2021 Esri Developer Summit: Day 1 Plenary Recap

04-07-2021 08:37 AM
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LeslieFountain_0-1617809328448.jpegWelcome to the 16th Annual Developer Summit! Day 1 of the summit demonstrated several ways developers can create solutions with a range of ArcGIS solutions. Thousands of developers from more than 60 countries have registered for an information-packed experience where they can learn how to apply the latest developments to ge-enabled apps.

Jack Dangermond and Jim McKinney welcomed attendees with a brief highlight of what to expect from the summit. Jack extended gratitude to developers worldwide who are helping with our collective understanding of our challenges by building apps and maps that visualize, analyze, and bring the “language of our world” alive.


ArcGIS: A Platform for Developers

ArcGIS Platform is a location Platform-as-a-Service made for developers built with the developer experience, location services, and business model in mind. You can choose your mapping library, authentication preferences, and more. Create a free developer account and leverage the consumption-based pricing model to start building.


Building Apps on ArcGIS Platform

After introducing the ArcGIS Platform, the plenary moved to demonstrate the range of ways you can build apps with the ArcGIS platform.

Calcite Design System


Julie Powell introduced the new design system available through Calcite. Calcite provides UI components, best practices for compelling design themes, and icons to streamline your application design. You can test and preview the UI elements within Calcite and efficiently make changes in your applications using the system.  This resource will be available on April 22, 2021, at developers.arcgis.com. Search for “calcite.”



No Code ArcGIS Solutions

Dashboard Data Expressions

ArcGIS provides several ways to build maps and apps without code, including instant apps in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS StoryMaps. Soobin Choi introduced a new feature called dashboard data expressions. This Arcade expression returns a feature set to help with pain points that come with using various data sources and structures to tell a story.

Other low code or no code applications include Experience Builder, Web AppBuilder, and AppStudio.

Web Application Development

Performance Improvement with ArcGIS JavaScript API and Hosted Feature Services


Jeremy Bartley demonstrates how the ArcGIS JavaScript API works with GeoJSON in a demo for web application development. Mapping a layer with a large data file can be done more efficiently through a hosted feature service that compresses the file size for optimal loading performance. Look out for the upcoming ArcGIS API JavaScript release for more improvements in the area of application performance.


Smart Mapping




Kristian Keyes shows a map of National Park visits built with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript’s Smart Mapping feature. Smart Mapping consists of APIs and widgets that create styles based on your dataset. Kristian demos a new feature for visualizing data above and below the median value of a dataset by size. This feature was released in December 2020.  


3D and ArcGIS API for JavaScript


Arno Fiva demonstrates 3D and ArcGIS API for JavaScript in an example for real estate in Denver, Colorado (USA). See how you can go from 2D to 3D to provide more contextual awareness of a location, how the satellite mesh layer provides a more realistic view of a city, and how to integrate data for an interactive informational experience. You can also view how this experience can be used in natural landscapes.






Try It Out: Explore Mars!

Try the experience of 3D mapping and 3D visualization on the planet of Mars. Go to explore-mars.esri.com.






Exploring Large Data Sets
Anne Fitz shows how ArcGIS API for JavaScript performs with viewing large datasets. Anne uses demographic data for the City of Los Angeles that contains 20,000 features and 350 fields to visualize where population segments live, their income distribution, and more. Use the animation capability to highlight patterns that support your data storytelling.


From exploring large datasets, Anne moves to explain the latest development with ES Modules. Support for ES Modules was released in beta last year and will be fully supported in the upcoming version of ArcGIS API for JavaScript.



Map Viewer

Jeremy Bartley points to Map Viewer as a great way to get a sense of the latest updates and capabilities mentioned above with ArcGIS, including the Calcite design system, hosted feature services, and ArcGIS API for JavaScript.




Open-Source Mapping Libraries

Anita Kemp demonstrates how you can use third-party open-source mapping libraries with the ArcGIS Platform to create the look and feel you want for your map application.



Native Application Development


Nick Furness of the ArcGIS SDK Runtime team demonstrates some of ArcGIS Runtime capabilities, including geocoding, routing, and navigation through a web application with a connected external GNSS device. Check out the demo to see how Nick captures and accesses the data from the GNSS device.

ArcGIS Runtime Working Offline

Nick also demonstrates how to use this application offline. Continue watching the plenary to learn how the transition from online to offline works for apps with a brief explainer after the visualization enhancements and utility network segments.  



Visualization Enhancements

Lucas Danzinger highlights enhancements made with web styles, labels, and feature tiles. Web styles allow you to search and apply symbols that you can modify. You can also create and publish your own custom styles and more. Watch the full demo to learn how you can work with predefined labels in 3D scenes that will be supported in a new label API release.

Utility Network


ArcGIS Runtime API now supports the trace and configuration types for utility networks, including subtype group layers and annotation. Preeti Maske demonstrates an application built with the API to see a power outage’s location, view the impact on customer services, and more.




Game Design and ArcGIS Maps SDK Beta



Rex Hansen shares an update on ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unity and ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unreal Engine, along with a video collage of visualizations created with the SDK. The beta program is open to the public with more than 2,500 participants. More than half of the participants are exploring the plug-ins to build an XR (AR/VR) solution. Sign up to join and provide your feedback on the development at https://esriurl.com/a4ge.


Stay tuned for Day 2 of the Plenary Recap for ArcGIS: Systems Overview, Spatial Analytics, and Geospatial AI!

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