It's Just Another Marco Monday
I have been wracking my brain, trying to decide on the best way to introduce n00bs to Marco. Should I show off the helpful remapping, or perhaps the fields of data architecture produced during a Spatial Data Inventory? Maybe begin with the speedy display of enterprise data search results, or would showing off a Corporate Registry be more fun?
There are many directions in which I could head with this introduction -- Almost as many directions as you might taken when using Marco itself. Because of this, I think it best to start simple, to paint a picture of Marco. It is always more helpful to put a face to the name, right?
Marco is short for Integrated Marco Studio, not Marco Polo. Not officially, anyway. Integrated Marco Studio is a suite of robust Knowledge Management solutions designed for spatial data on an enterprise system.
This suite is humble in its origins, beginning first with the ArcGIS Add-In, Repoint and Repath (RnR). When it outgrew its name, expanding from a pure remapping toolkit to include metadata controls and more, it was rebranded as Marco Desktop. From there, the Marco-madness spread like wildfire or bred like rabbits -- insert your choice euphemism here. On the heels of Marco Desktop, came Marco Palette and Marco Commander. In late 2016, we introduced Marco Mystic. In the coming months, we will be unveiling Marco Pro.
As you can tell, we have new Marco names forever in our back pocket, ready to draw.
As mentioned, Integrated Marco Studio is a Knowledge Management solution. For many KM solutions, the bang for all those bucks comes from the overall software product rather than realizing the efficiency of its individual pieces. Integrated Marco Studio has kept afloat of this stereotype, however. The breadth of services covered as well as how they fit into the ArcGIS platform ensure that each application carries its weight.
Without further ado, welcome to the Marco experience!
Formerly known as Repoint and Repath, Marco Desktop is an Add-In for ArcGIS Desktop that facilitates the sleuthing of spatial data and remapping of broken data references. With tools for file modification, metadata maintenance, and data logging, it addresses common ArcGIS issues to bring stability and sanity to your GIS environment.
Intended for more localized data infrastructure, like folders and tables, it may be applied to larger projects involving data migration and promotion. Marco Desktop is remarkable to have in the event those pesky red checkmarks plague your carefully crafted Map Documents, or just to prevent such a thing!
Cue Marco Commander, Marco Desktop's cool, younger brother who wants all the attention. Those familiar with the capabilities of the former will find many similarities in the tools offered here, mainly because...well...it is built from the core functionality of Marco Desktop.
Marco Commander is a high-performance application for Spatial Data Discovery and Data Reference Inventory. Unlike its big brother, Marco Commander is not deployed as an ArcGIS Add-In. Rather, it is controlled via command-line and designed for parallel processing, fully utilizing the resources of server-class machines to record datasets on a network and perform health-checks.
Where Marco Desktop is a tool for the masses, Marco Commander is better suited for more sensitive situations where those in Administrative positions require insights into their enterprise data to determine health and schedule clean-ups. This solution gathers details associated with data integrity -- such as frequency of use, ownership, brokenness, size, data types, geotags, and more -- and stores them in a specialized infrastructure supported by SQL Server, Oracle, and SQLite.
Want to have your data and see it too? The results gathered by Marco Commander are primarily stored within a database. This is perfect for those checking performance on a recurring basis. However, it may not be ideal for a quick glance of what has been found, if it is broken, and who should be the scapegoat.
This is where Marco Mystic comes into play. Deployed as a web application, it allows an Administrator to perform those inventory tasks associated with Marco Commander in-browser as well as set a default results database from which to view data. Once distributed, their team may search this inventory, discovering enterprise data by all the metrics of typical interest through both a search engine and analytical charting -- all while without risking the reliability of the underlying data.
Last, but certainly not least, is Marco Palette. We recognize that organizations have individualized goals for Knowledge Management. These goals may simply by ensuring their enterprise system is clean of out-dated data. This is an important feat, impacting resources consumed, and ensuring assets are represented correctly. However, there are those who like to take this process one step further, implementing results enterprise-wide or just for their own use.
For this reason, we have developed Marco Palette.
This solution encourages the development of a Corporate Registry, a list of Layer Files maintained by a team or for a project. Deployed via an Add-In for ArcMap, this toolkit facilitates the previewing and addition of Layer Files to the workspace by way of a tree-view. Layer Files are defined in an Admin-specified Corporate Registry database, allowing the files themselves to be stored and maintained anywhere on the system.
All Together Now
These applications work together to aide in the often puzzling and overwhelming process of performing health-checks on an enterprise and local scale. Separately however, each has its own dynamic features that offer a step in the right direction -- no matter what direction you may be headed.
Although not detailed above, Marco Pro is the Integrated Marco Studio component for ArcGIS Pro featuring functionality comparable to Marco Desktop. This application is set for release in the coming months, with more information to follow. Stay tuned!
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