2020 Recap of Key ArcGIS Online Updates

02-02-2021 07:27 AM
Esri Regular Contributor
1 0 529

With the vast array of products and updates, it’s even hard for Esri staff to stay on top of the latest enhancements!

Here is a quick recap and a list of references to get you to some of the latest enhancements/updates that are key for educators.

ArcGIS Dashboards – Beta 2

Dashboards are probably the first application that I ask: Are you using Dashboards yet?.

From my perspective, this is one of the most valuable tools for both students and operations staff at universities and campuses to be familiar with. There is no better way to get GIS in front of someone that can’t spell ‘coordinate system’ and immediately convince them of it’s value.

From my standpoint, the reason to invest some time in learning this new release is:

  • Arcade support
    • You can now teach basic ‘programming’ using the Arcade expression language. This gives you the ability to highly configure the look and feel of both symbology, pop-ups, and widgets. One simple example of this could have symbols ‘grow’ or change color based on their date or a severity field.
  • Stand-alone tables
    • Use non-spatial data as a source and create ‘joins’ inside of Dashboard to map and visualize that data with a key field…I love this. For example, you could have a feature class of counties and a table of accidents. Based on a common field (ex. name of county in each dataset), you could then symbolize the counties based on the total # of accidents.

Just a few weeks ago, there was an update to ArcGIS Dashboards the full details of which can be found here:

ArcGIS Online

While there has been a wide array of updates to ArcGIS Online, a few of the most critical ones from my standpoint relate to the administrative functionality.

  • Block Access to Applications
    • While all users in Education are licensed for every product… it doesn’t mean that they need to see and use every product. If a teacher or administrator wants to control the applications all of the GIS Professional user types have access to, you can now ‘block’ those apps from your users.
  • ArcGIS Security Advisor
    • With the November 2020 update – HTTPS is now being enforced across ArcGIS Online. Yet, there are probably still images, StoryMaps, apps, links, or other content that are causing errors or issues in your organization that you might not be aware of. An easy way to check for these issues/errors is by using the ArcGIS Security Advisor application. It conducts a scan of all of your ArcGIS Online (or Enterprise) items and helps to address those concerns. Get to the application from here: https://trust.arcgis.com/en/

For a detailed look at the ‘What’s New’ – there is no better source of information then the ArcGIS Online update blogs from Bern Szukalski:

Hope this helped to guide a few folks to some of the key enhancements/updates that have been pushed out recently!

If you have any questions, or if there were any key enhancements that I missed, please let me know in the comments.


About the Author
Brian works as a Lead Engineer at Esri to support customers in Education. Brian has worked as a lecturer in GIS, supported non-profits through his community planning work, and honestly just loves working with users to help solve their geospatial quandaries!