Questions & Answers |The Use of Esri Maps for Office Meetup (11.25.14)

12-01-2014 01:45 PM
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Questions & Answers |The Use of Esri Maps for Office Meetup (11.25.14)

Here are the Questions and Answers from our Meetup 'The Use of Esri Maps for Office in Public Works ' on November 25, 2014.  If you have additional questions or comments, please comment below.

  • Q1: Can we use a local map service instead of ArcGIS Online maps?
  • A1: You can use Portal for ArcGIS, an extension of ArcGIS for Server, to use local map services instead of ArcGIS Online.

  • Q2: Did that mean that the attributes of that table will be updated? I'm assuming appended data.
  • A2: As attributes are updated in the spreadsheet, they are reflected in the map. If you append data to a table, the table will automatically resize and include the new information. If you added your data to the map via cell range, the cell range you defined will not change. Data added outside this defined cell range will not be included in the map.

  • Q3: Is it possible to export maps to multiple formats? Or can they only be save to ArcMap online?
  • A3: We support sharing to ArcGIS Online (or Portal for ArcGIS), creating a PowerPoint slide of your map (which can be static or dynamic), and copying an image of your current map extent to the Windows clipboard.

  • Q4: Are all addressing fields required for a successful geocoding request?
  • A4: No. The World Geocoding Service will try to make a match with the addressing fields that are provided. For example if you choose 'Address' as the location type and only supply ZIP codes, you will receive back pins in the center of the specified ZIP codes.

  • Q5: What geocoding service(s) is being used for address searches?
  • A5: We use Esri's World Geocoding Service.

  • Q6: How do you bring the analysis layer into ArcGIS?
  • A6: You can share your analysis layer by using the 'Share layer' or 'Share map' buttons. This publishes the layer or web map to ArcGIS. Once published to ArcGIS you can search for it through any of the other applications on the platform.

  • Q10: For each time you run this analysis is there a charge to credits?
  • A10: Yes, typically spatial analysis performed by ArcGIS Online (which is what powers Esri Maps for Office) will consume credits. Current service credit charges can be found here:

  • Q11: Sorry, I may have missed it, the first time you did the geocode, what happened? It seemed to not work? Was that the entire geocode or a single address?
  • A11: The World Geocoding Service had intermittent issues this morning, as shown here: Small batches of addresses are sent to the geocoder, so failure will happen at the batch level. In my demo, a few batches went through but most of them failed.

  • Q12: Are there composite geocoders available?
  • A12: I'm not very familiar with composite geocoders, but I do know that ArcGIS Online organizational administrators can register additional geocoders for use by their organization. These custom geocoders would then show up in the 'Location types' list in Maps for Office. I personally haven't tried registering and using a composite geocoder in this way, but I think this is how you would do it.

  • Q13: How do you manage the errors?  We saw in one geocode that only 75 points matched but 748 points did not. That seemed like a bad percentage.
  • A13: Indeed, that was a very bad percentage. It was due to issues with the World Geocoding Service, which is usually a bit more reliable than it was today. To manage these, I would use the 'Fix errors' tool which appears in the Table of Contents when you have geocoding failures. This will allow you to clean up the data row by row (assuming the errors exist within the data and not the service - the Fix Errors tool wouldn't have helped me today).

  • Q14: For the data to be shared, the data is hosted on ArcGIS Online, correct? The feature that was created is "Online" and not local?
  • A14: Yes, today I shared the data using ArcGIS Online. However, if I had been connected to a local instance of Portal for ArcGIS I would have shared locally on the ArcGIS for Server installation that hosted Portal. If you don't want to use ArcGIS Online and send your data to the cloud, use Portal for ArcGIS.

  • Q15: Can you perform geocoding of linear referenced data (route & mile post) using Esri Maps for Office?
  • A15: This version of Maps for Office does not support linear feature support, however version 3.0 WILL support linear features! We have a public beta coming up in December so keep an eye out at and help us test it out.

  • Q16: Will updates to the spreadsheet be reflected in the published map?
  • A16: Updates to the spreadsheet will only be pushed to ArcGIS Online if you manually click the 'Update shared layer' button in the ribbon (Share layer and Share map become Update shared layer and Update shared map once sharing has occurred).

  • Q18: After a map is created, how can I share it with my department and to people who are very unfamiliar with GIS?  Is there a way to only share the interactive map?
  • A18: Once you share to ArcGIS Online (or Portal) you can share the link to the map on ArcGIS. This will give them access to a web-based version of the interactive map. Another method that also works is to just send them the spreadsheet or a PowerPoint presentation with a dynamic map included.

  • Q19: Where do I go to access past presentations?
  • A19: Past presentations are posted on Meetup and GeoNet.

  • Q20: Why wouldn't "Address" show up as a Location Type to select from?  Is there a specific format the address information in your spreadsheet has to be in?
  • A20: "Address" might not show up for you if you do not have an address geocoder set up in your organization. Organizations based on ArcGIS Online normally have the world geocoder as a default address geocoder, but if you are connecting to Portal your organization administrator might not have an address geocoder configured.

  • Q22: How was the hydrant location service created?
  • A22: I had a hydrants point layer in ArcMap and published it as a feature service. Then, in Maps for Office, I selected "Add a custom location type" from the same dialog where I selected 'Location type'. I searched for and selected my shared feature service and chose a field to be used for the join. You can read more about how to use custom location types here:

  • Q23: Is it possible to insert a map on a separate spreadsheet? That is, can I add a map onto a new spreadsheet tab?
  • A23: Yes, maps can be created on separate worksheets. Maps and data must be in the same workbook, however.

  • Q24: If you publish a map to a public facing domain and that map is referencing data in an Excel spreadsheet, what kind of security (generally speaking) would you need to have in place?
  • A24: Security would be handled on the server machine, and server security is beyond my depth of knowledge. One thing I will mention, thoughthere isn't a live connection between the server and the spreadsheet. When you share the map, you are essentially sharing a snapshot of the data. You can update that snapshot by using the "Update shared layer" tool.

  • Q25: Is there a way to get a legend into the map that's shown in PowerPoint?
  • A25: Yes! I showed it during the Q&A section, but as a refresher: after clicking 'Add map slide' and opening the web map you want to use, click on the plus sign to add items from the Table of Contents to the map key (or legend).
  • Q26: Will Portal be available with a purchase of ArcGIS for Server?
  • A26: I'm not entirely sure. You can find more information about Portal and licensing here:

  • Q27: The newly added feature (from table) will be temporary (just show up) or permanent (create a layer), if permanent, what kind of file will be that, shapefile, geodatabase, KML, or something else?
  • A27: Esri Maps for Office doesn't use or support shapefiles, KML, or geodatabases. We are powered by ArcGIS (Online or Portal) and store geometry information within the spreadsheet in a format that is unique to Maps for Office.

  • Q28: I have had several of these issues that you are experiencing with Esri Maps for Office, have there been issues with development?
  • A28: I assume you are referring to my geocoding troubles. I experienced trouble with the World Geocoding Service having intermittent outages around the time of my demo. You can look up the status of ArcGIS Online at any time here:

  • Q29: We have our own geocoding service. How do I point to it?
  • A29: Your ArcGIS organizational administrator can register your geocoders with ArcGIS Online or Portal. For example, in ArcGIS Online, it is under 'My organization' > Edit settings > Utility services > Add geocoder.

  • Q30: Is the geocoded service only for US region or is that available for UK, Asia as well.
  • A30: The default geocoder for ArcGIS Online is the Esri World Geocoding Service and is available globally.

  • Q31: Which is the limit of record?
  • A31: I believe you are asking how many rows can we support—in which case, there isn't a hard limit. Performance depends on your connection to ArcGIS and the hardware in your computer, but we generally don't recommend more than 100,000 or so. If you are using areas/polygons with very complex geometry the functional limit is going to be much lower than that.

  • Q33: Please, how do you add the Esri Maps for Office to Excel?
  • A33: You can download and install Esri Maps for Office from the following link: (click 'Get Esri Maps for Office'). Once installed, you will have a new ribbon group called 'Esri Maps'. All the Esri Maps for Office functionality will be accessible from there.
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