset functions changes

In Schematics versions prior to 10.2, when migrating and exporting schematic datasets, you had no way to filter the schematic diagrams you want to export or migrate. Schematics 10.2 provides new migration and export schematic dataset functions that allow you to filter out the set of diagrams you want to migrate or export.

ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension

New visibility analysis tool

A more comprehensive way for analyzing the surface locations visible to a set of observers is provided by the new Visibility tool. One of the primary benefits of this tool over the previous Observer Points and Viewshed tools is the ability to define visibility parameters directly in the tool, instead of as static values from the attribute table of the input observer features.

Multi-core support

Support for multi-core processors has been enabled for certain tools, offering substantial improvement in their performance.

The following tools are now multi-core aware: Reclassify, Weighted Overlay, Weighted Sum, Zonal Statistics, and Zonal Statistics As Table. Consult the help of those tools for more details on how multi-core support works for them.

Data Interoperability extension

Support for U.S. Census Bureau TIGER/GML, Google Spreadsheet, and 14 other file formats have been added. See Supported formats with the Data Interoperability extension for a complete listing of supported formats.

Industry solutions


Geocoding a table of addresses with the ArcGIS Online World geocode service is supported. You may use the service to geocode addresses and places in over 100 countries from a single end point. To use the service for batch geocoding, an ArcGIS Online for organizations subscription is required. Once you have the subscription, you can set up a service connection to the World geocode service. See Geocoding a table of addresses using ArcGIS Online geocode service for more information and instructions.

If you need to use the previous version of ArcGIS Online geocode services, you may set up a service connection to the services in http://tasks.arcgisonline.com/arcgis/services.

ArcGIS for 3D Cities

The ArcGIS for 3D Cities solution helps you plan and understand your city by providing the foundation for managing, visualizing, analyzing, and sharing 3D urban spaces. It organizes all your city data—such as your buildings, zoning regulations, facilities, and city-managed assets like trees and street lights—into a well-defined information model, and comes with a set of specialized tools and workflows. It also takes advantage of powerful new 3D geoprocessing tools in ArcGIS 10.2 for content creation and 3D urban analysis such as visual impact.

Mobile GIS


SDKs and APIs