Skip navigation
All Places > Education > Blog
1 2 3 4 5 Previous Next


394 posts

Hi Everyone,


If you use the ArcGIS API for Python to script provisioning of ArcGIS licensing, please read on…


As you may know, yesterday there was an update to ArcGIS Online. In conjunction, there was a release of the ArcGIS API for Python, version 1.5.2, which included better support for the new user types.


  1. We recommend updating to version 1.5.2 of the Python API, which is now available on the Esri conda channel. Note, the developer website will NOT go live until Monday. Please take a look at the following blog for more information.


  1. Please note that the name of the AppStudio entitlement has changed – it used to be “AppStudio for ArcGIS Standard”. Now it is “AppStudio for ArcGIS”. The key, “appstudiostd” stays the same. Please update your scripts accordingly, if you are currently provisioning AppStudio for ArcGIS Standard. Side note, this is to reflect a change of licensing for AppStudio – moving forward, and once migrated to the new institution agreement/site license, AppStudio Basic will be available to anyone via ArcGIS Online, while AppStudio Standard will be licensed through the ArcGIS Developer Subscription only. Further information can be found here.


Thanks to University of Michigan, University of Minnesota and Virginia Tech for testing early and confirming the above.


Let us know if you have any questions.

I was approached by a large K12 educational entity (greater than 10k) that wanted to implement SSO for user account creation and authentication.  However, they also wanted teachers to have publisher roles and students to have user roles.


Read more. >>

Simply sharing, AWS/Azure/GCP resources for research and teaching use - web meeting/presentations for instructional and research use, along with discussed resources.  



Please let us know if we can be of further help.  

I recently wrote about 15 inspiring GIS Day stories from the events held in 2018.  Many of the GIS Day events were held in schools, libraries, museums, universities, and other educational settings:  15 Inspiring GIS Day 2018 Success Stories   It is my hope that these stories inspire you to continue to make a difference with GIS in education not only on GIS Day, but throughout the year. 


--Joseph Kerski

GeoInquiries(TM) have revolutionized “teaching with GIS,” by making this remarkable technology accessible even to teachers with modest technology, tech skills, and instructional time. In 2014, Esri started offering ArcGIS Online accounts to every US K12 school for free for instruction. Launched at the same time, GeoInquiries collections have grown to nine sets of 15-20 lessons (150 in all so far), presenting standards-based content through ArcGIS Online. GeoInquiries combine concise two-page documents with unique prepared maps using the standard ArcGIS Online Map Viewer interface, requiring no download, install, or even login for initial activities. (See short intro movie. “Level 2” activities require an Organization-based login with publishing privileges to do analyses.)


GeoInquiries website


With varied instructional strategies, teachers can cover key content in bite-sized chunks through interactive experiences. Provided instructions follow an inquiry approach, to leverage curiosity and engage students as powerfully as time and conditions permit. Over time, we have seen teachers use stylistic variations.


Mini-Lecture: Some teachers know their subject matter very well, and need simply a way to illustrate quickly a few geographic patterns and relationships in a few minutes. They project from their computer to a screen at the front of the room. Some teachers even do this to present in multiple classrooms at once -- in their regular classroom and simultaneously in another across town (even across the state), where there isn’t a teacher available to teach the course.


Guided Discovery: It takes a little more time and attention to the teacher instructions to ask a steady stream of questions designed to entice responses from a whole class at once and steer students collectively toward discovering fundamental goals of a lesson. But even for teachers doing this multiple times in a day, unique class makeup can yield very different paths from one session to the next.


Worksheet World: Some teachers provide students a custom worksheet and, after a quick intro, ask students to go step-by-step. Some teachers aim simply to have learners document factual responses, but building student engagement by incorporating higher level questions at different points (either at a specific step or at a common time) often yields more active students.


Weather GeoInquiry


Teacher Tryouts: A few teachers issue copies of the unedited teacher page and ask students to go through the activity within a specific time period, following the specified structure, and preparing to respond to follow-up questions or to craft their own powerful questions, or, for fun, “stumpers.”


Meandering for Meaning: Some teachers ask students to open the map and explore the content without much guidance beyond an overarching idea or concept. With riveting content this can be effective, but insufficient guidance can permit less focused students to meander much farther afield. (See “Presentations” below.)


Presentation Power: To reduce digital meandering, exercise analytical thinking, or expand creativity, some teachers engage “Presentations.” After a quick intro to the content, students save the GeoInquiry into their own account, explore for perhaps 10 minutes, then take about 15 minutes to construct their own “3-slide presentation” focused on their own view of the big idea of the lesson. Sharing their creation with two other students before assessment by the teacher can support big ideas while stimulating some creative designs. (See blog about this,


Level 2 GeoInquiry


Teachers can mix and match these modes even within a single lesson. Whatever the strategy, GeoInquiries offer teachers the chance to engage students with dynamic content, often on their own devices, helping them identify patterns and relationships, which build more solid background. With a few GeoInquiries under their belt, students and teachers may be ready for deeper dives, doing analyses with "Level 2 lessons," or going beyond pre-structured content into custom projects. GeoInquiries offer a powerful on-ramp to learning, thinking, building, and doing with technology, which is an essential skill for today's learners at all ages. See the collections at

Single sign-on uses a school district’s identity provider software (such as Microsoft Active Directory or Google G Suite) to support student authentication on devices, when accessing the school network, or when using district software.  Single sign-on provides three broad categories of benefits to teachers: increased instructional time, stability and support across the school, and reduced teacher liability.   Read more >>

Dear Colleagues:


You have likely seen information about the new User Types coming out in the December 4th release of ArcGIS Online. Some of you have asked how these new User Types will affect Education program offerings, therefore we wanted to provide an update.


Overall, not much will change immediately for those of us with Education program licenses, such as Site/Institution licenses, Lab Kit/Academic Department licenses, or Schools bundles.  However, these changes lay the groundwork for streamlining ArcGIS administration even further and we will see additional changes in the coming months.


What is changing in this December 4th release:


  • Level 1 named users will automatically be converted to Viewer User type.
  • Level 2 named users will automatically be converted to a Creator User type.
  • All capabilities of each user type remain the same.
  • Roles remain the same (Administrator, Publisher, User, Custom Roles, etc.).
  • An updated look/interface and updated Licenses and Members pages and workflows.  
  • For existing users, any already assigned licenses/entitlements will remain assigned.
  • For new users, licenses/entitlements of ArcGIS Pro and other apps (Business Analyst, Insights, etc.) will need to be assigned, as before.


Additional information on changes in this December 4th release can be found here.


What does the introduction of the new User Types mean over the coming months (i.e. future releases):


  • We anticipate additional changes in the March 2019 ArcGIS Online release which will provide the ability to configure additional app assignments in enterprise login settings.
  • We will continue to work towards automated provisioning of all apps included in Education program offerings so you can easily and efficiently provide your users with access to the full capabilities of ArcGIS.


In summary, this December release introduces some exciting new changes, and will see additional changes over the coming months. In the meantime, we continue to recommend enabling enterprise logins, if you haven’t yet, and following these best practices for administering ArcGIS.


Please let us know if you have any questions, feel free to post here.

A true craftsman uses skill developed deliberately, with attention to detail, and often with signature elements. Lyn Malone is a craftswoman. A teacher of social studies in grades 7-12 from 1970-2002, and provider of professional development since, Lyn designed lessons, activities, and projects used by thousands that covered key content, but did so with the eye of an artist and mind of an analyst. Even her casual conversation uses complete sentences that vary in structure.


"My Bachelors degree was in history, and my Masters in American Civilization, which is much more interdisciplinary than straight history." Her early teaching career spanned the breadth of the social studies, all in senior high. "But I always loved geography, always loved maps. I went down to Middle School in 1983, and started going in evenings to Rhode Island School of Design," building over the years a certificate in scientific and technical illustration. She started doing maps, and illustrations of historical artifacts, but that industry shifted to digital faster than could a full-time teacher who was also working with the new Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance.


As with many educators in the 1990's, GIS did not come easily for Lyn. "I went to at least three full-day workshops introducing GIS, and loved them, but couldn't make anything happen. That's why the 1998 institute" [an intense, two-week, day-long, GIS boot camp for teachers] "was such a huge boost." What followed were new activities, interdisciplinary, sometimes in concert with colleagues in other departments, schools, and even states, and built always from the perspectives of both designer and analyst. "I loved working with data, especially about population. Not so much building it, but finding and discovering what could be done with data others had assembled."


In 2000, Barrington Middle School won the first "Esri Community Atlas" contest, which challenged students to craft a website with simple but powerful maps portraying the community. Lyn and three students from grades 7-8 were invited to present their work on stage at the 2000 Esri User Conference. It was so well crafted and delivered that Roger Tomlinson ("the father of GIS") stood in line to talk with them, General James Clapper congratulated them and handed each student a commemorative coin, and Esri president Jack Dangermond whispered "We have to do this again," launching what has become a regular UC Plenary highlight.


With signature panache, Lyn models the latest in GIS vocabulary at T3G,

and dons foul weather gear to model GeoNews for a class.


Those attributes earned Lyn a spot co-authoring a ground-breaking curriculum package, Mapping Our World (in several versions), followed by Community Geography. In 2009, Lyn helped launch Esri's educator institute, Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS (T3G). Numerous events in New England and far beyond, for educators and the wider public, have featured her activities and presentations, always models of focus, detail, and elegant design.


Describing T3G as "Part boot camp, part religious revival," Lyn captures the essence.


Eventually, though, even artisans slow down. With almost five decades of instruction behind her, Lyn is looking forward to a little more leisurely travel, reading, art, and maybe classes, with fewer deadlines. But the many thousands who have engaged with her lessons stand a chance of seeing a complicated world more clearly, with geographic patterns and relationships illuminated through GIS. Thank you, Lyn!

Greetings all and, if you are in the USA, Happy Thanksgiving. This “where does Thanksgiving dinner come from” story map: could be useful for many reasons:  


1)   Like many good maps, it is great for examining spatial patterns, and also for challenging some preconceived notions (did you know that Wisconsin was so prominent in growing green beans, for example?). 

2)  The excellent use of symbols and other cartographic techniques might be useful discussion points in geography, GIS, and cartography courses.

3)  Examine the metadata--this map was created from data from the USDA Census of Agriculture.  How did the data get compiled?  

4)  How can you create a series type of story map like this one, on your own topic of interest?

5)  Use this map to spark some “spatial” discussions with your friends and family.   Enjoy.  And thank a farmer!


Thanksgiving Map

--Joseph Kerski 

At the 2018 Esri User Conference, two teachers received the "Making a Difference" award. They teach social studies and English at the Math, Science, and Technology Magnet Academy of Roosevelt High School, in Los Angeles. Watching the 11-minute award video, which included the premier of a brief video about the research project, provides a quick glimpse of the power of GIS in instruction and the impact of a meaningful project. But for those of us who watched class after class engage in this fashion, this video is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.


Students engage deeply, powerfully, in a justice-based topic they choose. They conduct authentic research, seeking patterns in the data, and relationships between the topic and the lives of those around them. These "maptivists" invest many hours learning GIS technology, struggling with data, establishing time management habits, designing effective presentations for public display, growing team sense while gaining a sense of self, becoming empowered.


MSTMA Maptivists mapping data with ArcGIS Online


A new YouTube playlist presents a quartet of videos (shortcut: (1) the quick synopsis from the 2018 Esri Conference, (2) a profile of a single student a year after the experience, (3) an interview with entertainer and entrepreneur who introduced Esri to the school, and (4) a deep dive into the design and conduct of the research project. Watching the full award ceremony video and then playlist segments 2, 3, and 4 will show the immense power of good tools and methods in the hands of good teachers.


Any school can have these GIS tools for free. Any teacher can learn these approaches. Every student deserves the chance to immerse in such rich learning, often. Please watch, learn, and share.

Welcome to this series of GIS Workshops!  These are designed to help you become excited about and enabled to use web GIS tools to solve problems and analyze spatial patterns, relationships, and trends.


(1)  Telling your story with Esri Story Maps - concepts and hands-on activities:

telling_your_story_with_esri_story_maps_final.pdf - Box 

Digital Humanities Collection:  Story Maps and the Digital Humanities  


(2) 5 Converging forces catapulting spatial thinking to the world stage, 5 trends in geospatial technology, and 5 skills important in your data science career. 


(3) The Power of ArcGIS Online

(3a)  Spatial Joins to the ArcGIS Online Living Atlas of the World

A spatial join is a GIS operation that affixes data from one feature layer's attribute table to another according to its location. Spatial joins begin by selecting a target feature and comparing it spatially to other feature layers.  Spatial joins have been used for years, for example, to determine how many water wells are in a drainage basin, or businesses in a census tract, or the number of earthquakes that fall within specific countries over specific time periods.  Let's take this last example and apply it to the changing paradigm that Web GIS represents.  You can now join data to the cloud!


Let us say that I want to determine how many earthquakes occurred in the past 30 days according to the USGS National Earthquake Information Center.  The way I have done this for years in ArcGIS Desktop was to gather two data layers - a point layer for earthquakes, and a polygon layer for world countries, and perform a spatial join.  Nothing is wrong with that method, and it continues to work well in ArcGIS Pro, for example.  But let's say I want to do that in ArcGIS , and I don't want to download anything.  This is accomplished with an analysis tool in ArcGIS --Join Features.  To use the analysis tools, you have to be signed in to ArcGIS  and have a publisher role.  


To begin, start with my web map: - the 

Earthquakes starting point map.  It contains data layers that are streaming from the USGS earthquake center, in this  case, the last 30 days of earthquakes. 


Sign in to ArcGIS Online > Analysis > Summarize Data > Join Features.  Once the Join Features analysis tool is engaged, I find World Countries (generalized) in the Living Atlas of the World.  This is your target layer, so named because my goal or "target" is to create a choropleth map by country polygons.  The layer to join to these polygons is my earthquakes layer that is streaming from USGS.  The type of join is "intersect"--if an earthquake is inside or "intersects" the country polygon, you want it to be considered.



Spatial Join 2

Here is how I found the Living Atlas content, after searching on World Countries, I selected the generalized data set:


Spatial Join 1

I filled in the remainder of the Join Features dialog box as follows:  I chose the one to one operation; I added statistics so I could determine average magnitude and depth by country, which I thought would be interesting (as I explain in this video, always be curious!) my resulting layer and I unchecked "use current map extent" just in case my current extent happened to be cutting off any outlying islands in the South Pacific, for example, and then > Run Analysis:


Spatial Join 3


The results are below, with all countries defaulting as single symbol. 

Spatial Join 4

You will change the style shortly, but before you do, let's examine the new table of data.  The "join count" field contains the number of earthquakes by country:


Spatial Join 5

The average magnitude and average depth have been saved as fields in the new layer:


Spatial Join 6


Next, use Change Style to symbolize the countries on Join_Count, as follows:



Spatial Join 7

Because the USA contains so many earthquakes, the default Counts and Amounts symbology lumps most countries into one category.  The reason why is in part because the USGS earthquake center is in the USA.  It is in Golden Colorado; I used to give tours there as a USGS employee; a fascinating place that I recommend highly for you to take a tour in next time you're in Colorado.  The earthquake center receives transmitted signals of information from the global seismic network, but it also senses ground motion from nearby earthquakes in the western USA.  So, it senses more small earthquakes in the USA than it does for other countries, resulting in a higher number for the USA.  This is all a critical part of knowing your data, as I write about weekly on the Spatial Reserves data blog.  So, under Options, I changed the classification to Quantile with 5 classes, as follows:


Spatial Join 8


The result is below.  Now I have a better sense, with a choropleth map, of the frequency of earthquake by country.  Given a ocean polygon layer, I could even map oceans by earthquake frequency.


I would like to make just a few adjustments.  Because over the last 30 days, according to the USGS, earthquakes had occurred in only 42 countries, and 254 polygons exist in the generalized world countries data set, countries with no earthquakes have no symbol or color:    


Spatial Join 8b


This looks a bit odd.  My goal is to show countries with no earthquakes over the past 30 days with a pale yellow color.  This is easily remedied with a few keystrokes.  The easiest way to do this is to use the Add Data button, add the generalized world countries from the Living Atlas of the World, and change its style to pale yellow with a yellow outline.  Once done, I moved its position to be located underneath my joined earthquakes layer.  I also moved the earthquakes to the top of the contents so that my map users could more clearly see them.  I also labeled the countries with the number of earthquakes that occurred within each one.   The resulting map is here. 

Spatial Join 9


Try the Join Tables to ArcGIS  on other data sets.  It can be accomplished in just a few steps but the results are powerful.  Think of ArcGIS  and the Living Atlas as a vast storehouse of data that you can join your own data to for rich analysis.


(3b)  Cholera investigation:  


1--Style data on number of cases.

2--Create heat map.

3--Buffer wells by 500 ft.

4--Summarize within - cholera cases within buffer.

5--Calculate route to each water pump.


(3c)  Use Arcade expressions on the following data set to enhance your capabilities in ArcGIS Online: 


(4)  Survey123 Workshop:

Survey123_university_of_michigan.pdf - Box 


(5)  Careers in GIS

career_advice_joseph_kerski_short.pdf - Box 

(with Python, the Python Imaging Library, and the ArcGIS Online API for Python)


Using geotagged images can be a great way to capture verifiable data in a project-based learning or citizen science exercise. Students can collect data with photographs, share their images to a common folder, and then use this script to map the pictures.


Geotagged images are taken constantly, usually by people with smartphones, perhaps even by people unaware that latitude-longitude information is embedded in the header of the images.  For many casual users, seeing these images in a smartphone’s built-in Photo app with a simple map feature is all the mapping they’ll want.  But, for the carto-literati ...



Simply sharing 3D/Lidar resources - huge thanks to Geoff Taylor (Esri) and Christine Wacta (SCAD) for their inspirational presentations in a webinar focused on 3D and Lidar workflows and tools, and for their willingness to share content. Below are the resources we discussed:


A wonderful new web mapping service from our colleagues at NASA SEDAC (the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center) and CIESIN (the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, a research center within the Earth Institute at Columbia University) provides the educator and researcher with an incredibly valuable, easy-to-use, and fascinating tool to examine the distribution and demographic characteristics of the world's population.  I have been a great admirer of the folks at SEDAC and CIESIN since my days at the US Census Bureau, and write about them frequently in our data blog, and this population service is the latest in a set of data and tools that can be used in multiple ways and at many educational levels and settings.  It also makes use of some innovative Esri technology.


Once you access the web mapping application--(see my video for some guidance) - available without logging into anything, and available on any browser or device, you can examine global population distribution.   Through toggling the maps on the right between country boundaries, roadmap, and terrain, you can examine the relationship between the distribution of population at scales from local to global and the relationship of the population density and amounts to terrain, landforms, climate zones, river systems, coastlines, and more.  You can also view a layer called "settlement points" (which come from  You also have the option to dive deeper into the population data by accessing the polygon, circle, or point tools on the left side of the map, as shown below.  Note that for 2010, you have even more detail on the age breakdown.  


SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service


The point buffering tool allows you to obtain population data for circular areas of the exact radius you choose, as I do below for Mumbai, India.  I obtained the latitude and longitude for Mumbai by accessing ArcGIS  > Map > and using the Measure--Point Location tool.


SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service


The results of my point buffer are shown below.


SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service

I can run the same procedure for other parts of the world, or simply use the polygon or circle tool, and the map holds all of my areas until I clear them.  With these areas, I can then compare the number of people, age of the population, and change over time.  Which areas of the world contain the fewest people? Is it southern Algeria in the Sahara, as I investigate below, or is it northern Siberia or central Australia?  Why are some areas experiencing a high rate of population, growth, while other areas are experiencing slower rates, and still others are decreasing?  What are the implications of growth and decline for those areas?


SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service

There is still more!  One of my favorite tools as a geographer is population age pyramids.  This mapping service provides these as well.  For example, see the older population predominating on the Great Plains of Colorado.  


SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service


This same pyramid is shown at right, below.  But at left is the data for roughly the same geographic area in the southeast part of the Denver metropolitan area.  The numbers in metro Denver are much higher (thousands in each age category vs. only a few dozen on the Great Plains), but also the age structure is much different--with 30- to 50-somethings raising kids, and not as many people over 65 or 20 year olds.  What do these neighborhoods look like?  You can change the base map to imagery, zoom in, and find out. 



SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service


Where are the 20-somethings?  Look at neighborhoods near light rail lines in central cities, or college towns, or, in the case below, military bases. Here I am examining Fort Riley, Kansas, a large military base; note the age structure and also the slightly higher number of males than females (though they are fairly similar in number!) 


SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service


One of the key concepts when teaching with web mapping applications such as this is helping researchers and students get into the habit of examining the metadata.  The values for this mapping service are calculated using Zonal Statistics on 1km rasters from the Gridded Population of the World (GPW4) data, described here:   The GPW data has been refined, curated, and is updated with the highest attention to quality and detail with an expert staff of statisticians and rigorous methods.  The age data specifically references the Basic Demographic Characteristics Dataset here:  Another way to focus attention on the data and methods is to examine the Mean Area of Geographic Units on the right side of the mapping service.  This clearly shows that the data collection units are different for central Kazakhstan than for, say, Vietnam.  Note that the settlement points layer referred to above are there for reference and are not used in the Zonal Stats Calculations.


This web mapping application fits nicely into the other web mapping applications that I describe here.  Use these to teach about the key issues of our 21st Century world--population, natural hazards, oceans, climate, energy, water, and much more. 

Many educators, researchers, students, and analysts regularly want to examine changes-over-space-and-time with imagery and GIS.   Recently, 81 different dates of historical imagery for the past 5 years were placed inside ArcGIS via the World Imagery Wayback service.  For more information, see this essay.

This imagery is accessible in ArcGIS , ArcMap, and ArcGIS Pro.  The best place to start is the World Imagery Wayback app.  This app, available simply through a web browser –  - can be used by way of introduction in a university or community college course, or all by itself in a primary or secondary school.  A fascinating and an incredible resource for examining land use and land cover change, the wayback image service covers the entire globe.  That means you can examine coastal erosion in England, deforestation in Indonesia, urban sprawl just about anywhere, reclamation of mine lands, changes in water levels in reservoirs, agricultural expansion in Saudi Arabia, glacial retreat in Alaska, and much more. 

Plus, in keeping with the theme of being critical of the data in GIS in education, and the focus of our book and blog The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data, this app and imagery create a useful "teachable moment."  The dates shown on the left side of the app represent the update of the Esri World Imagery service, fed by multiple sources, private and public, from local and global sources.  Thus, the date shown does not mean that every location that you examine on the image is current as of that date.  I verified this where my own observations in my local area show construction as of June 2018, for example, but that construction does not appear on the image.  In addition, several other places I examined from wintertime in the Northern Hemisphere were clearly “leaf-on” and taken during the summer before.  Therefore, as always, get familiar with what you are working with.  Despite these cautions, the imagery still represents an amazingly useful resource.


Sample from this imagery set for 30 July 2014 (top) and four years later, 27 June 2018 (bottom) for an area outside Denver, Colorado USA. 

How can the use of the Wayback image service be extended for education and research purposes?  One way to do so is by creating a web map in ArcGIS  from the Wayback app.  Doing this will thus enable the user to use all of the functions in ArcGIS  with the imagery, such as adding additional map layers (such as hydrography, land use, ecoregions), saving and sharing, using the measurement tools, and creating web mapping applications from the map.  To do this: 


  1. Go to the app:
  2. Navigate to an area of interest.
  3. Check on Only updates with local changes.(shown below)
  4. Click the cloud icon to “add to cart." (shown below at right).
  5. Click the clear all icon top left to create a web map (shown below at top left).
  6. Save the web map.


Wayback imagery tool

Done!  Open your web map.  Now you can add layers to your map, including additional Wayback layers.  To add the historical wayback imagery to this existing web map, you cannot at the moment add it from a URL as a WMTS layer, but you can use ADD DATA and search in ArcGIS  (not Living Atlas), as follows:


 Wayback imagery

The default sort order is relevance, but you can change it to sort by title or by oldest/newest.   See my resulting map with 3 historical layers in it, along with the current image as a basemap, below.


Wayback imagery


Another way to dig deeper into change-over-space-and-time analysis with the Wayback image service is to create a swipe map.  A swipe map is a type of story map application that is perfect for examining change, because it allows the map user to swipe across a map that has, in our study, images with 2 different dates.  To create a swipe map, in ArcGIS  > Share  > Create a web mapping application > choose Swipe map.  Select one of the historical image layers for your swipe map, and make sure the basemap is Imagery or Imagery with Labels.  The swipe layer (the historical image) will appear on the right with the more recent image on the left. 


But let's say your goal is to have the left side be the older imagery, and the right side be the newer imagery.  Is that possible?  Yes!  The swipe map template only allows you to swipe one layer, which by default is the right side.  So, you need to make the left side, the basemap, a historical image rather than the default new imagery basemap.  To do this, go back to your ArcGIS  map and Add > Add from ArcGIS  > enter "Wayback" > choose a historical image (in my case, I chose 2014) > Add as basemap.  Save your map.  In the configuration panel for your story map, change the settings so that you are swiping one of your newer image layers.  I did so, and my swipe map is shown below.  Here is the URL of the swipe map.


Swipe map from Wayback Imagery

Many other possibilities exist for the use of the Wayback imagery, including using it in 3D scene for a historical perspective on the landscape, using them in a tabbed series story map, using them as a base for advanced analytics in ArcGIS Pro (see my colleague's blog post here about bringing the data into Pro), and in many other ways.  


I hope that these ways I describe above encourage you to use and think creatively and spatially with this amazing set of images.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: