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Updates to original script in comments below - 9/5/2019


With hurricane season upon us, I wanted to share a simple but powerful python script which locates assets that are in path of a major storm.  The script leverages the ArcGIS Python API and can be run manually or automatically from a variety of sources, which I'll cover later on.  The script also requires that your asset locations are in a feature layer within your GIS portal, along with a polygon feature layer used as a storm track, and a layer to add your alarms or vulnerable assets to. The script is attached below, but lets first break it down.


First, import the necessary ArcGIS python libraries and authenticate into your GIS portal.  Since this script uses feature layers, we'll mostly use the arcgis.features module.

from arcgis.gis import GIS
from arcgis.features import FeatureLayer
from arcgis.features.managers import FeatureLayerManager
from arcgis.geometry import filters
from IPython.display import display
gis = GIS("", 'username', 'password')


Next we'll load in the feature layers used in the script. The script requires a point feature layer of your asset locations, a polygon feature layer of your storm track, and another point layer used as alarms or your vulnerable asset locations.


Ninja Pro Tip: Leverage the Active Hurricane live feed from Esri's Living Atlas as your storm strack.

#assets layer
cellSiteFeatureLayer = gis.content.get('88b5acd4444343b3bdaea40918d070bf')
#storm track layer
hurricaneFeatureLayer = gis.content.get('6c8256c93c0e40debe46d9dcf79d0049')
#alarms layer
warningsFeatureLayer = gis.content.get('6f735776f0c246b1ba602a774dbc1b1d')

Next, well truncate and clear out previous alarms and vulnerable assets from the alarms layers.

warningsLayer = warningsFeatureLayer.layers[0]

Then, well store the current geometry of the polygon layer or the storm track which will be used to query the assets that fall within it.

hurricaneFeatures = hurricaneFeatureLayer.layers[8]
queryHurricane = hurricaneFeatures.query(where='1=1')
hurricaneGeometry = queryHurricane.features[3].geometry
##print (hurricaneGeometry)

Now we'll the use the geometry we just stored as the spatial geometry filter for our query on the assets layer.

cellSiteFeatures = cellSiteFeatureLayer.layers[0]
warningsResult = cellSiteFeatures.query(where='1=1', out_fields='SiteID', geometry_filter=filters.intersects(hurricaneGeometry))

Finally, take the feature set returned by the query and add the features to the alarm layer.


And that's it. The result is new point locations showing you where assets fall within a storm track.



The script can be run in variety of locations depending on the experience you want for the end user.  Here some options:

  1. Locally in your own IDE
  2. Within ArcGIS Pro as a GP tool
  3. Shared as a GP service and leveraged in the GP widget of Web AppBuilder
  4. Brought into ArcGIS Notebook server
  5. Ran automatically using Windows Task Scheduler 


Ninja Pro Tip: Leverage Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS to view the results of the analysis.



Patrick Huls

Solution Engineer Team Lead - Telecommunications

LinkedIn: Patrick Huls| Twitter: @SpatialNinja| GeoNet:Phuls-esristaff

For a variety of planning, engineering, or inspection workflows, you may want to leverage street view applications with ArcGIS in lieu of, or before sending someone to the field.  There are many options for integrating street view with ArcGIS.  In this blog we'll outline the options for using Esri Partner solutions as well as options for linking to Bing and Google within an ArcGIS web map pop-up.


Esri Partners

Esri has partners which offer integrated street view solutions with ArcGIS.  These street view solutions can be used directly in ArcGIS Enterprise/Online, ArcGIS Pro, or Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS. 


Cyclomedia - The Street SmartTM Widget for ArcGIS introduces high resolution street-level imagery to Web Apps that you build with the Web AppBuilder.


Mapillary -  With the Mapillary widget for ArcGIS, you can bring Mapillary's street-level imagery into custom web applications built with Web AppBuilder. 


GeoCam - 3D urban modeling for microwave line of sign analysis, macro/small cell RF propagation modeling, and road-based aerial fiber mapping.


Feature Pop-up Street View Hyperlinks

Using Arcade within feature pop-ups in a web map, you can dynamically build a URL hyperlink that will pass a map features coordinates to Google's Street View or Bing's StreetSide to automatically open up street view in a new browser tab and zoom you to a location. Here is how:


First, configure a pop-up for a feature layer in your web map and Add an attribute expression.



Second, use the following Arcade expression to create your hyperlink.

var PointGeometry = Centroid(Geometry($feature));

var ArcadeX = PointGeometry.x;
var ArcadeY = PointGeometry.y;
var ArcadeSr = PointGeometry.spatialReference.wkid;
var Latitude, Longitude;

function AuxSphereToLatLon(x, y) {
  // Conversion based on
  var rMajor = 6378137;
  var shift = PI * rMajor;
  Longitude = x / shift * 180.0;
  Latitude = y / shift * 180.0;
  Latitude = 180 / PI * (2 * Atan(Exp(Latitude * PI / 180.0)) - PI / 2.0);

if (ArcadeSr == 4326) {
  Console("4326 Spatial Reference - No Conversion Necessary");
  Latitude = ArcadeY;
  Longitude = ArcadeX;
} else if (ArcadeSr == 102100) {
  Console("102100 Spatial Reference - Conversion Necessary");
  AuxSphereToLatLon(ArcadeX, ArcadeY);
} else {
  Console(ArcadeSr + " Spatial Reference is not supported - currently works with Web Maps where the basemap is in WGS84 (4326) or Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere 102100");

var url = "" + text(Latitude) + "~" + text(Longitude);
return url;


Let's break down the expression. The first section grabs the X and Y coordinates and the spatial reference from the feature's Geometry and stores them as variables.  Since these features are Lines, we'll grab the Centroid of the line $feature as the location we zoom to in street view.

var PointGeometry = Centroid(Geometry($feature));

var ArcadeX = PointGeometry.x;
var ArcadeY = PointGeometry.y;
var ArcadeSr = PointGeometry.spatialReference.wkid;
var Latitude, Longitude;


Then we'll check the spatial reference system of the web map to see if the coordinates need converting to Lat and Long for use by Google or Bing. If the web map is in Web Mercator (102100) then the coordinates will be converted to Lat and Long.  If the web map is in WGS84 (4326) then no conversion necessary since the feature coordinates will already be in Lat and Long. 


function AuxSphereToLatLon(x, y) {
  // Conversion based on
  var rMajor = 6378137;
  var shift = PI * rMajor;
  Longitude = x / shift * 180.0;
  Latitude = y / shift * 180.0;
  Latitude = 180 / PI * (2 * Atan(Exp(Latitude * PI / 180.0)) - PI / 2.0);

if (ArcadeSr == 4326) {
  Console("4326 Spatial Reference - No Conversion Necessary");
  Latitude = ArcadeY;
  Longitude = ArcadeX;
} else if (ArcadeSr == 102100) {
  Console("102100 Spatial Reference - Conversion Necessary");
  AuxSphereToLatLon(ArcadeX, ArcadeY);
} else {
  Console(ArcadeSr + " Spatial Reference is not supported - currently works with Web Maps where the basemap is in WGS84 (4326) or Web Mercator Auxiliary Sphere 102100");


And finally, we'll build the URL and return it as a hyperlink.  For Google, use the following syntax:

var url = "" + text(Latitude) + "," + text(Longitude);
return url;


And for Bing, use the following syntax:

var url = "" + text(Latitude) + "~" + text(Longitude);
return url;


Once you have your Arcade expression built, the X and Y geometry of the feature will be added to the street view URL.

The URL will come through as a hyperlink in your web map pop-up.



Patrick Huls

Solution Engineer Team Lead - Telecommunications

LinkedIn: Patrick Huls| Twitter: @SpatialNinja| GeoNet:Phuls-esristaff

Many new features and apps were released in the 10.7 version of ArcGIS. Here are my top 10.


10. Reports in ArcGIS Pro

New in ArcGIS Pro 2.3 is Reports. For those that leveraged CrystalReports in ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro now supports an all Esri based report template capability. Its great for dynamically adding attributes from your data and an inset map into a PDF report. 


Spatial Ninja Pro Tip: Reports in ArcGIS Pro—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop 


9. Spellcheck in ArcGIS Pro

Spelchek!!! yay!! This is one of my favorite updates to Pro in the 2.3 release. The ability to run spellcheck against your map layouts, attributes, and popups is a long awaited enhancement to Pro. 


Spatial Ninja Pro Tip: What's new in ArcGIS Pro 2.3 - YouTube 

8. Shared Instances in ArcGIS Server

For those who have managed an ArcGIS Server, you are aware of the RAM hogging SOC processes that support all of services running on that machine. New at 10.7, shared instances allows for a 1:M relationship between SOC processes and service definitions: a shared service instance (SOC process) can service requests for multiple services. 

When publishing a map service, and setting it to use shared instances, the added memory cost of the new service is effectively zero. Instead of creating a dedicated pool of service instances (SOCs) the service will be handled by the shared instance pool.


7. Distributed Collaboration

Distributed collaboration allows for portals to share layers and content through a collaboration group. Items can be referenced or copied based on a set time interval. New at 10.7 is support for Insights workbooks, view layers, and the ability to pause and resume collaboration sync. 



6. Cost Analysis Widget for Web AppBuilder

A new widget called Cost Analysis is now available in Web AppBuilder. The Cost Analysis widget allows you to set up an editing template with a cost associated to each feature. So if I am planning a fiber network I can have the widget automatically total up the cost of the build. You'll also have the ability to add additional costs or multipliers based on territories or manual input. 



5. Tracker for ArcGIS

Tracker for ArcGIS is a new mobile app that allows organizations to track the locations of their mobile workers.  Tracks can be recorded while online or offline, and Tracker can be scheduled to record location only during business hours. The location tracks can be viewed in the Tracker web application or brought into any web map as a layer.


4. Collector for ArcGIS

The latest version of Collector, code named Aurora, was released in November on 2018. This new version enabled better mapping with support for vector tiles and labeling, a new interface for collecting data, a better offline experience for users, and smarter forms to support barcode scanning. Grouping of fields and snapping are coming later this year.


3. ArcGIS Notebooks

ArcGIS Notebooks is a web-based, interactive, computational environment for you to write, document, and run code all in one place. It is based on the is a popular open source notebook environment, Jupyter. Python is the main scripting language for ArcGIS, and can be accessed and run in many locations across ArcGIS. ArcGIS Notebooks provides a more integrated experience within the Web GIS.




2. in_memory workspace in ArcGIS Pro

In the 2.3 release of ArcGIS Pro the ability to have an in_memory workspace was added. This means you can now write the output results of a geoprcoessing tool to memory for use as intermediate data.


Spatial Ninja Pro Tip: What's new in ArcGIS Pro 2.3—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop 


 1. ArcGIS Indoors


ArcGIS Indoors allows your organization to create 2D/3D indoor maps and mage indoor assets. These indoor maps can be generated from CAD and BIM and indoor routing can be configured through ArcGIS Pro.


Spatial Ninja Pro Tip: Indoor Mapping System | ArcGIS Indoors 




Patrick Huls

Solution Engineer Team Lead - Telecommunications

LinkedIn: Patrick Huls| Twitter: @SpatialNinja| GeoNet:Phuls-esristaff

At this years GeoConX conference we held a technical session on administering your portal. Following the session numerous attendees asked for access to some of the tools we highlighted, so I wanted to recap the session and share all of those with you. My team at Esri administers our demonstration environments for our global business development team, which includes 2000+ users.  We maintain a hybrid ArcGIS Enterprise and Online environment, and below are the ways, we internally at Esri, have outlined our governance practices.


Authoritative Content - authoritative content is all about separating the 'portal clutter' or sandbox content from the authoritative web maps, apps, and layers that are shared with users in the portal, and the best practices around doing so.  Here are some useful tools and best practices for maintaining authoritative content:

  • Portal Item Branding
    • Adding a thumbnail, a summary, and description to items in your portal will allow users to easily understand what the app, map, or layer is and whether it is relevant to them.  There are numerous ways to build awesome thumbnails; including a PowerPoint template that is downloadable here, or using this app from our Application Prototype Lab team. 
  • Metadata
    • Adding metadata to items will provide authoritative details on what the item is and where the content came from.  ArcGIS Online now supports standard metadata formats: Metadata—ArcGIS Online Help | ArcGIS 
  • Setting Default Branding
  • Authoritative Content Tagging


Organization & AccessibilityA clean and organized portal is a happy portal. Users will continue to come back to the portal if it is well organized, content can be found relatively easy, and content is easily accessible. Here are some useful tools and best practices for maintaining organization & accessibility:

  • Portal Home Page Branding
  • Sites
    • One limitation of the portal homepage is that it cannot be tailored to each user or team. Sites for ArcGIS now allows you to create a destination for different departments that presents only the maps, apps, and layers that are relevant to that team.  Additional context can also be added to a Site through a configurable HTML builder. Sites are currently available in ArcGIS Enterprise only, but ArcGIS Online is coming. About ArcGIS Enterprise Sites—Portal for ArcGIS (10.6) | ArcGIS Enterprise 
  • Groups, Categories, Gallery Apps
    • Groups organize content and enable access to content based on user identity, but Gallery Apps can give a clean user interface into a group.  The new Categories feature allows you to group content based on a specific category or tag.  Users can filter content within a group based on these new categories, allowing for an easier time to find relevant content. 
  • Identity Management with Single Sign On
    • If you have ever forgot your password, raise your hand. Image result for hand raised emoji Well so have I. ArcGIS allows for its identity management system to be connected to your corporate identity management system by setting up enterprise logins.  This will allow you to manage users easier and allow users to use their corporate logins to access ArcGIS, reducing the number passwords they need to remember. 
  • Distributed Collaboration
    • New in ArcGIS is Distributed Collaboration. This capability will allow you to share content from one portal to another, creating a portal of portals experience. So for large organizations with multiple portals, distributed collaboration will easily allow for content to be shared between those portals.
  • End User Experience
    • A consideration when creating apps is understanding the primary location from where a user will be accessing the app, and from what kind of device. Web AppBuilder allows you to see what your web app will look like on different devices.  The new web version of Operations Dashboard can also be viewed on a mobile device, but if a phone is expected as the primary device to view the dashboard, then consideration should be made to how the widgets are set up. Here is some help: Strategies & Best Practices for using Dashboards on your Smartphone % Dashboards on a smart phone
    • A new ArcGIS mobile app is also available for accessing your portal on a mobile device. The experience of accessing the portal over a web browser on a mobile device hasn't always been the best, so ArcGIS Companion is a new native mobile app that is a much better user experience for accessing your portal on a mobile device. Introducing ArcGIS Companion - New Mobile App for your Organization 


AvailabilityWith more and more organizations and employees adopting the notion of 'work' being a state of mind and not a location, the need to have business applications running 24/7 is crucial. Here are some useful tools and best practices for ensuring high availability of your portal and apps:


Management - Governance and management of the portal is key to keeping the portal sustainable and ensuring all the key elements above. Here are some useful tools and best practices for management of your portal:

  • Development Process
    • Having a development life cycle for content in your portal is good best practice. You can setup a development process by creating dev groups, and limiting sharing of content to only those dev groups. This will keep authoritative business groups clear of development content, and ensure all content in production is working. Here is some guidance on creating a development group structure process for moving content though a dev life cycle in your portal:

      1. Development 

      During the development stage of apps, contents will be kept in the curator’s user contents.  The app(s) may be shared with the Sandbox group for testing and feedback from other users.  Once a working prototype of the item is complete, the item may be shared with the Prototyping group.

      2. Prototyping 

      During the prototyping stage, the app is kept in the Prototyping group while the content is tested by additional developers.  If changes are made to the app during this stage, the content will need to be removed from the Prototyping group and shared back into the Sandbox group.  When the prototype has been tested and is working, the app may be shared with the Staging group for preparation of final release. 

      3. Staging

      During the staging stage, all associated contents (maps, layers, apps) for the app must be shared into the Staging group.  At that point, a proper thumbnail, summary, and description should be added to the app and associated contents.  The curator or developer of the contents will then document that app. The GIS admin of the portal will then QAQC the contents and the documentation.  When the app is finalized, the admin will share the app into the proper business function group, and move all associated contents (web map and layers) from the curator’s user contents into the admin’s user contents, this reduces the possibility of content associated with the app accidentally being deleted or modified.

      4. Production

      Once the app is released and in production, the admin will host and keep the contents for the app in their contents. 

  • Item Reporting and Views
    • There are times when content in the portal is no longer used, yet server resources are still running in support of that content. Tracking views on content will allow you to gauge what content may need to be deprecated or even deleted. Attached to this blog is a tool to mine the content views recorded in ArcGIS Online and Enterprise and output a CSV of those views.  That output data can be summarized in Excel or pulled into Insights for ArcGIS for further evaluation. 

  • Here are instructions for setting up the tool: 
    1. Install ArcREST from
    2. The tool has the option to run the report on one item or multiple items.  So if running the tool on multiple items, you’ll need to add items to the input_items.csv file.
    3. Open the tool from ArcCatalog, ArcMap, or Pro, and fill in the input parameters. 
    4. View output CSV file.  The tool returns the information below. 
  • Custom Roles
    • Custom roles can allow you to group users by type of user or by teams. Although users in different teams may have the same user permissions, custom roles can allow you to group users even if they have the same permissions in the portal. These custom roles can aid in provisioning or reporting workflows.
  • New Organization Tab
    • New in ArcGIS is a revamp on the admin Organization tab. Here you can manage credits, users, view system health, and more through a redesigned interface.
  • Admin Tools
    • Managing your portal on a day to day basis can be a lot of work. There are a variety of tools to assist. Here are some of the ones we use constantly. 
      • GeoJobe - Admin Tools is a great set of tools for managing users, copying content, dealing with tags, updating URLs, and more.
      • ArcGIS API for Python - This python library was designed for managing and automating tasks within your portal.
      • ArcGIS Assistant - ArcGIS Assistant will allow you to copy content and update REST endpoints for services in your web maps.  Removing a layer in a map and re-adding it is no longer required if you have published a new service and need to replace the REST endpoint.


As always, feel free to reach out with any feedback or questions.


Patrick Huls

Technical Evangelist - Telecommunications

LinkedIn: Patrick Huls| Twitter: @SpatialNinja| GeoNet:Phuls-esristaff


This year's Esri User Conference showcased a lot of great advancements in GIS technology and brought the vast user community of GIS professionals in telecommunications together. Being a GIS user for 5 years and then working for Esri the past 4 years, I'm always blown away by the energy at the User Conference. This year I wanted to share the top 5 things I'm excited for following the conference. So here we go:


5. ArcGIS Field Solutions

Esri's suite of mobile apps keep on growing in number and improving in capabilities. I am really excited about Survey123, the next generation of Collector, and the new markup capabilities in Explorer.



Survey123 for ArcGIS

What I like the most about Survey123 is its form centric approach to data collection. Its more user friendly for those not familiar with a map/GIS based interface. Building these smart forms is also really easy using the web based form builder and desktop based Survey123 Connect, and the new barcode scanner, report template, and photo markup are great additions to this app. 

Collector for ArcGIS

Collector, the map centric data collection app, was the first ArcGIS mobile app for data collection on iOS and Android. Its been around for quite some time, but I'm really excited about the future release of Collector which has been named 'The Aurora Project'. The Aurora Project release of Collector will finally see Vector Tile and labeling support for web maps used in Collector. You'll also get a brand new, easier to use, interface which allows for quicker data collection. 

Explorer for ArcGIS

Explorer can be thought of as your mobile map book. No longer are the days of printing off large map books, marking them up in the field, and digitizing those edits in the back office. That workflow is completely streamlined and digital now, thanks to the new markup features in Explorer.


4. The New Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS

I've always been excited for the possibilities and uses of Operations Dashboard, but the app traditionally being a desktop only solution limited its potential. Operations Dashboard has been overhauled and is now completely web based. The builder experience and end dashboard product are both accessible over a web browser.  The underlying JavaScript/HTML5 framework also makes the new Operations Dashboard so much more customizable and extendable. 



3. ArcGIS Enterprise Sites

Sites are new way to customize a home page for different users of your ArcGIS Enterprise portal. You can now tailor a unique portal experience for different user groups within your organization, presenting to them the maps, apps, and content they most commonly need to perform their day to day job.



2. Advancements in Big Data and AI/ML Tools

Esri continues to put the Science of Where to work with their spatial analysis tools. I'm really excited about some of the new big data and AI/ML tools that Esri is building into ArcGIS, especially for use cases around analyzing communications network performance.  These tools can now also be accessed in ArcGIS or deployed directly within your big data environments, bringing the analysis to the data. 



1. GIS's Continued Use as a Complete Platform

The number one thing I'm most excited for following this years User Conference is seeing how ArcGIS continues to be adopted as a platform for all things mapping and location intelligence. For years and years GIS has been seen as only an engineering and design solution or outside plant management solution. But we continue to see the transition of GIS as a platform to not only support infrastructure lifecycle management, but telecommunications planning, fulfillment, and assurance. Its amazing to see our users push ArcGIS to new limits and support more and more departments within their telco with mapping and location intelligence capabilities. 


Spatial Ninja Pro Tips:


Another User Conference in the books and I can't wait until I get to see everyone again at the GeoConX Conference in the fall.


Patrick Huls

Technical Evangelist - Telecommunications

LinkedIn: Patrick Huls| Twitter: @SpatialNinja| GeoNet:Phuls-esristaff

Join us for Esri's first webinar in the 2018 GeoConX webinar series to learn what’s new in ArcGIS 10.6 for GIS utilities and telecom professionals. See ArcGIS in action and gain a better understanding of how The Science of Where can be applied within your organization. Learn more about:


  • ArcGIS Platform and Architecture
  • New enhancements at 10.6
  • An introduction to the GIS patterns of use


Register Now -


Esri offers a suite of coverage processing and mapping solutions that enable carriers and wireless service providers to create highly performant web based coverage maps.  These coverage maps can be generated very quickly and shared to external customers and internal stakeholders using configurable apps sitting on top of the ArcGIS platform. In this blog we'll take a look at the steps and provide a few tips and tricks for creating beautiful coverage maps using ArcGIS.



Step 1: Getting Started

To get started, download the the Coverage Processing Solution Template. Once downloaded, follow the steps on the solutions web site for deploying the coverage processing tool. 


Ninja Pro Tip: Coverage Processing Solution Requirements


Step 2: Processing the RF Propagation Raster and Converting to Vector Features

There are many benefits to converting RF Propagation data from a raster format to a vector format for your coverage maps.  Better looking maps, faster performing maps, and vector tile caches are just a few of the benefits.  Follow the steps outlined on the solutions web site to import your RF Propagation raster into ArcGIS so that you can convert it to vector features.  Esri can handle a variety of raster formats from engineering tools on the market, or Esri also partners with organizations who have built Engineering and Design solutions directly on top of ArcGIS.  If you only have the individual propagation area rasters, and not the complete mosaic of the entire coverage area, you can build a mosaic dataset, creating a complete coverage map.

Once you have run the coverage processing solution template with your RF Propagation raster, you'll have a complete vector coverage map.


Ninja Pro Tip: Supported raster dataset file formats—Help | ArcGIS Desktop 


Step 3: Publish a Vector Tile Service and a Feature Service of Your Coverage Map

Now that you have a vector coverage map, publish the coverage map to your ArcGIS Enterprise or Online portal.  When you publish the web layer, be sure to publish both a feature service and a vector tile service. The feature service will be used to run web based spatial analysis for serviceability look-ups and business apps, while the vector tile service will be used as the display layer for rendering the coverage data very quickly in a web application. 



Step 4: Add Layers to Web Map and Modify Vector Tile Style

Once you have published the coverage map services, add your coverage map layer from your ArcGIS Enterprise or Online portal into a web map. If you are planning on creating a web app for visualizing the coverage map, add the vector tile service layer.  If you are building a web app that requires analysis on the coverage map, then also add the feature service layer. 



Vector Tile caches allow you to modify the look and feel of the layer by editing the web service's JSON.  You can add filters to the data, change the symbology, and create a new layer in your portal. This allows you to quickly change the tile caches style without requiring you to re-publish a new service. For more information, check out this Story Map, and to see how this is done, follow the video below. 



Ninja Pro Tip: VectorTile Style Simple Editor  


Step 5: Configuring Coverage Map Apps

Esri offers a variety of web app templates for configuring different apps for different audiences using web maps creating in you portal.  So, once you have all the layers styled the way you want them in the web map, configure the layer's pop-ups and transparency to your preferences. Then Save the final web map, Share the web map with groups in your organization, and select Create Web App. Then you can configure the web map in one of the configurable web app templates, or within Web AppBuilder.



Ninja Pro Tip: Wireless Bulk Serviceability | ArcGIS for Telecommunications 


Be sure to follow the Telecom Coverage Processing & Mapping (Esri) thread for more information and to ask any questions about this blog, or to post enhancement requests for the Esri solutions.  And re-watch the Coverage Processing webinar HERE. Coming soon.


Patrick Huls

Technical Evangelist - The specified item was not found.

LinkedIn: Patrick Huls| Twitter: @SpatialNinja| GeoNet:Phuls-esristaff

In times of disaster response, having the ability to rapidly deploy solutions that aid in disaster recovery is essential to reducing further loss of property and lives.  Web GIS and the configurable ArcGIS Apps allow organizations to quickly deploy reliable solutions for field data collection, crowdsourcing, situational awareness, reporting, and constituent engagement. Recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left varying degrees of damage across the Caribbean and gulf coast, so I thought it would be valuable to share some insight on how to quickly deploy a couple ArcGIS apps for damage assessment.


Ninja Pro Tip: Esri Disaster Response Program Resources


The two ArcGIS Apps we will focus on are Survey123, and Web AppBuilder.  Survey123 is a form-centric web and native mobile app for collecting data with a map location. Web AppBuilder is a JavaScript/HTML5 web app building application that allows for configuring new web apps without coding.  So lets get into the steps for setting up a quick damage assessment solution.  


Ninja Pro Tip: 10 facts you may not know about the Survey123 field app 


1. Set Up Damage Assessment Groups in ArcGIS Online or Enterprise

  • The first thing you'll need to do is create two new groups within your ArcGIS Online or Enterprise portal. Create a Damage Assessment and Damage Assessment Reporting group.



2. Configure Survey

  • Then you'll need to configure the damage assessment survey that will be used within Survey123.  This can be completed using the new Web Designer or using Survey123 Connect once you have logged into Survey123 ( using your ArcGIS Account.

  • For this damage assessment survey example we will use Survey123 Connect that allows you to design your survey in Excel and automatically generate your survey. Below is a short video that walks through Survey123 Connect and how to build your damage assessment survey.



  • Once the survey is complete, publish the survey to your ArcGIS account.


Ninja Pro Tip: Survey123, Collector and GeoForm (a quick comparison) 


3.  Configure Reporting Dashboard

  • Now you will create a web based dashboard app to view all the damage assessment reports being collected.  When you publish the Survey123 damage assessment survey, a new feature service will be created within your ArcGIS portal, so add that layer to a new web map by searching for the layer and adding it to the map.


  • Then change the symbology of the layer to match your preference, and configure the layer's pop-up.


  • Finally, Save the web map, click on Share > Create Web App, then select the Web AppBuilder tab to open the map in Web AppBuilder.



  • Now configure the web app based on your organization's preferences.  Below are a few recommended widgets to include in the app.
    • Dashboard Theme
      • The Dashboard Theme is a new styling theme in Web AppBuilder and will allow you to create a dashboard application with multiple widgets open at once.
    • Infographic Widget
      • The Infographic widget will allow you to create charts and graphs within your dashboard themed Web AppBuilder app.  Create these inforgraphics to look at status, severity, report type, etc.
    • Filter Widget
      • The filter widget will allow you to filter the damage assessment reports based on an attribute field.  So you can filter based on severity, date collected, or any other field in your survey.  Setting a filter will also update the infographics in the dashboard. 
    • Attribute Table Widget
      • The Attribute Table widget will give you a table view of all the data being collected and can be filtered based on the map view or using the Filter widget.  You can also export the data to CSV from the attribute table.                 
    • Smart Editor Widget
      • The Smart Editor widget will allow users to update the information collected in the damage assessment. So management or team leads can update the status of a report or close it out.


  • The dashboard app built in Web AppBuilder can be configured with over 40 different types of widgets or capabilities, and is responsive to the screen size of the device the user is accessing the app from.


Ninja Pro Tip: What’s New in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS (September 2017)


4. Share Dashboard and Survey to Damage Assessment Groups

  • Share the Web AppBuilder dashboard, the damage assessment Web Map, and the damage assessment layer with the Damage Assessment Reporting group in your portal.
  • Share the damage assessment Survey123 survey and the damage assessment layer with the Damage Assessment group.


5. Provision Users into Groups for Access to Apps

  • Finally, add users from your ArcGIS Online or Enterprise account to the appropriate groups to give them access to the app they need, whether they are a field person collecting damage assessment, a back office person viewing the reports in a dashboard, or both. The newly shared damage assessment survey can be downloaded by your users from within the Survey123 app, and the dashboard can be viewed from a web browser. 


Damage Assessment with ArcGIS

If you are in need of assistance setting up any of these applications or any other solutions during an emergency or disaster, please feel free to reach out to Esri's Disaster Response Program for assistance.


Patrick Huls

Technical Evangelist - The specified item was not found. ArcGIS Survey123

LinkedIn: Patrick Huls| Twitter: @SpatialNinja| GeoNet:Phuls-esristaff

At this years GeoConX we showed how the suite of ArcGIS Fields Apps could improve the cost accuracy and decrease the response time for new service connections.  This was done by streamlining the data collection of pole locations and other sites to attach telecom network to, then using that data to automatically optimize a network route with spatial analysis.  Lets recap all the apps shown.


Serviceability using Web AppBuilder

The Serviceability app allows direct sales reps or sales engineers to instantly generate a cost estimate for a new service connection by calling upon a Network Analyst service that generates a route based on pre-defined business rules.  Those business rules can optimize the route based on shortest path, highest ROI, or even least cost path which looks for routes with existing infrastructure or the highest amount of aerial build potential (poles we can attach to).  The serviceability app was configured using Web AppBuilder and the Service Qualification solution template.



Required Esri Technology

Recommended Experience

  • Publishing GIS services
  • Authoring web maps
  • Publishing applications using Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS)



Telecom Attachment Site Inspection Survey using Survey123 

The Telecom Attachment Site Inspection Survey allows field engineers to quickly collect information on locations to attach telecom network to. The locations and information collected from the field can be made instantly available for the Network Analyst service to optimize network routes, or to help engineers manually cost out routes. The site inspection survey was built using Survey123.


Ninja Pro Tip: What is New in Survey123 for ArcGIS v 2.4 (September 2017)


Required Esri Technology

Recommended Experience

  • Survey123
  • Survey123 Web Designer or Survey123 Connect
  • ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online
  • Survey123 Web Designer or Survey123 Connect



Work Order Management using Workforce

Workforce for ArcGIS allow management teams to quickly assign field work based on a survey grid within a web map, and allows field personnel to view their work orders and keep their management teams informed of their status and progress. Workforce for ArcGIS also integrates with Navigator, Survey123, and Collector to help streamline workflows in the field.


Required Esri Technology

Recommended Experience

  • Workforce (Web - Dispatcher)
  • Workforce (Mobile)
  • ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro (for creating and publishing survey grid)
  • ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online
  • Publishing GIS services
  • Authoring web maps
  • Creating map grids
  • Setting up Workforce projects



Map Notes & Redlining using Collector

Collector for ArcGIS allows field personnel to collect field data via a map and their GPS location.  The example data collection workflow using Collector that was shown at GeoConX was focused on map notes & redlining to alert engineering teams in the back office of updates to an outside plant facility map or construction as-built's.  The Collector based map notes & redlining workflow was configured using the Map Notes solution template.



Required Esri Technology

Recommended Experience

  • Publishing GIS services
  • Authoring web maps
  • Running tasks in ArcGIS Pro



Service Request Tracking using Operations Dashboard

The Service Request Tracking Dashboard allows management to view the real-time status of all requests for new service connections, and the locations of their field engineers or direct sales reps.  The dashboard can also pull in the performance metrics of your service quotes, like quote accuracy (initial quote vs. actual project cost) and quote response time (time to provide the customer with a cost estimation).  The dashboard was configured using Operations Dashboard for the web. 



Required Esri Technology

Recommended Experience

  • Operations Dashboard
  • ArcGIS Pro
  • ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online
  • Publishing GIS services
  • Authoring web maps
  • Configuring Operations Dashboard


To view the demonstration again, check out the video below.



Feel free to reach out with any questions or for more information on how to configure any of the ArcGIS Field Apps.


Patrick Huls

Technical Evangelist - The specified item was not found.

LinkedIn: Patrick Huls| Twitter: @SpatialNinja| GeoNet:Phuls-esristaff

Meeting customers’ growing expectations for new telecommunications services is challenging and crucial in a highly competitive market. Upgrading networks with the latest technology is only part of the solution. Delivering a superior customer experience also requires real-time dynamic visibility and insight into your network and business operations. For this, you need Operational Intelligence enabled by Web GIS and ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5.

ArcGIS Enterprise

The true power of a Web GIS is the ability to expose geographic data management, map visualizations, and powerful spatial analysis tools to anyone in your organization through Web Services.  These Web Services when paired with apps create windows into your data, maps, and analysis results. ArcGIS Enterprise is a complete Web GIS platform with new distributed GIS capabilities that allow for real-time data ingestion, big data storage, and spatial analysis, both in real-time and near real-time on big data.  These new capabilities allow for telecom organizations to have better operational intelligence by monitoring, in real-time, customer touch points with their services, enabling them to analyze the big data spatially, quickly prioritize and respond to customer demands, automatically report to executive teams, and be proactive.  Resolving a network issue before its customer experience affecting, and better understanding how your customers interact with your services will ultimately improve customer experience.

So how do you provide to your organization better operational intelligence through Web GIS and ArcGIS Enterprise?

First. Setup up your enterprise Web GIS with ArcGIS Enterprise

Web Services are the foundation of operational intelligence. Installing and configuring ArcGIS Enterprise will give your organization the foundation and framework to start publishing these web services, whether they be data management services, map services, or geoprocessing and analysis services.

Ninja Pro Tip: Architecting the ArcGIS Platform: Best Practices  


Second. Create a destination, create groups, and provision users.

Portal for ArcGIS is the content and identity management system of ArcGIS Enterprise. This portal manages your web services, web maps, web apps, and gives users access to them.  Setup your portal with your organizations branding, group structure, and then add users to their appropriate groups so they know where to find your organization’s maps and geographic content.

Ninja Pro Tip: The Model Portal - Solution Template Download  

Third. Create and share foundational information products.

A content rich portal is a happy portal. The more maps and geographic content shared within your portal, the more likely users in your portal will return looking for more, and contribute new content themselves. But to start, focus on the geographic data you have within your organization, and create the foundational maps and apps that would initially provide the most value. An OSP facility map, service territory map, and customer location map are few foundational data layers and web maps that serve multiple purposes, and provide value to a lot of members of your organization. Also, start to think about what real-time and field collected data you would like to ingest, create your data schemas and databases, and publish those web services and web maps.

Ninja Pro tip: Getting Started with ArcGIS Pro for Curating and Publishing Web Services  


Fourth. Enable field mobility.

Start taking advantage of the Web GIS pattern for field mobility and the suite of field apps ArcGIS offers. Once you start ingesting and analyzing call detail records, network information, and other customer experience feeds, you’ll need to send crews into the field for upgrades, repairs, and new builds, so enable them with mobile apps to quickly see asset information on live web maps and easily collect field data on their tablet or smartphone.  You can also take advantage of field mobility without requiring additional real-time and big data engines.

Ninja Pro tip: Apps for the Field  


Fifth. Tap into real-time data feeds, store big data, and analyze the heck out of it.

Once you have ArcGIS Enterprise and your portal configured, you can deploy and take advantage of GeoEvent Server for ingesting real-time feeds.  Set-up and store that data in the ArcGIS Spatiotemporal Big Data Store and then deploy GeoAnalytics Server and start analyzing that big data. The GeoAnalytics Server tools can be accessed and run through ArcGIS Pro, your portals web map viewer, and now through Insights for ArcGIS.  Insights for ArcGIS is another application to enable geographic data interrogation. If you are still in the data exploratory phase, then Insights for ArcGIS is a great tool to examine your big data to derive patterns and trends.

Ninja Pro Tip: Understanding Spatial Analytics  


Sixth. Share the results, start to improve customer experience, become the hero.

Everyone loves maps because they tell a story and gives you a unique perspective on data. Providing real-time maps and analytics into the hands of decision makers empowers them to address issues quickly, minimizing their impact before they negatively affect customer experience. The Web GIS pattern and ArcGIS Enterprise allows you to quickly share information through configurable web apps. Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS is just one of many ready to use apps that will act as a window into your real-time data and analysis results.

Ninja Pro Tip: Apps for the Office  


Seventh. Get Started Today.

The technology to empower everyone in your organization with maps, apps, and spatial analysis to improve operational intelligence is here.

Service providers have seen great return on investment and improved customer experience when ArcGIS and the Web GIS pattern are deployed to its fullest potential. I encourage you to start looking at how maps and spatial analysis could be better utilized within your telecommunications organization today, and check out this Webinar and Story Map for more information on Operational Intelligence in telecommunications.

Patrick Huls

Technical Evangelist - Telecommunications

LinkedIn: Patrick Huls| Twitter: @SpatialNinja| GeoNet:Phuls-esristaff

Last week the ArcGIS for Telecommunications site was updated.  This August release included an enhancement to the Antenna Structures Information Model as well as two NEW solution templates.  ArcGIS for Telecommunications is a series of free and easy to deploy solution templates, web maps, and apps for adding telecom specific configurations to the ArcGIS platform.  Listed below is the update to the Antenna Structures Information Model and information on the two new solution templates, Serviceability Lookup App and Service Request GeoForm.


Antenna Structures Information Model (Enhancement)

An additional model has been added to the Antenna Structures Information Model to allow for cell site and sector feature class creation from a csv file.  Once the site and sector data is in feature class format, the update site and sector script can be run to generate pie slice shaped geometries to represent the sectors.  These sectors can then be hooked up to live sector KPI data using GeoEvent Processor in order to track sector KPI’s.


Serviceability Lookup (New Template)

The Serviceability Lookup app is a configuration of ArcGIS Online for the public to view available services for a given location. This app is designed to be embedded on the company's website or as a standalone app.



Service Request (New Template)

The Service Request app is a configuration of ArcGIS Online to allow the public to request service information. The app allows a user to complete a service request form and submit the location for service using an input address, current location, or coordinates. The requests can then be used by customer service to contact these potential new customers.