Most frequently used Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS widgets in publicly available apps

Authors: Li Li, Dan Jiang, Jianxia Song

When Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS was first released in 2014 with ArcGIS Online, we’ve been continually released new widgets to enable users to create more diverse and useful apps. Currently, there are more than 45 out-of-the-box widgets in Web AppBuilder, covering a wide swath of functionalities. To better understand how these widgets have been used, we studied 10,000 public apps published or edited in ArcGIS Online between 8/2/2016 and 9/19/2016. Of these 10,000 apps, we excluded 129 that had become inaccessible during the study. Our study revealed the 15 most popular widgets as shown in the following histogram. The heights of the bars correspond to the number of times each widget appeared in the 10,000 apps we studied.

Top 15 most frequently used Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS widgets

Click the above image to see an interactive figure.

As you know, there are two types of widgets in Web AppBuilder: off-panel and in-panel widgets. By the time of the study, there are 13 off-panel and 21 in-panel 2D widgets. Off-panel widgets, usually displaying on the screen, can be turned on or off but cannot be removed from an app. Our study only includes the off-panel widgets that are turned on. On the other hand, the in-panel widgets, usually contained in a controller, can be freely added or removed from an app. As shown in the above figure, eight of these popular widgets are off-panel widgets, and the other seven are in-panel widgets. Since the most of the off-panel widgets are designed to answer basic location-related questions, they come with the app by default. According to traditional mapping principles, these widgets are important because they are marginalia items on maps.

The following histogram shows the popularity of themes. The heights of the bars correspond to the number of times each theme appeared in the 10,000 apps. The most frequently used theme is the Foldable theme which is the default theme.

The popularity of Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS themes

Thanks again to our Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS user community. You are a great source of inspiration. We have learned a lot from the apps that you’ve created and shared with the public. We will continue to improve our widgets and make Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS a more intuitive tool to use. Let’s build more Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS apps.

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