Category: ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online World Topographic Basemap recently updated

The ArcGIS Online World Topographic Basemap is part of the Community Maps Program, and is updated regulary with data contributed by the GIS community.

Learn about the most recent updates in the following ArcGIS Online Blog posts:

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ArcGIS Online service support information is available

Learn about ArcGIS Online map and task services and find out which services are in general availability, extended support, and mature support on the ArcGIS Online Blog.

If you have questions, please post them in the ArcGIS Online forums.

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New! Download stats on shared items!

One of the new features introduced with the recent ArcGIS Online update (which went live last week) is the ability to view the number of downloads for shared items. For example, looking at the USA Population by Zip Code shared layer package below you’ll see that there have been 665 downloads:


The downloads are of interest to those that have shared items, and provide an indication of the item’s popularity to those browsing for data.

This one seems less popular:

The names are hidden to protect the guilty – we’d suggest that if you really want users to to download what you’ve shared that a good thumbnail, title, and summary description are a must!

Shared item types that display downloads are:

  • map packages
  • layer packages
  • desktop application templates
  • map templates
  • web mapping applications with code attachment
  • mobile applications with code attachment
  • windows mobile packages
  • code and geoprocessing samples

You can also learn more about an item’s popularity by looking at the rating, comments, and views.

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Maintenance to ArcGIS Online Systems Thursday, Sept. 30

Some ArcGIS servers will undergo systems maintenance beginning Thursday, September 30, at 5:00 p.m. PDT. The maintenance will last approximately 12 hours. During this time users will experience temporary issues with registering a Global Account with, changing passwords, activating Subscription services, and signing up for an ArcLogistics trial. If you already have an existing account with ArcGIS Online,, or ArcLogistics, no downtime is anticipated.   

If you have questions, please post them in the ArcGIS Online forums.

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Latest community contributions to the World Topographic Basemap

The ArcGIS Online World Topographic Basemap has been recently updated with contributions from:

  • Henrico County, VA
  • Outagamie County, WI
  • Nanaimo, BC
  • Kamloops, BC
  • and updates for Toronto, ON

Here’s some of the content Nanaimo contributed viewed using the viewer:

Here’s a section of Toronto – note the 1/2 meter contour data:


And here’s Shiocton, in Outagamie County, WI:

These contributions have been made through the Community Maps Program, designed to enable GIS users worldwide to contribute their authoritative content and become part of a freely hosted GIS community basemap. The data is integrated with data from other providers using a map template, then published through ArcGIS Online as a free, hosted map service.

For more information visit the Community Maps Program website, or view the live map of current and forthcoming contributors.

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Using ArcGIS Online basemap gallery in your custom JS apps


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New features in the updated Viewer

With the recent updates to the viewer (posted last night) you’ll find some excellent new features.

One of them is a gallery of application templates that have been added to Share. Here we’ve opened one of the maps from the gallery showing food expenditures. The map is being displayed using the built-in viewer.

Click Share…

… and you’ll notice some new options to post directly to Facebook or Twitter, or to Make a Web Application. 

Click Make a Web Application to display a gallery of application templates that you can customize to suit your needs. Click Preview to get a quick look at how your map will look in the template, then click Download to copy the source locally to customize it further and publish from your own website. 

Here’s the food expenditure map previewed in one of the new templates:


And here’s how it looks in a variety of others:

This new capability makes it very easy to create custom web apps using any ArcGIS Online map.

Also in this update is the addition of a scalebar

And an improved editing experience for editing web maps with feature services (we’ll cover this in more detail in a future post).

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Maintenance to ArcGIS online systems tonight, Sept. 23

Some ArcGIS servers will undergo systems maintenance during a one hour window tonight, September 23, 2010, at 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. PST. No downtime is anticipated; however, during this maintenance window, users may experience temporary issues with sign in, use of Subscription services, or ArcLogistics online. 

If you have questions, please post them in the ArcGIS Online forums.

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CNN: Social media, situational awareness, and ArcGIS Online

A recently published CNN article talks about the importance of social media, with a focus onTwitter, for obtaining rapid situational awareness about events. The article includes a link to an Esri application for first responders which uses ArcGIS Online basemaps as the foundation for placing tweets and other social media sources in context.

Russ Johnson, Esri’s emergency response industry manager notes in the article: “The data is really unstructured — when you wrap it around a map suddenly you have a micro and a macro view. All of a sudden social media is a really relevant piece of data that can increase situational awareness.”

The app is written using the ArcGIS API for JavaScript and leverages the ArcGIS Online world topographic, world streets, and world imagery basemaps. We agree that these basemaps provide an excellent substrate to provide greater context for social media sources. Shown below is a photo from Flickr that’s been placed on the map via a live feed, and also locations of YouTube videos and tweets.

You can read more about how this application was created and how the various components were brought together by viewing the detailed description.

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Add data from a CSV file to any ArcGIS Online map

In an earlier post we covered how you can choose from a variety of JavaScript sample applications to create custom web apps using any ArcGIS Online map. In this post we’ll take a closer look at one of those samples, one that enables you to add data from any CSV file to any ArcGIS Online map.  

First we’ll need to download the sample. Navigate to the ArcGIS JavaScript API resource center and click the samples tab:

Scroll down along the folders on the left, open the folder, and look for the “Map with csv data” sample:

On the sample page you’ll find a link to open a live app, additional information on how to customize the sample, and a link to download the source.

Below we’ve downloaded the source files, copied them to our website, and opened the application. The sample opens a CSV file of parks in Redlands, California, and uses the lat/long location in the CSV file to place points on the ArcGIS Online map. Click on a park in the contents or on the map to view more details in a popup window. The locations, names, and other information have come from the CSV file.

We’ll use this sample and modify it to use our own map and CSV file.

First we authored a new ArcGIS Online map by opening the viewer and added the USA Social Vulnerability Index map service. We switched basemaps to the Shaded Relief basemap (found on the basemap gallery) and adjusted the transparency of the social vulnerability layer to about 50% so we could see the terrain. We then saved our map, and shared it publicly.

Note that when you save a map it is assigned a unique map ID, and every map has one. You’ll see the map ID in the URL when you open a map, as shown below:

We’ll use this map ID when we edit the sample code. 

Next we’ll need a CSV file. We visited the USGS earthquake site and downloaded a CSV file of magnitude 1+ earthquakes in the past hour. Here’s the CSV file, and note that the field names are in the first line of the file. We’ll use the file and field names when we edit the sample code.

ak,10082028,1,”Tuesday, September 21, 2010 22:39:21 UTC”,61.1078,-150.2322,1.6,47.10,10,”Southern Alaska”
nn,00316975,7,”Tuesday, September 21, 2010 22:24:49 UTC”,36.9602,-116.1745,1.5,8.30,10,”Nevada”
ak,10082020,1,”Tuesday, September 21, 2010 22:21:19 UTC”,61.1159,-150.2703,1.1,38.90, 8,”Southern Alaska”
ak,10082008,1,”Tuesday, September 21, 2010 22:07:32 UTC”,60.1867,-152.5540,2.2,103.00,22,”Southern Alaska”
ci,14845636,2,”Tuesday, September 21, 2010 22:00:03 UTC”,33.4480,-116.5805,1.2,13.40,38,”Southern California”

We copied the CSV file to the same location as the rest of the source files we downloaded, and here’s the contents of the folder now:

We’ll edit the ags_MapWithTable.html file (highlighted in blue above). The eqs1hour-M1.csv file found below it is the file we downloaded from the USGS site with earthquake information.

We made the changes below highlighted in bold text. All of these edits are made to the init() function found in the html file:

//The ID for the Map from
 agoId = “d5e02a0c1f2b4ec399823fdd3c2fdebd“;
//Path to the CSV file
dataUrl = “eqs1hour-M1.csv“;
//List of fields that includes the label field, latitude field and longitude field.
defaultFields = ["Region", "Lat", "Lon"];
//The default look of the info template. In this snippet the location field will be used
//for the title and the details field will populate the info window.
defaultInfoTemplate = “${Magnitude}<br /><hr>${Region}<br />${Datetime}”;
//The title, if not specified the webmap’s title is used
title = “Recent M1+ Earthquakes“; 
//The subtitle, if blank the description of the first layer in the webmap is used.
subtitle = “USGS Earthquake Data“;
//If the webmap uses Bing Maps data, you will need to provide your bing maps key
bingMapsKey = “”; 
//The size of the popup window
popupSize = “175,175″
//The default location of the popup
//Uncomment this line if the proxy file is not on the same domain as the application
//proxyUrl = “/proxy/proxy.ashx”;
//Default colors for the symbols
defaultSymbols = “rgba(255,0,0,0.75);rgba(0,0,255,0.75)”;

Here’s a summary of the changes to make: insert a new map ID, change the name of the CSV file, change the field names used in the defaultFields and defaultInfoTemplate (popup window) lists, and change the title and subtitle - all very easy and straightforward edits. Now we’re ready to open our custom application.

Here’s our custom app, showing recent earthquakes from the CSV file with our social vulnerability map:


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