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Frequently Asked Questions

by Nichole on May 14, 2014

The number one support question we receive is, drum roll please...
“It is not working!”
“Okay.  We are happy to help you resolve the issue.  Can you give me a little more information about what is not working the way you are expecting it too?  Beacon™? Agland™?  ArcMap?  Ripple™?”
I will be summarizing some of the most frequently asked questions of our support team, as well as, the answers or tips from the support team to best resolve your questions, in a timely manner:
“Beacon is not updating.”
What is not updating on Beacon™?   Be specific as possible.
Three tips on how to enhance your GIS support team experience:
  1. Verify the machine; server or desktop, running data ETL was left on; power outages, power surges, lightning or shutting off the machine, will prevent the updates from being pushed to Beacon™.
  2. Provide an explicit example or two; “Owner information on parcel XXX-XXXX-XXX says Smith, John A., and it should be Jones, Robert B. Check the record in both CAMA and Tax, to make sure it appears correct. 
  3. Send screen shots as named file attachments – A picture is worth a thousand words and helps the support team better understand your situation.
“Beacon’s GIS data layer parcels are not showing.”
A GIS data layer is not showing in Beacon™, typically, the question pertains to a new parcel split/combination, and not the entire layer not displaying on Beacon™.  The first thing, to check is does the parcel split show in ArcMap? If your answer is “No”, then you will want to start editing and create the split/combination and save your edits. If the answer is “Yes”; have you verified the information is updated for the split/combination in CAMA and Tax? Otherwise, submit a case to with the specific parcel number for the new split/combination(s), the support team will do initial investigation on our side before contacting you.
“Agland’s parcels won’t process.”
Usually, when a parcel will not process it is because of something within the GIS data layers is a little askew.  You will need to look at all the data layers involved within the configuration – parcels, sections, land use, soils, etc.  When I say, “a little off” you will have to zoom in – TIGHT! Looking at all the parcel edges for little anomalies (gaps, overlaps, random vertex) and fix them.  Tools used for fixes may include: cutting and merging, manual snap, auto complete polygons and other combinations of tool.  With a combination of tools at supports disposal to resolve processing issues, you will find different support team members will use different tools to make edit.   I believe all of you are able to attempt researching the issue and attempting to resolve the issue, before calling support; however, the parcel still won’t process – call support.  We are happy to show new tools.
“Agland’s Comparison Report isn’t working”
These will not work if you have not processed with multiple configuration years.  Typically, you might make CSR or Top Dollar Value or Dollar per Acre adjustments within the same configuration – STOP!  Make a copy for the new configuration with all the new values.  You will need to process the parcels in this new configuration.  Working with a small sample set to review the comparison report is recommended – I suggest selecting a township or section.  If you do not process in at least two configurations, you will not be able to use the comparison reports to review the results.  The comparison reports are quick and easy to copy, and you will save yourself and staff a lot of questions about agricultural assessments. It will also help you get more out of Agland™ than just this configurations numbers.
“Ran a query in Ripple; and I got an error.”
Ripple™ requires connections to various databases, so when they move, Ripple™ displays a connection error.  The configuration needs to be updated to reflect the new location of the database.   Severing of the connection string can be caused by other 3rd party vendor updates, new servers, and new computer.  You will need to open the configuration and update the source string.
We will need to know: the version of the 3rd party software moving to; the UNC path of the new server; and create a backup of the ripple database located on the server or desktop.  Please remember, we are often not privy to scheduling of these types of network transitions until after they take place on your side; therefore, it is a best practice to contact us prior to the transitions, making it a smooth transition, minimizing downtime.
“Draincalc’s projects will not run?”
Draincalc™ uses ArcGIS Toolbox to help run models used in process the drainage calculations.  Often time a user forgets to run these models because it is not necessary every time you use Draincalc™.  Step one, run the models in ArcGIS Toolbox, especially if you have not been in Draincalc™ in a while.  Models are located in ArcGIS Toolbox and are located in the Draincalc™ toolbox, run from ArcCatalog.  They are typically numbered so you know the order.  Once you have run the models, try processing again.   
“Can I upgrade to ArcGIS 10.x?  Will my Geogear tools still work?”
Yes.  We have installers ready for ArcGIS for Desktop 10.0, 10.1, and 10.2.   Please contact support when you are ready to upgrade versions of ArcGIS for Desktop, so we make sure you get the correct version for your ArcGIS installation installed on your machines.
Please, remember support is here to assist when you have a question.   In upcoming blog posts, additional details and step-by-step instructions will be added for more specifics related to each product; however, I wanted to touch on the most basic questions related to each product in the first FAQ blog.   I believe every one of you has the knowledge and understanding to work through all the initial phase of your questions.