GeoDev Webinar: Following the DevLabs Model - Data, Design, and Develop

07-20-2018 02:04 PM
Esri Regular Contributor
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In the month of June, we hosted a GeoDev Webinar on our DevLabs Model: Data, Design, and Develop. Allan Laframboise and Jim Barry gave a 50 minute presentation with 10 minutes of Q&A. We had a number of questions that we were unable to get to during the webinar, but we wanted to share the answers with the developer community as we find them to be ones that are important and useful.

Q: What is the difference between creating web maps and services through the regular ArcGIS online and the DevLabs method? Can I modify the web applications that we create like edit the application itself without having to download it and host it in another server? 

A: When it comes to creating web maps and hosted feature services, there is no difference. DevLabs modules provide a developer-oriented way to learn how to use ArcGIS Online. As for modifying web applications. If you build these web apps using Web AppBuilder or the configurable web application templates, you can modify them all you want using the tools provided, and continue hosting those on the Esri cloud through ArcGIS Online. If however you want to download the web app you created and code additional customizations, you will then need to host the web app yourself on your own web server. It is not possible to download a web app and re-upload it.

Q: If I edit a basemap and create a new basemap and save it, can I use it through the ArcGIS Desktop client version if I log in with my ArcGIS online account?

A: Based on the content in this webinar, I believe you are referring to vector tile basemaps. If so, then the answer is yes. When you style a vector tile basemap, and store that as an item in your ArcGIS Online account, you can log into your account using ArcGIS Pro and display that basemap exactly as you styled it to look.

Q: A concern for hosting data on the ArcGIS cloud is consuming credits. What are the credit and data hosting limits for a developer account?

A: There are no credit limits, per se. A free "Essentials" level developer subscription allows you to use up to 50 credits per month. If you need more credits you can purchase them. See this page for more information:

Q: Would you have suggestions to get directories of data portals?

A: Many organizations around the world host open data portals, or produce and maintain data for commercial sale. We are not aware of one single database of data providers. The best solution is to find what you're looking for using a search engine.

Q: Tokens expire. What guides their lifetime? 

A: Please refer to this document here:

Q: Pertaining to demographics maps, etc.- is data available from the entire world or only just USA territories?

A: It depends on what kind of demographic data you're looking for. While comprehensive demographic data covering all countries in the world does not exist, there are many countries who manage and provide data better than others.

Q: What is the GeoNet link that we can ask more questions?

A: Please feel free to comment here on this blog post for any additional questions about this webinar.

Q: When you create a new app (e.g., getting a new token), and it saves (to your dashboard), does it remain private while still online or do others who have access to your organization (ArcGIS Online account) have the ability to see it?

A: All items you create on ArcGIS Online begin as private and can only be seen and used by you. You then have full control to open up the sharing level so that the item can be seen and used by others in your organization, in groups your belong to, or even to the world using the "Everyone" level, provided your organization's Administrator has given you permissions to do so.

Q: Any custom apps for working with 3D data?

A: Using Web AppBuilder, AppStudio, or any of the ArcGIS web and native SDKs, it is possible to build 3D mapping applications using Web Scenes.

Q: What is the benefit of using DevLabs over Web AppBuilder?

A: Web AppBuilder is a web-based app for interactively building customized web applications. DevLabs are a series of tutorial modules for learning how developers can use ArcGIS Online to create and prepare data, design web maps, and build applications. At the moment there are no DevLab learning modules that cover the Web AppBuilder product, but we are working on them. If you want, here is a DevLab-style tutorial for building your first app using Web AppBuilder:

Q: What type of file is a 'JSON file'?

A: JSON stands for "JavaScript Object Notation". It is a way of formatting JavaScript objects in a simple standard human-readable way, for transmission and storage of this kind of data. Structurally however, it is simply a plain ASCII text file.

Q: Is there a dev lab on how to use the Google maps basemap and display data from Esri layers? 

A: At the moment, there is not a DevLab for this. However, in the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, there is a class called WebTileLayer which can be used to load and view non-ArcGIS tiled basemaps, and the help provides sample code for how to use it. It is important however to keep in mind that non-ArcGIS datasets have their own licensing requirements and usage restrictions. Please refer to the latest version of Google's Terms of Service to determine whether your desired use is allowed.

Q: How can I upload a map for you all to see?

A: The Map Viewer available on gives you the ability to create web maps, and then use the Share button to control who can see and use that map.

Q: Instead of copying the script from examples, what programming skills do you suggest to have before attempting these labs?

A: The DevLabs cover developer techniques across many different app development platforms, such as JavaScript, Android, iOS, .NET, and others. In order to get the most from these labs it is expected that you have at least a novice to intermediate level of skill and experience with the underlying developer technology and related programming language.

Q: How will I be able to share the JS Bin output to an external client and share it to public?

A: When you're in JSBin, use the "File > Save Snapshot" menu item, which creates a unique URL for your bin. You can copy that URL out of your browser's address bar, and paste that URL into, say, a text message or email, and the person you send it to can use that URL to see your bin. It's best if your register and log into JSBin. That gives you the ability to save these bins in your account. Now, if what you mean is, that you created a web app with JSBin, and how can you publish that as a standalone web app, you can do that too. But to do so you will need a web server. You can take the code you wrote in JSBin, save it out to HTML, CSS, JS files, and upload those to your web server, and host that application there.

Q: Using the existing developer account tools, is it possible to develop Interactive 3D urban planning, or landscape?

A: Yes. An ArcGIS developer license allows you to create interactive mapping applications that contain maps that display in 2D and 3D.

Q: Is it possible to populate a popup window with data fetched from a SQL DB instead of a feature layer's attribute table? If so, is there a DevLab that can guide you?

A: There is not a DevLab module for this, but you can find more information on that on the ArcGIS for Developers website, depending on which specific SDK you are using.

Q: Is it free, or do I need a license?

A: The ArcGIS Developer Program is free at the lowest level, called "Essentials". More information about what is included at all levels of the ArcGIS Developer Program, please refer to this page:

Q: Is there any workshop for DevLabs?

A: ArcGIS DevLabs are designed so that you can do them yourself, at your own time and pace. We do not have in-person instructor-led training that use the DevLabs, but we have dozens of other instructor-led courses that cover a variety of ArcGIS developer topics. For more information please see:

Q: Is there a full training for how to create a custom map?

A: There are a few dozen DevLabs that cover topics related to creating custom maps. For more information, use this URL:

Q: I am from state transmission utility (Gujarat India) and we have lat long data of each tower location in Oracle dB.  Can I use this tool to develop web-based and mobile applications?

A: Yes. ArcGIS Server and its Enterprise Geodatabase tools provide an excellent way for connecting to spatial data in an Oracle DBMS, then serving that data up as web services accessible to web and native applications you build using the various ArcGIS SDKs. 

Q: Do you know of any custom tool that would allow me to GROUP layers in the legend in an ArcGIS Online 2D map like I can with a SCENE?

A: The answer to this varies a bit. It depends on which ArcGIS SDK you are using. For that, I'd like to refer you to the ArcGIS for Developers website, then click into the part of the site that covers the SDK you are using.

Q: Once you develop something in DevLabs, how does licensing work for using the content in production?

A: To deploy web applications into commercial production, you must be at a subscription level above the free "Essentials", or you must purchase credits at a level above the free 50. For more information see this page:  As for native applications built with one of the ArcGIS Runtime SDKs, here is information on how to deploy apps into commercial production:

Q: Can we develop an app for survey purposes using this?

A: Yes. It is possible to use ArcGIS to build applications that can be used for surveying.

Q: Is it possible to publish map services from ArcGIS Pro to ArcGIS Server on prem?

A: Yes. You can use ArcGIS Pro to create a wide variety of web services, and host them on prem using ArcGIS Server.

For other questions and answers that were addressed in the webinar itself, or just to view the webinar because you missed it, please head over to We have many other webinars you can check out, so keep checking back for more!