ArcGIS Open Data - New Beta Sites!

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06-23-2016 01:10 PM
CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III
6 53 7,277

Since launching at the User Conference two years ago, ArcGIS Open Data has enabled over 3,000 organizations worldwide to make nearly 50,000 datasets discoverable and accessible to their communities near and far. Working closely with governments of all sizes, community advocacy groups, and other organizations we've learned a lot of things.

The team is excited to preview where we're going next: a simpler way to launch a modern site for data administrators, greater data analysis tools for citizens, open API explorer for developers, and new ways to build and showcase data stories that grow collaboration between everyone.

This first beta release now provides recent features seen on the global opendata.arcgis.com to local sites. It's important to note that although we will use these sites to release new features going forward, we are not removing support for the sites currently available, and are not going to stop the incredible work that has already been done by the ArcGIS Open Data community.

That being said, read on to learn more details!

New site editor

The new site editor is a result of thorough pattern analysis and a review of administrator's current pain points when creating an Open Data site. We've applied what we've learned to give administrators of all technical levels the ability to create a site that follows the organization's brand and highlights the data housed within.

Log into the administrative app and you'll see a new button, "Try Beta Site." When you launch a new beta site, you'll see a pre-filled template in the site editor. You can use and modify this template as you wish, or delete all the components and start from scratch.

2016-06-23_13-34-58.png

Highlights

Theme Builder

The initial phase of the new sites allow administrators to select four colors which will comprise their site's theme. These colors will be applied throughout the site to give users a consistent, recognizable and trusted experience while discovering and exploring the data. Furthermore, this theme can be used in configured applications so you can ensure that your branding is consistent and easy to maintain across multiple your entire suite of public engagement apps

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.19.36 PM.png

Administrators set the site theme in the Site Editor (above) and see the effects applied throughout the site (below)

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.21.47 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.22.17 PM.png

Layout Builder

There are common patterns seen in the thousands of ArcGIS Open Data sites on the web today, and we have created a number of cards for administrators to easily replicate them without requiring a developer or designer on hand. The bones of the layout are rows - these are the width-long blocks of the homepage which can be customized to have a background image or a background color. Admins can change the text color for individual rows if they wish to override the greater theme text color.

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.29.09 PM.png

Within the rows come cards. Administrators can drag cards onto the rows and organize their layout in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface. These cards follow general site patterns and include banners, images, text, and category widgets to organize your data. We have more widgets in the making and would love to hear what you'd like to see.

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.30.02 PM.png

The current card options  for site customization (above), and a category card in edit mode (below)

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.30.29 PM.png

Supported Customization

We also heard from organizations that want to build more custom designs but ensure that their sites continue to work as we add new features and capabilities to ArcGIS Open Data. The new sites are now built with Calcite-Bootstrap, which means developers and designers can use custom HTML and the widely popular Bootstrap design elements to build experiences using tools they are already familiar with.

What's upcoming

We understand that headers and footers are crucial to match branding guidelines and create a consistent experience across all organizational pages. In the near future we'll add the ability to create custom headers and footers using either iframes or custom HTML. We're also adding more ways to feature your data, applications, and information products on the homepage. Down the line we'll have more granularity when picking a site theme to allow even greater site customization.

New features

Over the past few months we have been rolling out new features to opendata.arcgis.com, and have been fielding questions about how administrators can access them for their own site. This is your chance! We go into greater detail about some of these features in our April blog post, but check out some highlights below.

Highlights

API Explorer

The API Explorer is a new way for citizens to access detailed subsets of datasets. Each dataset shared with ArcGIS Open Data is backed by the Geoservices REST API and has a unique explorer on the dataset page. This is a capability that can be turned off in the administrative settings, but we feel strongly that this programatic gateway to the data will expand the reach of your data and allow citizens to access it in new ways.

screencapture-opendataqa-arcgis-com-datasets-81a082d1f9e84296b5fc4bf2174b861b_0-geoservice-1459888217803_png__1763×2215__and_BUG-000093125_Open_Data_may_respond_with__Error__Record_Count_query_failed__Server_responded_with___Unable_to_perf.png

Connected Content

Many ArcGIS Open Data sites feature web maps in addition to the raw data. These web maps are excellent ways to highlight trends and analyses performed with the data, and they can now be found on the dataset pages themselves instead of only in the search results. When a citizen lands on a dataset that has been used in a web map, they will see the web map under a new section called "Connected Content." Some of these are found in the wild already!

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.40.01 PM.png

Logins and Citizen Capabilities

Custom sites now support social logins, giving your community super easy access to a host of additional capabilities on your site, which currently include favoriting datasets and creating Story Maps (see below) and with so much more on the way.

Story Maps

Open Data and Story Maps make a great pair -- the 50k open datasets are incredible story telling fodder. Citizens can now take their dataset of interest from an Open Data site and launch it directly into a Story Map. Here, they can go through the Story Map workflow of editing their web map, adding text and other multimedia components, and sharing it with the web. We're working on ways for these resulting Story Maps to become Connected Content so that other citizens can access these insights and leverage the knowledge of their neighbors.

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We hope you take a peek at the beta sites and explore the new capabilities offered for custom sites. We absolutely welcome and encourage your feedback on anything and everything - we'll be monitoring and participating in our ArcGIS Open Data space on GeoNet. In the next few months you'll see a new administrative experience and some surprises for the public users! Follow along with us on the ArcGIS Blog.

53 Comments
JessicaWynne
New Contributor

Have the Charts and Heat Map etc capabilities been removed for good or just this Beta release?

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

We are working to implement charts, smart mapping, and heat maps into the beta sites - in a new and improved way!

PapantzinCid
New Contributor III

Designing the site is a lot easier now.  The previous version of open data used tags to link datasets from the main categories page. I am having issues getting this to work in the beta version.  I added a category link, and selected the "Use Tag Query". However when i enter my tags and click on the category link icon, i get "No datesets found". On the same page i have the option to Browse All Datasets and they all come up and list my Tag Query.  When I use the search bar by tag query they also come up.  How do i fix this?

MalcolmJacobson
Occasional Contributor II

Looks great! Tried a beta site and its definitely an improvement on the current interface

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Papantzin,

Are you entering one tag or multiple tags into the query box?

Courtney

PapantzinCid
New Contributor III

I got it working properly now.  Thanks for the follow up.

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Thanks Malcolm!

Is there anything that jumped to mind when you were using it surrounding what could be improved, or things that you would absolutely need before switching over to the new sites?

PapantzinCid
New Contributor III

Are there any plans to allow users to add their own icons for the data category?

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Yes, absolutely. We're also working on getting more icons.

AnneMillington1
New Contributor II

Courtney, should I infer there can only be one search tag entered in the query box?

AnneMillington1
New Contributor II

One observation:  the content in the Description field in an AGOL  dataset shows up accompanying items found in an Open Data query search, while the Summary field content does not.  However the AGOL instructions imply that the Summary content is displayed with a search retrieval.  That would seem the preferred behavior, because you might not want a lot of text in what is basically a results page

Another observation:  when I try to use a "target = '_blank'" or a javascript function to open a link in a new page or tab, it won't work; just opens in the same page/tab.   For example in the applications section of your demo.

Another observation.  The vertical right side scroll bar does not appear in the production version of the site, at least in my browsers.

And another:  the data category icons are appearing/reappearing.  Is it just me?

And finally, I am loving working on this!  There is so much potential!

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Anne,

Yes, at this time only one tag is accepted.

Courtney

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Anne,

Thanks very much for your observations.

1. It's true that we use different fields for search than Online does. We look at the entire description for key search words, though we limit the description text on the search results page to three lines of the description for each dataset.

2. Thanks for this - we're working on compiling a list of supported javascript functions for the text box.

3. This sounds like a bug - what browsers are you using?

4. Can you please expand on this? Where are you seeing them disappear / reappear?

Courtney

AnneMillington1
New Contributor II

Thanks Courtney, for your response.  I am seeing both the lack of scroll bar and the non-appearance of icons in ie 11 on my Windows 7 system.  I am able to scroll down on the page using keyboard down arrows. I may never have had the icons show up in the IE browser; I was going back and forth between the two without paying much attention.  Now I will be more attentive. Anyway, it seems that both are IE issues, as everything is looking fine in my Chrome browser (also Win 7). 

Regarding the open in another window function, do you know why the html instruction target = _blank is being ignored on the opening page?  I do believe it is a valid construction in HTML 5.  I will check again to make sure my syntax is correct.

Thanks,

Anne

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

We currently block `target="_blank"` on the HTML cards. It's built in a way where we have to whitelist HTML attributes. I've made a note to add target="_blank".

Thanks for info re IE11 - it's a bug we'll make sure to fix.

Courtney

AnneMillington1
New Contributor II

Great, that makes sense now.  Everything  seems to work really well.

AnneMillington1
New Contributor II

Courtney, I have a question re very simple customization of the beta version.  How best would I change something as simple as a font color or font weight, and have that code be saved to a custom/site file?  How about something like adding or removing columns in the Bootstrap configuration of a row?

Thanks,

Anne

CassidyKillian
Occasional Contributor

It appears the category cards are not working when set up with groups instead of tags.  We are getting a page not found error when we try to use groups.

MichaelSakinejad2
New Contributor II

When I attempt to browse using the category cards, I get redirected to all open data sets with that tag. Not just my organizations data. Is there something I'm missing?

AnneMillington1
New Contributor II

I have the same experience when using the category cards; not so when just entering the tag in the search box.  My understanding is that this is a bug currently being addressed, among others.

PapantzinCid
New Contributor III

I am also experiencing the same behavior. Is there a configuration where we can show only our data?

Thank you.

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Hello, 

This is a bug that has been fixed and will roll out tomorrow. 

Thank you for your patience.

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Indeed, this is a bug that has been fixed and will roll out tomorrow (9/1). 

JoshuaTanner2
New Contributor III

I'm running into the same issue.  It would appear this hasn't been implemented yet in the Beta.  Can anybody from Esri confirm?

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Hello, 

This is a bug that we are currently fixing. The fix will be included in our next release, the week of the 12th. 

Thank you for your patience. 

JoshuaTanner2
New Contributor III

That's great to hear, right around the corner.  Thanks CClaessens-esristaff 

SrijanaTuladhar
New Contributor III

Hi Courtney,

In the beta version, when I click on the Site Editor, it shows the blank page. I have been trying since yesterday. Thanks.  

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Srijana, 

What browser are you using? We had this issue but fixed it - maybe try clearing your browser's cache. 

SrijanaTuladhar
New Contributor III

I am using IE 11. I just cleared the browsers cache and still not working.

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Thanks Srijana - we'll look into it. 

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

We have this fixed on QA and it will be deployed to production on Tuesday 9/20. 

SrijanaTuladhar
New Contributor III

Thanks.

Another question. In order to enable to allow data exports for a AGO hosted feature layer, is it correct that the hosted layers must be in portal using ArcGIS Data store? Thanks.

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Data exports should work on any hosted feature layer that you own -- so should work on layers that were published up through ArcMap, published from shapefiles, etc. Documentation on allowing data exports can be found here: Manage hosted web layers—Portal for ArcGIS | ArcGIS for Server 

SrijanaTuladhar
New Contributor III

Is this done through AGO items page once we publish the service because I do not see the Properties list  to click "Allow others to export to different formats"  for an item or service.

Also in this link. http://server.arcgis.com/en/portal/10.3/use/manage-hosted-layers.htm, please see the note in red.

Follow these steps to allow others to export from a hosted feature layer:

  1. Sign in as the hosted feature layer owner or a portal administrator.
  2. Open the item details for the hosted feature layer you want to allow others to export.
    Note:

    Exports can only be enabled on hosted feature layers if your portal is using ArcGIS Data Store.

  3. Click Edit on the hosted feature layer's item details page and click Allow others to export to different formats under the Properties list.
CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Portal for ArcGIS and ArcGIS Online work a little differently and ArcGIS Open Data does not work with Portal. 

For hosted services you should see "Export Data

SrijanaTuladhar
New Contributor III

I am not sure why but I do not see "Export Data Allow others to export to different formats". I have attached the screenshot what I see for the items settings. AGO item Settings

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Only ArcGIS Online hosted services have the export data functionality. On premises services do not support this functionality. 

Hosted service settings look like this: 

DiegoLlamas
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Courtney, 

Do you have an approximately date for this beta site be final? we are creating a open data site for a client in the old site and in the beta site and we would like to know when would it be final, do you have an approximate date for that?

Thanks for your help!

Best regards,

Diego Llamas

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Diego, 

Barring any issues we are aiming to remove the beta label on November 15. 

Best,

Courtney 

DiegoLlamas
Occasional Contributor III

Thank you

ONSGeography
New Contributor III

Hi, 

Its good that we can now edit CSS and HTML in the header and footer. However I cannot move our site (Home | ONS Geography Portal ) across yet as I need to be able to use some HTML and scripts to add a Twitter feed onto the home page and add a feedbackify tab to the pages.

Thanks

Matt (Office for National Statistics)

DiegoLlamas
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Courtney,

Yesterday we were showing our client their opendata site. This site is hosted on the old version of open data. after 12 pm Puerto Rico time (8 am, California), we notice that we where not able to log in again to open data site, it stay loading the site.

We thought it was because the new update for open data. we tried again today and we are having the same problem in several computers.

The error we are getting is that the page for opendata is not found. Is there a new URL for this? How can we access our site now? are we going to loose our site?

Please let me know how can we solve this issue.

Thanks for your help!

Diego Llamas

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Diego, 

Once you're signed in https://opendata.arcgis.com/admin/signin should redirect to https://opendata.arcgis.com/admin/sites. Try going directly to the sites URL. We'll look into this issue. 

Courtney

DiegoLlamas
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Courtney,

We have done that, from online redirect to Open Data site or from de admin site from open data but non work

2016-11-16 at 11-01-27 

As you can see on this video. should i open an indicent with tech support? 

thanks for your help!

Diego Llamas

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

This is interesting behaviour that I'm unable to reproduce. I've sent the details to our engineering team and they are investigating. 

Thank you for sending this our way. 

AnthonyWillis
New Contributor II

Just to chime in, we're experiencing the same issues trying to access the site as well here @ City of Las Vegas. As of 5 minutes ago, we still can't get to the admin page.

CourtneyClaessens
Occasional Contributor III

Hi Anthony, 

You should observe this fixed at this time. Please let us know if you continue to experience issues. 

Thank you, 

Courtney

MikeLeathers
New Contributor

When using the Open Data Beta template, we have noticed that the metadata URL for an item is missing the very end of the string needed for formatting. The string ends with .xml, but the additional string "?format=default&output=html" is necessary to display the metadata in the html stylesheet. Without this string, the link presents as xml only.This was not a problem in the earlier version. Has anyone else had a similar issue with displaying the metadata?

Thanks, Mike (King County, WA GIS Center)

JustinConner
Occasional Contributor II

CClaessens-esristaff Surveyor and PLSS type icons would be great!

AnthonyWillis
New Contributor II

Courtney,

It appears that when you had a category link that uses a group query it doesn't search but instead just returns every dataset we have registered. Is this still a bug?

About the Author
Product Engineer on the ArcGIS Hub team.