Real-world Problem: In emergency management both internal situational awareness maps and public information maps can be used to provide near real-time information to stakeholders. However, it is a challenge to convey that the map will automatically update and when it will update.
Audience: Emergency Managers, the Public
Software: Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS Online
Proposed Solution: A countdown timer that will tell you when the map will look for updates.
How would it work?
When I set the refresh interval for my map, it also ticks on a message somewhere in the App header or layer list widget that is a countdown. Alternatively, it could be a new widget tied to the refresh interval.
Here is an example using the Australian "Fires Near Me" app
Of course you could use Operations Dashboard for some maps, but in many cases Web AppBuilder is a better fit, especially the Situational Awareness and Public Information Solution configurations.
I think this would be a great addition to Dashboard applications as well.
One additional consideration is that layers in the map can update independently Paul Doherty. I've been toying with the following design, using CSS and JS to do circular timers based on the layers independent staling and time to update.
The outer ring recalls a clock, I know how analog, but has the benefit of being relative to each layers refresh cycle. The symbology in the middle is strongly associated to the time/staling state. One thing I'm not 100% sold on is the green to red transition, as it's not color blind friendly, but the ratio of the indicator ring itself provides a solid quantitative feedback. I'm not ready to push the staling indicator live quite yet (circles are tricky), but the look and feel is in use on Adventure Conditions.
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