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Applied GIS ArcGIS utility question here that maybe somebody stumbles across. I am using the United States Geological Survey National Hydrography Dataset dataset - rivers, lakes, flow directions, watersheds, etc. It is designed for ArcGIS 10.5.1 but suggests that it is designed for compatibility with future versions of Arc. (https://www.usgs.gov/core-science-systems/ngp/national-hydrography/tools) *No need to read this, just in case someone was interested...

If anybody has experience using these utilities on different ArcGIS versions please let me know HOW. I did e-mail the USGS so I will update this post if intel is ever delivered.

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Correspondence from NHD National POC:

Our current list of tools work with ARC 10.5.1. Developers are working on moving to 10.7 and hope to have that completed by the end of the FY which is in October, but that is a floating deadline for sure.

Seems incredibly limiting, now that makes me curious the difference in difficulty between maintaining an ArcGIS utility vs for instance Python packages. Seems even Python packages maintained by only a few contributors manage to stay pretty current. QGIS here I come!

Additionally I asked if this update would assure backwards compatibility to which I received this response:

… I don't believe that we support them going backwards in versions, but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't work.

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    It's hard to imagine why a tool written with 10.5.1 wouldn't just work with 10.7. I've written extensive scripts that have worked with 10.4.1, 10.5.1, 10.6, 10.6.1, 10.7.1 and Pro 2.5.1 (though I had to do some Python 3 compatibility refits, the ArcPy code just worked). – Vince Jun 20 '20 at 4:51
  • That's reassuring because I imagine since Arc Desktop are Python 2 based, version changes of Numpy and Pandas and other dependencies for Arcpy couldn't be drastically affected. TBD...I'll try it out this Fall – NW_Photo_Laureate Jun 20 '20 at 21:41

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