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This post is a reminder announcement about Esri’s Collector User Group (UG), which focuses on mobile data collection topics, lessons learned, and best practices within the State DOT community.  Tom Brenneman (from Esri’s Transportation Team) is a co-chair for the UG along with Shawn Blaesing-Thompson (Iowa DOT) and Ian Kidner (Ohio DOT).


The next UG meeting will held via webinar on Thursday, June 8, 2017.  This will be a great opportunity for State DOTs to connect with each other and to learn more about how Collector for ArcGIS and Survey123 for ArcGIS can assist them with their field data collection workflows.

If you would like to be added to the Collector UG email distribution list, please contact Shawn Blaesing-Thompson at

In addition, if you have a Collector-related topic you would like to see presented at a future meeting and/or are interested in presenting at a future meeting, please contact Shawn, Ian, and Tom (emails provided below):
Shawn Blaesing-Thompson (Collector UG Co-Chair, Iowa DOT)
Ian Kidner (Collector UG Co-Chair, Ohio DOT)
Tom Brenneman (Collector UG Co-Chair, Esri)

Thank you for your interest and participation!

As Transportation Asset Management Plans (TAMP) become a common practice, many DOTs are facing the stark reality that they lack a comprehensive asset inventory.  DOTs are more frequently investigating effective, efficient and investment conscious strategies for collecting and cataloging the myriad of assets they manage.  Here is a great article describing Utah DOTs methodology for collecting, managing, using and distributing their comprehensive asset inventory.


Esri has partnered with Stan Burns (Retired Director of Asset Management at UDOT, President of Integrated Inventory), Mandli and Numetric to provide briefings to many of the DOTs about this approach to building, sustaining, utilizing and realizing a solid return on investment for a comprehensive asset inventory.  

Despite billions of dollars in annual federal, state and local funds directed toward the maintenance of existing bridges, 68,842 bridges – representing more than 11 percent of total highway bridges in the U.S. – are classified as “structurally deficient,” according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Structurally deficient bridges require significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement. A number of bridges also exceed their expected lifespan of 50 years. The average age of an American bridge is 42 years.


This story map, entitled Answering Critical Questions about Critical Infrastructure: Bridges delivers compelling insight to the condition for one our nation's most important pieces of infrastructure, our bridges.


For more information on the subject from national advocacy and associations, please visit Transportation for America and National Association of Counties.

An Esri team of subject matter experts and software engineers continue to expand and build upon the ArcGIS Platform to support Smart Communities around the world. Building smart communities reflects national, state, regional, and local governments' desire to improve quality of life. When we consider public transit (like buses and subways), these system serve the people of a city by providing access to jobs, education, shopping, healthcare, recreation, and more. Traffic congestion, climate change, and the evolving economy and population of cities has created a greater need than ever to understand how well transit is serving these needs. Explore some of the ArcGIS resources which are available out of the box for public transit agencies to build smart communities.


Resources for ArcGIS and Public Transit

The Esri Transportation Practice has been doing considerable amounts of successful work with several DOTs and partners to improve, automate, integrate and transform the project planning, prioritization and selection processes.  The annual TRB Conference in January, 2017 will provide a great opportunity to present the innovative work that transportation agencies, practitioners, technology providers and researchers have implemented to address project planning, prioritization and selection processes.


Here is a link to the general call for papers for TRB and the specific link for the project planning, prioritization and selection process.


All Approved Calls for Papers


Call For Papers Details


If your organization has produced or implemented technology to address this application area, please take the time to respond to the call for papers.


Admin or Czar?

Posted by KKing-esristaff Employee Jun 3, 2016

Transportation organizations are transforming the way they manage, maintain, and share data.  The rapidly growing use of ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS Server as one of the pillars in this modernized environment is resulting in the establishment of a new type of role.  The person in this new role is responsible for the overall formation of ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS usage patterns and policies.  They are a thought leader who has both the technical and change management skills needed to help lead the overall web gIS charge.  This role is less of an ArcGIS Online  / Portal for ArcGIS administrator position and more of a Czar.


The Czar devotes their expertise toward the establishment of ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS as the single place for accessing, visualizing, analyzing, and sharing transportation data.  They succeed by orchestrating people, processes, and technology to create a sustainable environment where users across their organization can use any device at any time to get to what they need with just a few clicks.


I will admit I have yet to see the job title “Czar” in an any HR handbook.  You might want to start with a more official designation like “Architect”, “Manager”, “Senior System Analyst”, “Technology Specialist”, or something else.  As an example, take a look at this position that Michael Urley at Virginia DOT has open: uses the title “Information Technology Specialist III”.  However, you will notice in the write up that he is looking for a person that can drive ArcGIS Online adoption across all groups in VDOT. 


Regardless of the title you use, there are key characteristics this person should either possess as an individual or have access to in others.  I have listed a few of those characteristics below. So, if you need to hire a new person to help you transform your IT organization or if you want to create a new role for yourself, feel free to use any or all of the below items as you see fit. 


And by the way, if you are successful in establishing “Czar” as an official job title in your organization, do me a favor and give me a call.  I would love to hear how you got that done!



The ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS “Czar”:  Some Key Skills and Responsibilities


  • Expert knowledge of ArcGIS Server and Web GIS.  Ability to manage and configure map, image and feature services for use in the ArcGIS portal.  Develop a plan for utilizing modern tools and methods to expose data from existing business systems through ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS


  • Configure maps and apps to create useful information products for users across all business units


  • Configure and maintain the portal with an approved branding style and featured content


  • Create and maintain groups that align with the organizational structure.  Create a portal that can be navigated by users of all skill levels in a logical and intuitive manner


  • Develop processes to effectively add and delete users, move content, and change user profiles


  • Develop programs for the effective administration of organizational account.  This includes:
    • Identification of posted data or information products that fall outside of established standards
    • Management of credit usage to include the development of processes to allocate credits and the associated costs to individual business units
    • Full use and understanding of Esri’s administration tools as well as third party administration tools (i.e. GeoJobe and Voyager Search)
    • Establishment of policies the define the roles of ArcGIS Online/ Portal users
    • Establish and enforce standards for all published data and user profiles


  • Equip users at all levels in the organization who have no previous hands-on GIS experience to utilize ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS


  • Establish training and education strategies to ensure users’ capabilities are continuously improving


  • Establish and proliferate self-service branding tools with the goal of developing a common look and feel within all organizational groups and all public information products


  • Gain full knowledge of all available out-of-the box tools (Smart Mapping, Field Productivity Apps, Data Enrichment, etc)


  • Continuously stay abreast of new capabilities and features in ArcGIS Online / Portal.  Identify how these new features can best support the DOT’s business units


  • Engage business units and educate them on ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS capabilities.  Work closely with the business units to support current or needed workflows with out-of-the-box tools and capabilities


  • Develop a training program for all new ArcGIS Online Users


  • Build resiliency into the ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS program by:
    • Encouraging and stimulating user feedback on their peers’ posted content
    • Develop a formal award/recognition program for users who demonstrate exceptional and unique ways to utilize ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS


  • Develop policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of unintentional sharing of sensitive or confidential data


  • Consider performance, development costs, recurring costs, and ease-of-use to assist in the development of data management strategies that utilize ArcGIS Online’s cloud capabilities versus existing onsite GIS infrastructure, or other cloud options 


  • Establish methods to review future GIS-related projects with the goal of maximizing the use of configurable, commercial-off-the-shelf tools versus custom developed applications


  • Become a recognized ArcGIS Online / Portal for ArcGIS expert who is sought out across the organization


  • Develop an in-depth understanding of ArcGIS Online and Portal for ArcGIS.  Understand the differences as well as the advantages/disadvantages of each.  Educate internal personnel as necessary


  • Develop a rational and valid business case for the deployment/expansion of Portal for ArcGIS versus ArcGIS Online and vice versa.  If Portal for ArcGIS is deployed, develop a plan and secure the resources necessary to maintain and sustain the user-maintained system

My good friend Jim Mitchell of LADOTD, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, put a request in to the ideas site at Esri for adding LRS capabilities to ArcGIS Online.  I am hoping that many of you read this and choose to support his effort to have this critical transportation functionality made part of ArcGIS Online.


ArcGIS Idea - Add Linear Referencing Support to ArcGIS Online 


Click on the above link to get to the request and add your vote and opinion on adding this functionality to ArcGIS Online.

Roads and Highways events in the geodatabase are stored as feature classes. What if you want to add attachments for things like field inspections for R&H events? You can do this but it isn’t as easy as just adding attachments to the event feature class. Since you are likely going to want to store additional attributes with the inspection, attachments alone wouldn’t work anyway.


First, the bad news. ArcGIS Server doesn’t support editing feature classes with measures. ArcGIS Server also blocks you from editing attachments on any M-enabled feature classes. Since all R&H events are M-enabled, you can’t edit any R&H events directly through ArcGIS Server. So that makes it impossible to edit R&H events or their attachments in Collector for ArcGIS.  I know, this makes me sad too.


But don’t worry, there is another good solution. It turns out that ArcGIS Server will allow you to edit related features or records for an M-enabled feature class. So instead of creating the attachments right off the event, create a point feature class and related it through a GlobalID with the event. Then enable attachments on that point feature class.


This works great in Collector. Consider a scenario where you want to store inspections for guard rail. The related points are the location where the inspector did her work and you can attach as many pictures as you want to that inspection point. If you don’t want to store the location of the inspection you can relate a table to the event instead of a point feature class. With the related table you would store all the inspection information for the entire guard rail instead of a specific location along that guard rail.


Back in the shop you can view that related data in ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro.


Now go forth and relate tables and feature classes to your Roads and Highways events!

Over the last three years the Esri Transportation Practice has worked closely with a number of DOT’s to help
promote ideas and develop solutions that streamline the early phases of Transportation project submission and screening.  This is one of the simplest areas where maps and geospatial analysis can significantly improve the planning process; by helping planners and designers develop better scopes of work for projects, estimate more accurate construction costs, enhance early environmental coordination and risk mitigation, and streamline permitting.  Originally developed in partnership with MassDOT, the MassDOT Project Planning System (MaPPS) for a project development tool provides a user friendly web-based mapping application supporting the following primary workflows:

  • Planning: Online project need and initiation using map-centric approach
  • Analysis: Planning-phase environmental, safety and vulnerability screening
  • Reporting: Design and analysis recommendations for scopes of work & initial construction estimates
  • Coordination: Planning phase agency review/commenting and sharing

Esri continues to expand the application into other areas including integration with the Esri Roads and Highways Solution, bicycle and pedestrian project screening workflows and email notifications.  This has been made possible because the application is based on the Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS technology that provides a foundation for building web applications within ArcGIS.  Esri’s Transportation Practice uses Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS extensively to enable rapid deployment of intuitive and focused apps leveraging ready-to-use widgets and customizing the look of apps using configurable themes.

If you would like to see a demonstration of the Transportation Project Submission and Screening application or other applications using the Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS technology, please contact Keith King at or (704) 771-4494.

If you spend enough time in ArcGIS Online building web applications for your organization, you'll likely have the need to include Esri Premium Services like Live Traffic, especially if your organization is a State Department of Transportation.  While Live Traffic does not cost credits, it does require a named user to log in, and access the premium content. You of course know this because when you launched the application you tirelessly spent all that time configuring you hit the snag where the app requires the user to sign in. So how are you supposed to deploy a public app with traffic cameras, weather and live traffic if your app requires a login?


You could provide an access token that you embed in your application but that requires you customize or develop an application which means you have to host it. In addition, this creates a security risk, because your token could be hijacked and used without you ever knowing. 


An easier solution is to create a proxy service configuration for the premium service of your choice.  A proxy service allows you to encode and manage your credentials inside a service URL. In addition proxy services support rate limiting. This allows you to make the Esri World Geocoding Service available to an end user for batch Geocoding or other operations which do consume credits.  However it protects you because you can specify the rate at which addresses can be batch geocoded preventing runaway usage while allowing the public the access they need.


Here is how it works.

  1. Log into with your ArcGIS Online credentialsStep1.PNG
  2. Register your application by choosing Register New ApplicationStep2.png
  3. Provide the Application DetailsStep3.PNG
  4. Click on the Authentication TabStep4.PNG
  5. Scroll down to the Service Proxies area.Step5.png
  6. Select the service you wish to proxy and enter a rate limit for the number of requests you want to allow over a given period.Step6.png
  7. Copy the newly created proxy URL and add it to the webmap that your application is consuming.  Remove the original service if it exists and save the webmap.Step7.PNG
  8. Log out of all web sessions using you ArcGIS Online credentials or use Incognito Mode on your browser to test that your app opens without challenging you for credentials. (This is a quick trick to allow you to open the browser with a cleared browser cache.)Step8.png ! !
  9. Open your web application and bask in the glory of your app opening withPremium Services that don't prompt your public users for an ArcGIS Online Username and Password. 


Try it live


Besides Traffic and Batch Geocoding you can also proxy the following services:



Proxy Value







Routeing (Async)


Closest Facility


Closest Facility (Async)


Service Area


Service Area (Async)


Location Allocation


Vehicle Routing Problem


Vehicle Routing Problem (Async)


World Traffic









ArcGIS for State Government just released (March 2016) the Transportation 511 solution for implementing traveler information and winter weather web applications. There are a couple of really exciting things about this solution. First, it is implemented as a widget (Info Summary) in Web AppBuilder. This is great because you have a ton of control over what Web AppBuilder apps look like (themes and layouts) and it will look great on a mobile device. So your traveler information site can have the look and feel of the rest of your website but still have all the power of Web AppBuilder. You can also use any of the other widgets in Web AppBuilder. The second exciting thing about this solution is the scalable architecture. This solution was built from the ground up with scalability in mind. So no matter if you have 10 or 10,000 people hitting the app, everyone will get great performance. Behind the scenes this scalability is implemented using ArcGIS Online Feature collections that get updated by python scripts running on premise. All of this is documented (and supported) in the solution.