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ArcGIS Online

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For those new to this series, "This Week's Picks" is a (loosely) biweekly blog where I share some of my favorite ArcGIS Online content with you.


If you are interested in earlier posts, they’re archived here: This Week's Pick's - ArcGIS Online: Archive 



Thanksgiving weekend had me thinking a lot about sharing. We share a meal; we share time with family and friends; we create shared memories and history together.


With sharing on the mind, the sheer number of hours I spend in ArcGIS Online meant it was only a matter of time before I began thinking about sharing data, maps and apps, and the powerful messages and stories that can be conveyed to a lot of people when these items are shared with the public.


However, there are some factors to think about before making your items accessible to everyone.  


The following resources describe best practices for layer and Web Map configuration for publicly shared items, discuss the nuances among public sharing options, and provide some suggestions for generating the most possible interest in your public maps.


An important note before the picks: It is the responsibility of anyone sharing layers, maps and apps publicly to check the data to make sure that nobody's private information is included. 


Blog: Prepare Content for Public Sharing

Important elements to consider before sharing items publicly include access to the content, accessibility, and the end goal of the map or app. My colleague Madison recently published an outstanding blog going through four crucial questions that help address the above aspects. My favorite passage: “Members of the public never have access to delete your maps and apps, but mistakes can happen in an organization with many members who have content administration privileges… for this reason, we recommend enabling delete protection for all content shared publicly (layers, web maps, and apps). Deleting web maps or apps is a permanent action that cannot be undone.”


Additional References:



Video: Prepare Content for Sharing with the Public

Take a closer technical look into some of the concepts that Madison presents through the ArcGIS Online team’s video demo, recorded at the 2018 Developer Summit. Specifically, there is a side-by-side comparison of Feature Layer and Tile Layer performance for public-facing applications, as well as the full workflow of enabling subscriber and premium content in a configurable app, a Web AppBuilder app, and a Story Map.

Additional References



Blog: Captivate Your Audience with Apps

Creating a configurable app from your Web Map is a quick, straightforward way to provide a focused user experience for a public audience. This blog covers some templates that are great for public sharing, the importance of well-configured pop-ups, and organization branding. Quotable line: “Configurable apps in ArcGIS Online turn your web maps into shareable and presentable information products.”


Additional References:




I hope the above picks provided some helpful tips on sharing items publicly! Let me know in the comments below if there are any outstanding questions. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for This Week's Picks – ArcGIS Enterprise & This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Pro!


If you're interested, I'd love to connect on LinkedIn. You can follow me on Twitter, too. I regularly post / tweet GIS(ish) content to these platforms.


Next ArcGIS Online Update Planned: December 10

On the evening of December 10 (Pacific time), we plan to update ArcGIS Online. You can look forward to improved sharing interfaces, an updated settings tab, a new capability to set organizational notices, and support for location tracking using Tracker for ArcGIS.

Improved Sharing Interfaces

The interface for both sharing and shared content will be updated.  The new interfaces clearly delineate how and whether items are shared widely to the organization or to everyone, as well as specifically to groups.


When sharing content, you first select a sharing level (Owner, Organization, or Everyone) that denotes how and whether an item is shared widely.



Then, if you’d like to share the item with groups, you can search for and select groups with the specific sets of members you want to share with. Specially designated groups such as Open Data groups, Shared Update groups and groups featured in the Gallery or Organization Home Page, will have badges that help you see the impact of sharing to these groups.




When looking at your items in the My Content tab, you will be able to see at a glance the sharing level of the item (Owner, Organization, Everyone) as well as the groups the item is shared with.



Updated Settings Tab

Administrators can more easily navigate the organization settings tab by searching for a setting or using the side navigation links. In addition, setting changes will automatically save.


New Organizational Notices

Need to notify everyone in your organization about something important? Two new announcement options will be available to administrators:

  1. Information banner: Authenticated members will see a message at the top and bottom of their ArcGIS Online organization’s site. Typical use cases could include confidentiality notices and best practice reminders.
  2. Access notice: A pop-up window needs to be accepted before logging into your ArcGIS Online organization.


Support for Location Tracking

A new organization-wide capability for ArcGIS Online will allow you to record where users are and where they have been. When you enable location tracking, licensed users in your organization can use the Tracker for ArcGIS mobile app to upload their locations. Learn more about Tracker for ArcGIS

Please note that all planned updates are subject to change. We will provide a comprehensive list of the new capabilities in our upcoming What's New email and blog article.


Want Early Access?

Explore the new capabilities by joining the ArcGIS Online Early Adopter Community. Sign up →

ArcGIS Online Early Adopter Community


The ArcGIS Online Early Adopter Community (EAC) program is where you turn for opportunities to engage with the ArcGIS Online team to provide feedback. Every aspect of the program is targeted to involve you, our customer. The direct feedback that you provide as part of the EAC enables us to continue our goal of creating better products, with higher quality, that is more capable for your needs.


Some of you may already be participants in our ArcGIS Online Early Adopter Community (EAC) program and to that, we say thank you! For others that would like to know more about the benefits of EAC, the reasons to join, and learn about the membership advantages, here is more information.


The EAC is a community of forward progressing customers that have exclusive access privileges to early release versions of ArcGIS Online. The EAC represents a wide range of experience levels, industries, and workflows, with many customers from around the world testing our software.


Joining the EAC offers an opportunity to preview early cuts of ArcGIS Online before it is released to the general public. As a member, the EAC allows you to see and learn new features and capabilities in advance, test compatibility with your content, report problems, and influence product direction by having a direct line of communication with the ArcGIS Online team.


Once accepted into the ArcGIS Online Early Adopter Community, you will be enrolled in our ArcGIS Online EAC test Organization. In addition, we’ll grant direct access to EAC documentation, forums, and the opportunity to interact with Esri’s development, product teams, and other like-minded community members. You can contribute feedback, submit ideas, enhancement requests, share thoughts and workflow questions on the forums within the Early Adopter Community. We are eager to hear your input on our early releases. As an active member who provides helpful feedback, you may also be selected by invitation only to some of our other special opportunities.


While there are many advantages to joining the EAC and testing ArcGIS Online beta, we also benefit from your participation as this helps us build, validate, and communicate with you directly about new features and capabilities that help steer the direction of our products based on your requirements. The ArcGIS Online Early Adopter Community is a win-win for both Esri and customers, please come join us!


Sign up today!

The timing to join our ArcGIS Online EAC today is perfect! Signing up now will coincide with our Winter 2019 beta. On or around November 22nd, we plan to commence our beta preview of our next ArcGIS Online, December 2019 update. In addition to the introduction of our next generation Map Viewer Beta, our Winter 2019 release will include additional new features, enhancements, and capabilities you’ll want to check out!


To Join the ArcGIS Online EAC, sign up at the following link:


We look forward to your participation and working with you!

The ArcGIS Online Team

Welcome to the third round of Product Advocacy’s completely unofficial, recurring GeoNet post!

In case you missed my first and second posts over the past month, "This Week's Picks" is a (loosely) biweekly blog where I share some of my favorite ArcGIS Online content with you.



One of my favorite parts of my role is all the time I get to spend on GeoNet – you might have seen me answer a question or troubleshoot an issue in the ArcGIS Online space recently. Within this space I have noticed an uptick in the number of posts related to ArcGIS Arcade, the lightweight expression language that among other functionality unlocks pop-up, symbology and label customization across the platform.


So for the 11/12 edition of “This Week’s Pick’s – ArcGIS Online” I want to highlight some of my favorite Arcade resources that can assist with getting started on writing expressions or take existing code to the next level.

Understand Arcade:

I remember we had a unit on Arcade in my Master’s in GIS Program, and to be honest I was somewhat lost about what it was or where to start. In this video, Esri Canada’s Mark Ho provides a lucid overview of Arcade and how it can be used in ArcGIS Online – I certainly could have used this two years ago.


Additional References:



Smart Map with Arcade:

Take a deeper dive into the concepts that Mark presents though this Story Map on Smart Mapping with Arcade. Illustrated, step-by-step examples show how to create custom symbology, labels and pop-ups with Arcade. For further inspiration, there are also links at the bottom of the Story Map to live examples of Web Maps and Apps that have implemented Arcade.

Additional References:


Take a Deeper Dive with FeatureSets:

FeatureSets are one of the most popular Arcade functions because they unlock data across a Web Map (and after Arcade 1.8, across ArcGIS Online) for use in pop-ups and field calculation. Lisa Berry’s excellent two-part blog series takes a close look at how to ‘pump up your pop-ups’ using FeatureSets and Living Atlas layers.



Additional References:



I hope that the above picks provide some insight into the various ways in which Arcade can make pop-ups, symbology and labels come alive. Let me know in the comments below if there are any outstanding questions. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Enterprise & This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Pro!

If you're interested, I'd love to connect on LinkedIn. You can follow me on Twitter, too. I regularly post / tweet GIS(ish) content to these platforms.


Welcome to the second installment of Product Advocacy’s completely unofficial, recurring GeoNet post!


In case you missed my first post a few weeks back, "This Week's Picks" is a (loosely) biweekly blog where I share some of my favorite ArcGIS Online content with you.




We have seen numerous wildfires across California over the past couple of weeks. Two fires outside of Redlands rained ash on the Esri campus and had me refreshing Twitter to get news updates. When I needed to know the fire location and evacuation zones, I relied on ArcGIS Online Web Applications that I found through Twitter links.


Throughout the state, government agencies have done an incredible job of providing the public with similar apps that contain live-updated layers showing evacuation zones, emergency shelters, fire perimeters, road closures, and other need-to-know locations.


In circumstances like these it’s crucial that layers are up-to-date and accurate, and that apps load quickly for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people.


ArcGIS Online is designed to handle heavy load. However layers, maps and apps must be configured properly to take full advantage of our geospatial cloud’s scalability. That’s why this week I want to highlight some content on maximizing the performance of heavily used, public-facing (often disaster response) applications. Many of these ideas are also applicable to everyday workflows.


Configure Layers and Apps for High Demand:


As citizens turn to ArcGIS Online-hosted apps to stay safe, it is paramount that the layer, map and app configuration is optimized to handle a high number of visitors. ArcGIS Online Product Manager Kelly Gerrow-Wilcox’s blog post goes into the nitty-gritty of how to configure high-demand apps.


Additional References:



Use Vector Basemaps by Default in ArcGIS Online:


Vector tile basemaps have been available in ArcGIS Online since December 2016 but are the default in Basemap Galleries only for Organizations created after the June 2019 ArcGIS Online update. Vector tiles outperform raster tiles for the following reasons: the smaller file size of vector tiles means faster load times, and vector drawing facilitates better adaptation to display resolution differences across devices. If you have an ArcGIS Online organization older than June 2019, this blog details how to make vector tile basemaps the default in the Basemap Gallery:


Additional References:



Create Hosted Feature Layer Views for Disaster Response Apps


A professor at my alma mater Johns Hopkins, Paul Doherty also advises the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation. In this five-minute video, Paul demos creating Hosted Feature Layer Views and discusses their importance in disaster response applications.


Additional References:





If you currently need GIS assistance with a disaster please contact Esri’s Disaster Response Program. I hope that the above selections provided some insight into the process of optimizing your layers, maps and apps for when they’re needed most. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Enterprise & This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Pro!


If you're interested, I'd love to connect on LinkedIn. You can follow me on Twitter, too. I regularly post / tweet GIS(ish) content to these platforms.



It was recently announced that Operations Views created using the Operations Dashboard ArcGIS app for Windows will no longer be supported after December 2019. These views must be manually rebuilt as a newer, more powerful Operations Dashboard item before that deadline. Using the ArcGIS API for Python, you can quickly scan your entire organization for outdated Operations Views, and create a migration plan.


If you are an ArcGIS Online user with operation view items in your organization, we have an important announcement:


The Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS app for Windows that was used to create operation views was retired on January 1, and with the March 2019 release of ArcGIS Online, these items were marked as retired in your organization’s content. For more information, see this blog. Up to this point, users have still been able to view these retired items. However, with the upcoming December 2019 release of ArcGIS Online, operation view items will no longer be viewable. Therefore, we highly encourage users who are still using operation view items to rebuild them as dashboard items as soon as possible using the Operations Dashboard web app. To get started with the app, visit our help documentation.


The python script used to locate these items is fairly simple. It can be run in Jupyter Notebook, which is automatically installed with ArcGIS Pro or as an addition to ArcGIS Enterprise. More information can be found on the Esri developer page. For best results, run the script using your administrator AGOL or Portal credentialsthis will locate all items in the entire organization, rather than just your personal content.


#Import the library

from arcgis.gis import GIS
from arcgis.gis import ContentManager
#Connect to the organization with the AGOL username and password
source = GIS("https://<yourOrg>", ",adminUsername", ",adminPassword")
#get the items items

#by default, this scan caps out at 10 records

#max_items has been set to the cap of 9999 results
items ="", item_type="Operations View",max_items=9999)

#return the list of items


If you encounter any issues, reach out on GeoNet!

ArcGIS Online has renewed its SAML signing and encryption certificates.

Users who have enabled the advanced SAML options ‘Enable Signed Requests’ and/or ‘Encrypt Assertion’ will need to obtain the new ArcGIS Online Service Provider metadata file and associate it with their Identity Provider before December 5th, 2019.


Customers using these advanced SAML options who do not upload the updated ArcGIS Online metadata file containing the new certificate before this date will receive an IDP specific error when they attempt to sign into ArcGIS Online with an Enterprise account.


To obtain the updated metadata file:

  • Login to with your administrative credentials

  • Click on “Organization” then “Settings” then “Security”

  • Scroll down to “Enterprise Logins” then click the “Get Service Provider” button. This action will download the metadata needed for your IDP.

Esri Support Services has provided a technical article here which describes this issue in detail:

ArcGIS Online SAML Authentication signing and encryption certificate renewal

I'm excited to introduce this completely unofficial recurring GeoNet blog post!


In my role as ArcGIS Online Product Advocacy Lead, I am continuously coming across informative, interesting, and inspiring content. Through "This Week's Picks" I hope to quickly share some of my favorites with you.


For this week, I want to touch on three topics I’ve seen a lot excitement about both here at Esri and within our user community.


New Map Viewer:


There are countless reasons to be excited about the New Map Viewer in ArcGIS Online. The beta is coming sometime this fall. Built on the ArcGIS API for JavaScript 4.x, the New Map Viewer is flexible, fast, and intuitive. Highlights and how you will access the beta can be found here.


Calculate a Weighted Average with Arcade:


For a non-programmer like myself, it’s always a little mind-bending (in a good way) to see different uses of Arcade and try to implement them in my own projects. My colleague Christopher Zielinski wrote this post showing how to use a weighted average within multivariate symbology - it's an elegant way to quickly visualize trends in your Web Map.


Additional References:



Introduction to Distributed Collaboration (Video Demo):


If you've thought about setting up Distributed Collaboration between ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise, Esri Canada's two videos provide a succinct overview of how collaboration works, as well as a deeper dive into how items move across collaboration groups.



Additional References:



Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Enterprise & This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Pro


If you're interested, I'd love to connect on LinkedIn. You can follow me on Twitter, too. I regularly post / tweet GIS(ish) content to these platforms. 






Streamline repetitive editing tasks, collect more data in fewer clicks, and prevent data entry errors and discrepancies with the Smart Editor widget.


Check out the latest ArcGIS Blog for editing with the Smart Editor widget in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS:

Get smart about editing

Next ArcGIS Online update planned: October 1

On the evening of October 1 PDT, we plan to update ArcGIS Online. The update will give you more ways to share interactive maps, new Arcade functions to transform data, and a convenient way to update hosted vector tile layers.


Nearby configurable app


ArcGIS Configurable Apps

Nearby, a new configurable app, will enable users to enter an address and search radius to find nearby locations. After a location is selected, the app can provide directions to it. By grouping the results by layer, app authors will be able to configure the app to answer questions. For example, a user could search for nearby schools and see them grouped by the school type including middle schools, elementary schools, universities.


Attachment Viewer will have a new map-centric layout option in addition to the existing photo-centric layout. The new map-centric layout will provide users with a gallery of attachments based on the features within their map extent. Additional authoring features will include the ability to display more than one layer, support PDFs as an attachment type, and hide features that don’t have attachments.


Media Map will include an interactive time slider that animates data as it appears over time. Using this configuration, you will be able to showcase data that is time enabled.



More Arcade functions

Arcade, the scripting language that transforms your data on the fly and can be used to build pop-ups and customize symbology, will have four new functions:

  • GroupBy—Group features within a feature set by a field and return statistics for each group.
  • DistanceGeodetic—Calculate the shortest distance between two points along a great circle.
  • FeatureSetByRelationshipName—Easily access features from layers that have relationships.
  • FeatureSetByPortalItem—Build data-rich pop-ups with data from any layer without adding the layer to your map.



New way to update hosted vector tile layers

Users managing hosted vector tile layers will be able to update layers in place using the new Replace Layer option. Replace Layer will update the tiles in the target hosted vector tile layer by replacing the entire tile cache with the layer selected as a replacement. This will allow existing applications and styles that reference the hosted vector tile layer to continue to work without having to update them.



Upcoming Map Viewer beta

A beta version of the next generation Map Viewer will be released later this fall. ArcGIS Online users will have the opportunity to explore the next generation Map Viewer and provide feedback about the design and workflows. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.



Please note that all planned updates are subject to change. A comprehensive list of implemented changes will be provided in our What's New email, blog, and documentation.

When polygons contain curves in your source feature class feeding your Portal Feature Layer (by reference), these polygons will not display. I came across this bug and could not figure out why certain polygons were not displaying in Portal. After trying many things, the ESRI analyst and I figured that feature classes that had been dropping were making it through when when we did a conversion to a shapefile prior to copying into the registered file geodatabase...


Then some more experimentation with geoprocessing tools trying to doctor the layer lead me to the simplify geometry tool (retaining critical points selected), which seemed to fix the original data.


Then looking at individual vertices, I noticed the simplify geometry was adding vertices in areas where we had missing polygons. This was because the bezier curves were being turned into small linear segments...


So in ArcGIS Enterprise 10.7.1, curves in data by reference will not display in feature layers. 

A bug has been filed:

#BUG-000125177 Portal 10.7.1 Map Viewer fails to draw polygons containing non-linear segments in a feature layer


A last check with the data reviewer "Check Non-Linear Segments" confirmed that the issue was caused by curves (see attachments). In our case, one of our feature layer was missing ~28k polygons !!


So the work-around at this point is:

Run a simplify geometry with the adequate tolerance (~0.01 feet for use) on your feature class to turn your curves into linear segments.


It is likely this issue also impacts polylines.


Hope this can help other people!



The ArcGIS Online team is working on collecting some feedback about how teams use the home page in organizations. We are looking for feedback from customers who have experiences creating and using home pages in the organization. If you are interested in sharing your feedback please fill out the survey below. It should take between 5 and 10 minutes and will be very valuable in helping us improve its appearance and functionality.

Hello all 


I just wanted to post this dashboard I made to replace a travel blog for a solo bike tour I did around the Great Lakes. 

There are many reasons you might need to access the item ID for content items within ArcGIS Online. The item ID is the basis for many automation and mapping techniques used within the ArcGIS REST API, the ArcGIS JavaScript API, and ArcGIS API for Python. The item ID is also a great way to search for items within the ArcGIS platform, because it will always bring you to the exact item you need.


But where can you easily find this item ID?


The easiest and fastest way to access the ID is from the ArcGIS Online content item details page. For example, here is the item details page for a web map named "Population Not in the Labor Force"

The item details page for an item contains the metadata about an item


The item ID may not be immediately apparent, but its actually in a very easy place to find. If you look at the URL, you can see the ID at the end after ?id=


The item ID is in the URL of the ArcGIS Online item


The above example shows a web map item in ArcGIS Online. However, if you wanted to find the item ID for one of the layers in the map, you can also do that from the item details page. Find the Layers section, click on the layer of interest, and view the item ID in the address bar.


Item ID for a layer in a web map


Easy tip: if you double click the ID within the URL, it will highlight just the ID (as seen in the gif above)

In ArcGIS Online, you can store images as attachments with feature layers. By default, the attachment is shown in the pop-up as a hyperlink. With just a few lines of Arcade Expressions, you can configure the pop-up to display the actual image without requiring your viewers to click on the link.


With the March 2019 release of ArcGIS Online, you can now upload geotagged photos to create a point feature layer of each image's location. This blog will outline the process to create the layer and display your geotagged photos in the pop-up. Here is a video showing how to add photos and edit the pop-up (step-by-step instructions are found below):



After uploading your images, the pop-up includes a hyperlink that looks something like this:

This image shows the default pop-up with a hyperlink to the image attachment.


This pop-up configuration workflow will result in the photo displaying in a pop-up like the image below:

This image shows a custom pop-up with a photo of pink flowers found on the trail.


To achieve this workflow, there are two steps to the process:

  1. Calculate the attachment ID for each feature
  2. Configure the pop-up to display the attachment URL as an image


Steps to view attachments as photos in your web map pop-up:

Part 1:  Calculate the attachment ID   

Note: Sometimes this is not required if the attachment IDs match the feature IDs. There are some cases where these may match, but in most cases these IDs will be different if the data is edited after publishing or in cases where attachments are added after publication (like inspection data when using Collector). 


1. Upload your geotagged images to ArcGIS Online as a feature layer. Click here to download a sample zipped folder of images.

2. Make sure your layer is shared with the public.

3. Open the layer in a web map and save the web map.

3. Open the layer table and add a CountAttachments field and calculate it with the Arcade Expression:

4. Filter the layer to show:

      CountAttachments is greater than 0
5. Add a new field called AttachID and calculate it with the Arcade Expression: 
6. Remove the filter.


Part 2:  Create the Pop-up   

1. Click on a point in the map to view the pop-up, and open the hyperlink.

2. Return to the previous tab that shows your web map. Select More Options (the three dots under your layer name in the Content tab), then click Configure Pop-up.

3. Under Attribute Expressions, click the ADD button. 

4. In the Expression builder window, fill in the following logic seen below with the text from your hyperlink URL. The Arcade Expression builds an on-the-fly image URL for each record in your layer using the unique Object ID and attachment ID (calculated in Part 1). 

Note: This is an example of what an image attachment URL looks like: The first 7 in red is the Object ID and the second 7 in blue is the attachment ID

      var Part1 =       ""
      var ObjectID = $feature.OBJECTID
      var Part2 = "/attachments/"
      var AttachID = $feature.AttachID
      When($feature.CountAttachments > 0, Part1 + ObjectID + Part2 + AttachID, null)



5. Under Pop-up Media, click ADD then choose Image. Edit or remove the title and caption. Under URL, click on the plus sign and select your Arcade Expression. After you add it, it will look something like {expression/expr0}. Additionally, you can edit the pop-up title and additional pop-up content. You can also uncheck the "Show feature attachments as links". 


Click here to view a web map example of this in action.

This image shows a web map with a custom pop-up displaying a photo of pink flowers found on the trail.


This is a similar workflow to the popular tool and blog written by Jake Skinner.


This workflow will get you up and running to display images in URLs in most places but does have some limitations to be aware of:

  • Calculate field is not dynamic. When new features are added, you will need to re-run the field calculation in Part 1.
  • The field calculation only takes the first attachment listed, so displaying multiple images in a single pop-up isn't supported through this workflow.
  • The layer needs to be public to access attachments.


We are sharing this workflow to help you display your images in pop-ups as quickly as possible with Arcade, but want you to know that there is more to come. In future releases, we are working to make it easier to display attachments as images. You can see a sneak preview of this work in the 4X JS API. Check out the pop-ups in the Media Map template to see this implementation in a configurable app where it isn't required to do additional configuration to display these images.


Stay tuned for more updates and share and discuss your examples and improvements to this code.