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2020

Static bus timetables (GTFS) are no match for real time bus information (GTFS-realtime). But that doesn't mean you have to settle for static visualisation techniques.

In this blog I will show how you can be a little creative and make your static timetables sing and move along with Arcade. And you'll be left wanting to sing: the wheels on the bus go round and round

Select a link below to view the web map associated with this GIF.

The GIF and web map show popups of upcoming buses and those just recently missed. This would come in handy for bus commuters to understand which services are available at any given date and time. We’ll learn how to create these popup displays from a GTFS feed. Followed by how to extend this solution to a mobile friendly app, where commuters could access this information on the go

More on GTFS

A GTFS feed is a collection of text files, each telling a story about transit information. For this example we'll use the GTFS feed for public buses in Canberra, Australia.

  • Click here to download the GTFS feed for Canberra.

  • Click here to view the GTFS specification for Canberra.

Data prep

Before you get started, click here to download an ArcGIS Pro project package with my model builder configurations, used to create these layers.

Build expressions (hosted table)

You may have noticed from the model used for the hosted table, I created an extra field arrivalSeconds to calculate the arrival_time of buses from hh:mm:ss string type to a number (seconds elapsed since start of day). This was done to accelerate the filter query (which we'll use later) to only return features relevant to the time of day. As you can imagine, it's a lot faster to query numbers compared to converting string types on the fly (especially with large datasets).

Convert arrival_time to number of seconds elapsed since start of day
//separate arrival hours, minutes and seconds into an array
var separateArrival = Split($feature["arrival_time"],":")

//To fix hour figures greater than 23
var fixedHours = When(separateArrival[0] >= 24, separateArrival[0] - 24, separateArrival[0])

//convert arrival_time from 'String' to 'Date' type
var arrivalTimeAware = Date(Year(Now()), Month(Now()), Day(Now()), fixedHours, separateArrival[1], separateArrival[2])

var startOfDayTime = Date(Year(Now()), Month(Now()), Day(Now()), 0, 0, 0)

//arrival_time to number of seconds elapsed since start of day
var arrivalSeconds = DateDiff(arrivalTimeAware, startOfDayTime, 'seconds')
return arrivalSeconds

Build expressions (web map)

The following expressions assume that you're already familiar with Arcade FeatureSets, and FeatureSetByPortalItem() released in Arcade 1.8. If you'd like to familiarise yourself with Featuresets refer to this excellent blog written by Paul Barker.

After you've added the bus stops feature layer to a web map, build the following expression to return information relevant to the upcoming buses in the next 60 minutes (3,600 seconds).

  • Here is a web map already built for your convenience .

Expression for upcoming buses in the next 60 minutes
//query features from hosted table - 'stopsTimesTripsRoutesCalendar' in ArcGIS Online
var portal = Portal("https://www.arcgis.com")
var gtfsTable = FeatureSetByPortalItem(portal,"38ee59b7d5bc4173ab8786bd58ae274a", 0)

var stopId = $feature["stop_id"]

var startOfDayTime = Date(Year(Now()), Month(Now()), Day(Now()), 0, 0, 0)
//seconds elapsed since start of day
var secondsElapsed = DateDiff(Now(), startOfDayTime, 'seconds')

//return curr_date as an integer in the format 'YYYYMMDD' #HowItShouldBe
var curr_date = Number(Text(Now(),'YMMDD'))

//filter statement (SQL) - access variables with @
//if you'd like to change the time interval, change '3600' seconds to something else in statement - 'arrivalSeconds <= (@secondsElapsed + 3600)'
var filterStatement = 'arrivalSeconds >= @secondsElapsed AND arrivalSeconds <= (@secondsElapsed + 3600) AND stop_id = @stopId AND @curr_date >= start_date AND @curr_date <= end_date'

//filter the gtfsTable by the filter statement
//order results by arrivalSeconds in ascending order
var filtered = OrderBy(Filter(gtfsTable, filterStatement),'arrivalSeconds ASC')

var popupResult = ''

var weekDays = ['sunday','monday','tuesday','wednesday','thursday','friday','saturday']
//This variable is used within the for loop to determine whether a bus is operational on a given weekDay (e.g. returns 1 if operational, 0 if not).
var currWeekdayOpr = weekDays[Weekday(Now())]

//Iterate over the filtered results to show desried fields in popup
for (var f in filtered){
   if (f[currWeekdayOpr] == 1){
       popupResult += Left(f.arrival_time, 5) + " - " + f.route_long_name +
       When(f.route_type == 712, Concatenate(" (",f.trip_headsign,")"), Concatenate(" (",f.route_short_name,")")) +
       When(f.wheelchair_accessible == 1 && f.bikes_allowed == 1, " - ",
       f.wheelchair_accessible == 1 && f.bikes_allowed == 0," - ",
       f.wheelchair_accessible == 0 && f.bikes_allowed == 1," - ","") + TextFormatting.NewLine + TextFormatting.NewLine
   } else{
       popupResult += ""
   }
}

IIF(IsEmpty(popupResult), "No upcoming buses in the next hour" + TextFormatting.NewLine + TextFormatting.NewLine, popupResult)

You can also use a similar expression with a slightly modified filterStatement to query buses departed in the last x minutes. The statement below queries buses departed in the last 20 minutes (1,200 seconds).

var filterStatement = 'arrivalSeconds >= (@secondsElapsed - 1200) AND arrivalSeconds < @secondsElapsed AND stop_id = @stopId AND @curr_date >= start_date AND @curr_date <= end_date'
Complete expression for buses departed in the last 20 minutes
//query features from hosted table - 'stopsTimesTripsRoutesCalendar' in ArcGIS Online
var portal = Portal("https://www.arcgis.com")
var gtfsTable = FeatureSetByPortalItem(portal,"38ee59b7d5bc4173ab8786bd58ae274a", 0)

var stopId = $feature["stop_id"]

var startOfDayTime = Date(Year(Now()), Month(Now()), Day(Now()), 0, 0, 0)
//seconds elapsed since start of day
var secondsElapsed = DateDiff(Now(), startOfDayTime, 'seconds')

//return curr_date as an integer in the format 'YYYYMMDD' #HowItShouldBe
var curr_date = Number(Text(Now(),'YMMDD'))

//filter statement (SQL) - access variables with @
//if you'd like to change the time interval, change '1200' seconds to something else in statement - 'arrivalSeconds >= (@secondsElapsed - 1200)'
var filterStatement = 'arrivalSeconds >= (@secondsElapsed - 1200) AND arrivalSeconds < @secondsElapsed AND stop_id = @stopId AND @curr_date >= start_date AND @curr_date <= end_date'

//filter the gtfsTable by the filter statement
//order results by arrivalSeconds in ascending order
var filtered = OrderBy(Filter(gtfsTable, filterStatement),'arrivalSeconds ASC')

var popupResult = ''

var weekDays = ['sunday','monday','tuesday','wednesday','thursday','friday','saturday']
//This variable is used within the for loop to determine whether a bus is operational on a given weekDay (e.g. returns 1 if operational, 0 if not).
var currWeekdayOpr = weekDays[Weekday(Now())]

//Iterate over the filtered results to show desried fields in popup
for (var f in filtered){
   if (f[currWeekdayOpr] == 1){
       popupResult += Left(f.arrival_time, 5) + " - " + f.route_long_name +
       When(f.route_type == 712, Concatenate(" (",f.trip_headsign,")"), Concatenate(" (",f.route_short_name,")")) +
       When(f.wheelchair_accessible == 1 && f.bikes_allowed == 1, " - ",
       f.wheelchair_accessible == 1 && f.bikes_allowed == 0," - ",
       f.wheelchair_accessible == 0 && f.bikes_allowed == 1," - ","") + TextFormatting.NewLine + TextFormatting.NewLine
   } else{
       popupResult += ""
   }
}

return popupResult

Final thoughts

Once you’ve built the pop-ups to your heart's content, you can further highlight them by using configurable app templates. Click here to see how I’ve extended the above web map using the NearBy configurable app where users can search for bus stops by stop numbers, stop names or addresses.

Gotchas - FeatureSetByPortalItem() function is a great way to pull in data from another layer without needing to add that layer to your map. But make sure that the same sharing privileges are shared across the layer in the map and the layer you're pulling data from.

Learn more - if you like what you see, check out these carefully crafted Arcade resources by esri staff members. And if you do happen to be visiting this year's Developer Summit keep an eye out for Arcade tech sessions presented by Lisa Berry and Paul Barker.

Finally, stay tuned to Part 2 - where we'll take this solution "all the way to town"

 

Cheers! - Gee Fernando

The 2020 Esri Developer Summit (March 10-13 in Palm Springs) is almost here and there are a lot of ArcGIS Online sessions in store. Though all will be great, some recommended ones are listed below:

 

 

The full list of ArcGIS Online sessions can be found here. Don't forget to stop by the ArcGIS Online Product Island, too!

 

If you would like to join the ArcGIS Online beta program, follow this link: ArcGIS Online Early Adopter Program

 

Some of the new features coming to ArcGIS Online in the March 2020 Update include:

 

  • Next generation builder for ArcGIS Online's Configurable Applications
  • New support for Social Logins with GitHub
  • Embed Videos in Item Details
  • Improved Group Sharing

 

Note: The following blog describes the ArcGIS Online Early Adopter Community (EAC) and why you might benefit from participating in the beta: What is ArcGIS Online EAC and Why Join? 

 

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below and Julia Shi or myself can assist. 

 

As an ArcGIS Online administrator, you have control over just about every aspect of your ArcGIS Online organization. From inviting members, assigning licenses and managing groups to configuring credits, security settings and utility services, you the ArcGIS Online admin are in charge. An incredible benefit of this is that the organization can be configured and managed with specific use case or workflow requirements in mind. A challenge is that there can be a lot to keep track of, and for new admins, a bit of a learning curve. The below picks provide some tips and tricks for new and seasoned admins alike to make the most of your, dare I say almighty, role as ArcGIS Online administrator.

 

How to Be an ArcGIS Online Administrator

 

If you are just getting started with administration, my colleague Rachel Guttmacher's blog post, How to be an ArcGIS Online Administrator, is a must-read. It's a fun, conversational piece that covers some of the most crucial administration components including credits, member management, licensing, and security. 

 

Additional Resources:

 

 

Utilize Custom Administrative Roles to the Fullest

 

Another colleague of mine, Tyler Burns, recently wrote a great blog post on taking advantage of custom administrative roles: Lighten the Administrative Load in ArcGIS Online with Custom Roles. If you're looking to delegate specific administrative tasks such as managing members and content or organizing the website, the post provides directions and screenshots for exactly how to configure custom administrative roles to accomplish this. 

 

Additional Resources:

 

 

"AAA": ArcGIS Online Administration Automation - Video 

 

Kelly Gerrow and John Yaist presented this 20 minute talk on automating administration at the 2019 Dev Summit. For anyone administering a larger organization or with an interest in bolstering their automation skills, this is a recommended view. Topics covered are using the Rest API to query the organization history, and creating groups, users, and assigning licenses in batch with the ArcGIS API for Python. 

 

Additional Resources:

 

 

I hope the above picks were helpful for all the administrators out there! Let me know below any comments, questions, or if there are any topics you want to see in future posts. Thanks for reading, and be sure to keep an eye out for This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Enterprise & This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Pro!

 

See you again in March,

 

-Peter

 

--------------------

 

Previous posts: This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Online: Archive 

Connect with me on Linkedin and follow me on Twitter

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 Picks - ArcGIS Online: Archive 

 

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YouTube is an incredible platform for learning. From how to tie a tie (relied upon heavily for job interviews after undergrad) to how to play guitar, there are short videos on how to do just about everything. No surprise there are a lot of great how-to videos for ArcGIS Online workflows - the picks for this week highlight three new, relevant videos on using Living Atlas layers to analyze Australia's wildfires, uploading tile layers and tile packages to ArcGIS Online, and preserving relationships based on GlobalID/GUID fields when appending records. 

 

Use Living Atlas layers to analyze Australia's wildfires

 

Joseph Kerski recorded this timely how-to video on leveraging Living Atlas layers to analyze Australia's tragic wildfires. Joseph is a master educator (the video is tailored towards teachers and researchers); after watching the video I felt like I not only knew how to map wildfires, but also better understood spectral bands and satellite data collection. 

 

Additional References:

 

 

Uploading tile layers and tile packages to ArcGIS Online

 

Esri Canada's Céline Doré created this helpful video on how to push tile layers and packages into ArcGIS Online. My favorite part (Céline does a great job explaining this workflow) was the demonstration of the sequence of geoprocessing tools to use in ArcGIS Pro to turn larger imagery layers into tile packages, and finally into hosted tile layers in ArcGIS Online. 

 

Additional References:

 

 

Preserve GlobalID/GUID relationships when appending records

 

After seeing several GeoNet posts with questions about appending records with relationships based on GlobalID/GUID fields (the central issue is that appended records are assigned a new GlobalID, becoming disassociated from their related records), I recorded this how-to video of a workflow James Tedrick designed to preserve relationships during the append. This is a workflow that shouldn't need to be used frequently but is good to have in your back pocket if you end up with two Hosted Feature Layers/Feature Classes with GlobalID/GUID relationships that need to be combined into one. 

 

Additional References:

 

 

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Hopefully the selection of how-to videos provides some visual guidance on the workflows! Let me know below  any questions, comments, or if there is any content you want to see in the future. Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Enterprise and This Week's Picks - ArcGIS Pro!

 

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

 

Have a good rest of your week, and see you after President's day ~

 

-Peter

Did you know that you can customise popups based on time and dates? With Arcade you can .

This can come in handy when displaying opening hours for restaurants, cafes and other facilities. If you’re unfamiliar with Arcade - please refer to these ArcGIS Blogs, as this post assumes some prior knowledge.

Additional Arcade resources

Pop Up Variations

 

Let’s get started

First, find or create a data-set with opening hours (preferably for all days of the week). For this example I’ll be using Access Canberra locations (sourced from - dataACT). Please ensure opening hours are saved as numbers or text field types.

Time Types

 

Build expressions

Within the pop-up configuration window - build the following expressions or feel free to follow along with this web map.

Opening Hour Expressions

 

hoursOfOperationToday {expression/expr0}

This expression will return the current weekday alongside its opening hours.

For example:

Thursday: 08:30-16:30

var weekDays = ['Sunday','Monday','Tuesday','Wednesday','Thursday','Friday','Saturday']

//Returns the current weekday. Values range from 0-6 where sunday is 0 and saturday is 6
var currentWeekDay = Weekday(Now())

//Return weekday followed by opening hours
var hoursOfOperationToday = weekDays[currentWeekDay] + ": " + $feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay]]

return hoursOfOperationToday

 

hoursOfOperationRestOfWeek {expression/expr1}

This expression will return the remaining weekdays alongside their opening hours.

For example:

Friday: 08:30-16:30
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 08:30-16:30
Tuesday: 08:30-16:30
Wednesday: 08:30-16:30

var weekDays = ['Sunday','Monday','Tuesday','Wednesday','Thursday','Friday','Saturday','Sunday','Monday','Tuesday','Wednesday','Thursday','Friday'];

//Returns the current weekday. Values range from 0-6 where sunday is 0 and saturday is 6
var currentWeekDay = Weekday(Now())

var hoursOfOperationRestOfWeek = ""

//Iterate over the weekdays and opening hours for the remaning 6 days of the week
for(var i = currentWeekDay + 1; i < currentWeekDay + 7; i++){
    hoursOfOperationRestOfWeek += weekDays[i] + ": " + $feature[weekDays[i]] + TextFormatting.NewLine
}

return hoursOfOperationRestOfWeek

 

openCloseStatus {expression/expr2}

This expression will return whether the shopfront is Open, Closed, Opens soon or Closing soon based on opening hours and the time displayed on users' device .

var weekDays = ['Sunday','Monday','Tuesday','Wednesday','Thursday','Friday','Saturday']

//Returns the current weekday. Values range from 0-6 where sunday is 0 and saturday is 6
var currentWeekDay = Weekday(Now())

//Change 'Closed' to 00:00-00:00 to be consistent with the rest of opening hours information
var formattedOpeningHours = When($feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay]] == "Closed", "00:00-00:00", $feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay]])

//Separate Opening hours and minutes into an array
var separateOpening = Split(Replace(formattedOpeningHours,'-',':'),':')

//Assign hours and minutes to opening and close times
var startTime = Date(Year(Now()),Month(Now()),Day(Now()),separateOpening[0],separateOpening[1])
var endTime = Date(Year(Now()),Month(Now()),Day(Now()),separateOpening[2],separateOpening[3])

When(Now() > startTime && Now() < endTime && Now() > Dateadd(endTime, -1, 'hours'), "Closes soon:",
Now() > startTime && Now() < endTime, "Open",
Now() < startTime && Now() > Dateadd(startTime, -1, 'hours'), "Opens soon",
"Closed")

 

openCloseStatusColour {expression/expr3}

If you'd like to re-iterate the openCloseStatus values with added colour - rewrite and replace previous expression's return values with hexadecimal colour values.

For example:

#239B56 ⋅ Open

#CB4335 ⋅ Closed

#2ECC71 ⋅ Opens soon

#EC7063 ⋅ Closing soon

//First 15 lines the same as - openCloseStatus {expression/expr2}

When(Now() > startTime && Now() < endTime && Now() > Dateadd(endTime, -1, 'hours'), "#EC7063",
Now() > startTime && Now() < endTime, "#239B56",
Now() < startTime && Now() > Dateadd(startTime, -1, 'hours'), "#2ECC71",
"#CB4335")

Now use this expression to replace the colour code within the popup HTML. For more information on this topic - refer to Bring Colors From Your Map Into Your Pop-up Using Arcade written by Lisa Berry.

Inserting Colour Expressions into HTML

 

closingOrOpeningTime {expression/expr4}

This expression can look a little daunting at first, but like any other piece of code - go through one line at a time and use your own test environment to test and experiment .

It will return the:

  • closing time, if the Access Canberra shop front is Open or Closes soon.
  • opening time for the current day, if it Opens soon, or Closed (before hours).
  • and next opening day and timeif it's Closed (after hours), Closes soon or Closed for the whole day.
var weekDays = ['Sunday','Monday','Tuesday','Wednesday','Thursday','Friday','Saturday','Sunday','Monday','Tuesday','Wednesday','Thursday','Friday'];

//Returns the current weekday. Values range from 0-6 where sunday is 0 and saturday is 6
var currentWeekDay = Weekday(Now())

//Change 'Closed' to 00:00-00:00 to be consistent with the rest of of opening hours information
var formattedOpeningHours = When($feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay]] == "Closed", "00:00-00:00", $feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay]])

//Separate Opening hours and minutes into an array
var separateOpening = Split(Replace(formattedOpeningHours,'-',':'),':')

var startTime = Date(Year(Now()),Month(Now()),Day(Now()),separateOpening[0],separateOpening[1])
var endTime = Date(Year(Now()),Month(Now()),Day(Now()),separateOpening[2],separateOpening[3])

var openCloseStatus = When(Now() > startTime && Now() < endTime && Now() > Dateadd(endTime, -1, 'hours'), "Closes soon:",
Now() > startTime && Now() < endTime, "Open",
Now() < startTime && Now() > Dateadd(startTime, -1, 'hours'), "Opens soon",
"Closed")

//If openCloseStatus is Closed (before hours), return current day's opening time
//Else if openCloseStatus is Closed (after hours), Closes soon or Closed for the whole day, return next opening day and time
var nextOpening = ""
if (openCloseStatus == "Closed" && $feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay]] != "Closed" && Now() < startTime){
    nextOpening = "Opens " + LEFT($feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay]],5)
} else if ((openCloseStatus == "Closed" || openCloseStatus == "Closes soon:") && $feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay + 1]] != "Closed"){
    nextOpening = "Opens " + LEFT($feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay + 1]],5) + " " + weekDays[currentWeekDay + 1]
} else if (openCloseStatus == "Closed" || openCloseStatus == "Closes soon:") {
    for(var i = currentWeekDay + 1; $feature[weekDays[i]] == "Closed"; i++){
        nextOpening = "Opens " + LEFT($feature[weekDays[i + 1]],5) + " " + weekDays[i + 1]
    }
}

When(openCloseStatus == "Open", "⋅ " + RIGHT($feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay]],5),
openCloseStatus == "Opens soon", "⋅ " + LEFT($feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay]],5),
openCloseStatus == "Closes soon:", RIGHT($feature[weekDays[currentWeekDay]],5) + " ⋅ " + nextOpening,
"⋅ " + nextOpening)

 

Final thoughts

Once you’ve built the pop-ups to your heart's content you can further highlight them by using configurable app templates. Click here to see how I’ve extended the above web map using the NearBy configurable app.

Nearby Access Canberra GIF

 

Tips - Make sure to take advantage of Test your expressions feature to check whether return values look correct. If you have admin privileges to your computer you could also adjust time/date to test various return values based on opening hours.

Test Expressions

Challenge - As you may have figured out, these expressions are not time-zone aware. And in most instances this wouldn't be a problem - as the intended maps and apps are localised.

But, I'd still love to hear your thoughts around how you'd go about this. Please use the comments section below for ideas.

 

Cheers! - Gee Fernando