Need a way to message web application authors

10-07-2013 11:01 AM
Status: Open
Esri Regular Contributor

I'm frustrated by how hard it is to discover and communicate with the author of an ArcGIS Online hosted web application. I don't know if it's true for every template, but it's true for many of them, that nowhere on the web app do you see who made it. This is an issue when the map is trying to show authoritative data (e.g., Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums for 2014) that you have questions about and it's an issue when the map is telling a personal-interest story and you just want to say hey, there's a big fat typo on one of your captions.

I guess if the mapmaker is thoughtful enough they can include contact information in the map description or something that gets exposed in the app, but it seems like most of the time they don't. Why don't we facilitate this by building in a contact name and email address as part of the configuration of every template? People could omit it if they wanted to, but at least it would be there to encourage them.

Right now, it's like if you want to get in touch with the author, you have to go to a lot of trouble. Search for the source web map(s) that the app is based on, leave a comment, and then check back to see if the comment was even read. Or see if the author has included contact information in their user profile, which it seems like they usually haven't. I don't even bother with this whole process because it's too much work.

Ultimately, it would be great if there were some kind of ArcGIS Online messaging system that users could opt into, but in the absence of that, it would be nice if we took some steps to make feedback and communication more dependable and effective. Thanks.

1 Comment
I agree!   And it's not just web apps, but any page on AGOL.   The ArcGIS Help system has a "feedback" link at the top of every page.  Users need a way to contact page authors - ideally a method that ensures a positive connection (vs. "Comments" which do not get forwarded back to the author, as far as I know  - and in many cases, if it's something like "This Hyperlink is broken", once the issue has been resolved, leaving the comment visible is a distraction).