Python and ArcGIS 10

I just completed a webinar produced by ESRI on Python and the new release of ArcGIS 10.  Some very cool tools/functions coming out, especially with being able to access the map document, layers, table of contents, extents, etc., being able to create PDF map books, etc.  Looks like one can write some code within ArcMap to run some simple processes such as a tool or any other process.  The same thing can be done with a script attached to a custom tool.  In either case the output can be automatically added to the Table of Contents.
Here are some highlights from the webinar.

Comments welcome.  For those in the Sacramento Region (or not), I teach a class at American River College, Geog 375, Introduction to GIS programming.  Completely Python and ArcGIS and on-line.

1.   Can build Python code in Field Calculator

2.  arcpy is now the primary module for ArcGIS (replaces arcgisscritping)

3.  Script within ArcMap.  Have a Python Script tool within ArcMap.  Brings up a Python script window at the bottom of the map interface.  Can run in the background and do other map work while script is running.  The script results add the output to the table of contents. 

4.  can import extension modules (e.g. spatial analyst [sa])

5. Type commands from ArcGIS (Python script window at bottom of ArcMap window.

6.  Python 2.6.5 will be supported on ArcGIS 10.  Previous Python scripts and syntax should work with ArcGIS 10

7.  Import arcpy into Python IDE to see geoprocessor code completion

8.  Mapping Module:

              arcpy.mapping, automate map workflows, update/repair data sources (use a loop to do this!)

              access layers, create reports

              create PDF map books

              add/remove layers from table of contents

              definition query, transparency, rotation, scale, etc

              turn on/off labels

9.  OS Support - Windows XP, Vista, 7


JenningsPlanet Organic Family Urban Farm EarthDate - 05.09.2010

The second weekend in May, Mother's Day.

Starting Seeds...

of any sort, pitiful. I do have a couple of prospects of

Brussel Sprouts

but only a few out of the dozens I attempted to start (tomatoes, peppers, tomatoes, okra, peas, squash, zucchini, etc) are atually making it. I think my biggest challenge was keeping the seeds warm and with enough light during the starting phase. I really didn't have any place in my house to really do this.

So a project over the summer in preparation for the fall is to convert my shed into a greenhouse!

As a result of my seed propagation failure, I bought plants:

Cherry Tomato (1)
Hot House (1)
Japanese Egg Plant (1)
Basil (2)
Poblano Peppers (3)
Round Red (1)
Okra (2)

Strawberries (1 bag)

Onions were coming up from the bulbs I started earlier in the year. The spacing could have been a little better, but they are coming up.

I transplanted Rosemary and Oregano from a pot I had.

Box 1

Tomato, Poblano, Eggplant, Garlic

Box 2

Lettuce, Basil, Okra, Garlic

Box 3

Started Sunflower, Palm seeds
I found in downtown Sacramento,


Is going well. This is the most successful part of my garden, since all I have to do is through my food waste and yard waste in there and turn once in awhile :)

My First Lettuce Salad

I managed to clip enough lettuce I started from seed in my garden for a salad.

My son planted a couple of pumpkin seeds in the garden. We will see if they come up. I also (re) planted a couple of zucchini and squash seeds. Hopefully, these will come up.

Here is a picture of a succulent garden I have that I keep adding to from time to time.

A Happy Accident

I noticed when I was watering my blue berries that I have two small tomato plants underneath my blue berries!! What a surprise. I will try and transplant it to my tomato garden.

Front Yard Orchard

The cherry has some new viable buds on it, so my transplant did not kill it :)

I managed to transplant the pear from a pot to the yard. I am still not sure if it will make it. I did give it some organic fertilizer in the soil and some good watering.

The lemon and lime tree had flower buds on it, but I think the bugs ate them. We will see if any fruit comes to fruition.

The mandarin is still a twig, but I am still hopeful. Some set of leaves are coming out of the ground, but I think it is a privit seedling. If so, it will go.

The fig is the most vigorous. Leaves are growing well. A new bud looks like it is appearing down at the base of the tree. I will see what comes of this.


Flowers seem to be growing well. The flowers from last year are coming back, the roses are in bloom, however with a bit of leaf rust. The lilacs are doing well and the little bushes in front are producing more leaves each day!

The lone lily is about 4 feet tall! I can't wait for the blooms to appear.

I threw some flax seeds in the spot where my lemon tree is.

BioInensive Garden Class

I was able to attend the biointensive gardening class yesterday at SoilBorn Farms. Julie and Alison from Peas and Harmony gave the class. It was a great introduction to biointensive gardening and the basics to work the soil, perform close planting, and keep the soil healthy and your garden functional all year around! Thank you Julie and Alison!

As a result of the class, I was thinking about my back and side fences in my back yard that are now overgrown with grass and still has the clay soil since I have not put any amendments in it. I did manage to clean them out last year and dig up the dirt, but not much else at this point. I do get a bit of shade on both fences, however the side fence does get some afternoon sun, especially in the summer.

Back Fence (South side of property)

South side somewhat shady most of the day. Probably good for flowering shrubs. I have a Japanese Maple (~4 yrs old) in foreground.

Backyard Side Fence (West side of property)

2 lilacs present in foreground. Potato tree by the telephone box in the far corner.

So I was thinking of planting wheat, rye, and/or oats here in the fall, which will serve as my brown material in the winter for my compost. The plan is not to grow grains for eating, but for keeping my compost and soil maintained....so I will try this out.


BioIntensive Gardening

One of the more well known methods of organic gardening, BioIntensive Gardening lends itself to take a small plot of land (garden space) and turn it into a productive area for growing food. With the latest downturn in the economy and people needing to "be creative" in being able to get by with much less, turning an a small "urban space" into an area where a family can offset some of their food cost while being more gentle to the environment as well as know where their food comes from and to care for it, BioIntensive Gardening is one option.

Coined by John Jeavons in the early 1970's, he is a world wide proponent of productive organic gardening in small spaces and to help the soil be more "alive" and productive. His working farm is in Willits, CA.

This is one area I am spending a good portion of my time learning and trying as part of my own Urban Garden. Luckily, I live near a working organic urban farm, Soil Born Farms, where I can gain on-site information and knowledge that I can translate into my own experience.

Come back to see how my experience expands my own backyard geography.