Exploring the latest ArcGIS Online update

The latest update of ArcGIS Online went live today with a range of new features. I’ll take you through an outline of the changes and some of the features which I have been exploring in more detail.

New app options

In Web App Builder the range of Widget options has expanded again with two new Analysis Widgets. There are also custom date formats in the Time Slider Widget and Layer List tool show/hide labels option.

The Time Aware Configurable Template now supports dates in the future. This allows you to incorporate data such as weather forecasts or future site plans into your app.  

I looked into the Journal, Series and Shortlist Story Map Templates which include the ability to enable readers to search for places, addresses and features:

I particularly like this feature because it gives a reader a new way of interacting with a Story Map. It complements the existing interactive features, such as text links, to change the map, content or zoom. It also allows your readers to search for places which are of particular interest to them within your app.

Story Map Cascade is no longer in beta and has some extra features. You can now add multiple rows of images and make use of improved 3D performance. 

Shared Themes

One of the new features that caught my eye was Shared Themes. Administrators can set a Shared Theme which includes colour palates and a logo for their organisation. I gave this a go and found it was quick to set up in my organisation’s settings. You can choose from the set of colours presented or put in a specific hex code to match your organisation’s colours:

When I next used a Configurable Template, in this case Story Map Journal, I was presented with ‘Organisation Theme’ as an option when setting up my app. This allowed me to easily configure my app with my organisation’s colours. I could also choose to use my organisation’s logo which had been set up in Shared Themes. If you are an administrator, you can then be sure that consistent branding is maintained across apps created within your organisational account.

Community engagement

Social media logins such as Facebook and Google can be used to log in to Survey123. This struck me as an interesting option on top of the normal named-user login as it may make community participation in surveys more accessible. Survey results can also be shared via the Survey123 website.

More flexibility for administrators

This update makes it easier to navigate between your accounts such as ArcGIS Online, GeoNet, My Esri and e-learning.

Groups and credit limits can be assigned to members when they are invited to an organisation’s ArcGIS Online account. This means you can be more efficient at getting new users up and running to start creating content.  

Other mentions

In scene viewer, you can scale geometry to emphasise a feature’s height. You can now better position and adjust feature labels too. Touch navigation can be used if you have a touch-enabled computer screen.

Map viewer supports adding a line barrier when finding directions which can be used to represent temporary route restrictions such street closures during a large construction project. Simply add a sketch line and the directions tool will automatically reroute.

Tiles on demand are under development but unfortunately did not quite make this release.

Updated content includes the latest Michael Bauer Research (MBR) demographic data for 35 countries including Ireland as well as updated imagery and basemaps for several countries around the world.

For a full list of changes, see the What’s New page.