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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. 






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