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ALOHA ArcMap Import Tool

To display ALOHA's threat zone predictions on a map, users typically use MARPLOT (the mapping program for the CAMEO software suite). However, you can also display threat zones (also called footprints) in Esri's ArcMap using the ALOHA ArcMap Import Tool developed by NOAA OR&R.

Downloading the Import Tool

If you're running ArcMap 9.2, 9.3, or 10.0, download the aloha_92.dll file [Zip, 50 KB]. We recommend saving the file with the other ArcMap DLLs in C:/arcgis/arcexe9x/bin or C:/Program Files/ArcGIS/Desktop10.x/bin (as appropriate).

This file has been compressed as a self-extracting zip file so that it can be downloaded more easily from the Internet. [Need help with compressed files?] (Your computer may display a message that it is unable to open the file because it does not know what application created it. Disregard this message and continue with the installation.)

Installing the Import Tool

Note: If you are running a Windows Vista or later operating system and are unable to load the ALOHA Import Tool using the following steps (i.e., you get a message that "no tools were added"), see the additional notes below.

  1. Launch ArcMap.
  2. Right-click on the ArcMap toolbar and scroll down to "Customize" (or choose the "Customize" option under the Tools menu).
  3. Select the "Commands" tab on the "Customize" window.
  4. Click the "Add from file" button.
  5. Navigate to the DLL file on your hard drive. (If you don't see the file, your browser may not have unzipped the compressed version.) [Need help with compressed files?]
  6. Select the DLL file and click Open to add the ALOHA Import Tool to your available tools. Click OK.
  7. In the scrollable list on the left side of the "Customize" window, highlight "ArcObjectTools."
  8. On the right you should see the "Aloha Footprint Extension (vs 2.1.1)" command. Click the application icon next to the command, and drag it onto your standard toolbar. Release the mouse button when the cursor becomes a vertical bar. (You need to release the mouse button at or before another icon on your toolbar.)
  9. Exit the "Customize" window.

Additional notes for users of Windows Vista or later:

To install any ArcMap DLL, you must have administrative privileges. The following approaches may be needed to successfully load the ALOHA Import Tool if you are running a Windows Vista or later operating system.

  1. Launch a new ArcMap session by right-clicking on the ArcMap icon and choosing "Run as administrator." Follow the steps provided above to load the tool. Once it is loaded, you can launch ArcMap as a user and the ALOHA Import Tool will be available.
  2. If the method described in the previous step did not work, try the following: As an administrator, go to Control Panel > User Accounts. If the User Account Control (UAC) box is checked, uncheck it and restart your computer. (Once you've installed the DLL file according to the rest of the instructions above, you can recheck the UAC checkbox and restart your computer to turn the UAC security back on.)

You are now ready to use the ALOHA Import Tool!

Using the Import Tool

The import tool requires that you use a threat zone file with a .PAS suffix; the file must have no spaces in its name or pathway. The manner in which you obtain this file depends on which version of ALOHA you are using.

  • ALOHA 5.4.2 or later: Use the Export Threat Zones option (in ALOHA's File menu) to save the threat zone displayed in ALOHA as a .PAS file. ALOHA will prompt you to select a name and location for the file.
  • Earlier versions of ALOHA: Display a threat zone in ALOHA, then browse to the ALOHA program folder on your computer. A temporary "aloha_ftp.pas" file should be visible in this folder while the threat zone is displayed in ALOHA; if you don't see the file, make sure that you have write permissions for the ALOHA folder. It is recommended that you make a copy of the .PAS file and rename it. ALOHA deletes the "aloha_ftp.pas" file when it closes, but if you've saved the .PAS file with a different name, then you can import the threat zone into ArcMap even after ALOHA is closed.

To use the ArcMap Tool, simply click on the ALOHA icon and you will be guided through the import process. You will need to provide the source site of the release, either in decimal degrees or degrees, minutes, and seconds. The geodatabase that is created will have a defined coordinate system (geographic coordinates, WGS84). This allows ArcMap to reproject the threat zone layers if you have other data layers in a different, defined coordinate system.

You will also need to navigate to the ALOHA threat zone .PAS file. You can specify a name for the geodatabase that will be created (by default it is named for the chemical released).

The mapped output will include a layer for each level of concern specified in the ALOHA .PAS file. The layers will be named with these levels of concern. In addition, a balloon callout box containing the parameters of the spill and other relevant information is displayed. This box and the red dot showing the release site are graphic elements and may be moved or deleted using the graphic selection tool.

With the aid of this tool, you will be able to view and query the ALOHA threat zone output with other data layers available for your ArcMap session.

A Note for International Users: If you are getting unexpectedly large threat zones in ArcMap after they are imported, it may be the result of numeric protocol differences:

  • ALOHA assumes the U.S. numeric protocol, where the comma (,) represents the thousands separator and the period (.) is used to designate the decimal part of the number. If you are using the comma as the decimal separator and a period or space to separate thousands groupings, this may cause problems after import. Resolve this issue by opening the ALOHA .PAS file in a text editor and then (1) replacing any numeric commas with periods, and (2) deleting any numeric periods.
  • Negative numbers may also be an issue. This tool assumes the negative sign will be the leading character of any number less than zero.

Removing the Import Tool

To remove the ALOHA Import Tool from the toolbar, open the "Customize" window and drag the ALOHA icon off the toolbar. To permanently remove the tool from your computer, delete the aloha_92.dll file from your machine.