What's new in ArcGIS Pro 3.0

Esri has maintained innovation in each of its products, offering the user experiences integrated with other platforms, with which they can generate high-value products. In this case we will see the new features that have been added to the update of ArcGIS Pro, one of the most used solutions for the analysis of geospatial data.

Since version 2.9, elements have been added to facilitate analysis, such as support for data warehouses in the cloud, dynamic clustering of entities or the use of knowledge graphs. This time there are 5 new features that can be used in the interface.


When downloading the installer, and running the executable, a warning is displayed indicating that .NET 6 Desktop Runtime x64 is required for it to work properly. Now, the first thing we can notice is the change in the main interface. A main panel is added to the "home" on the left side where you can access the system configuration, and learning resources – Learning resources (there is also a button to access this).

The learning resources have tons of tutorials for new users to familiarize themselves with the system little by little. The central panel where recent projects, templates-templates and the type of project you want to start.

Package manager

One of the improved features is the Package Manager – Packaging Maganer, previously called Python PackageManager, results from a collaboration between ESRI and Anaconda. With this you will be able to manage Python environments through a package management system called conda.

It is a more receptive administrator, which allows monitoring the general state of the environment and the changes of packages that have been generated. It is compatible with version 3.9 of Python. The default ArcGIS Pro environment – ​​arcgispro-py3, contains 206 packages that can be cloned and activated.

When selecting each package, the specific information of each of them is displayed in a panel, such as: license, documentation, size, dependency and version. In the main menu of the Package Manager you can update or add new packages (there are more than 8000 packages that you can add according to your requirements). Documentation on this feature is located at this link.

It is worth mentioning that there have been some updates to Python Notebooks, although they are not as relevant as some analysts expected.

Add maps to reports

Another feature is adding maps to reports. When a map is added to a report header or footer, it is usually static; but, now you can activate the map frame to adjust the main view of the map or the scale. Maps that you add to a group header, group footer, or details subsection, on the other hand, are of a dynamic type.

ArcGIS Knowledge

It is one of the functionalities with which, through ArcGIS Pro, it is possible to create knowledge graphs in ArcGIS Enterprise. With these knowledge graphs, a model is created that simulates the real world in a non-spatial way. With this tool and through the ArcGIS Pro interface you can: define feature types and their relationships, load spatial and non-spatial data, or add documents that enrich a previously loaded feature.

The experience becomes more interactive as content is added to the knowledge graph, exploring relationships and documenting all kinds of information that will later be converted into maps or graphs for analysis.

In addition, with knowledge graphs you will have the opportunity to: query and search data, add spatially component features, perform spatial analysis, create link graphs, or determine the influence of each feature on the spatial data set.

If the information is managed in this way, the data and its connections will allow the analyst to explore all kinds of patterns and relationships that exist between a large amount of data quickly and efficiently.

 Export presets

Creating export presets for products, maps, and layouts that are created in ArcGIS Pro is now possible. The configurations that the user has made for any specific type of export are saved. Therefore, when generating the final product, the export is done quickly and easily, without having to make adjustments to each project separately. They are available through the “export layout” option.

After selecting the format to be modified, and placing all the corresponding parameters, it is exported to a location chosen by the user or within the project database. Subsequently, from the “Open preset” option, the preset format is selected and added to the corresponding layout view.

Color vision deficiency simulator tool

This tool is designed for people who have visual impairments such as some form of color blindness (protanopia: red, deuteranopia: green, or tritanopia: blue). They can simulate a map in a specific mode, transforming the content of the main view so that it can be viewed as a visually impaired person would.


  • MULTI-SCALE GEOGRAPHICALLY WEIGHTED REGRESSION (MGWR): This tool allows you to do a linear regression in which the values ​​of the coefficient vary through space. MGWR uses different neighborhoods for each explanatory variable, allowing the model to capture different variations between the relationships of the explanatory and dependent variables.
  • BUILDER MODEL: It has a new section "Summary" of the report view, where you can see the characteristics of the model, including the version in which it was created and modified. The function is also available “If Expression is” to evaluate whether a Python expression is "true" or "false". It is not necessary to save the model to a specific version for ArcGIS Pro 3.0 as you can open it directly.
  • TABLES AND GRAPHS: heat charts can be configured to aggregate temporal data in a single calendar view or to display full linear spans. Statistics plots are sorted by mean or median statistics. You can adjust the adaptive axis limits of multi-series bar, line, or scatter charts.
  • PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTIVITY: images in layouts, reports, or map charts are stored as binary references, reducing project size and increasing opening speed. Packet creation is very fast, cache data access speed has improved.

Several geoprocessing tools have been improved, such as: export features, export table, or copy feature paths. The format for toolboxes is .atbx, with which you can perform processes such as adding models, script tools, changing properties, or editing metadata. You can also save the toolbox you are using in compatibility mode for other versions of ArcGIS Pro.

The tools that are included in the Python boxes support a validation function postExecute, which can be used after the process has finished.

  • RASTER FUNCTIONS: categories for SAR image processing were added, including: composite color creation, surface parameters, or terrain flattening. Among other updated functions related to raster data we have: cell statistics, count change, focal statistics and zonal statistics.

For LIDAR and LAS data, small-scale data drawing is allowed thanks to LAS dataset pyramids, as well as adding new symbology. New functions for LAS data management are added to the 3D analyst toolboxes.

  • MAPPING AND VISUALIZATION: Improved symbology and labeling functions, compatibility with Arcade 1.18. Added universe coordinate systems, such as Mars and the Moon, name changes and transformation method fixes for some coordinate systems, or new geoid-based vertical transformations. Added the ability to export raster symbology, exploration of 3D data from OpenStreetMap, visual enhancement in scenes to make them look even more realistic, and creation of elevation points based on DEMs or contours.
  • OTHER TOOLS: Other improvements for ArcGIS Pro 3.0 include: new Business Analyst toolbox tools, Improved Conversion Toolboxes (JSON, KML Toolset, Point Cloud, Geodatabases, Data Management Tools, Feature Binning Toolset, Feature Class Toolset , Photos toolset, Raster toolset, Editing toolbox, GeoAI toolbox, GeoAnalytics Desktop toolbox, GeoAnalytics Server toolbox, Geocoding toolbox, Image Analyst toolbox, Indoors toolbox, Location Referencing toolbox, Spatial Analyst toolbox). Workflows for BIM, CAD and Excel data have been improved.

Migrating ArcGIS Pro 2.x to 3.0

Esri confirms that there are compatibility conflicts between versions 2.x and 3.O, since previously created projects and files may not be displayed and/or modified in this new version. Although they have not fully described what would be the complications that could arise according to this point.

Some of Esri's most prominent recommendations regarding migration or simultaneous work between both versions are the following:

  • Create backup copies or project packages when collaborating with other organizations or team members who are still using ArcGIS Pro 2.x.
  • For sharing, you can continue to share with ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Server 10.9.1, or an earlier version of ArcGIS Pro 3.0, although content may downgrade. Use ArcGIS Pro 3.0 with ArcGIS Enterprise 11 to use the new features.
  • Projects and project templates (.aprx, .ppkx, and .aptx files) saved in any version of ArcGIS Pro 2.x can be opened and used in ArcGIS Pro 2.x and 3.0. However, projects and project templates saved with ArcGIS Pro 3.0 cannot be opened in ArcGIS Pro 2.x.
  • Project packages can be created in version 3.0 and then opened as a project in 2.x.
  • You cannot save a copy of an ArcGIS Pro 3.0 project that can be opened with any 2.x version of ArcGIS Pro. If a project is saved with a recent version of ArcGIS Pro, such as 2.9, it can be opened with earlier versions ArcGIS Pro 2.x, like 2.0, but the project is downgraded in a way that is appropriate for the earlier version.
  • If the current project was created with ArcGIS Pro 2.x, a warning message appears before saving changes to version 3.0. If you continue, the project version will change to 3.0, and ArcGIS Pro 2.x will not be able to open it. If the project is shared, back up the project that is specific to ArcGIS Pro 2.x using Save as. Version 1.x projects can still be opened.
  • The structure of the content within the project file does not change between versions 2.x and 3.0.
  • User settings are transferred.
  • Map, layer, report, and layout files (.mapx, .lyrx, .rptx, and .pagx) cannot be opened in 2.x versions once they are created or stored in 3.0.
  • Map documents are in JSON files in version 3.0. In versions 2.x and earlier, they are created in XML.
  • Globe service layers are not supported in version 3.0. It is recommended that you publish the original layer to a supported service, such as a map service or feature service. For projects that use a globe service for elevation, Esri's default 3D terrain service can be used.
  • All the  geoprocessing tools for packaging they create packages that enable collaboration with other team members using earlier versions of ArcGIS Pro. Services and web layers are shared with compatible content on the destination server. This means that a move to ArcGIS Enterprise 11 is not required to upgrade to ArcGIS Pro 3.0. When sharing with ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Server 10.9.1 or earlier, the latest content may downgrade to an earlier version. When sharing with ArcGIS Enterprise 11.0, web layers and services will contain the latest content available in ArcGIS Pro 3.0.
  • Datasets created in version 3.0 may not be backward compatible.
  • Plugins built based on versions of ArcGIS Pro 2.x need to be built again. Ask the ArcGIS Pro SDK for .NET Wikipedia article for more information.
  • Task items stored as .esriTasks files cannot be opened in ArcGIS Pro 2.x once they are stored in version 3.0.
  • In ArcGIS Pro 3.0, the Python xlrd library is updated from version 1.2.0 to version 2.0.1. Version 2.0.1 of xlrd no longer supports reading or writing Microsoft Excel .xlsx files. To work with .xlsx files, use the openpyxl or pandas library.

We'll be watching for any other information Esri provides about ArcGIS 3.0 to keep you up to date. We also have ArcGIS Pro courses that can help you understand the tool from scratch to advanced.

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

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