GIS is about spatial relationships. Presently, the Query tool is the only way to do run-time spatial analysis from Web Apps. But, it feels very limited in practice.
I have 2 major ideas that would compound the value of this tool:
- It would be huge if the Query widget had the same 'advanced' option that the Filter Widget has, allowing users to build their own use-cases. Being the sole GIS Analyst for my organization, it is unrealistic for me to know all the potential use-cases staff members from a half dozen departments might want, and even then, unrealistic to require users to scroll through the permutations of queries to find their target.
- The ability to have Queries with multiple Spatial Parameters. Currently, you can have multiple Attribute Filters, but only 1 Spatial. Multiple people have asked me for the ability to answer questions like: "What Parcels are Within Zoning R-3 (spatial relationship to zoning layer), are vacant (parcel attribute), and Within 100ft of Arterial Roads (spatial relationship to roads layer)."
In Desktop, the Select by Location tool lets you compound multiple spatial queries. Right now in Online, I can get the first 2 done by force: Filtering my City Zoning Layer by R-3 via the Attribute Table's Filter Option, then running the pre-defined spatial query based on the R-3 Zone and Parcels. After that, there is no way to further refine your data. Currently, there is no way for us to take the result of the above Query, and apply the second spatial limitation. If I run the Parcel query a second time, the results are independent of one another (I get a results of R-3 as one, and 100ft of Arterial as another).