What's new in ESRI Nautical Solution

With the 10 release, the PLTS for ArcGIS—Nautical Solution was renamed ESRI Nautical Solution. There is also new, deprecated and enhanced functionality that is included at version 10. This information is distributed across these main technology areas of the solution: electronic products, product library, editing, cartography and configuration.

New at 10.0 SP3

Several updates were made to the following cartographic configuration files to support INT1 visualization:

New at 10.0 SP2

Several enhancements have been made to validation for service pack 2. The nautical batch jobs now have spatial batch jobs in addition to the attribute batch jobs. Eight spatial batch jobs have been added based on categories in Use of the Object Catalogue for ENC; checks were also added to two attribute batch jobs.

The S-58 checks and spatial batch jobs that were added are described in the following table.

Spatial Batch Job

Supported Checks

Meta Objects

1507, 1508, 1529, 1530, 1551


52, 53, 1500, 1577, 1581, 1584, 1590, 1592, 1595, 1597, 1602, 1604, 1606, 1607, 1609, 1613, 1614, 1620, 1623, 1630

Depth and Seabed

76, 77, 1541, 1653, 1655, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1772, 1773


1535, 1537, 1539, 1641, 1659, 1660, 1661, 1665, 1666, 1667, 1774

Regulated Areas and Harbours


Tracks, Routes and Harbours

1689, 1690

Aids to Navigation

1727, 1728, 1735, 1743, 1758


501, 513, 1506, 1512

S-58 spatial checks supported by the batch jobs

The S-58 checks added to attribute batch jobs are described in the following table.

Attribute Batch Job

Supported Checks


3, 503


521, 1779

S-58 attribute checks supported by the batch jobs

Electronic charting


The S-57 to Geodatabase tool now contains a grid that allows you to input an override PLTS_COMP_SCALE value when importing into the NIS.


All the tool functionality for digital nautical charts can be found in the DNC production PDF. The following enhancements were made:

  • The Notice to Mariners and NTM Parser tools were moved from the Nautical toolbar to the Nautical DNC toolbar.
  • On-the-fly validation is now handled via product library and Reviewer batch jobs instead of the PLTS knowledge base. Both Attribute and Spatial batch job files are included with Nautical Solution.

  • Symbology rendering is now handled via template MXD files instead of the PLTS knowledge base. These HACG template MXD files are included with Nautical Solution.

Product library


Feature Manager

The PLTS Target and Selection tabs and PLTS Feature Metadata toolbar have been replaced by Feature Manager, which consists of two dockable windows: Manage Features and Feature Attributes.

Manage Features window

The Manage Features window allows you to access feature templates, which store the attribute information, and the construction tools used to create new features. The Manage Features window has the following tabs:

  • The Create tab, which replaces the PLTS Target tab, provides a central location for you to define the types of features you will create. The Create tab has three main components: a toolbar to manage your templates and their properties, a list of templates used to create new features, and a set of tools used to define the features' shape. While similar to the Create Features window, it extends ArcGIS Desktop functionality by adding new types of templates and new construction tools.
    Create tab on the Manage Features window

    New construction tools to create feature geometry are available on the Create tab. The Create And Intersect tool creates a new line feature and splits the feature at the point where it intersects another line. The Difference Polygon tool allows you to ensure that the boundaries between polygons are shared and have coincident edges.

    The Create tab also includes a number of new types of templates:

    • Temporary templates provide the ability to update attributes on the fly before creating a new feature. When a template is selected, its attributes are displayed on the Feature Attributes window and can be updated. These changes are not stored in the template but can be used on the fly.
    • Invalid templates are created when you perform enhanced validation of your templates and there is an error with the attributes stored in the template. This type of validation ensures that the templates have attributes that are set according to your organization's business rules. The validation rules are built using Reviewer checks and stored in the product library.
    • Composite templates are a way of putting together two or more templates and using one edit sketch to create features in all the template layers. Custom construction tools are also provided. A dialog box allows you to choose existing templates and construction tools to create a composite template. You can then create multiple features with one edit sketch.
    • Table templates allow you to add records directly to the table through the Create tab (the same location where new feature attributes are set). It also allows you to validate the attributes of the record using preconfigured validation rules.
  • The Update tab, which replaces the PLTS Selection tab, is comparable to the Attributes window. This tab allows you to select features in the map and view attributes, manage a selection set, update the attributes associated with the features in the selection set, and validate those attribute combinations.

    The Update tab also allows you to commit the selection set directly from the Manage Features window to the Reviewer table if you have started a Reviewer session. The Transfer to Target functionality previously available on the PLTS Target and Selection tabs, which allows you to use existing feature attributes to create new features with the same attribute combination, is now called Use as Template.

    The Update tab provides two ways to view your data—the schema view displays feature classes and subtypes, while the layers view displays each subtype as a layer. Editing many-to-many relationships is also better supported via the Update tab.

    The Update tab on the Manage Features window

Create Attributes and Update Attributes windows

The second dockable window allows you to view the attributes of the template or feature selected on the Manage Features window. The title of this window changes to Create Attributes or Update Attributes, based on the tab that is currently selected on the Manage Features window.

Create Attributes windowUpdate Attributes window

The Create Attributes and Update Attributes windows honor field configurations that allow you to customize how the attributes are displayed. The window also allows you to validate the attribute combination of features or templates against your enhanced validation rules.

Three types of information will be returned as the result of on-the-fly validation:

  • An actual error that must be corrected before committing the change to the feature
  • A warning, which you are not required to fix before the changes are committed to the feature
  • A processing error, which is returned when the validation checks against the data are not configured properly

Renamed/deprecated tools

  • PLTS Batch Copy Paste is now Batch Copy Paste as a reflection of the removal of PLTS in the solution name.
  • Delete with Reason is now Track Deletes.
  • The Generate Linear Depth Area geoprocessing tool was removed due to the IHO mandate that these features no longer be recognized in ECDIS displays.
  • The Copy Spatial Attributes to Features tool was removed. This functionality is now in the S-57 to Geodatabase tool configured within the associated product XML file.

Other changes in editing

  • The Apply Changes tool automatically applies data changes from the NIS to the production database in favor of the NIS during synchronization. It no longer gives you the options to resolve conflicts in favor of the production database or to resolve conflicts manually.
  • With the current release, most of the functionality available in the PLTS knowledge base, which was used to specify business rules and symbology, is supported by other functionality released with 10. Hence, the knowledge base is no longer supported.

    This includes the following:

    • Condition Tables (CNTs): These were used to define data validation rules. The CNT table is replaced by Reviewer batch jobs. At 10, you can use the Import CNT command on the Batch Job Manager dialog box to import your data checks into a batch job that can be associated with the product library.
    • Valid Value Tables (VVTs): These were used to provide attribute-based rendering of your data. Visual specifications were added at 9.2 and provide similar functionality and also include an interface that allows you to configure your symbology rules and the ability to use representation symbology.
    • Field Filter Tables (FFTs): The field filter table has been replaced with the field configuration table in the product library and can be used in conjunction with the Field Configuration Manager to create and update the settings.
    • PLTS_Metadata and PLTS_Metadata_Exclusion: These tables were used to define which fields in your feature classes were considered feature-level metadata, which attributes were automatically populated with a date or user name, and when these fields were updated. All this information is now stored as part of the field configuration table in the product library.
    • Coverage Mapping: The DBS_FC_VVT table was used to map feature classes to coverages for use with the Production Geodatabase To Coverage tool. If you have defined coverage mapping rules, you can continue to use your DBS_FC_VVT table as is or see the Creating an ArcInfo coverage using a mapping table topic for information on creating a coverage mapping table.
    • Group by Theme: The DBS_FC_VVT table was also used to define groups that the feature class would be added to in the table of contents. Production Views provides similar functionality, allowing you to set the groups in the table of contents and save them to a view. When the view is applied, the layers can be grouped according to the grouping they had when the view was saved. Views allow you to add multiple layers for a feature class and have the layers in different groups, as well as in nested groups.


Nautical toolbox

To simplify the cartographic workflow, the Nautical–Cartography toolset now contains tools from ArcGIS Desktop and ESRI Production Mapping:

  • Make Grids and Graticules Layer
  • Feature Outline Masks
  • Intersecting Layers Masks
  • Magnetic Calculator
  • Magnetic Isolines
  • Calculate Visual Specifications


  • The visual specifications advanced view can now show just the selected specifications (one or more) for better management of many specifications.
  • The visual specifications expression parser now honors coded value/subtype descriptions.
  • With views, you can apply and honor the new editing feature templates.

Grids and graticules

PLTS Grid Manager is now part of ArcGIS in the form of Grids and Graticules Layers geoprocessing tools. Additional grid management tools are available within ESRI Production Mapping and have been enhanced to better meet user needs.

  • The Grids and Graticules Designer (formerly known as Grid Designer) provides the ability to create and design the grid template XMLs. It is now a dockable window with standard tree view behavior such as renaming, expand/collapse, and the ability to drag and drop items. You can also find and replace symbols, coordinate systems, and text across grids and create an individual component as opposed to the entire grid.

  • Grid XMLs created using previous versions of Grid Manager are compatible with 10. The symbology is stored in the XML as representations.
  • All grids will now be displayed as feature class representations.
  • A new description property has been added to the XML that allows users to better describe the XML.
  • Behavioral properties have also been added to the XMLs so you can automatically set the origin to lower left and set scale, rotation, spatial reference, and neatline zone clipping properties.

Page layout and elements

  • The Elements tab is now a dockable window and is called the Layout window. It is designed to be the central tool for managing the page layout.
    The Layout window
  • There are several key enhancements to the layout window:
    • You can change the drawing order of elements by dragging and dropping them in the list.
    • You can search for elements by name.
    • It's easy to access measure layout, data frame, and layout rules commands.
    • Icons for unique element types have been improved.
  • The database elements have been extended to support metadata for elements.

Other changes to cartography

The following functionality has been deprecated at the current release of ArcGIS 10:

  • Valid value tables (VVTs) used to store symbology are no longer supported in this release. Visual specifications are used for symbolizing data.