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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.


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.


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, 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.


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.


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.


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


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

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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Essential steps to Esri technical certification exam success

With a new year now well and truly upon us you may have found yourself setting some goals recently for the year ahead. It’s crazy to think that it’s been a year since we all started as graduates here at Esri Australia. With this in mind, we want to share one of the most rewarding opportunities we’ve had over the past 12 months and by doing so we hope to convince you to add Esri technical certification to your GIS goals in 2014.

Whether you’re an experienced GIS analyst in an organisation dependent on Esri technology and looking to make a strategic investment at work, or you’re new to the GIS environment and you want to improve your prospects by establishing a point of difference, an Esri technical certification can benefit both you and your employer.

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OSIsoft and Esri – a new force in real-time GIS

Whether it’s a sporting event, a natural disaster or a key political debate – information streaming to us from live news broadcasts is always the most compelling. On-the-ground analysis from reporters gives us insights and context to the images captured by the camera crew, while an in-studio panel of journalists often use this information to predict how the event might unfold and what critical decisions could influence further outcomes.

In much the same way, live broadcasting the performance of your organisation’s assets and data and effectively managing events that impact your operations is the foundation of the work between OSIsoft and Esri.

OSIsoft is a company that specialises in the management of real-time data and events for operational, manufacturing and business data – enabling users to make decisions in real-time.

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The added training benefits of maintenance…

As the National Training Manager, I’m often asked by clients if it’s worth signing up to Esri Australia’s maintenance program. While access to new software updates and GIS technical support are big drawcards, maintenance also offers excellent benefits when it comes to training:

Discounted training services
If you’re part of the maintenance program, you’re automatically entitled to a 10 per cent discount on Esri Australia’s training services. So whether you want to attend one of our regular courses or customise a special training offering for your organisation – you can always access this special rate. Best of all, there’s no usage limit, so the savings can really add up throughout the year.

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What’s coming in ArcGIS Online – December 2013

The next ArcGIS Online update is scheduled for release in mid-December. In this blog, we give you an early run-down of the new features, enhancements and changes being rolled out: Map Viewer New functionality for creating and viewing web maps will include:

  • Copy and saving layers to enable you to configure different properties on the copied layer such as pop-up windows and symbols, and save the layer as a new item. You will also be able to save layers you import to your map such as CSV files and map notes.
  • Administrators will be able to configure the default map units for the scalebar, and measure tool, directions, and analysis. Your ArcGIS Online members will be able to set the units they see through their profile page.
  • New options for changing symbology will include point rotation, normalisation, point over polygons, and line size.
  • Time-enabled layers will include an option to disable and enable the time animation.

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ArcGIS for Server from an Esri Rookie

As part of an ongoing graduate program development pathway I was privileged to recently attend the ArcGIS for Server: Sharing GIS Content on the Web training course offered by Esri Australia. While I’m now comfortable in the ArcGIS Desktop environment after a few months, the thought of attending an ArcGIS Server course was a daunting prospect. Like many Esri users in Australia I have become familiar with the latest functionality of ArcGIS Desktop at version 10.2, as well as publishing hosted services to the cloud based solution known as ArcGIS Online – but what about the ArcGIS platform more broadly? ArcGIS for Server: Sharing GIS Content on the Web builds on foundation knowledge from ArcGIS Desktop and new found workflows used to publish content to ArcGIS Online, utilising server infrastructure within your organisation. Continue reading

Training courses to see you through the end of 2013

While 2013 is starting to wind down, our training offerings continue right throughout December. From intermediate training on the ArcGIS platform, to more advanced geodatabases courses –  the training options below are a worthwhile investment If you’re looking to take your GIS skills to the next level.

ArcGIS courses
Editing data using ArcGIS – Perfect for GIS specialists and experienced ArcGIS users, this course teaches you methods for accurately creating and maintaining data stored in a geodatabase.

Designing maps using ArcGIS – If you want to learn how to create attractive maps that your audience can easily understand and interpret, this is THE course for you. We’ll show you how by following a standard cartographic workflow, you can create high-quality maps for both print and online use.

Geodatabase courses
Implementing Versioned Workflows in a Multiuser Geodatabase – In this advanced geodatabase course, we explore a variety of versioned editing workflows. You’ll also discover how versioning decisions impact data accuracy and database performance.

Distributing Data Using Geodatabase Replication – This course is designed for those who need to incorporate geodatabase replication into their organisation’s business and versioned editing workflows. You’ll learn about best practices for protecting the integrity of your production database, as well as how to meet the needs of desktop, mobile, and online users.

As always, make sure you take a look at our training schedule for dates in your nearest capital city, and remember – you can always contact us if you’d like to discuss an alternative time.

Kath S.