What’s new in ArcGIS Desktop 10.6?

What’s new in ArcMap

  • Geoprocessing
  • Data
  • Content

ArcMap 10.6 introduces new features and capabilities, which are described in the following sections.


3D Analyst toolbox

Six new tools have been added to the 3D Analyst toolset:

  • The Classify LAS Noise tool classifies noise points in LIDAR data.
  • The Classify LAS Overlap tool classifies LAS points from overlapping scans.
  • The Colorize LAS tool creates new LAS files with RGB and infrared values using existing LAS files and imagery.
  • The LAS Height Metrics tool calculates statistics about the distribution of elevation measurements of vegetation points captured in LAS data.
  • The Thin LAS tool creates new LAS files that contain a subset of LAS points from the input LAS dataset.
  • The Update Feature Z tool updates the z-coordinates of 3D feature vertices using a surface.

The following changes have been made to existing tools:Classification of building rooftop points.

  • The Classify LAS Building tool is enhanced to improve overall performance and quality.
  • The Change LAS Class Codes tool now supports classification flags.
  • The Surface Difference tool now supports a LAS dataset as input. Also, a new parameter, Processing Boundary, is available that allows a polygon feature class to be used to define an area of interest.

Conversion toolbox

The Raster to Polygon tool in the From Raster toolset has two new parameters. The Create multipart features parameter specifies whether the output polygons will consist of single-part or multipart features. The Maximum vertices per polygon feature parameter allows you to specify a limit for when polygons are subdivided.

Data Management toolbox

  • A new tool is available in the Raster toolset: Generate Raster Collection. This geoprocessing tool performs batch processing on image collections in a mosaic dataset.
  • The Create Raster Type geoprocessing tool is no longer supported.

Network Analyst toolbox

Three new tools are added to the Network Dataset toolset.

  • The Make Network Dataset Layer tool allows you to create a network dataset layer from another network dataset that is referenced using its catalog path.
  • The Create Template From Network Dataset tool creates a file containing the schema of an existing network dataset.
  • The Create Network Dataset From Template tool creates a new network dataset using the schema from a template file.

Spatial Analyst toolbox

New parameters, options, tools, and environments are available in the following toolsets:

Distance toolset Example of EACH_ZONE option with merged paths

  • A new tool, Cost Path as Polyline, is available. This tool is similar to the Cost Path tool, but outputs the path as a polyline feature class instead of as a raster.
  • The following tools now support parallel processing for enhanced performance: Cost Allocation, Cost Distance, Euclidean Allocation, and Euclidean Distance.

Generalization toolsetNibble illustration

  • The Nibble tool has two new parameters to give you more control over the nibbling process. With Nibble NoData cells, you can now specify whether or not NoData cells in the input raster that are within the mask can be nibbled to a value, or remain as NoData. The Input zone raster parameter allows you to specify zones to control where nibbling occurs.
  • The Nibble tool now supports parallel processing for enhanced performance.

Hydrology toolsetFlow Distance tool illustration

  • A new tool—Flow Distance—is available for calculating the minimum downslope distance for each cell to the stream into which they flow.
  • The Flow Accumulation tool now supports a new output data type of Double, to provide more accurate accumulation values.D8 Flow Accumulation illustration
  • The Flow Direction tool now supports two new algorithms for determining the direction of flow. A new parameter, Flow direction type, allows you to choose between the original algorithm (D8), multiple flow direction (MFD), and D-Infinity (DINF).
  • The following tools now support parallel processing for enhanced performance: Fill, Flow Accumulation, Flow Direction, Sink, Stream Link, and Watershed.

Reclass toolset

  • The Rescale by Function tool now supports parallel processing for enhanced performance.

Segmentation and Classification toolset

  • Two new machine learning classification tools are available, Deep Learning Model To Ecd and Export Training Data For Deep Learning. The deep learning classifier employs deep neural networks, which exploits the methodology of hierarchical explanatory factors. More complex features in higher levels are learned from simpler features at lower levels, based on training sample data.


Databases and geodatabases

You can now use the PostGIS geography type to store spatial data in PostgreSQL databases and geodatabases in PostgreSQL. To use this spatial data type, the database administrator must enable the database for PostGIS. Specify the appropriate configuration keyword (listed below) when creating a feature class to use the PostGIS geography data type to store spatial data in that feature class:

  • For feature classes in a database, choose the PG_GEOGRAPHY configuration keyword.
  • For feature classes in a geodatabase in PostgreSQL, choose a configuration keyword that has the GEOMETRY_STORAGEparameter set to PG_GEOGRAPHY. This may be the DEFAULTS keyword, the PG_GEOGRAPHY keyword, or a custom keyword defined by the geodatabase administrator. Check with your geodatabase administrator to confirm which keyword to use.

See PostgreSQL database requirements for ArcGIS for PostgreSQL and PostGIS versions required to use the geography spatial type with ArcGIS.

The following new SQL functions are available for ST_Geometry feature classes in PostgreSQL:

  • ST_GeomFromCollection—Allows you to return each individual geometry within a multipart geometry when querying from a SQL client.
  • ST_DWithin—Allows you to find features within a specified distance of other features when querying from a SQL client.

These functions are available when you create a 10.6 geodatabase in PostgreSQL, upgrade your geodatabase in PostgreSQL to 10.6, or update the ST_Geometry type in your PostgreSQL database with the 10.6 ST_Geometry library.

ArcGIS now supports connecting to Microsoft SQL Server databases on Linux. You can also create geodatabases in SQL Server on Linux. In addition, you can connect from ArcGIS Server on Linux to SQL Server on Windows or Linux. See Microsoft SQL Server database requirements for ArcGIS 10.6 for supported database and ODBC client versions.

Beginning with 10.6 enterprise geodatabases, the following are no longer supported:

  • The ST_Raster type
  • Upgrading the multiple database model geodatabase in SQL Server
  • Registering an enterprise geodatabase as the managed database for the hosting server of an ArcGIS Enterprise portal
  • PostgreSQL 9.3
  • Db2 V9.7 and V10.1

Imagery and raster

  • Two new raster types are added to support Sentinel-1 (radar) and WorldView-4 sensor data.
  • Two raster functions are added to correct Sentinel-1 data, thermal and radiometric calibration.


The Geocode Addresses geoprocessing tool now supports the Country parameter, which allows users to limit geocoding to one or more countries for locators that support this feature.


There is enhanced Bing layer support for the Roads and Hybrid layers, with more up-to-date data.

Use the Rubik Cube solver program to calculate the solution for your unsolved Rubik’s Cube.