Online map workflow

05-10-2013 05:18 PM
New Contributor
We are beginning to create and publish maps to AGOL, but I am baffled by what seems to be the workflow in order to do this.  Can you share your experience publishing maps?

  1. Start with a base map that has vector layers  CA Albers, NAD 83

    • Roads

    • Counties

    • City Boundaries

    • Hospitals

    • Fire Stations

    • Police Stations

    • Emergency Operation Centers

  • Receive incident data for the map

    • Road closures

    • Shelters

    • Road Closures

    • Evacuation Areas

    • Fire perimeters

  • Publish Map for situational awareness with user control of visibility of content. (Turn on/off layers)

    • Create an .mxd for each layer (12)

    • Re-project each .mxd to Web Mercator

    • Publish 12 services

    • Add each service to AGOL

    We seem to have to do all this extra work just to get it to a web mapping app just to be able to turn on/off layers individually, because if we just publish the map .mxd (after re-projecting), all layers are all on or all off.

    Is this correct or is this WAD (works as designed)?  This is a lot of time spent trying to get situational awareness in an emergency.

    Thoughts?  D.

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    4 Replies
    Esri Notable Contributor
    In ArcGIS Online, there are two types of hosted services you can publish currently:

    • Hosted tiled map service

    • Hosted feature service

    Each has its own characteristics.

    If your basemap layers are always displayed together, I'd suggest creating a hosted tiled map service. By setting the appropriate scale dependencies on the various layers, you can avoid displaying too much data at small scales. A tiled map service is fast to draw because it is composed of pre-created tiled images of your data. The layers in a tiled map service can't be turned on/off.

    For the operational layers, you can publish one feature service containing all layers (one mxd). When you add a feature service to a map, all the layers are added individually and can be turned on and off. Layers in a feature service are added individually, even though they are all in one service. Feature services are drawn by the client application (e.g., browser, mobile device), so be aware of the drawing limitations of them. To update your feature services, you will need to either edit the features in the service directly, or republish the feature service based on local changes to your data. We are working on better ways to synchronize local data to ArcGIS Online, but it's not available currently.

    Here's a help topic that discusses the two service types:

    Here's a forum post that describes some of the drawing limitations of feature services:

    Hope this helps,

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    New Contributor II
    Sorry, I had similar Q. Just to double check my understanding. If I want several layers in an mxd to be turn on/off by the end users, I have publish as feature service and NOT as a map service?  I didn't have this problem when used non-AGOL templates, meaning templates like Silverlight. I don't want my users to make any edits or symbology changes to the layers, that's why I was staying away from serving the mxd as feature service. But, when I published as map service I don't have the same ability to turn layers on/off as I used to do with older (non-AGOL) templates.  I don't want to publish any tile service either.
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    Esri Notable Contributor
    If you have your own ArcGIS Server, then map services are fine.

    In ArcGIS Online, the only two service options are hosted features or hosted tiles. There is no dynamic map service at the current time. If you publish a hosted feature service, you can disable editing.


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    Occasional Contributor II
    Thanks for the distinction between the two.

    I created a tiled map service, as we have a parcel layer with well over 1000 features that we want to eventually embed on our intranet. However, when I view it in ArcGIS Online there's a white box around my data layer, and I'm not able to see the basemap below my parcels (kind of mimics the extent you'd see in Layout View in ArcMap). Any chance this is simply a setting within ArcMap that I need to adjust before publishing?

    The mxd that was used to publish the map service referenced data that's on our server. When the map service is used, is it accessing data directly from our server, or is the data now hosted on Online and there's no connection to our server? Sorry if my terminology isn't correct -- I'm just getting started with Online....

    We have an organizational Online account, and we're using v10.1
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