GME

Geospatial Modelling Environment

GME Help

This page summarises the primary sources of help and documentation, and includes answers to a list of frequently asked questions.

Using GME

The most comprehensive, detailed source of information on using GME is the PDF help document that is distributed with the software. You can access this document via the 'Open help documentation' item on the GME toolbar menu from within ArcMap, or you can browse to this PDF document in the installation folder (usually C:\Program Files\SpatialEcology). Alternatively, here is the most recent version of the document. However, the version posted here may not correspond to the version of GME you have installed, so it is recommended that you open the help document installed on your system.

See Finding Information in GME for a brief overview of how the support information is organized and cross-referenced, and how to search it.

This website contains additional information (not contained in the PDF document) on installing and upgrading GME, information on troubleshooting problems, known bugs, future development plans, links to other useful resources and up to date information about any issues relating to the tools.

Installation and upgrade

Please see the Download link at the top of this web site. This web page contains detailed instructions about the installation and upgrade of GME.

Frequently asked questions

What software is required to run GME? GME has several dependencies: ArcGIS (the ArcView license or higher), the statistical and modelling software R including several optional packages within R, and a program called 'StatConn DCOM' that facilitates the communication of other software with R. See the Download page for further details.

What happens if I upgrade ArcGIS? If you upgrade ArcGIS (including applying a service pack) it is recommended that you check this website for an update to GME that is compiled against that version of ArcGIS. See the compatability table on the Download page for further details.

What happens if I upgrade R? GME relies on having three software packages communicate with each other. When you upgrade any one of these independently of the others you risk breaking that interoperability. R is a program that evolves very quickly, usually resulting in several new releases per year. For normal users it is usually not essential to keep updating R to the latest version. My recommendation is that you do not upgrade R unless you have a compelling reason to do so. I will of course attempt to ensure that versions of my software work with all new versions of R, but there will be a lag time between the release of a new version of R and the release of a new version of my tools. Note that minor version updates of R are unlikely to affect GME (e.g. 2.8.0 to 2.8.1), but major version changes probably will (e.g. 2.7.0 to 2.8.0 did).

If you upgrade R and find that GME no longer functions correctly then the likely point of failure is the link between R and 'StatConn DCOM'. The developers of 'StatConn DCOM' do an admirable job of ensuring their software works with the latest version of R, but sometimes a fundamental restructuring of R occurs and the developers of 'StatConn DCOM' then have to update their code. In this case you might consider uninstalling the latest version of R and installing the previous version again (previous versions are available from the R website).

Should I uninstall GME before upgrading ArcGIS? It does not matter because GME (version 0.4 or greater) is a standalone application and can be installed/uninstalled independently of ArcGIS.

Troubleshooting

Error messages appear when I try to run a command that uses R. Just to be sure of this, run the GME -- Help -- Citations tool. If even that causes an error to appear then the link to R is not functioning correctly. If you have just upgraded R, then either the new version of R is not compatible with the version of GME and StatConn DCOM you have installed, or there is a possibility that the path to the new version is not recorded correctly. Run the RSetReg.exe program in the 'bin' folder (in the folder where you installed R). Then go to Control Panel -- System -- Advanced tab -- Environment Variables, and look for a variable called R_HOME. If you find it, make sure it points to the currently installed version, or delete it. Finally, make sure the connection is working correctly using: Programs -- Statconn -- DCOM -- Server 01 Basic test. Press the 'Start R' button. If you get a splash screen and lot of text streaming past then it works. If you get an error then you have not solved the problem. You should uninstall and reinstall R and StatConn DCOM.

Contacting the author

If you have exhausted all other sources of support but have been unable to resolve your problem then you may contact the author. I do not guarantee being able to respond to your email quickly. Your email should include the following details:

  1. The version number and service pack of ArcGIS (e.g. ArcGIS 9.3.1 SP 1), the version of R (e.g. 2.11.1) and the version of StatConn DCOM(e.g. 3.1-2B6) that are installed on your system (or that you attempted to install if the problem you are having relates to installation).
  2. The exact and complete text of any error message you received (within GME these messages will appear in a box that you can copy and paste from, so it is easy to provide this information).
  3. A description of what you were attempting to do, the nature of the data you were using, and any steps you have already taken to search for sources of the problem. E.g. 'I was attempting to generate a kernel density raster based on 1296 points stored in a geodatabase on the local hard drive. I have already checked that there were no null geometries among those points, that the geodatabase is not being used by another program, that I have write access to the output folder I specified, and that there was ample disk space available.'
  4. If you think you have found a processing bug then you should seriously consider sending me a small sample of data in a zip file ( < 5MB) I can use to replicate the problem. If I cannot replicate the problem, I probably won't be able to fix it.

Understand that I receive many emails requesting technical support and I simply don't have time to chase people to obtain sufficient details to analyse the problem. If your email does not contain enough this information I am sorry to say it will probably be ignored.

If you have made a donation to the project then you are also much more likely to receive technical support (in the case of commercial, business, government and military users this is particularly expected). Please supply the date and amount of your donation in the email.

My email address is: hawthorne@spatialecology.com. Hawthorne is my first name and you are welcome to use it.

Purchasing support

If you wish to purchase formal, prompt technical support then please email me (Hawthorne, email: hawthorne@spatialecology.com). This is usually arranged on a per-project / per-issue basis, but other options are available.


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