April showers bring May… Explorer updates? Yes! We have some new updates that we want to share with you. We recently released updates to our Windows and Android versions of Explorer. These releases were focused around improving feature parity across platforms as most of this functionality was already in the iOS version of the app. Let's take a look at a few of the updates:
Support for signing-in using PKI or Single Sign-On (SSO)
Many of our federal government users have been asking for Explorer to support PKI / smart card authentication – and now it does! When Explorer discovers that the ArcGIS Enterprise portal is using PKI, the user will be prompted to choose a certificate (.pfx). This feature is now available on Windows.
Note: smart-card authentication is not supported in the version of Explorer that is in the Microsoft store. Download and install Explorer directly from Esri for smart-card and multi-certificate support.
Support for on-device basemaps
If you have high-resolution imagery or other very large basemaps you want to use with offline areas in web maps, you may want to load them directly onto your Windows device. This was previously only available on iOS and is now supported in Explorer on Windows and Android. Learn more about preparing maps for offline use.
Mobile map packages support scheduled updates and honor expiration dates (Windows)
Easily identify map areas that have been updated through scheduled updates (Windows)
Improvements to related record workflows (Windows)
Improved translations (Windows)
Various bug fixes and improvements (Windows and Android)
We recentlyannouncedthat Explorer has arrived on Windows 10. In addition, we just delivered new releases for Explorer on iOS and Android which bring powerful new offline capabilities and an improved experience to the app across all supported platforms.
Explorer is the best mobile application for viewing your maps wherever you are, with or without a data connection. You can see your maps, search for and be directed to places and features, get information about your assets, and add and share your own notes and markup – all from the palm of your hand!
If you already know and love Explorer, you’re about to love it even more! With our latest releases, Explorer offers the best of our current mapping capabilities.
Mobile workers need to be able to view their maps and find features or places even when they are in locations with limited or no connectivity. This latest release of the Explorer app brings greater flexibility for working offline so your mobile workforce can keep going even in places without a data connection.
In addition to using mobile map packages to work offline, now you can also use web maps to define offline areas for use in Explorer. There are two ways you can do this with web maps:
Pre-define offline areas.Map creators can set up offline areas in a web map through ArcGIS Online (or Enterprise) and make them available for mobile workers to download and use in Explorer.
In ArcGIS Online, you can use the brand new scheduled updatesfeature to help you keep your offline map areas current. This pushes out any changes you’ve made and makes them available for your users to download at a specific date and time that you set. These updates contain only the data that has changed since the package was last created or refreshed which provides a streamlined downloading experience.
Create offline areas on demand.Mobile workers can download a web map that has been configured for offline use and create their own offline areas in the Explorer app.
The ability to monitor your operations in near-real time is essential for making informed decisions and responding quickly to incidents as they happen. This is especially crucial in highly dynamic situations like public event or disaster response operations.
Watch your maps come alive in Explorer by defining refresh intervals for your web maps in ArcGIS Online. These options keep your maps up-to-date with the latest information when there’s a data connection, providing you and your team with greater situational awareness.
Refresh intervalsautomatically update your map layers at a specific time interval that you set. You can set your layers to update as often as every 6 seconds for most layer types!
For example, you may want your team to be aware of each other’s location so that you can properly respond during a live event. You can do this by setting refresh intervals on a layer in your web map that contains the last known location of each mobile worker from the Tracker for ArcGIS application.
Only authorized members of your team would be able to see each other’s locations. Your organization’s administrator would manage those permissions for your location tracking service. Learn more abouttracking service privileges.
Explorer would display the last known locations of your team members and keep it updated (when there is connectivity) based on the refresh interval that you set up.
View tracks (iOS only)
Now mobile workers canview their own tracksfrom the Tracker for ArcGIS app in Explorer on their iPhone or iPad device.
This allows mobile workers to see a breadcrumb trail of where they’ve been. For example, a field worker may be inspecting damage in a disaster area which can be a highly disorienting situation. Viewing their tracks in Explorer along with the features in their map can help the field worker verify they covered the intended territory.
Manage complex workflows with easier app linking
Complex field operation workflows can leverage deep linking to create a streamlined mobile user experience.
You canlink directly into Explorerthrough email, text, web page, QR code, and other applications. For example, from within a Workforce for ArcGIS assignment, a mobile worker can click on a link into the related map in Explorer to locate the asset of interest.
You can also link to other applications or websites from within Explorer. For example, once a mobile worker has found an asset in Explorer, you can use deep linking to take them directly into a form in Survey123 to collect information about that asset.
We’ve updated theformatof our links to universal links to make it easier to manage deep linking workflows for any device. The new format also enables us to prompt the user to download the app if it’s not already on their device.
Sideload your basemaps
Basemaps are the largest component of most web maps and can make downloading offline areas more difficult in locations where there is limited or intermittent connectivity.
Explorer now supports the ability to use basemaps that have been copied directly onto the mobile worker’s device. You can do this by configuring your webmap to reference a basemap tile package that has already been deployed to the mobile device. This can greatly speed up download times for offline areas because the download only includes the operational layers. Learn more aboutusing sideloaded basemaps.
For the mobile worker, sideloaded basemaps will display alongside connected basemaps in Explorer and will be available for them to use in any map they open.
Note: due to Android security changes, we’ve updated the location where your maps are stored on your device. If you are upgrading a device that has existing map packages on it, see ourmigration guideto get them moved to the right locations.
But Wait, There's More! With the latest release you can also:
Get directions: From Explorer, you can tap on a specific location or feature to open and get directions through Navigator for ArcGIS, Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Waze. (Android & iOS only)
Load mobile map packages through SD cards (Android only). Learnmore.
Use raster and mosaic layers directly in your mobile map packages without creating tile packages.
Streamline your portal sign in process with our new portalURL link parameter so your mobile users don’t have to manually type in a URL to gain access. Learnmore. (Android & iOS. Coming soon to Windows)
Display advanced symbology with Arcade (key for Military Symbology support). For more on this, check out the Arcade-based Styles section ofthis blog.
Maps now support group layers.
We also fixed a few bugs in the Windows release:
BUG-000127215– Titles for related features display as ‘No Title’ when the relationship is to a table and map services are used in the web map.
BUG-000127242– Features from map image layers that are selected in Explorer for ArcGIS do not appear as highlighted.
If you had sideloaded MMPKs in the previous version of Explorer on Android, you probably noticed that they are no longer appearing in your list of maps after updating to the new version. Don't worry! They haven't disappeared, they just need to be moved to a new location on your device's storage. With the new release of Explorer for ArcGIS version 20.1.0 on Android we had to change the location for sideloaded content due to some restriction changes coming in Android. Here’s a quick rundown for where the sideloaded MMPKs and basemaps need to go.
The sideload locations are created on initial launch and can be found by looking in the apps directory at each storage location – this could be the internal primary storage OR an SD card (see below for example). So if you launch Explorer on a device with an SD card, you should see the folders below get created where you can sideload the data:
For devices that had data in the old location, you can either re-sideload the content or you can use the file manager app on the device to move the MMPKs to the new location. Note: if the files are copied while the app is open you’ll likely have to refresh the Browse Maps view for the maps to appear.
Leave a comment below or email Explorer4arcgis@esri.com if you have any questions or problems getting your MMPKs to appear and we hope you're enjoying all the new features in version 20.1.0!
Justin wrote a really nice blog post here explaining how to verify that your machine is able to install Explorer locally - and how to actually install Explorer on your Windows 10 machine if you don't have access to the Microsoft Store. Take a look and let us know if you have any questions!
Explorer for ArcGIS is the best way to view your maps and layers on your mobile device, whether you have a data connection or if you’re working in a remote area with no service. It’s great for those field users who just need a simple map viewer to take their GIS data on the go. Explorer is also great to take some quick notes on the map and share them with colleagues in the field or back in the office. These capabilities have been available onAndroidandiOSfor some time and we’re super excited to announce that today they are available in our first release of Explorer on Windows 10!
What's New in Explorer for Windows?
In addition to all the great stuff that’s already in Explorer on iOS and Android, Explorer on Windows brings some new functionality that we think you’re going to love.
More Ways to Work Offline
In addition to being able to download mobile map packages for offline use, Explorer on Windows adds a few more ways to take your maps offline for use in a disconnected environment.
The first way is by using offline areas that have been added to a web map in ArcGIS Online. In this scenario, a map author would create offline areas for use by their field workers. These can be areas that are often traveled to or areas with little or no network connectivity. Once these areas are defined by the map author, ArcGIS packages the layers and basemaps and makes a map area available for download. Map authors can define how often the map areas get automatically updated with the most current info from the web map – as frequently as daily, if preferred.
These offline areas, once created, are then available for download and use by your field workforce in Explorer. You can tell if your web map has offline areas available by looking for the text ‘Offline areas’ in the map card as shown below. Tap or click on the card and choose an area to download.
Another new way to take maps offline is to take parts of web maps offline on-demand whenever you like. From within Explorer, users can select a web map that has been configured for offline use and create a new offline area. You can choose which layers you want, how much detail should be included, and ArcGIS will package everything up before sending it to your Windows device.
Your maps are alive!
Explorer for ArcGIS now supports the layer refresh interval setting if it is defined within your web maps, bringing near-real time updates to maps within Explorer. Map authors can set a layer refresh interval to tell the web map how often to push layer updates out to clients – as often as every 6 seconds on most layer types! This can help bring situational awareness to field users in highly dynamic situations like public events or disaster response scenarios.
Direct raster support is here
Have you ever gone to build a mobile map package, added your raster layer, only to be disappointed that rasters and mosaics weren’t supported? Did you waste a lot of time building a tile package just so you could then embed it in your map package to get your imagery out to your users? No more! Explorer will now read raster and mosaic layers directly from a mobile map package, making the authoring process more efficient and less frustrating. Win win!
How to get it
Head over to the Microsoft Store and search for Explorer for ArcGIS, or you can click the linkhere. In the coming weeks we’ll also be making an installer available for those of you not able to access the Microsoft Store. I’ll add the link here when it’s ready, so check back soon. For additional help using or making maps for use in Explorer, check out ourhelp documentation.
After you’ve had a chance to try it out, head over to ourGeoNet communityand tell us what you think! We love hearing what you’re doing with Explorer and we welcome your suggestions for the future.
We are pushing out one last beta before our final release, and it's got some great stuff we want you to try out. Things like:
Support for on-demand offline map areas
A relatively new feature in ArcGIS is the ability to create offline areas based on web maps. It can be done two ways: map authors can predefine areas for mobile users to take offline, or mobile users can define the area they want to take with them 'on demand' whenever they like. We brought you the former in the last beta, and we bring you the latter in this beta. On-demand offline workflows provide great flexibility for your field workers. Feel free to try it out with your web maps! Be aware that taking maps offline on-demand packages up all your layers and basemaps in real time and can be somewhat resource intensive.
Support for adding and removing favorite maps
Does your organization have too many maps to keep track of? Would you prefer to have the handful you work with regularly pop to the top of your map browser in Explorer? Try out 'favorites', an easy way to keep track of maps you work with often. These favorites sync across ArcGIS, so maps marked as a favorite in Explorer will also show up as a favorite in ArcGIS Online or Enterprise (and vice versa).
Switch to basemaps with different spatial reference systems
You asked for it, we're delivering it. If you have basemaps in your organization that have different spatial reference systems, you can now switch easily between all of them in Explorer. No longer are you stuck being able to only open basemaps that are in the same spatial reference system as your original map!
In addition to those items, we've also been working hard to add:
Support for group layers in mobile map packages
Ability to refresh screen while browsing list of maps
Download on WiFi only setting
Feature search sorting enhancements
Definition query now honored when searching MMPK
Capability to search for a coordinate
Improved error messages when using custom URL schemes
Various bug fixes
You can find all of these updates in theMicrosoft storeby searching for 'Explorer for ArcGIS beta' (they will be available soon as a sideloadable package; I'll edit that into the blog here when it is ready). Dig in, try it out, and leave us feedback to let us know how it's going. We look forward to wrapping things up in the beta and getting the initial release of Explorer for ArcGIS on Windows out soon!
Beta 3 is now available in the Microsoft Store! We've got lots of great updates for you, including:
The ability to side-load Explorer onto your Windows device. Can't use the Microsoft Store? Use the info in Justin's blog to download and install Explorer locally.
Support for web maps that have pre-planned offline areas. Map authors can define areas within web maps that mobile users can download and use when offline. Windows 10 Explorer users can now download and use these areas on their devices.
Markup improvements such as adding notes to the markup objects, changing the color of markup items after they've been created, and toggling the fill shading for enclosed markup objects.
You can now copy text from a popup.
Anonymous logins are now supported, so you do not have to have an ArcGIS account to use Explorer beta 3. This is really handy if you want to create public / anonymous mobile maps (requires the Publisher extension) and share them with people outside your organization.
The option to return to the default basemap for the current map.
The ability to specify the preferred coordinate notation.
You can view map details from the Map card, including summary, date modified, and description.
There are now separate tools for viewing map layers and the map legend.
Lots of bug fixes.
You can find all of these updates in the Microsoft store by searching for 'Explorer for ArcGIS beta' - or by downloading and installing Explorer locally using the instructions in the sideloading blog.
We're getting close to an official release later in the summer, so make sure you keep trying things out and letting us know what's working - and what's not working - so we can keep trying to get all those bugs squashed.
Explorer for ArcGIS for Windows is built with Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP). For information about UWP apps, see the following Microsoft documentation: What's a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app?. Typically, you install UWP applications from the Microsoft Store.
However, if you can’t access the store, there is another option—sideloading. This allows you to install apps on Windows 10 devices without going through the Microsoft Store. Follow the steps below to install Explorer for ArcGIS via sideloading on your Windows 10 device.
Before you start, see which version of Windows 10 you have and make sure your device meets the minimum requirements. Explorer for ArcGIS for Windows requires Windows 10 version 1803 (OS Build 17134) or higher.
Enable Windows 10 for sideloading
By default, Windows 10 only allows you to install applications from the Microsoft Store. To install from other sources, you need to enable sideloading:
Click Update & Security > For developers.
Under Use developer features, select Sideload apps.
Launch the installer (Double click on .appxbundle file)
Click the Install button.
If you get an “App installation failed with error message: Install failed.” error (or something similar) while installing with App Installer following the steps above, you can try to install Explorer for ArcGIS with the Add-AppxPackage cmdlet using PowerShell.
To install Explorer for ArcGIS from PowerShell:
Run Windows PowerShell
Change to the directory where you extracted the installer after download.
Run this command (make sure to change the filename if installing a different version):