Frequently Asked Questions about ArcGIS Ideas

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Frequently Asked Questions about ArcGIS Ideas

 

General

What is ArcGIS Ideas?

ArcGIS Ideas is a listening channel comprised of a number of Idea Exchanges across the Esri Community. Ideas are user-submitted requests for new features and functionality in Esri products. The community can engage with ideas by kudoing/voting or commenting, which helps product teams gauge interest and understand use cases. Ideas are subject to review by relevant product teams at Esri, and we use statuses and comments/moderator notes to provide a response when appropriate.

 

Where can I find ArcGIS Ideas?

If a product accepts ideas, then an Idea Exchange will be available in that product’s community place. For example, the below screenshot shows the product place for ArcGIS Pro. The presence of the ArcGIS Pro Ideas button indicates that this product is accepting ideas through this Idea Exchange, and clicking on it will take you there. 

A screenshot showing the available question boards for ArcGIS Pro in the updated GeoNet Esri Community. Highlighted is the link to "ArcGIS Pro Ideas" which indicates that ArcGIS Pro is accepting ArcGIS Ideas through this Idea Exchange.

For an easy overview of Idea Exchanges, visit the ArcGIS Ideas homepage where you can browse through idea submissions, read relevant documents and blogs, and discover which Idea Exchanges are available across the community.

 

How are ArcGIS Ideas considered? 

While the amount of votes an idea has garnered is an excellent way for us to understand the demand for specific functionality, there are a wide variety of factors which can play a part in the decision to implement an idea. Factors such as the number of votes the idea has received; the feasibility of the idea within the current product plan; and the impact that the idea will have on other users and existing workflows are among the different factors which impact product teams’ decision making.  Where possible, we will try and be transparent when we communicate back to you about ideas which have been reviewed. We appreciate your understanding that while we love to hear all your ideas, unfortunately not all ideas will be a good product fit or it may take time to implement ideas as they are prioritized among many other development considerations.

 

How do Esri Staff and Distributors engage with the Esri Community through ArcGIS Ideas?

For each Idea Exchange, some Esri staff will act as Ideas Managers, who will be reviewing ideas and engaging with the community through status updates, comments and more. In addition, other Esri staff members and International Distributors will be able to comment on ideas to ask questions and provide tips or workarounds. Esri staff and International distributors are not able to submit their own ideas or upvote ideas and are encouraged to submit their requests through internal channels.

 

How do I submit an idea?

Great question! We recommend that you get started by reading the ArcGIS Ideas Submission Guidelines which has all the basic information you should know when you’re considering submitting a new idea, and an overview of the submission considerations which Ideas Managers will use in their review.

Once you have familiarized yourself with our guidelines and are ready to submit an idea, ensure that you are posting in the right Idea Exchange. If an Ideas Manager notices an idea which should belong elsewhere, they will move the post. When you are in the appropriate Idea Exchange, click the Suggest an idea button, as seen below, to begin writing your idea.

A screenshot showing the "Suggest an idea" button which, when clicked, will take the user to the idea submission page. This button can be found in any Idea Exchange available on GeoNet.

Once again, we recommend consulting the ArcGIS Ideas Submission Guidelines at this point, which has tips on how to craft an effective idea using an impactful Title, Description, Label (if the Idea Exchange supports labels) and, optionally, Tags. For more information about idea labels, see What are idea labels?

 

I have an idea that is relevant to multiple products.  What do I do?

You may be submitting an idea which is applicable to more than one product, and we understand that sometimes your ideas may span beyond the confines of a single Idea Exchange. In situations like this, we encourage you to post the idea in each applicable Idea Exchange.

We understand that this is very different from the previous iteration of ArcGIS Ideas, where a single idea could be logged against multiple products. We’ve implemented this new structure so that your ideas can be much more directly reviewed by each product team, allowing them to organize and manage requests for their area in ways that were not previously possible.

By posting your ideas in each relevant Idea Exchange, you will have the opportunity to receive product-specific feedback for each idea you submit, providing a clearer picture of the various ways an idea can be implemented across ArcGIS.

 

What are the idea statuses, and what do they mean?

We value your contributions, and it is important to us that we’re communicating with you about our thinking around specific ideas. We use statuses to communicate updates about ideas back to the community. For more information about the idea statuses and their meaning, please see the ArcGIS Ideas Submission Guidelines. For some additional questions related to status updates, please see Idea Status Changes below.

 

What are idea labels?

In some Idea Exchanges, you may notice that labels are used. Labels are a way to further categorize ideas which are specific to each Idea Exchange. Labels have been pre-defined by Esri product teams, and specific labels may be added or removed in the future at the discretion of each product team.

In addition, when submitting an idea in an Idea Exchange which supports labels, you will notice the option to fill in labels, such as below.

A screenshot showing the User Interface for selecting labels when submitting an idea. The labels appear as buttons on the page which can be clicked to select or deselect the label.

Different Idea Exchanges may have different limits to how many labels can be applied to your posts. In addition, some Idea Exchanges do not use labels, and therefore do not require them. For some more guidance about choosing the right label, please consult the ArcGIS Ideas Submission Guidelines.

 

How can I learn more about labels?

In some Idea Exchanges, there may be many labels to choose from. In those situations, clicking on the See Descriptions button will open a document outlining label descriptions. If you do not see a See Descriptions button, this means that the Idea Exchange does not have additional descriptions, usually because the label names provide enough description. In this case, do your best to label your idea correctly and an Ideas Manager will update the label if necessary.

 

I have an idea that is relevant to multiple labels.  What do I do?

If your idea is applicable to more than one available label, but you are posting your idea in an Idea Exchange which only accepts one label, don’t worry too much about it! Please use the label which best fits your idea. As Ideas Managers review ideas, they will update the label if necessary.

 

Should I tag my idea?

While you are browsing or submitting Idea Exchanges, you may notice that tags can be applied to ideas. A tag can be a helpful way to add additional descriptors to your content, which provide further discoverability and insight for the community and Esri staff alike.

Unlike Labels which are pre-defined by Esri, tags are open-text and can be whatever you like. While you are submitting an idea, you should see an option to add tags to your post, such as the screenshot below. We recommend applying any tags that are relevant to your idea – the more, the merrier!

A screenshot showing the UI when entering tags for an idea. Tags can by typed freeform by the user, and must be separated by a comma.

In addition, community members can apply tags to ideas submitted by others. While viewing an idea, an option called Add tags should appear which allows further tags to be applied. If you do not see the option to add tags to a post, this feature may be disabled. For more information about applying tags to content, we recommend consulting the Community Help

As Ideas Managers review ideas, they may add extra tags to your posts which can help teams at Esri track larger trends. For more information about this, see Helpful tags used by Esri

 

Does Esri use tags when reviewing ideas?

Yes! There are many teams at Esri who leverage tags to better track and categorize feedback in their review process. In addition, certain teams at Esri specialize in areas which span multiple Idea Exchanges. These teams may use tags to identify ideas which correspond with these topics. To see a list of these tags, please see Helpful tags used by Esri. If you are submitting an idea which aligns with some of these topics, please feel free to add these tags yourself!

 

Interacting with Ideas

How do I vote for an idea?

After reviewing an idea, you may decide to cast your vote of support. ArcGIS Ideas uses a system of kudos to measure votes, which works similarly across the Esri Community. Kudos can be seen at the bottom of each idea post, like below:

A screenshot showing the Vote or Kudo button on an ArcGIS Idea. When the thumbs-up icon is clicked, the tally of votes/kudos on the idea will increment by one. Note that a user cannot vote for their own idea.

By clicking on the thumbs up button, you will cast your vote, increasing the total kudo tally by one. If you wish to revoke a kudo you’ve given, click on the thumbs up button again. Note that you are unable to give kudos to your own idea posts. In addition, some idea statuses will freeze an idea from receiving further kudos. For more information, see Why am I unable to kudo some ideas?

 

How do I comment on an idea?

Feel free to discuss any ideas in the comments. Additional use-cases and user perspectives on ideas are always appreciated and can help to flesh out missing details! Most idea posts are open for commenting, with a comment box found at the bottom of every idea post, like below:

A screenshot showing the UI for leaving a comment on an ArcGIS Idea.

If you do not see this comment box on an idea, this means that the idea has been frozen for further comments by an Ideas Manager or Community Moderator. In cases like this, a moderator note may be found on the idea which explains why it has been frozen.

 

Why am I unable to kudo some ideas?

Some idea statuses will place an idea post in a state where no further kudos can be applied to them. This will occur with ideas that have the status of Needs Clarification, Already Offered, Implemented or Closed. See ArcGIS Idea Statuses for more information.

 

Can I easily reference an idea across GeoNet?

Yes. It is possible to use the @ symbol to directly link to an idea, user, or other content types available in the community, such as a document or question post.

 

Tracking, Searching and Filtering Ideas

Can I see all the ideas I’ve submitted?

Yes. Your user profile has a “My Ideas” component which provides a convenient view into all the ideas that you’ve submitted or participated in. To view "My Ideas" click on your user avatar and choose My profile.

A screenshot showing the "My Profile" option available in The Esri Community. Clicking on this will take you to your profile page, where a "My Ideas" section will let you know more about the idea you have submitted or participated in.

 

Can I be notified when a status has been changed or updated for my idea?

Yes. It is possible to be notified when your idea has had its status changed, or if any comments have been posted. When submitting an idea, the following option is present and enabled by default:

A screenshot showing the "Email me when someone replies" toggle which appears to the user when submitting an idea, or when commenting on an idea.

Once an idea has been posted with this option toggled, the idea will be automatically added to your subscriptions. If this option was not enabled, you can also navigate to the idea post after it has been published and click on the Follow this Idea button. For more information about setting up subscriptions, configuring notification and email settings, please refer to the Community Help.

 

I’ve found an idea which I am interested in. Can I receive notifications about status changes for other users’ ideas?

Yes! If you find an interesting idea which you would like to follow, you can subscribe to the idea by clicking on the Follow this Idea button which appears at the top of each post:

A screenshot showing the "Follow this idea" button which appears on ArcGIS Idea posts.

Clicking on this button will add the idea to your list of subscriptions. For more information about setting up subscriptions, configuring notification and email settings, please refer to the Community Help.

 

Can I receive notifications about new idea posts?

Yes. By subscribing to an Idea Exchange, you will be notified when new ideas are posted there. From the main page of an Idea Exchange, click Subscribe

A screenshot showing the "Subscribe" button present on an Idea Exchange. The screenshot shows the ArcGIS StoryMaps Idea Exchange as an example. Near the top of the Idea Exchange is this "Subscribe" button which, when toggled, will allow you to be notified when new ideas are posted.

Note that the default notification setting for board subscriptions is Only the first post in each topic.  For an Idea Exchange subscription, this means you will get notified when new ideas are posted, but not all the replies, which can be overwhelming. See the Community Help for more information about configuring subscriptions, notifications, and email settings.

In addition to subscribing to Idea Exchanges, it is possible to subscribe to Labels if they are available in your Idea Exchange. When an Idea Exchange has Labels set up, click on a LabelIn the banner that appears, click Subscribe. 

A screenshot showing the UI when subscribing to a Label. When a label is selected from an Idea Exchange, this banner will appear. Clicking on the "Subscribe" button in this banner will subscribe the user to the label, where they will receive notifications when new ideas using this label is posted.

You are now subscribed to the Label from this Idea Exchange.  You can verify your subscriptions by clicking on your avatar and choosing My Subscriptions.  Note that Label subscriptions are specific to the board from which you subscribe.  Subscribing to a Label in an Idea Exchange will not subscribe you to a Label of the same name anywhere else in the community.

 

Can I search for a specific idea?

Yes. It is possible to use the search functionality to search through ideas. When applying filters to your search, you can either use the Place filter to narrow your search to a specific idea exchange, or you can use the Type of Post filter to narrow your search to only Ideas, as seen below.

A screenshot showing the "Type of Post" filter which is available when searching GeoNet, the Esri Community. If the "Ideas" toggle is selected, your search results will only return ArcGIS Ideas content.

 

When I search for an idea, sometimes I see duplicate results. What does this mean?

If you notice duplicate results while you are searching for ideas, this likely means that the idea was submitted under multiple Categories on the former ArcGIS Ideas site.  With products now having dedicated Idea Exchanges, each Category migrated to the corresponding exchange. For example, you may see a result such as this one:

A screenshot showing a search result for an idea in the ArcGIS Online Idea Exchange. You can tell by noticing the "in ArcGIS Online Ideas" text contained in the search result entry.

Followed by an identical-looking result:

A screenshot showing a search result for an idea in the ArcGIS Enterprise Idea Exchange. You can tell by noticing the "in ArcGIS Enterprise Ideas" text contained in the search result entry.

In this case, please take note of the “in <Idea Exchange Name>” information found in the search result, beneath the idea title. This can be a helpful tip for ensuring that you are viewing the idea in the Idea Exchange that you wish to be in.

 

When I click on a link to an old idea post, sometimes I see a page which says "Access Denied". What does this mean?
If you notice that some links to older posts are not accessible, this is because the post was archived in the new Esri Community platform.

In the previous generation of ArcGIS Ideas, there were more than 17,000 ideas submitted within the last decade. A large number of these had already been implemented or were no longer actionable as they had been closed with a status such as Already Offered, Duplicate, or Not In Current Product Plan. These, along with ideas that had not seen any activity for five years, were moved to an archive on the new site to help bring focus to active ideas.

If you feel that an idea was archived in error, contact ideas@esri.com and we will investigate the issue.

 

Can I filter ideas by their status?

Yes. While inside a product’s Idea Exchange, a status filter will appear on the page. Clicking on a relevant status button will only show ideas with the selected status.

A screenshot showing the Idea status filter which appears on Idea Exchanges. Clicking on a status will filter the results on the Idea Exchange accordingly.

 

Can I filter ideas by their label?

Yes. While inside a product’s Idea Exchange which supports labels, a label filter will appear on the page (example shown below). Clicking on a relevant label will only show ideas with the selected label.

A screenshot showing the Label filter which appears on Idea Exchanges. Clicking on a label will filter the available ideas accordingly, and will also reveal a banner where you can subscribe to the label.

 

Idea Status Changes

My idea has been changed to “Needs Clarification” – What does this mean?

If your idea has had its status changed to “Needs Clarification” this means that an Ideas Manager has reviewed it and determined that further details are needed before it can be considered. When an idea has been set to Needs Clarification, it is frozen from accruing further kudos, but can receive comments.

When this status is applied to an idea, you should receive a comment or a private message from an Ideas Manager, which explains what action should be taken on the idea before its status can be changed.  Once you can respond and update the idea, we recommend reaching out to the Ideas Manager to ensure that they are aware of the actions taken.

 

My idea has been changed to “Closed” – What does this mean?

If your idea has had its status changed to “Closed” this means that the idea will not be considered at this time and is not open to further voting. When an idea has been set to Closed, it is frozen from accruing further kudos, but can typically still receive comments.

As was previously discussed in How are ArcGIS Ideas Considered?, there can be a number of factors which influence why an idea is closed. In addition, your idea may be closed because it does not conform with the ArcGIS Ideas Submission Guidelines. We recommend reading these guidelines before submitting your idea to ensure that you’ve covered the various submission considerations. We thank you for your contribution, and we always encourage you to rework and resubmit your ideas based on any feedback received.

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