Check out this ArcGIS blog showcasing Shared Theme examples. It contains 4 example galleries and details about how each setting is applied. One is a Mars theme, definitely worth a visit.
For the past three weeks we have been featuring Apps that customers have created with Configurable Apps! These first apps were selected as they were demonstrating some really great best practices and configurations to enable users to be successful with their apps.
The University of Minnesota has a great app that uses URL parameters to add location markers in their building location apps
Clayton County Fire Station Finder has an informative splash screen and a focused search to help their users be successful in finding their fire stations.
LA DOT has used symbols, basemaps and themes to make a great compare analysis app that is easy to understand and compare the differences between vehicle-vehicle collisions and Bike/Pedestrian Collisions and the severity of the injuries.
Some quick tips for creating easy to use apps for your customers:
1. Have a clear purpose of your app. Is the purpose to have users search for a location, go on a tour of your town or collect data. Ensure that the purpose and interaction is clear to your users.
2. Cartography matters. Use smart mapping, a title and symbology that will allow your users to quickly understand what your app is about.
3. Create useful pop ups. The great thing about apps is that users can interact with them and explore geospatial information in new ways. Pop ups provide context to the features in your app. Make sure that you use alias and remove any underscores in Pop ups.
4. Use consistent branding so users can easily identify which organization created the app and that similar apps are related if there are similar apps.
5. Have someone unfamiliar with the topic do a quit User testing session and listen to their feedback. Ask a colleague, boss, user, mother to take a quick look and determine if it's intuitive to them
If you have an app that you have created for your users that you think should be featured or has been really useful for your users, post the link to this post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ArcGIS Web Applications including Map Viewer, interact with web services via http requests. The web application requests information (such as Feature and Tile Layer Data) from the Web Server (Feature Layer, Tile Layer) and the server responds with information so the application can display the data. Although not necessary, you can monitor and view web requests to gain more insight into how your application and server are working.
To monitor web requests, you will need to download a web debugging tool like fiddler or use the in browser developer tools. For this blog, I’m going to use developer tools in Chrome by navigating to the Menu > More Tools > Developer Tools.
First, let’s review at the requests that are sent for a tile service from this url:
If you open up developer tools' network tab while loading the URL, you will see a lot of requests, and it can be difficult to know which is the right request to monitor. I know that I want to monitor my tile service requests, so I scrolled through the list of requests to find my tile url. There are also little images of the service that help to visualize the image response from the tile service:
Looking at the network tab, I can learn a few things about my request. The url (Name), the status (200 Success) , the type (png) and the size 22.3KB. You can also open the link by right-clicking on the link> open in new tab to see the response from the server to the application sent to the server:
As this is a tile service, the application requests individual png tiles generated by the server for display in the web app.
Next, let’s review at the requests that are sent for a feature layer from this app:
You will notice that this app is slower to load the layer. If you look at the fifth request in the image below, you will notice that it has some similar properties to the tile request, Name, Status 200. The size is 1.2 MB and it took 887 ms to complete the request.
When looking at the request in more detail, you can scroll through the response which is several hundreds of pages of text (mostly geometry). https://services5.arcgis.com/cuQhNeNcUrgLmYGD/arcgis/rest/services/World_Vertex/FeatureServer/0/query?f=json&where=1%3D1…
By clicking on the link and then the timing tab, you can see more information regarding the timing of the request. The other tabs, like headers, preview and response can also give more insight into the specific request:
To see the input parameters in a more readable format, change the word JSON in the title to html :
In this request you can see that all of the features in the service were queried: Where 1=1, and the geometries and attributes were returned.
Looking at these requests, you can see how the response from the feature layer requests contains more data than the request for the tile image. Try monitoring the service requests using developer tools or fiddler when you are looking to learn more about how the application communicates with the Server.
For more information on how Best Practices for using Tile Layers as Operational Layers, click this link to see the companion ArcGIS Blog
Hello to all of the ArcGIS Online Web App creators out there,
We are launching a new Group in Geonet specifically for ArcGIS Online users who create their own apps for their users, using the configurable apps and more. This group is a place to discuss best practices, show off your apps, ask questions and let the team know what projects you are working on. Also, it's a great place to let us know your feedback on how you like the apps and what would be helpful for the future.
This group has been upgraded to include some additional features that aren't included in the ArcGIS Online Templates group. Both groups will run in Tandem until all of the content from the original group has been moved over.
For now, get familiar with the new overview page, check out the helpful links, the featured app of the week, critique some Apps, review some Ideas and most importantly, ask some questions.
I'll end this blog with a really awesome Map Joke:
Why do paper maps never win poker tournaments?
They always fold!
I look forward to chatting with you all on Geonet!