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Mostly Mapping

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Unlike other Esri products, ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World is truly many moving parts continuously updating independently on their own schedule. Living Atlas News is an attempt to capture what's been going on. Check it out here: ArcGIS Living Atlas News (July 2020)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that Bigfork (Montana) High School students Colten Wroble and Ryan Cantrell are recipients of the 2020 President’s Environmental Youth Award.


The students were recognized on Earth Day for developing a website,, as members of the Bigfork High School Cave Club, which helps cavers collect information on bat populations. They are among 35 students in grades K-12 who were recognized by the President’s Council on Environmental Quality and the EPA for producing an outstanding environmental project.


The project leverages ArcGIS Online capabilities and has been supported by the Esri education and conservation grant programs. Bigfork High School students and educator/caver Hans Bodenhamer were featured presenters at the 2010 Esri User Conference.


Bigfork High School student Sandy Baker rapelling into a Grand Canyon cave.

(Photo: Bigfork High School Cave Club: Slideshow - Bigfork High School Cave Club)


For more information, see the following:

I have been curating learning resources for COVID-19 response for the Esri Disaster Response Program (DRP). The resources are usually sent to me by DRP team members using Tasks in Microsoft Teams.


I'm using Category Gallery, one of the group-based configurable apps and one of my favorites. It's been a very good app to use to provide filterable access to group-based content. 


Here's the app:



I've defined the categories within the group itself, rather than use organization-wide categories. This has given me the flexibility that I need to adapt the categories to reflect the growing collection of resources, and how they are to be presented.


The app has been configured to automatically display the category filter. Using this filter you can choose the category to view the latest additions, highlighted additions, and if you click on Products you can view sub-categories to select the product you are interested in. For example, there were a number of recent ArcGIS Pro learning resource additions. Choose Products, then choose ArcGIS Pro to view them.




I've really liked the flexibility of this app. During the course of adding learning resources I've edited and changed the categories several times. This flexibility has allowed me the ability to use categories in different ways over time, and to keep thing moving forward as needs dictated.


Category Gallery has proven to be valuable way to present information in a timely and flexible way, that can be adapted and modified on-the-fly. 


I've authored a blog tutorial that will help you get started with Category Gallery. It's definitely an effective and versatile way to present content, and one of my current favorite configurable apps to use.

ArcGIS Enterprise includes a locally installed collection of Living Atlas items which you can search and use when authoring web maps and apps. However, some of the recently added COVID-19 content that has been added to ArcGIS Living Atlas of The World will not be discoverable in the currently installed items. The reason is that these have come online recently, and therefore were not part of the Enterprise Living Atlas collection as last updated.


However, all Living Atlas content is discoverable via searching ArcGIS Online when authoring maps using the Enterprise Map Viewer. The key to finding this content is to discover them using an ArcGIS Online layer search.


For example, a search performed against Enterprise Living Atlas using "covid-19" yields no matches. 



Since these are very recent layers and are not part of the ArcGIS Enterprise installation. However, these new Living Atlas layers can be discovered immediately by searching ArcGIS Online when making a map, since all Living Atlas layers are discoverable via ArcGIS Online. Follow these steps:


Step 1 – Open Map Viewer.


Step 2 – Click Add, then Search for Layers.



Step 3 – Choose ArcGIS Online.



Step 4 – Enter the search string.

Living Atlas content is identified by the blue globe symbol. Click the title to view the item details.



Step 5 – Click  to add the layer to your map, or if you have opened the item pages click Add to Map at the bottom.



Tip: You can use the ArcGIS Living Atlas website to browse for coronavirus (and other) content, then copy and paste the exact title into your ArcGIS Online search above. Open the Browse tab and enter your search criteria.


For example, this search finds all Living Atlas layers for the United States that match the keywords "coronavirus," "covid-19, or "mobility."

I recently received an email from a user asking if ArcGIS Online web maps were embeddable in Squarespace. While I do not have a full Squarespace account, I did get a trial to check things out. While I'll add a caveat that I didn't explore everything thoroughly, or exercise this with a full account, I can say that with a trial account everything seems to work just fine. Here's an embedded map from the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World.


Embedded web map in Squarespace


The way I grabbed the embed code was from the web map Share workflow. Share > Embed In Website.




I tried a couple of the available Squarespace blocks; Embed and Code. Both seemed to work easily, without any issues.


Squarespace blocks


Again, I can't say this is the definitive bottom line on embedding web maps in Squarespace, and did find something posted here on GeoNet that seemed to suggest there may have been an issue a long while ago. But I'm reasonably confident that everything should just work. I'll also admit that I have not tried embedding web apps using an iframe, but don't see any reason why results would be different.


If you've had experiences with web maps or apps in Squarespace, I'd welcome your comments, learning of any issues you've experienced, and seeing what you've done.

Dashboards, especially now, are a very effective way to monitor what is going on, and deliver an interactive situational awareness app. There are many truly great examples of COVID-19 dashboards, but if you're still puzzled over creating your first dashboard, this recently published blog tutorial will show you how to get started. See Create your first dashboard using ArcGIS Dashboards.



See ArcGIS Dashboards for more information.

The March 2020 release of ArcGIS Online last week introduced a new profile experience. Now is the time to review your profile, and make any adjustments in light of the new update.


New profile 


Earlier today I updated this best practices blog article on profiles, with some tips and thoughts about the new implementation.

Be somebody (and show your best profile) 


I'm encouraging everyone to take a quick look at your profile, and make any necessary adjustments. You will find that some things are easier than ever before.


Most profiles will not need any changes, a few will. Those are primarily profiles that previously used a graphic with text. With the new (and trendy) circular avatars, some of those will be cropped. So adjust as necessary. Note that there are a couple of minor glitches in the way that titles wrap, which will be fixed in an patch release coming any day...

ArcGIS Experience Builder was officially released this morning. Here's a few blog articles and resources to help you get started building your experiences.


Release announcement

ArcGIS Experience Builder provides users with a new way of creating web experience. Easily transform your data into web apps and web pages. Learn about what was just released, including key new and improved features since beta.


Product overview at

Everything you need to know from a high level about ArcGIS Experience Builder. Explains how it works and includes links to a variety of resources.


Concepts and Overview

A blog article with an overview of the ArcGIS Experience Builder user interface, and the tools and settings you will work with.


ArcGIS Experience Builder Help

Everything from what it is, to essential concepts, to how to create your first experience. Includes details on each widget and how to configure them.


Get started with ArcGIS Experience Builder: Foldable template

A blog tutorial that steps you through building a simple appcentric experience using the Foldable template. See how easy it is to use a template to create your first experience.


Get started with ArcGIS Experience Builder: Gallery template

A blog tutorial that steps you through building a simple pagecentric experience using the Gallery template. 


Get started with ArcGIS Experience Builder: Sync maps

This tutorial steps you through how to sync 2D and 3D maps using triggers and actions.


Experience it for yourself

Ready to dive in? Build your own experience by signing in with your ArcGIS credentials at the ArcGIS Experience Builder landing page. 

Matienzo is both the name of a village, as well as a karst area, in northern Spain. The public domain project data for the area was obtained to create this ArcGIS Online app. The app shows cave and karst feature locations, along with cave survey lineplots. View the app.



The legend acts as a filter; click to filter on a feature type. The number indicates how many features of that type are within the current map area.


Click a location and follow the More info... link to tap into the project database for details.


How the app was made


The data was obtained as KMZ files from the project website, and was manipulated in Google Earth, ArcGIS Pro, and ArcGIS Online. The point locations were further manipulated using filter and calculate functions in ArcGIS Online, as well as some data wrangling using Notepad to remove legacy attribute tags from the original HTML document produced in the project's CMS to produce the results shown in the app. The cave lineplots were published from shapefiles, the locations from a CSV. The app used to display the data is the Interactive Legend configurable app. 

A deadly 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Puerto Rico on Tuesday, leaving one man dead and residents worried about the potential for collapse of their homes. The quake caused dozens of homes and structures to crumble, and cut power and water service to major portions of the island.

The Esri Disaster Response Program (DRP) site includes maps that use ArcGIS Living Atlas content to show earthquakes and other events like flooding, hurricanes, severe weather, fires, and more. You'll also find links to request assistance if needed.
Here's a map using Living Atlas live feeds showing recent earthquakes in the area.
For more information see:

Extreme heat and a prolonged drought have generated unprecedented large-scale fires in many parts of Australia, especially in its southeast. Last year was the driest and hottest year on record in Australia, a fact that has literally fueled the fire season. As of today, over 12 million acres have burned, dozens of people have perished, many thousands of residents are homeless,  and many hundreds of millions of mammals, birds, and reptiles have been impacted. Using ArcGIS Living Atlas live feeds and imagery, we can learn more about the fires.


For more information see Use ArcGIS Living Atlas to view Australia's fires.


The Esri Ocean and Atmospheric Forum is taking place this week on the Esri Campus in Redlands California, bringing together a community of atmospheric and ocean professionals to share advances in data collection, analysis, and understanding oceans and atmosphere.


Esri Oceans and Atmosphere Forum


Here's a collection of story maps and apps that cover ocean and atmospheric content. Several of these will be on display in the Geo Experience Center (GeoXC) on the agenda for a tour on Wednesday afternoon.


These story maps and apps, as well as many more maps and layers, covering oceans and atmosphere are part of the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, and can be discovered via search at:



Coral Bleaching dashboard


Under the Ocean’s hood


Seafloor Investigator


Ocean temperature


Sea Ice Aware app


Discovering Deep-Sea Corals


Living Atlas ocean data story map


Seamount classification


The Ocean


Marine Unit explorer


NOAA Atmospheric Rivers


Twister dashboard


Precipitation forecast app


Severe weather dashboard


Typhoon Haiyan


Hurricane Harvey


10 most damaging hurricanes




Tropical cyclones


Atlas for a Changing Planet


California Drought


ARGO Float Status dashboard

The destructive fires in the Amazon are causing global concern, and are in the news...So here's a really quick app leveraging ArcGIS Online and Living Atlas content that provides a closer look. It took about about 5 minutes to come up with this very simple app, shown below:


Amazon fires


The Amazon Basin boundary is from WWF, as found on ArcGIS Online by searching for "Amazon Basin." While I'd take off a few points in my Best Practices workshop for this profile and item description, it was enough to convince me it was authoritative.



MODIS hotspots are from the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. Just search for "MODIS" in Living Atlas when authoring your web map.



The basemap is the Firefly basemap, one of my favs, and part of the Living Atlas collection. If your organization uses the Esri Vector Basemaps, you'll find it in your Basemap Gallery.



Symbols used to show the hotspots are from the Firefly symbol set.



The configurable app used in this example is Media Map, available via the web map sharing and Create Web App workflow, in the Showcase A Map category tab.



Ask me for more info...


Attachment Viewer is a new (as of the July, 2019, ArcGIS Online release) configurable app. It's intended to provide an easy way to browse feature layer attachments of all types - images, photos, documents, videos, and more. It can be used to view photos captured with Collector for ArcGIS, Survey123, QuickCapture, and other field and desktop apps.


Attachment Viewer


Learn more by reading Browse feature layer attachments using Attachment Viewer in the ArcGIS blog. You can also view the Esri Campus Locations sample app.


One of the nice capabilities of the app is that you can navigate to any feature, and browse to any attachment, and can share the location and attachment via URL, shortlink, Facebook, and Twitter.

With recent data compiled by the USGS, the WNS maps and Story Map have been updated. The update includes new reports from Texas, Washington, Minnesota, and several Canadian provinces.


Story Map


Interactive map


How the maps are made

The Story Map uses the Story Map Journal, and embeds two Story Map Series and the Time Aware configurable app.

The interactive map shown above uses the sharing preview of the map in the Minimalist configurable app. For more information on this "quick share" technique, see Quickly share your map using an app.