Ozri 2014

ArcGIS Online for organisations: essential workflows

Wines, vines and Arc GIS Online – doing more for organisations

It was a full house at the ArcGIS Online for Organisations: Essential Workflows workshop, with the latest features and capabilities of ArcGIS Online. The workshop aimed to help attendees get the most out of their ArcGIS Online organisation site from a configuration and security perspective, as well as providing best practice tips and tricks for publishing content in maps and apps.

During the first part of the workshop we were encouraged hearing how attendees from around the country were using ArcGIS Online to support business operations in a diverse range of fields, from agribusiness and local government through to water utilities and transportation logistics. Incorporating the ‘organic’ Ozri theme of this year’s conference, we employed a model organisation called VineCo to address each of the workshop objectives. It also gave us a chance to showcase the world renowned wine regions surrounding Adelaide, home of Ozri 2014.

OrgStructure

We then explored ways to enhance the appearance and branding of an organisation home page using custom banners, logos and HTML rich descriptions, in order to provide viewers with a user friendly and informative interface. Beyond branding an organisation, it is also important for the site administrator to have a good understanding of member roles and privileges associated with each role. During this section we examined the custom role capability introduced earlier this year. This allows an administrator to assign privileges based on user friendly templates curated by Esri. During the workshop, attendees brainstormed what role template to assign and customise to enable a VineCo executive to view maps and apps, as well as geocode and perform geoenrichment using VineCo business data contained with a spreadsheet. We also explained how best to allow members of other ArcGIS Online organisations to contribute data, maps and apps using groups shared between organisations, using their own named user credentials for each organisation, respectively.

We discovered how the freely available Activity Dashboard application from the ArcGIS Marketplace can provide a more detailed understanding of site usage by item, member or group level. This is a powerful way to monitor an organisations credit usage, notify and review member privileges as well as educate members about best practice workflows explored in the Esri Australia ArcGIS Online training offerings. An executive can also use the Activity Dashboard application using a custom role by being invited to the items group, which can provide invaluable reporting metrics to illustrate the return on investment in the ArcGIS Platform.

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We also looked at how the new ArcGIS Open Data capability is enabling organisations in Australia to open up access to data and services using their existing ArcGIS Platform and familiar workflows. While the types of data and services that can be shared to an ArcGIS Open Data site are growing, there is a long list of items that are supported and can be uploaded to an ArcGIS Online organisation site, including shapefiles, map services and even 3D web scenes. This section of the workshop focused on hosted feature services and how ArcGIS for Desktop provides members of an organisation with more capabilities, such as the ability to synchronise features for offline, using a new feature from 10.2 onwards. The attendees mentioned how taking the time to prepare your data to ensure metadata is populated, symbology is optimised and fields are formatted with aliases for use in feature popups were useful but often overlooked steps in the publishing workflow.

Using freely available data acquired from data.gov.au, we were able to symbolise the South ExplorerAustralia wine regions by total production and show a further breakdown of production by grape variety using popup charts contained within an ArcGIS Online web map. Attendees were then able to use the new searchable layer functionality to quickly search for and navigate to a wine region, show turn-by-turn directions for the wineries they wish to visit during the day, and quickly play a presentation of each winery using the Explorer for ArcGIS app on their smart device.

We showed how an executive could easily geocode using Esri Maps for Office within an Excel spreadsheet to identify the possible wine distributors outside of a specified drive time from existing locations and further enrich this layer with consumer spending nearby. The insights gained through this analysis were then shared to executive members during a board meeting, leveraging Esri Maps for Office within a PowerPoint presentation to support the business decision making process.

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One of the liveliest sections of the workshop saw attendees publish an editable layer from ArcGIS for Desktop to their organisation site to be used in the Collector for ArcGIS app. We explained why editor tracking can be a useful option to enable on your editable feature services and discussed the types of attachments that can be added to features from a browser as well as on a smart device. In doing so, attendees became familiar with how to take their maps and data offline using the Collector for ArcGIS app as mentioned earlier.

Collector

While members will be able to access a map shared to the organisation for use in Collector, it might also be a requirement to crowd source information about damage after an event. Previously, if this same editable layer and map was shared publicly, a contributor would have had to populate fields within a web map popup. The good news is now there is a form based application template called GeoForm, released out of Beta last week, which allows members of the public to collect damage assessment from the field without the need for ArcGIS Online named user credentials. During the workshop, attendees collected features relating to vine damage for VineCo wineries and the results were brought through as a feed to Operations Dashboard in the browser. To see the GeoForm application used during the workshop, feel free to collect your own vine damage assessment.

iPad_GeoForm

The last section of the workshop looked at ways in which other parts of the VineCo organisation could utilise ArcGIS Online to support business plans. For example, an organisation’s marketing team could leverage configurable application templates from ArcGIS Online to create fast, focused and compelling Story Maps to showcase the location of cellar doors without any lines of code. One of our favourite application templates is the new Map Journal – ideal for creating multimedia rich stories that combine text, maps, images and video. Check out an example of the Map Journal in action below:

Adelaide Wineries Map Journal

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More often an organisation will want to communicate stories as they are unfolding. With this in Snap2Mapmind, the Snap2Map app for iOS and Android supports your organisation’s roaming reporters by placing the power of a story map in the palm of their hands. The Snap2Map allows members to build a story map from their device and share it with members of the public using the Map Tour template.

So what are you waiting for? Download any of these apps and come chat to us about your ArcGIS Online queries – we’ll be at the ArcBar.

Seth G and Richard S

Esri UC through Aussie Young Scholar’s eyes

As the winner of the Esri Young Scholars Award for Australia, Grace Lin, won an all-expenses paid trip to present her research project at the 2014 Esri International User Conference in San Diego. Here, Grace reflects on the whirlwind week – where she rubbed shoulders with some of the best GIS minds from around the world.

Day One

Today we arrived in San Diego and it is such beautiful city, this is my first time to be here.

The San Diego Convention Centre – where they will hold the UC – is so huge, it really is amazing.

And you can see Esri symbols everywhere!

After we settled in, I met up with some of the other Young Scholars organized through the Facebook Esri Young Scholar group. We had drink and dinner together and talked about our projects. It is so great to meet those guys here.

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Esri UC reflections and the GIS tech headed our way

Fresh from my trip to the US, I thought it would be valuable to share my UC highlights with you all – particularly as we’ll be showcasing the technology featured there at Ozri this October.

Surrounded by 15,000 other spatial professionals from 132 countries around the world, the conference provided a great opportunity to share, collaborate and learn.

Just as important, was the sense of community the event generated. The multinational, multidisciplinary crowd descended upon San Diego to celebrate the value, versatility and beauty of maps. Adding to the community vibe the UC Selfie, limited edition pin badges and Map Man T-shirts.

In addition to witnessing the visually stunning and truly inspirational UC plenary, I had the opportunity to talk with many of Esri’s technical specialists (and superstars) to get a feel for where the ArcGIS platform is going – and how users in Australia stand to benefit.

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Thinking is shifting on Web GIS

Last night saw the July 2014 release of ArcGIS Online roll out and with it, some great new features and capabilities across the board. There’s something for everybody with enhancements to the Map Viewer, ready to use apps and application templates, and administration.
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ArcGIS Marketplace, tech hub for ArcGIS Online

Late last year Esri launched a place for our partners to host their hard work – the ArcGIS Marketplace.

When I talk about partners, I’m talking about organisations which are part of the Esri Partner Network – an ecosystem of innovative GIS and IT professionals who are pushing the boundaries of the technology and extending the ArcGIS platform.

ArcGIS Marketplace is a one-stop shop for our partners to showcase their apps and data to the global Esri community.  It is an easy way for any ArcGIS user to access partner solutions via their ArcGIS Online Organisational Plan.

This month, Full Extent launched the first locally developed ArcGIS Marketplace App – Geo-Publisher.

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New ArcGIS Online courses – hot off the press

We are excited to announce two new Esri Australia Training Courses: ArcGIS Online Subscriptions for Organisations: Publisher Workflows and ArcGIS Online Subscriptions for Organisations: User Workflows. These one day courses represent the first tailored ArcGIS Online training offerings from Esri Australia. As many of you will know, ArcGIS Desktop Users on maintenance are eligible for a free ArcGIS Online account.

At Directions 2014, we learnt that only about 20 percent of Esri users in Australia have activated their free account. With this in mind, these new training courses provide Australian users with an opportunity to kick start their ArcGIS Online account and pick up some useful tips, resources and best practice guidelines along the way.

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Highlights of Hobart Directions 2014

Last Friday took us to the final stop in the Directions Tour: Hobart! It was a great way to wrap things up as we had our biggest ever turn out in the city.

Throughout the tour we have been trying to get GIS users to develop their skills; make better use of the software they have; and to increase awareness of the time-saving configurable apps that are available.

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Directions 2014 – Highlights and insights from Melbourne

Directions 2014 stopped in Melbourne last week at the Langham. More than 200 users attended the event to network, learn and sharpen their GIS skills – as well as hear about what is in store for the future of the ArcGIS Platform.

Attendees were welcomed by Lisa Dykes, Photo 10-04-2014 9 06 29 amEsri Australia’s new Business Development Manager for Victoria and Tasmania. It was great to see so many new people with a show of hands revealing more than half of the users in the crowd were attending Directions for the first time. Lisa discussed the importance of the ArcGIS Platform for Victorian users and I was surprised to learn that only 20 percent of organisations have activated their free ArcGIS Online Subscription Accounts offered as part of ArcGIS Desktop entitlements at 10.2. If you believe your organisation may be entitled to a free ArcGIS Online Subscription Account make sure you check out our recent blog post that outlines how to request your free user credentials here.

I spent the rest of the day as a roving reporter and the remainder of this post is dedicated to highlights from the Melbourne stop on Esri Australia’s Tour de Force, Directions 2014.

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