Filter Water Utility Assets by Attributes in ArcGIS Online

Water Utilities often want to identify where pipes of a certain material and/or diameter exist in their system or where hydrants out of service or in need of repair are located. Did you know you could to do this using ArcGIS Online? As a GIS technician/analyst/manager, how much time would it save you to empower your users to do this themselves; as a user, how much time would it save you to do it yourself? Follow the steps below to learn how to create a Filter Application in ArcGIS Online. 

Step 1Identifying Filters

Identify the types of questions that your utility needs answers to like, where are all of the 10” ductile iron water mains or where is there 12” vitrified clay pipe within the sewer network. Start by thinking about all of the requests for maps from different departments. Then interview a few departments such as engineering or operations to determine which data filters are needed to help them answer important questions.

Step 2Author the webmap

Determine the layers to filter plus any other contextual data that is appropriate for the map. Be mindful of scale and cartography to ensure good performance within your application. The filter layers must be feature services or map services with query capability. It’s always a good idea to use a tiled map service in addition to a feature service when rendering features at small scales. For each filter layer, you will also want to include a second layer, the same as the filter layer, in the map service so that all of the features are visible and the filtered layer will display over the top. This is necessary because of the nature of filtering as opposed to a selection query. The filter will only render the features that are the result of the filter.  Symbolize the filter layer so that it can easily be seen. You may also want to apply a transparency to the filter layer so that it does not completely cover other important layers such as fittings or valves. Save your webmap and be sure that the filter results will display at the scale that you save your map. The screenshot below shows two filter layers, one for mains by material and one for mains by material and diameter.

Step 3Apply the filters

Click the arrow next to the layer in the TOC that you wish to filter and choose the filter option. Next construct a filter based on the parameters necessary to return the appropriate results. For example, if you wish to filter pipes with a certain diameter and material, you will need to add two filters. The filters should look something like the dialog below. You probably want your users to be able to pick from a list of values so check the box “Ask for values.” Your Prompt text will appear next to the dropdown list of values.

Step 4Share map and create application

Once your webmap has been saved, the next step is to choose who you will share it with and how. Check the appropriate sharing boxes and then choose “Make A Web Application.”  At a minimum, be sure that you share the webmap and services to the same users that you want to share your application with.  For example, if you want to share the application with Everyone (public), the webmap and services need to be shared with Everyone (public).

Next choose the Filter Template and preview your application. Once you are satisfied with your application and have verified the filters work correctly, it’s time to publish. Return to the sharing dialog in the map and choose publish. Now you should have a functioning filter application that will enable users within your organization to ask questions of the data and return intelligent results.

Example Filter Application for Sewer Gravity Mains

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  1. pbartsch says:

    Hi, I am developing a similar app to the one you describe here in this blog. However, I do not see the drop-down option for selecting values. Currently my app makes me enter the values by typing them in. Am I missing something?

  2. rdemunnik says:

    Hi pbartsch,

    We had a similar problem. Traditionally these utility networks uses domains to enable lists for editing in Desktop, Webmaps and mobile devices.
    We added some domains to a sample dataset and IT WORKS!!!
    However, we tried subtypes – and for some reason it does not work.
    Good Luck

  3. rdemunnik says:

    Hi David,
    Thank you for the post. Can you please add that the only way to enable a dropdown select list – is to add domains to the data.

    Do you know why subtypes does not work?