Map tours can use photos that are hosted on photo sharing sites like Flickr, Picasa, or other web locations, and with an organizational subscription photos can be hosted via your ArcGIS Online account. While these photos are typically static, you can create a more dynamic photo map tour if the photos are updated and overwritten at their hosted location.
Example: Queensland Traffic Cams
Traffic web cams sites are ideal for a real time map tours. Most are implemented by grabbing a snapshot from the traffic cams and overwriting the existing URL location for each camera snapshot at regular intervals, usually every few minutes.
For this example we downloaded a spreadsheet providing the lat/long of traffic camera locations from the Queensland, Australia, Government Information Service. We renamed a few of the fields, and added additional fields to the original spreadsheet to provide the information needed for the map tour (see our previous post with more details). The edited spreadsheet contains the following fields:
- Lat/Long – location of traffic camera
- Name – used in the photo title in the map tour
- Description – shown alongside the name in the larger map tour photo
- URL – web location of larger size photo
- Thumb_URL - web location of thumbnail photo
- Color – used by the map tour to define the marker color
- Website – not needed for the map tour, but used in our web map pop-up
The Queensland traffic cam photos are available in only one size – a little larger than ideal for the thumbnails, and a bit smaller than ideal for the larger photo, but close enough that we could use the same photo as-is for both the thumbnail and featured photo in the tour. A key ingredient to our real time tour is that each traffic cam snapshot is overwritten in place every 60 seconds.
Author the web map
To make the web map showing the traffic cam locations, drag and drop the spreadsheet (or click Add, then Add Layer from file) onto a new map. If you have a large number of features, you’ll want to publish these locations as hosted feature services using your ArcGIS Online subscription account. But with only a couple of dozen locations in our sample spreadsheet, this was not necessary.
Configure the pop-up and finalize your map before saving, then document your saved map item. When finished, share the map publicly. Even though the map tour template overrides the pop-up, since the map has been shared publicly for use in the map tour, and can be discovered independently of the tour, it’s a good idea to follow best practices for authoring a good web map, and documenting the item well.
Create the Map Tour
Now that our web map with (almost) real time traffic cams has been saved and shared, we’re now ready to use it in the map tour template. From your map click Share, make sure it is publicly shared, then click Make A Web Application.
Choose the Map Tour template (currently on the second page) and choose Publish from the drop down list:
Add a title, tags, and a summary and click Save & Publish.
You can go directly to configure the application, or configure it later. Either way, because the spreadsheet has everything the map tour needs it will open ready-to-use, and showing the current (within 60 seconds) traffic conditions for each location.
For more information