Best platform for sharing map with coworkers?

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04-24-2023 02:20 PM
vg11
by
Occasional Contributor

Hello everyone, I am working on publishing a map for my organization. They were using Arc Reader but now trying to phase that out and shift to ArcGIS Online / Map Viewer. I have been using ArcGIS Pro 3.1.1 to publish web layers and I am finding that Map Viewer doesn't support a lot of what I have in Pro. For example, scaling has been an issue, custom symbology, point feature label rotation, etc. A bunch of random, annoying and simple issues. Could anyone suggest a different platform to share a map? It needs to be accessible by my coworkers who do not have experience with GIS or any programs (Pro, Desktop) installed. I need my map to display the exact way it does in Pro. Am I missing something simple or does Map Viewer suck this much? Thanks!

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Woodpecker
New Contributor III

Agreed with @BernSzukalski that ArcGIS Online is probably best way of sharing content with colleagues.

My first question in your case would be: Do you need the features to be 'clickable'? Do your colleagues need the option to query the features? 

If not, and the map will be mostly for visual purposes, I would share the layers from Pro to Online as vector tile layer instead of feature service. This will pretty much create a WMS service, meaning your symbology will stay exactly the same as it is in Pro - however you will lose the ability to click on features and see the underlying data. 

If you need the data to be 'clickable' there is a possible workaround as well. I would go about it like this: 

  1. Open all your layers in Pro and style them to your requirements
  2. Create a tile layer and share it to ArcGIS Online 
  3. Share all the layers as feature service to ArcGIS Online as well
  4. In ArcGIS Online, add tile layer and feature service to the same map 
  5. Make all the layers in the feature service completely transparent 

If you have this setup, users will be able to click on features and have their attributes displayed. They will be clicking on 'invisible/transparent' features, however the tile layer you created will give a good visual que of what is clicked, etc. 

Not sure if I explained this very well, but let me know if you want me to elaborate further. 

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6 Replies
BernSzukalski
Esri Frequent Contributor

I honestly think you will find that ArcGIS Online is your best platform for sharing maps with co-workers. Since you specifically mentioned co-workers, I am assuming that what you want to publish and share shouldn't be publicly visible. If true, then you will find it difficult to beat the privacy of sharing the current GIS content you have to your organization constituents (I'm assuming they would be members of your ArcGIS organization). Especially since you mention ArcReader, which was a great product that leveraged your organization's data, you'll want to leverage that same content in a more modern web-based environment that ArcGIS Online provides.

And whether or not public access is your goal, the availability of easy-to-configure Instant Apps and app builders, Storymaps, and Dashboards just extends your capabilities, whether private or public. It would be very difficult for you to even come close to replicating that in some other platform especially if you want to keep things tightly coupled to your core assets.

As for "displaying the exact same way as in Pro" that should be doable, though you might need to think beyond Pro as the ultimate authoring environment and instead envision Pro as a way to create the building blocks that you will configure and assemble in ArcGIS Online. Map Viewer will likely not be your ultimate delivery vehicle to your intended audience, any of the configurable apps or app builders will likely be that vehicle.

I'd humbly suggest thinking beyond your previous ArcReader workflows and explore what is possible in today's online ecosystem. It will save you a lot of time and hassle, and be tightly coupled with your core GIS work.

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vg11
by
Occasional Contributor

You seem to know a lot about AGOL / Pro. I have been having issues with scaling, do you have any idea why this would be an issue? In Pro, I am using NAD 1983 and when I have been sharing web layers to AGOL, the scaling just looks horrendous. I'll attach examples. On AGOL, when I zoom in, the points get further away from each other and appear to shrink. The lines are thinner, even the back layer which are parcels appear to change when I zoom in on AGOL. Do you have any idea of what could cause this? I thought coordinate systems so I tried changing basemap to what fits my data and that didn't seem to help, unless I did it incorrectly. Thanks. 

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Woodpecker
New Contributor III

Agreed with @BernSzukalski that ArcGIS Online is probably best way of sharing content with colleagues.

My first question in your case would be: Do you need the features to be 'clickable'? Do your colleagues need the option to query the features? 

If not, and the map will be mostly for visual purposes, I would share the layers from Pro to Online as vector tile layer instead of feature service. This will pretty much create a WMS service, meaning your symbology will stay exactly the same as it is in Pro - however you will lose the ability to click on features and see the underlying data. 

If you need the data to be 'clickable' there is a possible workaround as well. I would go about it like this: 

  1. Open all your layers in Pro and style them to your requirements
  2. Create a tile layer and share it to ArcGIS Online 
  3. Share all the layers as feature service to ArcGIS Online as well
  4. In ArcGIS Online, add tile layer and feature service to the same map 
  5. Make all the layers in the feature service completely transparent 

If you have this setup, users will be able to click on features and have their attributes displayed. They will be clicking on 'invisible/transparent' features, however the tile layer you created will give a good visual que of what is clicked, etc. 

Not sure if I explained this very well, but let me know if you want me to elaborate further. 

vg11
by
Occasional Contributor

Thank you for your response, I do need the features to be 'clickable.' I am trying your idea but an issue I have run into with sharing tile layers is that the extent to which I can zoom in on AGOL is very limited. I can see that the scaling is no longer an issue and it looks about right but I can only zoom in so much. Why is this? I did end up adding the layers to the basemap because I received the error message on Map Viewer, "The layer, 'Meters Tiles', is not compatible with the current basemap. To add the layer, add it to the map as the basemap." Majority of my data is in NAD 1983. Should I focus on changing the basemap? I'll also attach an example of what my scaling looked like before. I was never able to figure out why..... 

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vg11
by
Occasional Contributor

Another thing, when I attempt to change configuration tiling scheme, I used ArcGIS Online / Bing Maps / Google Maps and I am waaaaaay out of bounds on my companies credit limit. I increased the possible scale / tiling scheme / ability to zoom in but I'm over my credit usage by a ton. Is there any possible way around this?

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BernSzukalski
Esri Frequent Contributor

One thing to consider is that you can publish hosted services as three types: feature layers, tile layers and vector tiles. the info button (i) will provide some guidance.

BernSzukalski_0-1682449846640.png

While conventional wisdom in the past may have steered you to tiles for performance, IMHO the best way to go these days is to publish feature layers for your operational layers as you'll have more than "dumb tiles." Vector tile layers would be another good bet if you don't need to interrogate the features as they have advantages over tiles.

If you really want to publish tiles, then you can build tiles for a map document and store them in a tile package (.tpk file). You can share a tile package on ArcGIS Online and publish it as a hosted tile layer. This workflow allows you to build tiles using your own computing power, rather than your ArcGIS Online credits, so is a very economical way to create hosted tile layers if that's what you want to do.

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