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Use ArcGIS Arcade for Environmental Analytical Callout Tables in ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, and Enterprise

06-22-2023 10:50 AM
by Esri Contributor
Esri Contributor
5 10 2,259

Feeling Boxed In?

Whether you call them chem boxes, analytical callouts, spider diagrams, or exceedance tables, chances are you’ve been frustrated by putting them on a map. The process to plot these tables, typically displayed on maps for environmental remediation, Phase I and Phase II site impact assessments, and environmental compliance projects, is nothing less than laborious.

Test results of air, soil, and water values of chemical analytes are compared against the Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and Regional Screening Levels (RSLs) to determine if there are anomalies on a project site. The formatted tables have typically been manually added to maps. After getting the lab results as flat Excel files and formatting them into tables that correspond to specific locations at a project site, GIS staff then copy and paste the tables as static images onto a map, taking care to ensure the leader lines pointing from a table to the mapped location avoids crossing any other lines or tables.

If that doesn’t sound tedious enough, test results are continuous throughout the project lifecycle and therefore changes are inevitable, requiring revisions and updates to the information inside the tables or to their placements on the map. There could be changes needed to style and scale, too. Sound daunting? We agree and there is a better way. Streamline the workflow and create tables that can be more easily modified by leveraging ArcGIS Arcade.

Quick Start

Download the zip file linked below, which includes an ArcGIS Pro project with sample data as well as a foundational Arcade script to build the data tables in both ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online. The zip file includes (...\Analytical_Callout_Chem_Box_Files\):

  • Environmental_Sample_Data.gdb – includes the Sample Points feature layer
  • ArcGIS Pro Analytical Callout Chem Box Arcade Script – to create a new label class and display labels in ArcGIS Pro
  • ArcGIS Online Analytical Callout Chem Box Arcade Script – to display pop-ups in web apps in ArcGIS Online
  • Analytical_Callout_Chem_Box_Files.aprx – an ArcGIS Pro 3.1 project file with Arcade label script applied to Sample Points layer

ArcGIS Pro Labeling

  • Ensure you’re using the Maplex label engine.
  • Create a new Arcade label class on the Sample Points feature layer and copy and paste the ArcGIS Pro Analytical Callout Chem Box Arcade Script into the Expression box.
  • Customize the code for your dataset. Replace the placeholder fields denoted by < > brackets (e.g. <analyte 1>, <result 1>, <exceed 1>) with a choice in the Fields list such as $feature.Test1. Adjust the colors of exceedances to your organizational standards.
  • Place a check in the two boxes “Insert fields with scripted value description function” and “Remove extra line breaks” and then click “apply” to show the labels in an evenly spaced table. IMPORTANT: These will be unchecked each time changes are made to the Arcade script, so ensure these are enabled after each applied edit.

ArcGIS Online or Enterprise Pop-ups

  • Share your Sample Points feature layer to ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise and add it to a map. You may see the label formatting from ArcGIS Pro. Turn off labels or remove this label class as this style of label is not currently supported. Pop-ups will be used for the online environment.
  • Open the pop-ups tool on the left side of the screen and select “add content.” Choose Arcade from the list
  • Give the Arcade expression a new name and replace the content in the Expression box with the ArcGIS Online Analytical Callout Chem Box Arcade Script included in the zip file download.
  • Customize the pop-up by adding or removing other content. For example, you may want to change the fields shown or delete the fields list from the pop-up

For a more detailed breakdown of the Arcade scripts and workflow, take a look at this AEC industry blog titled, "Use ArcGIS Arcade to Step Out of the Static Environmental Callout Box and Into Dynamic Results".

If you are new to Arcade, this learning path is a great place to begin.

In addition, this blog post “I’m a developer. Do I really need Arcade?” provides context with use cases, which can help demonstrate the benefits of adding Arcade to one’s existing arsenal of programming languages.

Additional resources: Updated Arcade documentation, this post from a November 2022 release, and a blog on pop-up Arcade essentials.

We can’t wait for you to tell us what you do with it, and how you plan to spend all that free time now that you’re spending less time moving around static table images.

Arcade can provide a dynamic approach to visualizing environmental analyte results as a table on a map. We can’t wait for you to tell us what you do with it, and how you plan to spend all that free time now that you’re not moving around static table images.

About the Author
Jennie Byron is an AEC Senior Solutions Engineer at Esri. She is focused on advising and supporting AEC firms as they integrate geospatial tools into their business processes. Jennie has over 20 years of experience as a geospatial project lead enabling technical and consulting services across all areas of AEC businesses, including environment, infrastructure, water, and transportation. Her background is in environmental and earth sciences.