The ArcGIS Results Window is an incredibly useful way to keep track of what has been done in a particular map. I use it constantly as a means of documenting the essential parts of a project's workflow, re-using often accessed geoprocessing tools, and archeology (now, what the heck did we use for the input last time? today's result doesn't $%^#$%& match!).
However, it's also frustrating, because some things which ought to be straightforward just aren't, and it's easy to inadvertently lose stuff you want to keep. Does anyone have any solutions for these friction points? Namely:
- ArcCatalog results are not saved at all, if you don't consciously save them they're gone baby.
- ArcMap results are only kept if you save an .mxd. If I created an .mxd every time I needed to do a few things my document management overhead would go through the roof. (Imagine needing to create a .doc for every email of moderate import.)
- nasty addition to previous: if your ArcMap session crashes, say goodbye to all your results since last save.
- Many operations never show up in the Results panel (e.g. Context menu >> Data >> Export). As end users, I suspect there's little to nothing which can be done about this, but it's related to keeping track of steps and is a frequent source of irritation. ;-)
- You can drag and drop from Results panel to a model, but not to anywhere else. I want to also copy to a personal toolbar, another map, a folder, a toolbox, a Word document, a ... (Wouldn't it be great if you could just plunk a significant geoprocessing step straight into the metadata editor?)
- Some results are Favourites that should are kept indefinitely, e.g. this map project will always need to buffer the selection area of interest by 3km. Currently you can set ArcMap to keep results for a few days, months, or forever. The default of 2 weeks is way too short, and forever will get very very messy and ugly.
- Results stay with the map, this is good, but they are also confined to that one .mxd. They're in jail; not so good. It's rare for a project of any significance to have only 1 or 2 .mxd's. Sharing the results is laborious. (This is actually just a restatement of a previous point; light from another angle reveals more facets.)
* there is a "Shared" item in the results list (see bottom of graphic), but it doesn't seem to do anything. You can't drag a Current or Previous Session into it and it doesn't have a context menu.
((Drag from "Previous Session" working as of 10.3.1. As there is little to know discussion of this elsewhere it may have just been a bug with my local install.))
These result things, the record of steps taken, are important. I want to treat them that way. Not as temporary chaff swept up by the night time cleaning staff on the weekends when I'm not around.
This is a rant, but it's not just a rant. I'm convinced there are means and methods of utilizing what Esri already provides in an improved manner. Let's flush them out of the brush, dust 'em off, and dress up for general consumption.