What is Tracking Analyst?
ArcGIS Tracking Analyst is an extension designed for mapping objects that move or change status through time. Tracking Analyst gives you the power to do the following:
- Bring geographic data containing dates and times (temporal data) to life by adding it to a map as a tracking layer.
- Track objects in real time. Tracking Analyst supports network connections to Global Positioning System (GPS) units and other tracking and monitoring devices so you can map your data in real time.
- Symbolize temporal data using time windows and other specialized options for viewing data that changes through time.
- Play back temporal data using Tracking Analyst Playback Manager. Data can be played back at different speeds in forward and reverse.
- Analyze patterns in temporal data by creating data clocks.
- Create and apply actions on temporal data.
- Create animations of your data using the Tracking Analyst Animation tool.
- View tracking data in 3D using ArcGlobe.
Adding temporal data as a tracking layer
Temporal data is any geographic data that contains time information. Using Add Temporal Data Wizard, just about any temporal geographic data can be added to your map as a tracking layer. Once your data has been added to your map, it can be brought to life with the symbology options and analysis tools provided in the Tracking Analyst extension.
With the ArcGIS Tracking Analyst extension, you can create a connection to a tracking service or GPS device that can stream real-time temporal data to track events as they occur. Use ArcCatalog to set up a real-time tracking connection and add data directly into ArcMap or ArcGlobe, where your data can be displayed and played back on a map.
Symbolizing temporal data
Tracking Analyst provides a wealth of symbology options designed to bring your tracking data to life. You can create time windows to display your data in different colors, sizes, and shapes. You can display the paths of tracked objects using track lines to show the movement of individual entities. You can even display directional vectors to show where a tracked object is heading and label tracking events with up to six attributes.
Playing back temporal data
Using Tracking Analyst Playback Manager, you can play back your tracking data and watch it change through time. Playback Manager allows you to specify a playback window in the past for playing back your data, or you can play back your entire dataset. You can play back data in forward or reverse, change the playback speed, and even play back data that is being collected in real time as it is still streaming in.
Charting temporal data
Tracking Analyst Playback Manager allows you to see the temporal distribution of your data, but data clock charts take it one step further. You can display the temporal distribution of your data in two dimensions, which allows you to look for patterns in your data that you might otherwise miss. You can select different methods for summarizing your data clock chart and display your charts with legends and labels to help you analyze them more easily. You can also manage several data clock charts using Data Clock Manager.
Temporal data processing
Actions can be used in Tracking Analyst to perform custom processing on your data based on the attributes and location of your data. Actions are available for tracking layers in ArcMap and ArcGlobe, and you can even create actions for real-time tracking services in ArcCatalog to apply actions to data streaming in from the server. Available actions include highlighting and suppressing data display, filtering data from a dataset, sending e-mail alerts, and generating data summary reports. You can even apply a custom action to a real-time layer using Microsoft Visual Basic (VB). Triggers for actions can be defined using attribute queries, location queries, or a combination of both.
The Animation tool allows you to create animations of your tracking data playing back in ArcMap. This gives you the power to share your tracking data with others in animations that can be distributed on a Web site or attached to an e-mail.
Displaying temporal data in 3D
Using 3D Analyst ArcGlobe, you can bring your temporal data into the third dimension for display and analysis. ArcGlobe supports most of the tools available in ArcMap, including support for real-time and fixed-time data, playing back data, actions, and tracking symbology. ArcGlobe even contains some of its own symbology options for tracking layers provided by the Tracking Analyst extension.
Other tracking tools
There are even more tracking tools available that you will discover as you begin using the Tracking Analyst extension. For example, the Step tool provides a powerful method for querying events in a tracking layer by stepping through the features in chronological order. The Step tool also provides more advanced features.