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2018

by Andrew Green

 

The recent update to Esri Vector Basemaps brings a handful of new features to the maps as well as a new style added to our collection. We launched basemap localization across six languages, added new map labels and features to the vector tile set, and released a new style named ‘Charted Territory’. For information and lists of data updates, including contributions made through the Community Maps Program, view these blogs.

 

Localization

 

This update marks the first set of six languages mapped across eight gallery basemap styles. Additional languages will be rolled out in the coming months. The maps display translated labels for many feature classes. Localization of the vector maps also includes the ability to customize disputed boundaries and display alternate feature names. With the Esri Vector Basemaps, these edits can be applied to the json and updated in your own copy of the map styles. For DisputeID filter values as well as other guidance to specifications of the vector basemaps, refer to this reference PDF document. The image below shows a sampling of map styles in the different languages.  This list has links off each language name that goes to a group of web maps for the different styles:  Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. Keep checking the Esri Blogs for notification of new languages added to the collection of localized basemaps.

 

New map features and labels

 

There are three new features in the Esri Vector Basemap tile set used to display all the vector map styles. We’ve added Landform Labels (think ‘Rocky Mountains’). By default, the landform labels appear in two gallery map styles:  Topographic and Terrain with Labels, and several other creative map styles including the newly released ‘Charted Territory’ (see below for details). This new map style also includes the other two new features added to the vector tile set: grids and graticules and the colored country polygons (colormap). For additional information and other guidance on the vector basemap specifications, refer to this reference PDF document.

 

 

Charted Territory (new map style)

 

Charted Territory is our new creative map style from cartographer Cindy Prostak (see also Colored Pencil, Mid-Century, Modern Antique, Newspaper, and Nova). This Charted Territory basemap style has its design influenced by the classic global political atlas plate and pull-down scholastic wall maps found in many classrooms. The color coded country polygons (8 colors in the colormap) are present at the smaller scales and fade to a neutral background color as you zoom in.  The images above show multiple scales and the appearance of the features at those scales, including the landform labels, grid lines and graticules like the Arctic Circle (seen in the images above), Tropics, Equator, International Date Line and Prime Meridian. For a complete collection of the Esri Vector Basemap styles, refer to the Vector Basemap group on ArcGIS Online.

 

Customizing Your Own Vector Basemap

 

While Esri provides a number of different basemap styles, it may just be that there’s a specific customization you’re looking to make to have that perfect map style to use in your maps and apps. This can be as simple as applying your organization’s official colors or you might want turn off a feature class or two to simplify a map style. Or if you’re up for the challenge, you can restyle just about every feature and label attribute. The newly announcedArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor (beta) is just the tool you’ll want to use to accomplish all of these customizations. For more inspiration of different basemaps, visit this showcase of some custom styles we have created.

 

ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor

Whether you are a developer, designer, or a GIS professional, this tool gives you a fast and easy way to create a custom basemap style that matches your brand and the type of app that you are building.

Click here to use the ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor.

by Deane Kensok

 

Over the past several years, ArcGIS Online has become a very rich collection of geospatial content, with millions of items published by thousands of different organizations around the world. Many of these organizations, such as national mapping agencies and local governments, provide access to the most authoritative content for their communities, and are making their content publicly available through ArcGIS Online for everyone to use.

 

As users of ArcGIS Online creating content, most of us are looking for the most reliable and authoritative content to use in our maps and apps. This might include basemaps, imagery, boundaries, demographics, weather, traffic, parcels, buildings, or many other types of content. So, how can you find the most reliable and authoritative content in ArcGIS Online?

 

ArcGIS Online Content

 

One source that many of us turn to first is the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, which is built-in to ArcGIS Online and now accessible to all users creating content through the Living Atlas tab on the Content page. The Living Atlas includes content that is curated by Esri, which may be published by Esri, our business partners, or ArcGIS users. The Living Atlas now includes about seven thousand items of various types that have been contributed.

 

Living Atlas Content

 

This is a great place to start but it only scratches the surface of all the content (several million items and growing!) that have been publicly shared in ArcGIS Online. If you don’t find what you need in the Living Atlas, you may next search all of ArcGIS Online. This often uncovers lots of relevant content that is available to you, but it may be challenging to determine which is the best one to use. Who is the owner of the content, is it well maintained, is it the correct version to use in my map or app?

 

What most of us are hoping to find is the best available content from the organization responsible for publishing that content, which you can trust to be well maintained over time. This might be a custom vector basemap from Esri, the latest imagery from a national mapping agency, the legal parcel boundaries from a local government, or the most current statistical data from an NGO. While this content might be available in ArcGIS Online, it can often be difficult to distinguish in the search results.

 

Public Authoritative Content

 

With the June release of ArcGIS Online, we have begun to make this type of ‘authoritative’ content easier to identify and find. Organizations publishing this type of content, such as Esri (including our international distributors) and government agencies, are now able to mark the best available content that they are sharing with everyone as ‘Authoritative’ and it will appear as authoritative from that organization. Users that are looking for this type of content can now filter their search results to just show content that is authoritative.

 

Authoritative Content

Sharing Public Authoritative Content

 

If you are part of an organization sharing public content that you would like to mark as authoritative from your organization, it is simple to get started but there are a few things you need to do. Below are the steps:

 

  1. Publish your content in ArcGIS Online, follow our best practices for sharing, and share the item with everyone.
  2. If you are the administrator for your organization (or have privileges to update all content in your org), mark the appropriate items as “Authoritative” in the item settings. Or ask your admin to do that for you! (Check out this article on Improving Content Quality for some suggestions on authoritative content workflows.)
  3. Once you have some authoritative content ready to share, ask your admin to ensure that (a) the organization allows anonymous access and (b) the organization has a great home page for anonymous visitors and (c) the organization name configured in the settings is correct.
  4. Once that is confirmed, the admin can then request that the organization identity be verified by Esri.  Go to Settings > General > Organization Verification.

 

Once Esri has verified the organization identity, any of the content that is shared with everyone and marked as authoritative will appear as authoritative from your organization. That is, the item will have an “Authoritative” badge and it will display the organization name as the owner of the item, such as in the examples shown above. Added bonus: the item will also be boosted a little when already relevant in search results.

 

Finding Public Authoritative Content

 

If you are a user of ArcGIS Online looking to discover and use authoritative content from other organizations, there are a couple ways you can start to do that now:

 

  1. Search: whenever you search for content, you will see some filter options appear next to the search results (e.g. item type, date modified, etc.). You can use the status filter “Authoritative” to see only this content. If you choose to expand the search beyond your organization (i.e. de-select ‘Search only in …’ your org) and set that status filter, then you will see any public authoritative content that is relevant to your search.
  2. Browse Living Atlas: if you are browsing or searching items in the Living Atlas tab on the Content page, you will see some other filter options appear next to the search results (e.g. categories, regions, etc.). You can now use the status filter “Authoritative” to see only this type of content in the Living Atlas. This will include Living Atlas content from Esri and other organizations that have already marked their public content as authoritative and been verified.

 

Status Filter for Authoritative Content

We’re Just Getting Started

 

The ability to mark content as authoritative was added in the December 2017 release, and the ability to mark public content as authoritative is new with the June 2018 release. It will take some time for large numbers of public authoritative content to appear in ArcGIS Online. That said, there are already a few dozen organizations enabled to share authoritative content with everyone and over 3,500 public authoritative items!

 

Our hope and expectation is that we will see a significant increase in the quantity of high-quality, authoritative content that is being shared and distinguished in ArcGIS Online over the next several months. This will be good for everyone, helping data publishers by raising awareness and usage of their most useful and authoritative content and helping users by making it easier to confidently find the best available content to use.  We look forward to seeing your authoritative content shared publicly in ArcGIS Online soon!

by Lucy Guerra

 

The June release covers a lot of ground for demographic updates including the annual update of U.S. demographic data. Esri’s Demographic Data Development team has incorporated the latest sources to provide 2018 estimates and 2023 projections of topics including population by age, sex, and race, as well as income and home value. In addition, employment by industry/occupation, education, marital status, daytime population, and Esri’s Tapestry Segmentation database have all been updated to reflect these recent estimates. Read more about the 2018/2023 U.S. Demographic updates.

 

The June release also includes updates to over 30 countries in Europe and other regions of the world. Read on to learn more about the demographic data in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, or see the other improvements. Or you can jump ahead to learn how these updates affect you.

 

Western Europe Updates

Andorra

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017.
Austria

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.

 

New area level: Zaehlsprengel (Statistical Areas).

New Attributes:

Households by Type:

One-person household.

Couple with dependent child(ren).

Couple with no dependent child(ren).

Lone parent household with dependent child(ren).

Two- or more family households.

Multi person household (no family).

Cyprus

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Faroe Islands

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017.
Finland

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.

 

Changed Attributes:

Population 15 years and over by Education: Upper secondary (ISCED 3/4) renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Upper secondary education.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Lwst. level tert. (ISCED 5) renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Post-secondary non-tertiary education.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Lower level tert. (ISCED 6) renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Short-cycle tertiary education.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Higher level tert. (ISCED 7) renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Bachelor’s or equivalent level.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Doctorate level (ISCED 8) renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Master’s or equivalent level.

New Attributes:

Population 15 years and over by Education: Doctoral or equivalent level.

Greece

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Iceland

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Ireland

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.

 

New area level: Small Areas.

Changed Attributes:

Households by Type: Husband and Wife Households renamed to Households by Type: Married couple households.

Households by Type: Husband, Wife and Children Households renamed to Households by Type: Married couple with children households.

Households by Type: Cohabiting Couple and Children Households renamed to Households by Type: Cohabiting couple with children households.

Households by Type: Father and Children Households renamed to Households by Type: One parent family (father) with children households.

Households by Type: Mother and Children Households renamed to Households by Type: One parent family (mother) with children households.

Households by Type: Couple, Children and Others Households renamed to Households by Type: Couple with children and others households.

Households by Type: Father, Children and Others Households renamed to Households by Type: One parent family (father) with children and others households.

Households by Type: Mother, Children and Others renamed to Households by Type: One parent family (mother) with children and others households.

Population 15 years and over by Education: No Formal Education renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Education has not ceased.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Primary Education renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: No formal Education.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Lower Secondary renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Primary Education.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Upper Secondary renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Lower Secondary.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Technical or Vocational qualification renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Upper Secondary.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Advanced Certificate/Completed Apprenticeship renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Technical or Vocational qualification.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Higher Certificate renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Advanced Certificate/Completed Apprenticeship.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Ordinary Bachelor Degree or National Diploma renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Higher Certificate.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Honours Bachelor Degree, Professional Qualification or both renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Ordinary Bachelor Degree or National Diploma.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Postgraduate Diploma or Degree renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Honours Bachelor Degree, Professional Qualification or both.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Doctorate (Ph.D) or higher renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Postgraduate diploma or degree.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Not Stated renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: Doctorate (Ph.D) or higher.

New Attributes:

Population 15 years and over by Education: Not stated.

Liechtenstein

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Luxembourg

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Malta

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.

 

Changed Attributes:

Population 15 years and over by Education: No schooling renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: no schooling.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Pre-primary/Special school for persons with a disability/Primary level renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: primary.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Secondary level renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: lower secondary.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Post-secondary level renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: upper secondary.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Non-tertiary level renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: post-secondary non-tertiary.

Population 15 years and over by Education: Tertiary level renamed to Population 15 years and over by Education: tertiary.

Monaco

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017.
Portugal

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.

Eastern Europe Updates

Albania

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Belarus

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Bulgaria

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Croatia

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.

 

New Attributes:

Households in 1st (lowest) Income Quintile, below 52,343 Croatian Kuna.

Households in 2nd Income Quintile, from 52,343 to below 88,393 Croatian Kuna.

Households in 3rd Income Quintile, from 88,393 to below 128,436 Croatian Kuna.

Households in 4th Income Quintile, from 128,436 to below 188,822 Croatian Kuna.

Households in 5th Income Quintile, 188,822 Croatian Kuna and above.

Czech Republic

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.

 

Changed Attributes:

Population 15 years and over by Education: without education – overall renamed to Population by Education: no formal education (ISCED 0).

Population 15 years and over by Education: primary school and unfinished primary school- overall renamed to Population by Education: primary not completed.

Population 15 years and over by Education: skilled and secondary technical without A level – overall renamed to Population by Education: primary and lower secondary education (ISCED 1, 2).

Population 15 years and over by Education: secondary school with A level – overall renamed to Population by Education: secondary general with graduation.

Population 15 years and over by Education: extension study – overall renamed to Population by Education: secondary technical with graduation.

Population 15 years and over by Education: higher vocational education – overall renamed to Population by Education: post-secondary education non-tertiary (ISCED 4).

Population 15 years and over by Education: university education – bachelor degree – overall renamed to Population by Education: post-secondary professional education (ISCED 5B).

Population 15 years and over by Education: university education – master degree – overall renamed to Population by Education: Bachelor (ISCED 5A).

Population 15 years and over by Education: not identified – overall renamed to Population by Education: Master (ISCED 5A).

New Attributes:

Population by Education: Doctoral

Population by Education: secondary, incl. vocational education (ISCED 3C).

Population by Education: undefined (younger than 15 years).

Population by Education: unknown.

Hungary

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Kosovo

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017.
Latvia

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Lithuania

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Macedonia

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Moldova

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Montenegro

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Romania

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Serbia

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.

 

New area level: Naselija (Settlement).

Slovakia

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Slovenia

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.

 

New Attributes:

Marital Status: single.

Marital Status: married.

Marital Status: divorced.

Marital Status: widowed.

Households in 1st (lowest) Income Quintile, below 11,920 Euro.

Households in 2nd Income Quintile, from 11,920 to below 18,711 Euro.

Households in 3rd Income Quintile, from 18,711 to below 25,915 Euro.

Households in 4th Income Quintile, from 25,915 to below 36,478 Euro.

Households in 5th Income Quintile, 36,478 Euro and above.

Ukraine

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.
Turkey

 

(MB Research)

All attributes have been updated from 2015 to 2017 with the exception of Unemployed Persons from 2014 to 2016.

 

Changed Attributes:

Population 6 years and over by Education: Literate but no school completed renamed to Population 6 years and over by Education: literate without any diploma.

Population 6 years and over by Education: Junior high school or vocational school at the same level renamed to Population 6 years and over by Education: junior or vocational high school.

Population 6 years and over by Education: High school or vocational school at the same level renamed to Population 6 years and over by Education: high and vocational high school.

Population 6 years and over by Education: Higher education renamed to Population 6 years and over by Education: universities and other higher educational institutions.

Population 6 years and over by Education: Master renamed to Population 6 years and over by Education: master’s degree (including 5 or 6 years faculties).

Population 6 years and over by Education: Doctorate renamed to Population 6 years and over by Education: doctoral degree.

Population 6 years and over by Education: Literacy status unknown renamed to Population 6 years and over by Education: unknown.

Other Improvements

Europe: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Poland

 

(MB Research)

Settlement Points are an estimate of likelihood of settlement at low levels and are used in the aggregation of demographic data to apportion and summarize data. The Settlement Points have been updated with this release. Users may see changes in returned results even though the demographic data itself has not been updated.
Algeria

 

(MB Research)

Boundaries have been corrected to include missing unpopulated islands.
Egypt

 

(MB Research)

Boundaries have been corrected to include missing unpopulated islands.
Namibia

 

(MB Research)

Geography names have been corrected on names with special characters.
Japan

 

(Esri Japan)

Average Savings per Household has been updated to display data in yen instead of units of 10,000 yen.

How will these updates affect me?

For the Ready-to-Use Living Atlas Maps User within ArcGIS Online

 

Demographic layers and maps for 32 countries are updated.

 

For the Business Analyst and Community Analyst User

 

Business Analyst and Community Analyst users can access the updated data through reports, infographics, and maps. The complete attribute list for each country is accessible through the data browser contained in the application.

 

For the Data Enrichment user in ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Maps for Office

 

The June 2018 update provides access to the datasets shown above. For a detailed explanation of new or deleted attributes in datasets, see the relevant sections above.

 

For the Developer using the REST endpoints of the GeoEnrichment Service

 

The underlying datasets of the REST endpoints of the GeoEnrichment Service were updated in June 2018. Some of the changes to the REST endpoints included in this release are:

 

  1. Changes to the layer IDs of the administrative/statistical boundaries.
  2. Changes to the layer names of the administrative/statistical boundaries.
  3. Changes to attributes/analysis variables including additions and deletions.

 

Because of updates to the underlying data, users of the GeoEnrichment Service may need to update these items in the query parameters of REST requests to the service from their apps. To view the updated REST endpoints, you will need to access the GeoEnrichment Service with a developer or organizational account, using a token request.

by Bern Szukalski

 

ArcGIS Online is a complete, cloud-based mapping and analysis platform. You can make and share beautiful maps, explore data, perform analysis, and do everything in between. You can add your own maps and layers, and use them in a variety of configurable apps and story maps, no programming required.

 

You can use ArcGIS Online as a standalone solution for your mapping and analytic needs, or because it’s is an integral part of the ArcGIS system, you can use it to extend the capabilities of ArcGIS DesktopArcGIS Enterprise, or use it to build custom apps using ArcGIS Web APIs and SDKs. ArcGIS Online also provides access to the Living Atlas of the World, a vast collection of curated, authoritative, ready-to-use content from Esri and the global GIS user community.

 

ArcGIS Online is updated regularly, and this latest release adds the following new features and enhancements. You’ll get new smart mapping capabilities, a redesigned organization home page, new ways to mark your content as authoritative, and lots more goodies. For additional details see the What’s new help topic or view all posts related to this release.

 

Smart mapping and visualization

 

Map Viewer allows you to explore different styling options for your data using smart mapping defaults, guiding you to choices using a data-driven approach. Styles are a powerful way to not only symbolize your data, but also explore it visually.

 

Using new Relationship styles you can explore and visualize two topics within a single map. These styles help you see if two attributes from your data might be related by using bivariate choropleth mapping. Relationship styles apply a combination of two distinct color ramps to the attribute data, letting you see where patterns converge (or not).

 

In the past, bivariate mapping has often been a lengthy and complicated process. The new styles—Relationship, and Relationship and Size—lower the time and tradecraft barriers significantly, making it easy to explore your data in minutes.

 

For example, using the Relationship style, you can see in this map where obesity rates and diabetes rates are both high.

 

 

Using Relationship and Size we can see where obesity rates and diabetes rates are both high, and can also examine the relationship of physical inactivity.

 

 

For more information see the How to Smart Map: Relationships Story Map.

 

Other Map Viewer improvements

 

Hosted feature layer performance continues to improve, enabling you to display large amounts of data at once.  When visualizing large numbers of features in a map, the size of the data delivered to your browser has been reduced, meaning they display much faster. Coupled with previous improvements, this allows you add, visualize, and query large amounts of data quickly.

 

Shown below is on-the-fly rendering applied to over 70,000 polygon features (hexbins showing the diversity index in the U.S.).

 

 

Symbol sets for emergency management, local government, and state government have been updated.

 

3D scenes

 

Scene Viewer lets you author, view, and share 3D scenes. With this release, Scene Viewer includes the following enhancements and new capabilities.

 

Visualize and explore both global and local scenes underground. The new ground transparency slider allows you to see through the ground surface and reveal underground features such as seismic measurements, or utilities infrastructure. You can also navigate underground in global scenes to better visualize and interact with the subsurface data. Furthermore, you can set a ground color when you configure ground and expose the color in your scene with the Basemap tool.

 

You can now add feature layers with hundreds of thousands of points while maintaining high performance. The features are dynamically loaded and displayed as you navigate your scene, so you can view significantly more points with faster interaction.

 

Use edge rendering to create visually appealing scenes. You can choose solid edges to accentuate building outlines, or sketch edges to provide a more hand-drawn artistic look. The size and color of building edges can also be customized to create more visual interest.

 

 

Want to embed your scene? Now you can use a custom background color that matches your website or blog style. Remove the scene atmosphere, and choose a background color that will appear above and below ground to suit your needs.

 

All of these new features are available when you’re on-the-go on your phone or tablet. See a list of supported devices. For details and more information, see What’s new in Scene Viewer.

 

Learning and teaching

 

New resources are available for both learning ArcGIS Online, and teaching with ArcGIS Online.

 

Learn paths are curated collections of hands-on resources for you to experience what’s possible. Learn paths cover a variety of key capabilities and workflows, and are now available from the new ArcGIS Online Resources page and the Learn website. Each path has a collection of lessons and exercises intended for sequential viewing, or you can brush up on any topic by viewing them individually. Topics include getting started, mapping and visualization, sharing and collaboration, data analysis, and more. It’s the easiest way to ramp up on your ArcGIS Online skills and knowledge.

 

 

Teach with GIS: An Implementation roadmap for classrooms, schools, and districts is designed to put teachers and learners on the right path to using GIS. It stresses learning GIS through problem-based scenarios, and learning by doing. Both the teacher and learner can start making maps quickly (no account required), and then move on to more advanced skills using tools within their ArcGIS Online organization. Over 100 lessons are provided in an interactive curriculum builder, and can be selected by experience level, subject, duration, or by a variety of mapping themes. Visit Teach with GIS and start your journey towards successfully integrating GIS and mapping into your curriculum.

 

 

Living Atlas

 

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World is the foremost collection of geographic information from around the globe. It includes curated maps, apps, and data layers from Esri and the global GIS user community that support your work. Check out the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World website, where you can browse content, view the blog, and learn how you can contribute. Here’s what’s new for and around this release.

 

Explore an archive of World Imagery
Go back in time with World Imagery (Wayback), a digital archive of the World Imagery basemap that enables you to access archived imagery. Select any vintage you like from over 80 versions of World Imagery captured over the past 5 years, and create layers and basemaps for your use. Wayback can be used for general comparison, to obtain better alignment with existing GIS layers, or omit clouds or other undesirable image characteristics.

 

 

Vector Tile Style Editor 
Vector tiles contain vector representations of data across a range of scales. Unlike raster tiles, they can adapt to the resolution of their display device and are much smaller and faster to load – particularly important for mobile solutions.

 

An inherent feature of vector basemaps, and also vector tile layers in general, is that their styles can be customized. Want to be creative or have a unique look and feel? You can change colors, adjust labels, turn layers on or off, and much more.  Vector tiles provide the ability to create your own cartographic style without having to host or maintain the underlying data. You can see examples in the Creative Vector Tile Layer group.

 

ArcGIS Vector Tile Style Editor makes it easy for you to create custom styles for any of the Esri vector basemaps, and you can also use it on your own vector tile layers. When finished, save your work and use it to create unique and distinctive maps, add them to your organization’s default basemaps, or share your work so others can use them. It’s currently in beta, but you can check it out here. See Design custom basemaps with the ArcGIS vector style editor  for more information.

 

 

Open StreetMap vector basemap

A new vector tile version of the OpenStreetMap, published and hosted by Esri from OpenStreetMap source, is now available. The new OpenStreetMap vector basemap complements the existing raster tile version, and is included in the Esri default vector basemaps group which can be configured into your organization.

 

Global Sentinel-2 imagery is now available as a set of image layers (beta). The image layers present multiple views of the multispectral imagery, at approximately 10-20m per pixel resolution. The image layers are updated daily with the latest available scenes and include imagery collected over the past 14 months with rolling updates.  Use this multi-dimensional imagery to monitor conditions and changes across the Earth’s surface. See Sentinel-2 – More than meets the eye for more information.

 

NAIP image services have been updated with NAIP 2017 imagery for 26 states in the United States.

 

World Elevation Services have been updated with the USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) 1 meter elevation data, as well as 0.5 meter elevation data from the Canton of Zurich, and the 5 and 10 meter elevation data from GSI Japan. For more information see Updates to Esri World Elevation Services and Tools (June 2018).

 

The World Imagery basemap has been updated with the latest DigitalGlobe EarthWatch Vivid imagery for the United States and several other countries, as well as the latest EarthWatch Metro imagery for several cities around the world.

 

World Imagery (Firefly) is no longer in beta, and is ready for you to light up your maps using Firefly Cartography. Firefly provides a muted color rendition of the imagery basemap, with color saturation increasing as you zoom in.  You get the texture, drama, and interest of imagery, without competing with other layers. Firefly is perfectly paired with Firefly Symbols, which are among the default symbols available in Map Viewer. Try it for yourself – check out Firefly symbols and the Firefly basemap.

 

 

Demographic maps have been updated. Demographic maps for the United States now feature the latest 2018 current year estimates and 2023 5-year forecasts. Several other countries were updated with the latest Michael Bauer Research (MBR) demographic data.

 

For all the latest information about Living Atlas content, see the Living Atlas blog, and don’t forget to visit the Living Atlas website to stay on top of updates, news, and more.

 

Configurable apps

 

Configurable apps use templates that you can configure easily, without any coding. They help you publish apps quickly for a variety of users and workflows. Configurable apps are the fastest and easiest way to go from a map to a shareable app. You’ll be a hero in minutes! There are lots of configurable apps to choose from depending on the needs of you and your audience, what you need the app to do, and how you need it to look. New for this release:

 

Configurable apps for imagery
Imagery Viewer, Image Mask, and Image Visit (beta) let users gain meaning from imagery using tools for query, visualization, analysis, and recording observations.

 

Imagery Viewer makes collections of imagery more accessible, with tools to simplify how users explore and interpret imagery layers through time and space. Configure it to view a single imagery layer, or to view two imagery layers using a swipe tool.

 

 

Perhaps you’re looking for an app to identify landslides, or estimate the size of cultivated fields? Image Mask offers interactive analytical tools that let users identify areas of an image that have changed over time, or that meet user-set thresholds for calculated indexes (like NDVI).

 

 

With Image Visit, users are driven to a predetermined sequence of locations in imagery to review attributes and add or edit features. The app minimizes the time it takes for imagery to load, streamlining workflows for insurance inspections, control point verification, or checking AI classification results.

 

 

Other enhancements for this release
The 3D configurable apps (3D Data Visualization, Compare Scenes, Scene Styler, and Simple Scene Viewer) now support sharing subscriber and premium content publicly, meaning viewers won’t be prompted to sign in with their account.

 

Minimal Gallery, a group-based configurable app that allows you to showcase group items, now allows you to filter the types of items you show in your gallery. Documents, such as PDF files, Word documents, and PowerPoints, are also now supported in the gallery.

 

Media Map now has a responsive, card-style legend.

 

Story Maps

 

Story Maps let you combine your maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content, making it easy to harness the power of geography to tell your story.  Check out the Story Map of the Month and featured stories at the Story Maps website. See what others have done and get ideas and inspiration by visiting the Story Maps Gallery. New for this release:

 

Story Maps embedded in websites now display a toolbar that allows viewers to easily share the story with others, or open it in full-screen mode without leaving the current page. Story Map Shortlist now supports autoplay, and is no longer in beta. Story Map Series and Story Map Cascade have new features that improve accessibility. Story Map Crowdsource has been moved to mature support (meaning it’s no longer actively developed).

 

For more information, see the Story Maps blog, and remember that the Story Maps websiteis your one-stop place to go to learn more, build, and manage your Story Maps.

 

App builders

 

App builders let you easily create custom apps, no coding required. The following are enhancements for this release.

 

AppStudio for ArcGIS
AppStudio for ArcGIS lets you convert your maps into consumer-friendly mobile apps ready for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and publish them using your own organization brand to all popular app stores – no developer skills required. With AppStudio for ArcGIS, organizations have the ability to build cross-platform native apps easily.

 

AppStudio for ArcGIS 3.0 is a major release that has updated dependencies: ArcGIS Runtime 100.x only (ArcGIS Runtime 10.2.6 is no longer supported), Qt 5.10, Visual Studio 2017, and XCode 9. There are also now two versions of AppStudio Player in app stores: an archived version of Player 2.1, as well as the current version. The AppStudio tools have many improvements and fixes, and the template apps have new features, such as biometric authentication and support for offline use in the Map Tour template. For more information, see What’s new in AppStudio for ArcGIS or the AppStudio product documentation.

 

Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS
Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS enables you to stay on top of your operations by letting you view and monitor activities, track assets, and displaying real-time data feeds. With this update, Dashboard authors now have more control over many dashboard-level settings. Dashboard interactivity has been improved through the introduction of two new actions: follow feature, and show pop-up window. The value axis on serial charts now has a logarithmic scale option to handle data that grows exponentially. And last, but not least, you can now view dashboards on your smartphone. For more information, see What’s new in Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS or the Operations Dashboard product documentation.

 

Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS
Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS offers a way for you to easily create HTML/JavaScript apps that run on any device, using a gallery of ready-to-use-widgets. You can customize the look of your apps with configurable themes, and can host your apps online or on your own server.

 

Multiple widgets have been improved in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS. With Filter, you can now select multiple values for a field in a single expression, display features that match any of the filters in the app, and group filters by layer. Time Slider now allows you to set relative time span and intervals to animate live data such as showing the weather from the past five days in two-hour intervals. When you use Search to perform geocoding or feature search on point, line, and polygon layers, the widget now honors the zoom-scale parameter in the resulting search extent. With Edit, you can now edit many-to-many related records and control the capability to add or delete features. Additional enhancements include support for expanded grouped layers when the Layer List widget opens, measuring areas in 3D, and swiping multiple layers at a time. For more information, see What’s new in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS or the Web AppBuilder product documentation.

 

Organization administration

 

Redesigned organization page
The organization page has been redesigned to help you administer your organization, manage members, and access information quickly. See the status and latest content of your organization at a glance, including description details and credits, and toggle through different views of your organization. Find members quickly to review their items and activity, filter them by role and level, and disable and enable membership for multiple users at once. The new design matches the recently updated design for Content, Groups, and Item pages.

 

 

See The organization page has a new look for more information.

 

Authoritative public content
Administrators and those with administrative privileges have been able to mark the status of content as authoritative, which adds a badge to the item and enables search using the item status. Items marked as authoritative are also promoted in search results. Until this release, these features were only available within an organization, and not for publicly shared content.

 

New with this release, these features are now available outside your organization. Organizations can have their identities verified by Esri, which enables them to share authoritative content publicly using the Authoritative badge. Public content that is designated as authoritative can be easily identified by the badge, is boosted in search results, and can be found easily using the Status filter.

 

 

Mobile app for your organization
It’s even easier to access your organization from your mobile device. In addition to the mobile browser option (just use your URL), you can now access your organization using ArcGIS Companion, a new mobile app for iOS and Android. Access your organization anytime, anywhere to explore content, view groups, edit your profile, and more.

 

 

Find the app in the Apple App Store, Google Play, or Amazon.

 

ArcGIS Online now supports enterprise logins to a SAML-based federation of multiple organizations. This allows members of one organization to use their own SAML-based identity provider to access resources hosted by other organizations that are members of the federation.

 

ArcGIS Enterprise organizations participating in a distributed collaboration with ArcGIS Online organizations can now share web apps through the collaboration.

 

See Get started with administration for more information.

 

Map and data management

 

Offline map areas
Map authors supporting offline field work can now create map areas from web maps. Map areas allow you to package data from specific areas of a web map, making it easier and faster to take maps offline. Map areas can be used in Collector for ArcGIS (Aurora Project beta) and ArcGIS Runtime SDK custom apps.

 

Feature layer templates
The feature layer template gallery now includes templates that allow you to build empty hosted feature layers and define the layer schema, rather than use predefined schemas. These new templates are in the Build a layer category in the template gallery. Choose a template to create a point, line, or polygon layer, and add fields, define lists or value ranges for the fields, and configure feature types and templates.

 

 

Field views
To make it easier for feature layer owners to view and manage fields in the layer’s attribute table and related tables, a new Fields view is available on the layer’s details page. You can filter fields by data type, sort the fields list or change the order in which the fields are listed on the Fields page, and explore details for specific fields. Layer owners and organization administrators can also add or delete fields from hosted feature layers when viewing them from this page.

 

Attribute editing
You can guide editors to the correct values when they edit attributes in hosted feature layers by defining a list of possible values. Editors choose the correct value from the list when they add a new feature or update the attribute, which helps avoid typos and incorrect values. For numeric attributes, you can define a valid range of values. When you do, editors will be notified if they attempt to enter a value outside the range.

 

Layer-level metadata
If your organization has metadata enabled, you can add or edit layer-level metadata from the hosted feature layer’s item page.

 

Spatial analytics
The number of features supported in the input layers for the Find Nearest tool has increased from 1,000 to 5,000. The increase allows you access to larger datasets. When using the Join Features analysis tool for one-to-one attribute joins, you can now store results as hosted feature layer views.

 

File upload
How files are uploaded through your browser has been improved, significantly decreasing the time it takes to add or update files in your organization. In addition, the 1 GB file upload size limit has been removed. You can now upload files up to 200 GB in size.

 

Apps for the field

 

ArcGIS apps for the field help you use the power of location to improve coordination and achieve operational efficiencies in field workforce activities. Apps for the field have made numerous enhancements since the previous ArcGIS Online update including the following:

 

Collector for ArcGIS
Collector for ArcGIS enables the use of your smartphone or tablet to collect and update information in the field, whether connected or disconnected. The beta release of Collector for ArcGIS (known as the Aurora project) has had regular updates. These have included adding support for storing z-values, recording and listening to audio attachments, capturing bar codes and QR codes, and working offline. For more information, see the Collector Aurora Project beta program or the Collector product documentation.

 

Survey123
Survey123 for ArcGIS is a simple and intuitive form-centric data gathering solution that makes creating, sharing, and analyzing surveys possible in three easy steps. Survey123 has had two incremental releases since the previous ArcGIS Online update. A new single choice grid question type has been added to the web app. Additionally a new feature has been added to the website for version locking to enable better backward compatibility between the web app and your previously published surveys, along with many other fixes and improvements to both the field app and web app.

Another release will be coming soon that will include support for nested repeats allowing multiple levels of related tables, geosearch functionality for the Geopoint question, webhook support, and the Data tab on the website will support filtering and batch printing. For more information, see What’s new in Survey123 for ArcGIS.

 

Explorer for ArcGIS
Explorer for ArcGIS enables anyone to access and markup maps everywhere using a mobile app for iOS and Android. Explorer for ArcGIS is now supported on Android. In addition, all platforms now support working with your imagery and other raster data offline. For more information, see What’s new in Explorer for ArcGIS or the Explorer product documentation.

 

Shown in order below, Collector (Aurora beta), Survey123, and Explorer.

 

 

Apps for the office

 

ArcGIS Apps for the office enable operations managers and analysts to visualize data in a geographic context to gain location-based insights and make decisions that save money and time. Some apps for the office have been updated. Here are a few highlights:

 

ArcGIS Business Analyst Web
ArcGIS Business Analyst Web is a web-based solution that applies GIS technology to extensive demographic, consumer spending, and business data to deliver on-demand analysis, presentation-ready reports and maps. Select from a wide variety of existing reports, or create custom reports to meet your marketing needs.

 

The latest update of Business Analyst Web allows you to access 2018–2023 U.S. demographics; summarize nearby locations, such as restaurants that are within a specified distance from a proposed new sandwich shop; and use filtering to show locations that meet your criteria. For example, you can filter a crime layer based on crime type and time to understand patterns of where instances of arson occurred. In addition, you can compare sites with administrative geographies in a single click to see how key demographic facts for a site compare to the geographies where the site is located. Finally, use the new Tapestry Profile template to view infographics in a tapestry poster style. For more information, see What’s new in Business Analyst or the Business Analyst Web App product documentation.

 

 

ArcGIS Earth
ArcGIS Earth 1.7 takes advantage of  the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for .NET to provide improved performance and stability. Improvements include enhanced rendering for graphic layers, labels, and billboarded symbols, reduced memory consumption; improved UI responsiveness, and an improved 3D visualization experience. In addition, a new start-up experience for first-time users and the ability to identify metadata and attribute information and reload disconnected data in the table of contents have been added. For more information, see What’s new in ArcGIS Earth or the ArcGIS Earth product documentation.

 

ArcGIS Maps for Microsoft Power BI
ArcGIS Maps for Microsoft Power BI now allows you to sign in with your ArcGIS Online named user account to receive all the benefits of Plus and access content from your organization to use as basemaps and reference layers in ArcGIS Maps for Power BI. You can now also purchase bulk Plus subscriptions to provide your organization’s users with full access to Plus. For more information, see What’s new in ArcGIS Maps for Power BI or the Maps for Power BI product documentation.

 

ArcGIS Maps for Sharepoint
ArcGIS Maps for SharePoint 5.0 introduces a new ArcGIS Map Search feature that allows you to geotag your SharePoint documents to quickly locate them by clicking a feature on a map. This version also includes several improvements to the app configuration, exporting data, and improved geocoding capabilities. In addition, you now have access to private geocoders. For more information, see What’s new in ArcGIS Maps for SharePoint or the Maps for Sharepoint product documentation.

 

For more information

 

For more information and additional details see the What’s new help topic or view all posts related to this release.

by Jim Herries

 

Because I am a geographer who makes a lot of thematic maps, over time I’ve noticed the key moments in the decision making process that dramatically influence each map. The purpose of this blog is to discuss how a typical thematic map of a percentage comes into focus and how you give it purpose.

 

To start, we need data, and an idea of what we want to map. We recently hosted up this layer of U.S. county health rankings data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Health Institute and made a few maps for policy making from it. The layer contains dozens of useful measures, each waiting to be turned into useful information on a map.

 

The software can map it, but it takes a human to make it meaningful. In this blog we’ll cover how the software (in this case, ArcGIS Online) starts the map, and how a human improves what the software suggests to give the map purpose.

 

Let’s pick just one subject among the many attributes in this gold mine o’ data: Percent Low Birth Weight. It represents the percentage of all births in a county that meet the standard of low birth weight. So we have data.

 

We need an idea for the map. It is easy to imagine a map of the counties, each shaded by its Low Birth Weight percent. Pretty straightforward.

 

As always, let’s explore the data on the map first, to compare what we know about the subject to what’s on the map, and then make a thematic map of it.

 

That first step (exploring the data) is key – unfortunately a lot of people simply want to get the thematic map done as quickly as possible without thinking critically about the data. They choose a default classification technique, verify that the map shows some variation in colors, and call it a day, when in reality that map is unfinished.

 

How can you tell a thematic map has been rushed into use without a specific purpose?

1) Default colors, default outlines, default classification settings
2) The breaks used to set the colors have no intrinsic meaning – they are just numbers generated by an algorithm.
3) The colors have not been chosen to emphasize the interesting part of the data.
4) The legend contains unnecessary levels of precision

 

Open this web map from the Living Atlas in ArcGIS Online, hit “Modify Map” in the top right corner, and look at the purple layer titled “County Health Rankings 2018.” Or, just cycle through each layer one at a time to follow along this blog.

 

 

Rename the layer to “Low Birth Weight” and choose the “Change Style” button on the layer to explore the Percent Low Birth Weight attribute.

 

Next, choose the attribute “Percent Low Birthweight,” and choose the Counts and Amounts (Color) style of map. This style shades applies a color to each county, based on the value found in the “Percent Low Birthweight” attribute for that county.

 

 

Click “Options” to explore this data a bit using some settings that decide which counties will be shaded what color.

 

High to Low theme

 

This is where ArcGIS Online saves you time and makes you a better mapmaker. All you did was touch an attribute, and the map lights up with a suggested “High to Low” theme using a yellow to dark blue color ramp, with key breaks set at one standard deviation around the mean. It takes fewer than 5 clicks to get to this very useful first map:

 

 

ArcGIS Online shows you the color ramp next to a histogram of the data. For the “High to Low” theme, the little handles indicate at what values dark blue or yellow are applied. In this case, counties with 10% low birth weight or higher will be given a full dark blue color. Counties with 6.1% or lower will be given a full yellow color. These extreme values are not the main story in this map style.

 

Values between 10.0 and 6.1 are shaded a color somewhere between dark blue and yellow, depending on where the value falls. Sometimes referred to as “unclassed” or “continuous” color, it’s value is that you get an overall pattern on the map, and you can see how neighboring counties vary slightly. I’d call this “data-aware color” or “detailed color” or “data-faithful color.”

 

Where did these values come from? They are 1 standard deviation above the mean (10.0) and below the mean (6.1). From the legend or by hovering over the x in the histogram, you can see that the mean is 8.1 for this data set. (Note: this is the average of the data, not necessarily the true national average, because counties vary widely in population from hundreds to millions.)

 

At this point, I always go search the documentation or online for what the literature has to say about this subject. In this case, the source data did not provide the national average for percent low birth weight, but a broader search found several indications that 8.1% is indeed the national average. This is useful information to have as you think about how to style this map.

 

This default is just a starting point, it is NOT the one-size-fits-all solution for making maps. It is a great map style for initial exploration of the data, so that you can ask yourself: “What part of this data is interesting?” From the histogram of the data we see a pretty normal bell curve, with a little skew toward higher values.

 

 

A color ramp that has a light color on one end and a dark color on the other end works well. The darker colors are applied to the higher values, but even the middle of the color ramp (near the 8.1% national average) is already leaning blue… so if the story needs to focus mainly on areas where Low Birth Weights are a problem, the High to Low theme is a good option. High to Low theme does not really care about a national average or mean, unless you adjust a break to use such a figure.

 

Let’s explore the same data using classification, to see where it starts the map.

 

High to Low, using Natural Breaks

 

Here’s the same layer, but with “Classify Data” turned on, which defaults to a Natural Breaks method. The darkest color is assigned to values at or above 11.2 so the effect is that it is “harder” for a county to earn that darkest color. The values between 8.78 and 11.2 all get the same color, as do all values between 6.9 to 8.78 and all values below 6.9.

 

 

These breaks are where the Natural Breaks algorithm found a mathematical reason to divide the data up into the four breaks it was told to use. There are eight different numbers in this map’s legend (see above), and no explanation of their significance. We see the dark blue color begins at 11.2% – is this to be considered a “high” rate? In which shade of blue does the national average 8.1% fall into? Unless we adjust a break to use 8.1%, we can’t really speak to that figure effectively on the map. All this map says is that some places have it worse than others, but we have not provided a standard of comparison by which we would leverage the use of color.

 

Here is the same layer, but with 10 natural breaks. It’s essentially the same map, but now the legend is a little more challenging to read and interpret.

 

 

With 10 classes, we can see more detail around those darkest blue counties. But if a legend with 8 numbers for an author to explain and a reader interpret is difficult, a legend with 20 numbers is … more difficult. In the legend above, can you find which class would contain the national average 8.1%, and then find a sample county at or near that average? There are nine shades of blue to choose from, and this legend infers that you should be able to distinguish among them.

 

Whether your map has 4 classes or 10 classes or is not classified, the legend on a web map is a poor way for someone to understand the actual value in any single county. A label or popup can provide the specific value as needed. At this point, because we have not assigned any specific meaning to the classes such as “>14.3 (Eligible for funding)”, the legend is really there to simply orient the user about what color means, generally.

 

High to Low, using Equal Interval

 

Here’s the same layer, but with “Classify Data” turned on, and now using the Equal Interval method. The darkest color is now assigned to values at or above 21 so the effect is that it is very hard for a county to earn that darkest color. The values between 14.9 and 21 all get the same color, as do all values between 8.8 to 14.9 and all values below 8.8.

 

 

The map now looks very “soft” and the histogram/color ramp tells why: most of the counties fall within the lowest category. To many people, this map would suggest low birth weights are not really much of a problem anywhere except that one northern Colorado county.

 

That’s because equal interval takes the maximum value minus the minimum value in the data, and divides that by the number of classes to set the … interval. If the min value were 0, the breaks would shift. If the maximum were not 27 but 270, the breaks would shift, dramatically. Outlier values have a big effect on this option. Note that the national average 8.1% would fall into the lowest category.

 

High to Low, using Quantile

 

Here’s the same layer, but with “Classify Data” turned on, and now using the Quantile method. Quantile ensures that each color will have an equal number of features in it where possible. If you have 1000 features, Quantile will stuff 250 into each of the four colors in your ramp. It’s the ice cube tray of thematic mapping, in that each cube (class) will be the same size no matter what is actually going on with the data. The darkest color is now assigned to values at or above 9.08, the values between 7.8 and 9.08 all get the same color, as do all values between 6.7 to 7.8 and all values below 6.7. The national average 8.1% now earns the second darkest blue. Quantile ensures you’ll have lots of colors on the map, but they’ll have no intrinsic meaning for this layer.

 

High to Low, using Standard Deviation

 

Here’s the same layer, but with “Classify Data” turned on, and now using the Standard Deviation method. The darkest color is now assigned to values at or above 11.1 and other breaks are introduced in 1 standard deviation intervals. This is a useful method when trying to get more fine-grained in understanding how quickly your data deviates from the mean on the map. But, the legend is mostly unintelligible to most people, because it no longer shows the actual percentages. Consider your audience before showing them a thematic map with this legend. You can hand-edit the label of each class, to say things like “>11.1% (Very High)” or perhaps “Very High (>11.1%).”

 

 

You can see from the image above that this standard deviation method slices the histogram neatly and applies a color ramp to those slices consistently. The “High to Low” style of color ramp spreads the blue color progressively across the classes. The map is mainly blue, because the center of the color ramp is itself a medium blue.

 

So, Should You Classify?

 

It’s pretty interesting to see how the various methods dramatically shift the color around the map. If it makes you feel a little uncomfortable that there are so many options with widely varying effects, that’s good, because your next step is to take control of where and when color is applied to the map, based on your purpose.

 

Every map needs a purpose, and you can’t get to purpose without exploring the data first. No matter how many methods are available to slice and dice the data into various colors, at some point each map author (or, manager of people making maps) needs to put meaningful numbers into the map legend: numbers they can explain, talk to and justify.

 

In a classified style, does it matter that a county with a value of 15 is colored the same as a county with a value of 20.9 – in effect saying there is no difference between those two counties? It may, or it may not – we classify things like body temperature into:

 

  • < 98 Fahrenheit (cold)
  • 98 to 99 (normal, since 98.6 is exactly normal and you can’t get out of school with a 98.7, I once argued that unsuccessfully)
  • > 99 to 103 (fever)
  • > 103 (high fever)

 

The person making the map is in a position to decide if classification is appropriate. It’s not a matter of one being right and another wrong, but it is a matter of knowing how classification tends to eliminate detail, and whether detail is important to the story your map needs to reveal.

 

Mona Lisa, in thousands of colors capturing nuance and that famous smile.

 

Mona Lisa, in five colors. The smile is gone, like so many other details lost to classification.

 

All the maps above take two colors (yellow and blue) and, in effect, smear them across the page based on the breaks you accept or, preferably, set from your knowledge of the subject. When four or five or ten classes let you simplify the world for someone based on a reason they can relate to, then classify! If you can assert why there is no significant difference among features within a given class, that is a reason for that class to exist – it has a meaning, so its use is justified.

 

Otherwise, give the data a chance to “breathe” a bit and uncheck that “Classify” button to let the additional detail drive interest and generate additional questions. Questions raised during the early stages of making a thematic map inevitably lead to better maps.

 

An example: when a lawmaker proposes a bill to provide economic development funds to any county where unemployment is 8% or higher, you have a reason to classify the map into 2 worlds: counties with 8% or higher unemployment, and everybody else. But you would be wise to show the lawmaker, or the public, a map without classification so that it becomes obvious how many counties are just above or just below that 8% cutoff. If nothing else, that map tells you where the lawsuits will be filed. Both maps are useful.

 

Next, let’s introduce a little more color using a very powerful map style that lets you transfer your knowledge of a subject into a map people can instantly relate to.

 

Above and Below theme

 

Go back to your layer and change the theme from “High to Low” to “Above and Below” and watch what happens. The map immediately divides the data into two colors: areas whose percent low birth weight is above 8.1%, and areas below that national average.

 

In the example below, I made one additional change, to use a green to purple color ramp so that I could highlight in purple those counties with above-average problems with low birth weights. This diverging color ramp has three colors: purple on one end, white in the middle, and green on the other end. Counties near the national average sort of fade into the background, an editorial choice which is what allows the above and below patterns to emerge. By the way, it takes fewer than 10 clicks to get to this map in ArcGIS Online.

 

 

Every great map is the result of choices made on what to emphasize and what to de-emphasize or even omit. Most maps that people tell me need some help are the result of not choosing to emphasize what’s interesting in the data or to de-emphasize what is not important.

 

Think of your map like it’s your resume: not everything is equally important. There is a sense of priority in your resume. In fact, taking an editorial stance is crucial if you want your resume to get its point across. The same is true of every thematic map.

 

If I were building an atlas or story map of each county health ranking attribute, I probably would stick to this color ramp, so that the “language” of my maps is consistent: green is good, purple is not good.

 

As before, while the default option for “Above and Below” is recommended, let’s go through other options for the initial map you make.

 

Above and Below – Natural Breaks

 

Here’s the same layer, but with “Classify Data” turned on, which defaults to a Natural Breaks method. To reproduce this map, hit “Classify Data” and then change to “Above and Below” style and choose the purple-to-green color palette.

 

 

The darkest color is assigned to values at or above 11.2 so the effect is that it is “harder” for a county to earn that dark purple color. The values between 8.78 and 11.2 all get the same color of light purple, and all values between 6.9 to 8.78 and all values below 6.9 get incrementally stronger shades of green.

 

If a proposed policy would send additional funds to counties that have 11.2% low birth weights or higher, then this map does a good job highlighting those dark purple counties. But it does a poor job showing which counties are at 11.1% (just below your funding cutoff).

 

 

It is interesting how the additional classes add detail in the map below. The very light grey 50% transparent boundaries help allow the color to “flow” across county lines. For fun, set the county boundaries to black 0% transparent to see how overly strong outlines destroy color patterns.

 

Above and Below – Equal Interval

 

Here’s the same layer, but with “Classify Data” turned on, and now using the Equal Interval method. The dark purple color is now assigned to values at or above 21 so the effect is that it is very hard for a county to earn that darkest color. The values between 14.9 and 21 all get the same light purple color, while values between 8.8 to 14.9 and all values below 8.8 get incrementally darker greens. This map’s colors are saying “something important changes at 14.9%” – remember that the national average is 8.1%.

 

Above and Below – Quantile

 

Here’s the same layer, but with “Classify Data” turned on, and now using the Quantile method. Quantile ensures that each color will have an equal number of features in it where possible. If you have 1000 features, Quantile will stuff 250 into each of the four colors in your ramp. Remember, this option is the ice cube tray of thematic mapping. The darkest purple color is now assigned to values at or above 9.08, the values between 7.8 and 9.08 all get the same light purple color, and values between 6.7 to 7.8 and all values below 6.7 get incrementally darker greens. The colors in this map say something changes at 7.8%. Quantile ensures you’ll have lots of colors on the map, but they’ll have no intrinsic meaning for this layer.

 

Above and Below – Standard Deviation

 

Here’s the same layer, but with “Classify Data” turned on, and now using the Standard Deviation method. The darkest purple color is now assigned to values at or above 11.1% and other breaks are introduced in 1 standard deviation intervals. This is a useful method when trying to get more fine-grained in understanding how quickly your data deviates from the mean on the map.

 

 

I do love the fact that values around the mean have very soft purple or green shades, hinting that they are very close to the mean. But that soft color extends all the way to 1.5 standard deviations from the mean, which is a LOT of data getting those soft colors in a map that is supposed to call out the unusual. Change to ½ standard deviations to darken up the extremes. The legend is mostly unintelligible to most people, because it no longer shows the actual percentages. Consider your audience before showing them a thematic map with this legend.

 

Recommendations

 

There are times when classification makes sense, and times when it inhibits understanding and data exploration. The only way to know which is right for a given map, project, atlas or customer is to make a few versions and show them to the intended audience. Ask them what the map tells them, without coaching them, and compare their answers to what you hoped they would learn from each map. As you can see from all the above, trying each style is a few mouse click’s effort in ArcGIS Online.

 

I recommend always starting with the “Above and Below” map style in ArcGIS Online for any thematic map of a percent, rate, ratio, index or similar data. It does not classify the data but lets the data “breathe” within an upper break and a lower break that define where “high” and “low” are for your subject. The software treats as exceptional those values beyond 1 standard deviation from the mean of the data. As with classification, your job is to confirm those particular values or provide your own, based on your knowledge of the subject, or your review of the literature on it, or your interviews with subject matter experts.

 

 

The reward of applying such values to your map’s settings is that you then have the right to say “The green areas on the map have lower than normal rates, while the purple areas have higher than normal. In this case, normal means 8.1% which is the national average.” If your map needs to highlight how counties are faring against a different norm, such as a stated goal to get the national rate down to 7.0%, you merely recenter the map’s legend around that norm to give meaning to green and purple areas.

 

Smart defaults are not a replacement for a human, but they certainly help you tune your map and give it a specific purpose. People who begin to understand the data, its histogram, and how color is applied or spread across that range of data begin to see how their choices reveal, or bury, what’s interesting. Thanks for reading!

by Rajinder Nagi

 

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World provides foundation elevation layers to support analysis and visualizations across the ArcGIS platform. In this release, world elevation layers (Terrainand TopoBathy) are updated with following elevation datasets:

 

 

Let’s see a few areas that exemplify these improvements.

 

San Elijo Hills, San Marcos, CA – depicting the change in landscape with USGS 3DEP lidar derived 1 meter (bottom) in comparison to USGS 10 meters (top)

 

Zurich, Switzerland – showing 48x more details with 0.5 m lidar derived DEM (bottom) in comparison to 24 m WorldDEM4Ortho (top)

Shinmoe-dake, Kyūshū, Japan – an active stratovolcano (part of the Mount Kirishima) last erupted in June 2018, depicted with GSI’s 5 m DEM (bottom) vs 24 m WorldDEM4Ortho (top)

In this release, Elevation Analysis Tools (ProfileViewshed and Summarize Elevation) also got support of 10 meters data from GSI, Japan. On running these tools using desktop (ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap) with 10 m DEM resolution selected, the analysis will be performed using 10 m Japanese data.

 

Shinmoe-dake, Kyūshū, Japan – Volcanic eruptions visibility areas calculated (orange) with viewshed service tool using GSI’s 10 meter elevation data

 

The elevation profile web application template available via ArcGIS Online configurable apps uses the ‘Finest’ DEM resolution as default and will automatically use 10 m data in Japan.

 

These updates will also be rolled out to other world elevation derivative products – Elevation 3D (Terrain3D and TopoBathy3D) and World Hillshade by the next quarter.

 

For more information about the various data sources available in World Elevation services, check out the Elevation coverage map. Esri will keep improving World Elevation Services, Tools and derivative products by including high resolution data from open source and the Esri Community Maps program. Additionally, to contribute high-resolution elevation data to the Living Atlas of the World, check out the Esri Community Maps for Elevation program.

by Lucy Guerra

 

Whether you use Business Analyst, Community Analyst, ArcGIS Maps for Office, ArcGIS Maps for PowerBI, Living Atlas, ArcGIS Online Map Viewer, or other Esri products… see what’s coming with the 2018/2023 U.S. Demographic Updates in the upcoming June online release…

 

The 2018/2023 U.S. Demographic release reflects updates to the changing demographic landscape and includes some new data attributes.

 

  • 2018/2023 Updated Demographics – includes Population by Generations, expanded Home Values, and a new data resource.
  • 2018 Tapestry Segmentation – incorporates Esri’s latest demographic estimates.
  • 2018 Consumer Spending – incorporates the latest Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CEX), 2015-2016, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • 2018 Market Potential – incorporates the latest Doublebase 2017 data from GfK MRI. As a result, this release introduces some attribute additions/changes/removals.
  • 2018 Business Summary – incorporates Infogroup business data from Jan 2018.
  • 2018 Traffic Counts – from Kalibrate, Q1 2018.
  • 2018 Crimes Indexes – from AGS, 2018A.
  • 2018 Major Shopping Centers –  from Directory of Major Malls, Jan 2018.
  • 2018 Business Locations –  from Infogroup, Jan 2018. Includes two new fields describing corporate parent records as well as record type (ATM, Electric Charging Station).

 

Population by Generation

Use familiar generation cohorts to understand population by age and projected change. (Available for 2018 and 2023.)

 

  • Generation Alpha Population (Born 2017 or Later)
  • Generation Z Population (Born 1999 to 2016)
  • Millennial Population (Born 1981 to 1998)
  • Generation X Population (Born 1965 to 1980)
  • Baby Boomer Population (Born 1946 to 1964)
  • Silent & Greatest Generations Population (Born 1945/Earlier)

 

Use the generations data to understand the current population by age as well as the projected change in an area of study. (Created in Business Analyst)

 

Expanded Home Value Ranges

Use expanded Home Value ranges to view more detailed data for owner occupied housing units with home values above $1 million. (Available for 2018 and 2023.)

 

  • Owner Occupied Housing Units with Value $1,000,000-1,499,999
  • Owner Occupied Housing Units with Value $1,500,000-1,999,999
  • Owner Occupied Housing Units with Value $2,000,000+

 

New Data Resource

A new complementary housing database from Axiometrics has been incorporated to capture the growing multifamily rental market. Similar to Metrostudy, which covers new residential owned dwellings like single family homes and condominiums, Axiometrics collects and maintains data on planned, new, and existing rental properties of multifamily and student apartments, nationwide.

 

Market Potential

The 2018 Market Potential database incorporates the latest Doublebase 2017 data from GfK MRI. As a result, this release introduces some attribute additions/changes/removals.

 

  • 81 data variables have been added
  • 81 data variables have description changes
  • 49 data variables have been discontinued

 

Download this PDF to view detailed changes.  PDF 304 KB

by John Nelson

 

Annnnnnnnnd pow. The Firefly imagery basemap just dropped. This basemap has been in beta this past year, available for you to try out and provide your valuable feedback. It’s now officially released/unleashed to the masses for all sorts of adventurous Firefly mapping.

 

esriurl.com/FireflyBasemap

 

Why Firefly? The Firefly imagery basemap is an interesting option for any application where imagery is required for valuable landcover/topographic context but also needs to recede into the background to best play a supporting role to the thematic layers that live atop. Like this app. And as you zoom in, and need more specific geographic context that color provides, the basemap gradually returns to full-color.

 

 

When you are constructing your Firefly map and you’d like to have some reference labels, The Human Geography Dark reference layer is ideally suited. Here is an ArcGIS Online web map where it’s already been added for you.

 

Here is that map, along with a Firefly graticule.

 

 

So if you haven’t given the Firefly imagery a try, ponder giving it a spin in your next map, either in ArcGIS Online or as a basemap in ArcGIS Pro. Let your data shine and your basemap…base.

 

 

Happy Firefly Basemapping! John Nelson

by Daniel Siegel

 

A new image service has been added to the Living Atlas of the World. It shows monthly change in water storage, as derived from NASA’s GLDAS dataset. Change in storage is calculated by subtracting the water output (runoff and evaporation) from water input (rainfall). Where the input is higher than the output, this means water is being stored in the landscape. Where output is higher than the input, storage is being depleted. This image service is time-enabled, allowing you to move through the seasons, month by month, and visualize the ebb and flow of water over the past 18 years.

 

Depletion is not necessarily a bad thing, of course. It is common for landscapes to store water during the rainy season, and dry out before the rains come again. The ecology of a region is adapted to this natural water cycle. A problem only arises when that cycle breaks. Perhaps the summers become too hot, or the rains come less often. Changes like these are becoming more common as global climate cycles are disrupted by anthropogenic influence. In order to help understand how our influence is affecting these regional water cycles, Esri built the Water Balance App. This application is combines all of the GLDAS layers into a single application with an intuitive interface and useful analytics.

 

Water Balance App

Water Balance App

 

By clicking on any point, you can see the full time series and begin to investigate it. The trend analyzer (bottom right) lets you extract the values for any specific month, so you can see if December rainfall is trending up or down, or if July evapotranspiration is increasing. This panel also lets you to see the seasonal variation during a normal year (by graphing the average for each month) or aggregate the time series into annual time steps to see the long term trend more clearly.

 

The Water Balance Panel (bottom left) shows how the different GLDAS parameters interact to define the hydrology of a landscape. It makes clear how the change in storage was calculated, and how it compares to what is normal for this month. It also shows how much soil moisture and snowpack have changed. This should be close to the total change in storage, but because there are also reservoirs, aquifers, and industrial withdrawals, these numbers don’t always match exactly.

 

What can I do with this layer?

The Change in Storage layer is an image service, which means you can access it from any app in the ArcGIS Platform, not just the Water Balance App. You can add it to maps you are building in ArcGIS Online, ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, and even custom web apps of your own. It can also be used as an input to geoprocessing tools and Python scripts. The “Zonal Statistics as Table” tool is particularly useful for calculating the storage change in a watershed or other region of interest.

The WorldDEM4Ortho: Now available in ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World Part 1 and WorldDEM4Ortho: Now available in ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World Part 2 recordings are now available!

 

Find out how to get the most accurate global elevation data for your visualization and analysis. Airbus’ WorldDEM4Ortho is now part of ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. Anyone with an ArcGIS subscription can use it.

 

In this webinar you will learn more about WorldDEM4Ortho-how it was created and why it’s so accurate. You will see how to access and use the Living Atlas global elevation services that contain WorldDEM4Ortho.

 

Esri’s World Elevation services and information products are enhanced with WorldDEM4Ortho. The key benefits of WorldDEM4Ortho are:

  • most consistent and accurate satellite-based elevation model on a global scale
  • vertical accuracy of ~ 4 meters
  • pole-to-pole coverage at ~ 24 meters cell size
  • flattened urban areas