Wow That's a Lot of ArcGIS Online Updates... Which Are Going to Help Me?

4 weeks ago
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Esri Contributor
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“OK Esri, you just overwhelmed me with 437 app updates (Which is great! Don’t get me wrong!), but I don’t have the time to dive into each of these and understand how they could help me.”

Rather than providing a recap of all the recent ArcGIS Online updates, we wanted to highlight how just 2 of them provide new ways to conduct research, teach modern GIS skills, and explore some potential avenues you could take in your courses.

The workflows I’ll be walking through include:

  • Working collaboratively with non-profits, local government, or across institutions
  • Receiving an e-mail when your authoritative apps/maps aren’t working

“Hey Anytown, USA – Your Bike Infrastructure Map Was Last Updated in 1997”

While it was always possible to pick up the phone, or send an e-mail to a local city, town, or non-profit and propose working jointly on a mapping initiative. The ability for ArcGIS Online organizations to partner with multiple organizations (Partnered Collaborations), now makes this incredibly easy to do. In just a few clicks, your class can work jointly with the local transportation department and update their authoritative bike lane data, create a public application for viewing current/proposed lanes, and top it off with a StoryMap to promote the collaborative effort.

We hear from non-profits, local government agencies, and even campus operations staff almost daily that would do anything for some basic (or advanced!) technical assistance.

In literally 2 minutes, you can send a collaboration request to another organization, add a ‘collaboration coordinator’, and then start working together.


My hometown (and 10,000 others) would love a trails map, local businesses finder, points of interest app, multi-modal transportation study, the skies the limit.  source:

"Great…5 of Our ‘Authoritative’ Applications Haven’t Been Working"

One of the easiest updates to overlook (or for a select audience, to get overly excited about), is the ability to schedule ArcGIS Online Notebooks. But what does this update mean for higher education users?

Have you ever received an e-mail from someone letting you know that a production web app is no longer working? Or loaded up an application to then see the ‘cannot load service’ message and wonder how long that’s been broken? Many times, users pull data from the Living Atlas or another 3rd party, build an amazing dashboard, and then publish it out to the world as authoritative content. This is a fantastic use case and highlights the power of ArcGIS Online, but it’s also difficult to track, manage, and administer all of the data that an application may contain (especially when it's not yours).

The ability to schedule Notebooks provides a fantastic way to ensure that your authoritative content is always working (by letting you know when it’s not!). Also – there is a sample notebook already provided that you only need to configure.


Check out the great sample notebooks that are already available - and then schedule away!

After you configure the notebook, you can then create a ‘task’ and schedule the notebook to run at whatever interval makes the most sense for you.


New 'task' pane now visible when you have a notebook loaded up.

There were another 435 updates that we didn’t cover in this post, but hopefully diving into just 2 workflows for a small subset of the recent updates provides some fodder for you to try out.

We obviously missed a lot, so if there are any great ‘applied’ ways you have found to use the new updates, please let us know (in the comments below)!


About the Author
Brian works as a Solution 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!