Using ArcGIS Online in Geodesign

Bern Szukalski of Esri demonstrates ArcGIS Online, its new capabilities, and how geodesign practitioners can benefit from using the software.

Jan 6th, 2012

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00:01…but what I'd like to do is, I'd like to demonstrate a little bit of ArcGIS Online.

00:03I know that some of you have seen this, but I'll show you some new things that are currently in beta that we'll be releasing in…

00:11…just a few months, and these are some very exciting capabilities, and I'll show you those…

00:15towards the end in just a few moments. But I've been involved with ArcGIS

00:20and I've seen it grow from a platform that enables sharing of maps and geospatial information…

00:26…and really something more than that.

00:28It's really more of a geospatial content management system that supports geocollaboration.

00:35And as you'll see in a few moments, the ability to publish your GIS and your maps directly through hosted cloud services.

00:43So this makes it very quick and efficient and easy to publish information widely and collaborate with others.

00:51One of the primary focuses of the site for you, I think, is the availability of data.

00:57Anybody can go to and visit it, in sort of an anonymous fashion.

01:02I've signed in so you can get an account, and that enables you to save and share your maps, and collaborate with others.

01:10We'll begin by exploring a little bit. This is the website, and one of the things that we provide through…

01:17… is lots of data that you can begin using. This is a new basemap that was just recently published.

01:24This is the National Geographic basemap. And this continues to be refined, it's global in coverage, and provides a great level of…

01:33…detail, as well as that trademark National Geographic cartography.

01:38I'm here in the San Diego area, and you can see as we zoom in, there's some rich authoritative…

01:44…content that is present in this basemap. And this basemap has been compiled from lots of different sources.

01:52We might think of that as an intelligent map because we know about it, it's well documented and from a known source.

01:59Other elements of intelligent maps are that they present information in meaningful ways.

02:05This is the Tapestry Segmentation map for the United States, and as I zoom in we'll see we cross different scale thresholds…

02:14…and we look at data slightly differently to get information about the demographics of these areas.

02:20I can click on any of these and the information about the Tapestry Segmentation, the characteristics of this…

02:28…area are indicated very nicely using a very nice pie chart.

02:32So part of intelligent maps is presenting information in meaningful ways.

02:38Another part of intelligent maps is that they present information in a timely, or time-enabled fashion.

02:45And here is another map on our gallery which is, I think, very interesting.

02:48This one leverages some imagery, and it shows changes over time.

02:53You'll see at the bottom there's a little slider, and as the slider advances, we'll see the snow and ice cover change over time.

03:02We're looking at February to March currently. Now we're in March, April, and the next step here is April to May…

03:10…and you can see things change over the globe. So these time-aware maps are part of what intelligent maps are all about.

03:20I've looked at some maps that are on our Gallery, but you can also search for additional content.

03:26And let's look for…I'm going to choose Kentucky as my topic of choice here this morning, and I enter Kentucky and I find…

03:34…lots of different hits. One of the things that you're interested in, is finding authoritative data from authoritative sources.

03:41And how might we be able to discover things and understand whether they're information that we want to use in our geodesign…

03:51…or not. Well, this site makes it pretty easy to do that. The hit here is by relevance, so the most relevant map…

03:59…is this map here by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

04:03I can explore who the user is by clicking on their name, and I understand this to be the Kentucky Division of…

04:09…Geographic Information. So this represents an authoritative source for this basemap.

04:15These maps are also vetted by the community, so I can sort by the rating, and that also happens to be the most highly rated map.

04:23I can see it has a five-star rating here. It has a couple of comments, and about 6,500 views.

04:30I can also sort maps by the number of views and the most viewed map.

04:34I found this interesting was the most viewed map that matches Kentucky is this one here that is a map showing division of mine…

04:43…permits, and that's gotten 12,300 views. So that's a very popular map.

04:49I can also sort by date to see which is the most recent map, and this morning as I was warming up…

04:55…I published a map using some Kentucky data, so my map is the most recent map that was published that matches that.

05:02But there's different ways that we can look at content that we discover.

05:08Once we discover something, I can learn more about it by looking at its details.

05:12So this map is very nicely documented, which also lends credence to its authoritativeness, and it also includes lots of links…

05:21…which let me learn more about the map, and the source, and the organization that has published it.

05:27This one actually lets me open up the map in the Commonwealth of Kentucky viewer, and I can also follow other links…

05:34…that tell more about its source. So the availability of the metadata as part of these documented resources, will be very…

05:41…important to you as you begin working with these. Now another thing about intelligent maps is that they can be used anywhere.

05:49I can open this map in ArcGIS Desktop.

05:52So if I'm a professional GIS user, I can open it up directly in my desktop and use it as a base for work.

05:59I can also open it in Explorer Online, we'll take a look at that a little bit later, and I can also open it in the Map Viewer.

06:06Now if I also have a mobile device, a phone, or an iPad, this same map can also be opened up in those mobile devices.

06:13So here's that Kentucky basemap, and as I zoom in, I can see that this is a very nicely architected map, we cross different…

06:21…scale thresholds and we see lots interesting information until I finally reach the imagery here.

06:28So this is a great basemap for me to begin working with, and it's coming from the authoritative source, the State of Kentucky.

06:36Now another thing about intelligent maps is that they're easy to make and easy to share.

06:42So let's begin now by creating a new map. I've opened this up in a very simple JavaScript Viewer, and we've opened it…

06:50…with the default basemap, which is the community basemap.

06:53This map is compiled from worldwide data that comes from a variety of sources, government level sources…

07:01…local governments.

07:03At this level, I'm likely looking at content that's come from the USGS, maybe with some commercial content added into it…

07:11…even though I used the word commercial, this is all free, free to use.

07:15As I zoom in further we'll see much more detailed content, and this is coming directly from the local source.

07:21So here I've zoomed in to Washington, DC, area, and this content here is coming from the DC GIS folks.

07:29So this is authoritative content, up-to-date that's continually updated at periodic intervals and, therefore, you can trust this as…

07:38…a substrate for your basemap. And no matter where we go in the world, this community basemap, contains the…

07:45…authoritative content we might want to use.

07:48For example here I am in Hong Kong, and as I zoom in, we'll again see that high level of detail.

07:55This is interesting because it also includes labels in multiple languages here.

08:01One thing that you notice, whether I'm in DC or Hong Kong, is that the maps, more or less, look the same.

08:07And that's accomplished by using a template.

08:10So users pour their data into this template, we take what they have poured into the template…

08:17…and we bring it together and publish it as a seamless multiscale map that covers the entire world.

08:23So no matter where you go, you'll see similar cartography and you'll be able to leverage this data in different ways.

08:31It's kind of all seamlessly brought together, rather than a patchwork quilt.

08:35Now let's go back to the United States and let's go ahead and make a map here.

08:41One of the things I'd like to do is let's learn a little bit about, we just completed the census not long ago…

08:46…let's look for some demographic information that's based on the latest census data.

08:52So I search keyword, demographic, and let's look for population density.

08:58I can click on the title; I can look at those item details like we did before, and learn a lot more about it.

09:05I can use it as a basemap, or I can just go ahead and add it to my map.

09:09Now this is one of those intelligent map layers, so when I click on it, I can learn more about it.

09:14This tells me about the population density, in a nice natural language way, rather than a list of attributes.

09:20So these pop-ups can be configured and they can be made more meaningful for you or your audience.

09:26Now one thing that you'll notice about this map is that it does kind of cover up the basemap, but I can adjust this.

09:33If I go to my details I can adjust the transparency. So we'll make it about 50 percent transparency, and now I can see the…

09:42…basemap underneath that. We also have some other basemaps which are specifically designed for this task.

09:49And we think of this as, creating a map sandwich.

09:52So if I choose one of these other basemaps from the Gallery, this one puts that population density layer on top of the terrain…

10:01…and ensures that the labels are on top of that. So we've inserted our layer of interest in between the other slices of the map…

10:10…and made sort of a map sandwich here, which is a very easy way to create a map very, very quickly.

10:15So there's our nice little map there. Let's zoom out a little bit and we'll explore some other basemaps along the way as well.

10:22I'm going to toggle back to the default community basemap, and let's turn off the population density.

10:30Now many of us work with spreadsheets, and here's a spreadsheet that I downloaded from the state of Kentucky website…

10:37…which has state hospitals that are located throughout Kentucky, and this is just a spreadsheet.

10:44I've opened it up in Excel here.

10:46What I'd like to do is make a map of this very quickly, and I can do that very easily now by grabbing the spreadsheet…

10:53…and dragging and dropping it onto my map.

10:55So that quickly I've been able to take that spreadsheet and create a map of these hospital locations.

11:00I can continue to refine that by changing symbols. There's a very large symbol gallery.

11:06You can use custom symbols of your own, as well.

11:10Here's a symbol which represents hospitals and now I've got a nice little basemap.

11:15I can showcase one of the other basemaps. We've also introduced pretty recently this light gray canvas basemap which…

11:23…allows my data of interest to pop out by using a very muted background.

11:28It still has lots of details, but the details are displayed in a grayscale so that they don't compete with other layers of interest…

11:37…but I can still see those as I zoom in. So this is a great basemap that shows additional context, but in a very muted way.

11:45Other things I can do with these hospitals is I can represent them in different ways. Let's choose to look at those on…

11:53…let's try Unique Symbols, and we'll shade these based on the, well, let's go with the type of license the hospital has.

12:02I'll change the symbols a little bit, as well, make them a little larger so we can see those and apply.

12:08So now I have a pretty nice map that shows me the hospital facilities and I can click on these and get more information.

12:15Now the information that's displayed here is quite a lot.

12:18And some of this information is only meaningful to the GIS users that were managing this data.

12:24What I can do, is I can hide some of that. I can configure the pop-up and I can choose which of those attributes to display…

12:33…or not. So in this case, let's just turn on the city, the total beds, and the name of the hospital, and we'll use that, and save the…

12:40…pop-up. And now, I've configured a pop-up that presents the information in a more focused and meaningful way.

12:47So it's very easy for us to assemble data from a variety of different sources and bring it together.

12:54It's also very easy for us to save this and collaborate with others, and let's take a look at how that's done.

13:00I have an ArcGIS Online account. Anybody can have one.

13:04I've signed in already, and I'm going to title my map, Kentucky Hospitals.

13:11And we'll provide some tags and I'll add a very short summary, and then we'll save the map.

13:18So this is a map that I've created, and I've saved it. And I can come back to it in any point in time, but I can also share it with…

13:25…others by making it publicly available. I can now share this map by sharing a link.

13:31So I can add this to an e-mail or to a website and share this with others. I can send it up to my Facebook, or I can Tweet about it…

13:40…but even more interestingly, I can take this map and I can now embed it in a website.

13:45Yesterday afternoon I had a little conversation with some folks here, we were talking about custom application development.

13:51I'll show you how you can take these maps that you can assemble very quickly and easily, and build custom applications with them.

13:58First thing I'll do though, is embed this. I've gone to my blogspot blog, and we'll copy and paste that.

14:07Now I know my blog width is 600 pixels, so I'll make one little minor change. We'll go ahead and publish this post.

14:14Let's view it and see what we've done. And there's my Kentucky map with all the pop-ups as I've just configured them and I can…

14:22…enable or disable tools, and so forth.

14:25You can use this to embed these maps and websites and use this to communicate with others about work...

14:30…that you're doing. So that's one way that we can use these.

14:34Another way that we can use these is we can open them and share them in web applications.

14:39And this is a gallery of web application templates which make it easy for me to build a custom application.

14:45I'm not so much of a programmer these days. I used to be pretty good at FORTRAN, but that doesn't help me much today.

14:53But I can leverage these templates to build applications very quickly and easily.

14:57Now let's take a look at what it looks like in this template.

15:00So this one has a built-in legend for me. There's my embedded map, and it lets me explore it and click on features.

15:08I can download the source code for that template and modify it further, or what's even more interesting, is I can publish this…

15:16…as an application directly to the Esri website. Let's take a look at doing that with this template.

15:23This is called the Basic Viewer template, and this has some interesting tools.

15:26It has an overview map, which lets me navigate around.

15:30It also has a way for me to share, some measure tools, it has a basemap gallery, it has a layer selector so I can turn things off…

15:39…and on, there I've turned the population density on, and print, and so forth.

15:44Even though I don't have a server available to me, I can publish this custom application by clicking this button, and this goes…

15:52…directly into my ArcGIS Online account and it's hosted by Esri from there.

15:59When I click Save and Publish, I've now taken this map that I've authored, and put it inside of this custom application template…

16:07…and what's interesting about this one, is that I can configure it.

16:11So even though I can do a little bit of JavaScript programming, I don't have to.

16:16I can toggle what I want off or on, based on these little check boxes here. I can change the color scheme.

16:24Let's refresh and get a preview of what that looks like. So there's my new map with some of the tools removed.

16:30I can customize this further, and then when I'm satisfied, I can save it.

16:35Now this can be discovered on ArcGIS Online, and it can also be shared, like any other item that you find on ArcGIS Online.

16:44So here's my nice little custom application.

16:46I've left the layer toggle there, and the print and the share capabilities have been left in this map.

16:52So it's really easy to leverage these intelligent web maps in many different ways.

17:00Alright, let me gather my thoughts here for a second and let's take a look at a couple of other things that we can do.

17:07Actually, before I continue onto that, I did want to highlight a couple of other templates.

17:14So when we clicked Share, and looked at Make a Web Application, there's lots of different templates.

17:20Some of these are very interesting and do very unique things.

17:23Some leverage the time intelligence that's built into some of the layers.

17:28Others allow me to do things like look at different maps side by side by side.

17:33So here's a map which lets me look at the Kentucky map side by side by side.

17:37This isn't very interesting because obviously it's the same…

17:40…map, but here's an example that I built previously using three different maps. And this allows me to look at demographics in…

17:48…the Washington, DC, area. So I'm comparing the unemployment rate, the medium net worth and the tapestry segmentation.

17:56Here's another example where I'm looking at maps side by side by side.

17:59You see, as I zoom in, both maps are synchronized and they zoom in. I'm looking at flood zones.

18:06So these are the flood zones in the Washington, DC, area, and I'm looking at those both on the aerial imagery, as well as that…

18:13…community basemap we looked at earlier. There's another interesting map which allows me to sort of slice back and forth.

18:21Here I've zoomed in to the Redlands campus area. On the left is the community basemap.

18:28You can see the high detail of data in that that's been assembled from the city of Redlands and from other sources…

18:34…and on the right we have the imagery basemap.

18:37And as I explore this, I can move the slider back and forth and look at those in tandem.

18:41So these are very valuable templates which I think will contribute to your geodesign work.

18:48Let's take a look at another application.

18:51Earlier I mentioned ArcGIS Explorer Online, and this is an application that's built with Silverlight.

18:58It's a little richer application, so it presents a slightly different user experience.

19:03It has many of the same capabilities as the Map Viewer we just used, but it also has some unique ones and I'd like to explore...

19:10…those now. Earlier I dragged and dropped a spreadsheet onto my map. Drag and drop is also supported for shapefiles.

19:19And I just happened to have a shapefile that I've zipped up here showing buildings on the Esri campus.

19:26I'll drag and drop that onto my map, and one of the first questions I'm asked is, "Do I want to generalize these features to…

19:33…speed them up for web display, or do I want to keep them exactly as they are?" I'll choose that because I know this is…

19:40…a very small-scale map, or sorry, large-scale data and I want to preserve all of the detail in the data.

19:48So what's happening now is the shapefile is being imported, even though I'm using a web application here.

19:53It's being imported as a layer onto my map and we'll see the Esri buildings appear there. So here's my buildings.

20:01And again, I can configure the pop-up and add other information to these.

20:05And one thing you'll notice is that the building that we're in, building Q, happens to be missing.

20:10So let's do a little bit of geodesign and let's explore this map a little bit further. Let's zoom in a little bit.

20:18Again, I can choose different basemaps that I want to work with. I could look at the imagery basemap.

20:24Let's leave that on for a moment. And let's go ahead and add building Q as a feature to our map.

20:35Another thing I noticed as I looked at this, actually…let me digress for a moment, is that these buildings are no longer here.

20:43So next to us is a now vacant lot. These buildings were recently razed, so I might want to highlight that.

20:50I'll draw a little circle around that. And you can't see that so well, so let's update the symbol.

20:56Maybe make it orange and maybe make it a little wider, and that'll be our highlight symbol. I like this template.

21:02I've sort of customized what we had in the standard gallery so I can create a new template from this and it's added to my gallery.

21:11Now anytime I want to use that again, I can just go choose it from the Gallery.

21:15So I can build custom templates and use them on my map.

21:18Let's go back to building Q and let's digitize this area and we'll add a polygon around building Q.

21:26I won't do a great job of doing this, but we'll just roughly capture the outline. So there's the rough outline of building Q, and…

21:33…now I can add some other information to this.

21:36Let's edit the pop-up, and we'll provide a title for this, Building Q on the Esri Campus.

21:46I am going to cheat a little bit and we'll take some text here from the Esri website. We'll grab that and we'll paste that in there.

21:54And what I'll also do is we have a very nice picture of this building and I'll grab that and we'll paste that in there.

22:01We also have a related link. Let's use that related link to link back to more information about the Esri campus.

22:10And I think we're done here, so let's see what we've got. We now have a nice little polygon that I've added and I can click on it.

22:18There is some information about what we're looking at. A photograph, and the photograph opens up the link that I added.

22:23So it's very easy to mark up maps and to share these with others, other people can then add their mark-ups…

22:29…share them back with you and in so, do some geocollaberation.

22:34Another interesting feature about Explorer Online is that I can create presentations so I can tell stories about...

22:40…what I'm working with. We all like to tell stories about our design work, so I'll flip to presentation mode.

22:46And what I'd like to do is add a slide, and this will be the building Q addition here.

22:53And I've already started a presentation earlier, let's just go back and let's review that now.

22:58So when I start the presentation it's like PowerPoint.

23:02We step through some slides. I can advance by clicking the spacebar or the button.

23:07I'm turning layers off and on, but unlike a PowerPoint, I can explore the data.

23:13Someone might ask me a question about, well, what's the population growth further to the east?

23:17And I can pan the map and I can interact with it and I can click on features and look at additional information.

23:24If I'm using live data that's changing all the time, I'm always presenting using the most current iteration of a geodesign…

23:32…or other information that I'm using. And as we zoom in, here's fire service areas.

23:37There's the Esri campus, there's the Esri buildings that we added, and there's the newly added building Q addition, which I just…

23:44…digitized on the map including the pop-ups. So these presentations are a very powerful way to communicate our geodesign ideas.

23:53Now another thing I'd like to highlight is something that's currently in beta. These are very powerful capabilities.

24:00And I'll open up a different browser. I've signed into ArcGIS Online using a different account.

24:09Let's look at ArcGIS… Let's look at the default site just for comparison sake, so I'll open it up in the other browser.

24:23So this is what the default site looks like, and this is the Esri presentation of information. So this is our default, the public…

24:31…default, but when I get a subscription for my organization, I can customize that.

24:38So I've logged in to the City of Redlands site. Instead of seeing the Esri chosen basemap gallery, I've got what my organization…

24:46…wants me to see. This could also be a project.

24:49You could build these sites around geodesign projects and use this to showcase the latest maps and the latest information.

24:57So this is one thing that an organizational subscription provides, is the ability to create a destination for your organization…

25:04…or for your project.

25:06Another very important thing that this provides, is the ability to publish maps directly as web services through Esri hosting.

25:17To demonstrate that, I'm opening up ArcMap.

25:20So now I'm playing the role of a GIS professional, and I've been asked to publish this…

25:25…map showing tree preservation zones in the city of Redlands.

25:30Now, how would I do this today? My organization would need to have ArcGIS Server, and I'd need to publish that directly to…

25:37…ArcGIS Server. And that might involve working with the IT department, or making sure all the servers are up and running and…

25:46…thinking about whether or not we've got the bandwidth to publish this out publicly if I want to do that.

25:51But now what I can do is I can publish this map directly as an Esri-hosted service from ArcMap.

25:59So I've signed in with my account.

26:01My account empowers me with the ability to publish this, and I can now share this as a service and publish this map so…

26:10…that others can use it in web applications.

26:14I'm going to call this my Redlands Tree Zones. We'll click Continue. Basically what I do is I just kind of step through this dialog.

26:21But what's happening is, it allows me to make some decisions about how I publish this map.

26:28And I really won't refine this too much, I'll just go ahead and publish it so we can take a look at the result, but what's…

26:35…happening in the background is this map is being packaged up, it's being lifted up into my organization's cloud…

26:42…from there it's being unpacked, and it's being published as an ArcGIS Service. And all of this is transparent.

26:49I don't have to think about ArcGIS Server, I don't have to worry about communicating with my IT department…

27:01What's happening here in the background is that there are some checks being made.

27:05You'll see the little…there'll be some messages that'll be popping up here in just a second.

27:09So in order for me to publish this map, I need to have it documented properly.

27:14I have to add tags, I have to add a description, and some key words, and it's also doing…

27:20…some checking about the projection to make sure it matches my organization's standards.

27:24So a lot of this stuff is built into the process now. Once those checks are completed, there's…you can see a little messages…

27:32…in the background which inform me about things that it's found out about my map.

27:38Once it's been completed, this will be packaged up and sent up to the cloud. So It'll take just another minute or so.

27:50So this is really exciting. This is game-changing capabilities here.

27:55ArcGIS Online really represents a new pattern of implementing a GIS.

28:00One I think that's fundamentally going to open it up in many ways that we can only imagine right now…

28:07…especially in the geodesign field.

28:09It's now more easier than ever to not only find existing data that you can rely on for your geodesign work, but also to leverage…

28:20…capabilities like these hosted services to publish those out so others can use them.

28:27As we know in geodesign, things have to happen rapidly and this helps make all that happen.

28:33And I'm using beta software here, but the map has been published successfully and we're ready to go.

28:39So let's take a look at what it looks like. We'll switch over to my City of Redlands account that I've logged in to and let's…

28:48…look at my content. And what I just finished publishing are these Redlands Tree Zones.

28:54Let's take a look at what it looks like. There's the item description.

28:58I need to add some additional data, but we can preview this map and there it is.

29:05So it's been published directly from my desktop through my organization's cloud. Now it's available to me in these web…

29:12…mapping applications, and in other custom applications that I can use for my geodesign work.

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Thank you for your feedback, Joseph. We're glad you found the video helpful.


Mar 12th, 2012. 11:19:53 AM

Very nice summary and examples of integration. I look forward to checking out hosted services. Could be a game changer.


Mar 12th, 2012. 12:39:37 AM

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