ArcGIS Online is an easy-to-use cloud-based Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) Geographic Information System. I have found that the following five practices have made my work in ArcGIS Online a bit easier, and I trust they will do so for you and your students, as well. I named them practices to encourage you to practice using them. If you do, I think that you–and your students–will have a better experience in using these tools, data sets, and maps that are now literally at your fingertips.
1. Use folders. As I explain in this video, using folders is an excellent way for you to keep your projects organized in ArcGIS Online. Don’t place everything in the “root” folder. Make it a habit to store the results of your analysis, which are stored as map layers, in a folder that you have created for one single project. Periodically go through your folders and delete maps, services, and layers that you no longer need. Along these lines, be a good digital citizen and clean up after yourself, by unsharing anything that does not need to be shared, with the general public, and organization, or a group.
2. Take a few seconds to name your data layers descriptively so that you can find them in the future. This is particularly important when you are running the analysis tools and making many layers in the process. For example, I include the value of my buffer in my proximity layers, such as “Buffer of Broad Street Well 500 meters”. And don’t neglect populating your metadata with description and tags. Spending a little time with these practices will save you hours in the future in finding your data quickly. You will also help others to find your data if you are sharing, and thus encourage the use of your resources and foster collaboration.
3. To transfer content between folders in your own ArcGIS Online organizational account, and between ArcGIS Online organizational accounts, or in Portal, use the ArcGIS Online Assistant. It also allows you to view the underlying JSON for any item in ArcGIS Online or your Portal, and you can modify the URLs for services in web maps and registered applications.
4. To more effectively manage your ArcGIS Online organizational account, use the Geo-Jobe tools. The folks at Geo-Jobe offer severe educational discounts, as well. You can copy groups, add multiple users, change permissions, view item dependencies, and do so much more, with these tools.
5. Use the “My Stories” zone to manage your story maps. Yes, you can see your story maps while looking at “My Content” in ArcGIS Online, but “My Stories” allows you to see all of your story maps listed at once. My Stories also contains tools for you to check any broken links or any other problems with the click of a mouse.
Note that the ArcGIS Online assistant and the Geo-Jobe assistant tech support is available through the organizations that create these tools, not Esri.
What useful practices would YOU add to this list?
5 Practices that Make Life Easier in ArcGIS Online