Introduction

ArcGIS Online is a cloud-based geographic information system (GIS). You can use it to create, use, and share geospatial content throughout your organization, with your community, and openly on the web. Because it integrates with the World Wide Web, ArcGIS Online is considered a web GIS. Simply put, a web GIS is a GIS that uses web technology to communicate between a server and clients. Clients can include web browsers and apps.

This exercise will give you a foundation for working with ArcGIS Online. You will learn what ArcGIS Online is and the benefits that you and your organization can gain by using it. You will publish data and map layers to ArcGIS Online as services. Learn to build a web map and turn it into a web app.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this exercise you will be able to build a web map of Tropical Cyclone Harold-20 using ArcGIS Online and particularly you will be able to:

  • Publish data and map layers from your computer to ArcGIS Online
  • Create a web map using ArcGIS Online
  • Add content to the map
  • Set up the map: Change layer symbology
  • Set up the map: Create heat map to show density of damage sites
  • Save and share the web map

Data Input

File NameData Type
Cyclone_Location.zipPoint Shapefile
Cyclone_Path.zipLine Shapefile
Cyclone_WindSpeedZones.zipPolygon Shapefile
AOI_Kadavu.zipPolygon Shapefile
Damage_Sites.zipPoint Shapefile
Affected_Tikina.zipPolygon Shapefile
X:\UNOSAT_ADV_FJI\Training_Material\M6\Practical\Data_Input

Publish data and map layers from your computer to ArcGIS Online

The first step to publish content to ArcGIS Online is to sign into your organizational account.

After you sign in, the organization’s home page typically appears.

After you have signed in, you will add a zipped shapefile to the site and publish it as a feature service.

  • At the top of the page, click Content.

The Content page is your storage space for items that you have added to the site or created. You can add files here and publish these files as services (if they are the appropriate file type).

  • Click Add Item and choose From Your Computer.
  • In the Add an item from my computer dialog box, next to the File field, click Browse or Choose File.
  • Browse to the X:\UNOSAT_ADV_FJI\Training_Material\M6\Practical\Data_Input folder on your computer, select Affected_Tikina.zip, and click Open

Affected_Tikina.zip is a zipped shapefile. Because you want to use the shapefile as a feature layer, you must check the box for “Publish this file as a hosted layer.”

  • Confirm that the option to publish this file as a hosted layer is checked.
  • Leave the default title. TIP: In case you have more than one person for your organization doing the exercise, add a random number at the end.
  • In the Tags field, type TCHarold-20.
  • Click Add Item.
After the file has successfully published, the item’s details appear. The item details page provides descriptive information about an item, as well as options to use or to configure the item.

You have finished adding new layers to ArcGIS Online. Next, you are going to publish other zipped shapefiles to ArcGIS Online.

  • At the top of the page, click Content.
  • Repeat the same procedure for AOI_Kadavu.zip, Damage_Sites.zip, Cyclone_Location.zip, Cyclone_Path.zip, and Cyclone_WindSpeedZones.zip
You see five new items: AOI_Kadavu, Damage_Sites, Cyclone_Location, Cyclone_Path, and Cyclone_WindSpeedZones. These items represent the items that you added (the shapefile). You will use these items for creating a web map in the next exercise.

Create a web map using ArcGIS Online

After you have published the content that you will use to build a web map, you can open a map and add these items to it.

  • If necessary, in a web browser, go to www.arcgis.com and sign into your ArcGIS Online organizational account.
  • At the top the page, click Map.

In some browser, you may see Map Viewer Beta is available! dialog box open.

  • If prompted, click NOT RIGHT NOW.

Map Viewer opens. The viewer will open either to a new map or an existing one if you have opened layers or other items in Map Viewer. You could continue working in this map, adding additional items, or you could open a new map. For this exercise, you will open a new map.

  • In the top-right corner of Map Viewer, click New Map and, if necessary, click Create New Map.
A new map appears with a basemap layer that you plan to use as a reference.

Add content to the map

After you have created a web map, you will search for the items that you want to add to the map.

  • In Map Viewer, click Add.

TIP: You can choose from several options to add content to a map. You can search for and add layers, which are typically services that you, your organization, or the general public have published. You can also add map notes or files from your computer, which will create a layer that is saved in the map itself, meaning you cannot share the layer with others.

  • Choose Search for layers.
  • In the Search for layers pane, click the Filter button
  • If necessary, turn off the Only Show Content Within Map Area option.
  • Find the following layers and add click the Add button to add them to the map: Affected_Tikina, AOI_Kadavu, Damage_Sites, Cyclone_Location, Cyclone_Path and Cyclone_WindSpeedZones
  • In the Search for layers pane, click the Back button
  • Click Content

The Contents pane appears and lists the layers that have been added to the map. The layers appear incorrect order, so you will reorder it.

  • In the Contents pane, point to the layer that you want to reorder, click the More Options button , and choose Move up or Move down.
Now that you have added content, next you will change the layer symbology to make it easier to differentiate between the layers.

Set up the map: Change layer symbology

Next, you will change the layer symbology of the layers in Contents pane.

  • In the Contents pane, point to the Damage Sites layer and click the Change Style button.
  • Under Select a Drawing Style, click Options.
  • Click Symbols to choose a color and outline color that you think will be appropriate for damage sites.
  • Click OK to preview the changes.
  • Click OK.
  • In the Change Style pane, click Done to save the changes.
You should now be able to change layer symbology of Damage Sites. Next, you will repeat the same procedure for other layers in Contents pane.

Set up the map: Create heat map to show density of damage sites

Next, you will make a copy of damage site layer in Contents pane and change the layer symbology to show density of damage sites.

  • In the Contents pane, point to the Damage Sites layer and click the Copy button .

Now you will have a duplicate layer of Damage Sites as Damage Sites-copy, and you will rename it.

  • In the Contents pane, point to the Damage Sites-copy layer, click the More Options button  , and choose Rename.
  • Change the layer name to Damage Sites-Heat map and click OK.

Next, you will change the layer symbology to show density with Heat Map.

  • In the Contents pane, point to the Damage Sites-Heat map layer and click the Change Style button .
  • Under Select A Drawing Style, click SELECT under Heat Map.
  • Click Done to save the changes.
You should now be able to create a heat map from Damage Sites layer.

It is hard to see heat map clearly, so you will set visible range for Damage Sites and Damage Sites-Heat map. Multiscale maps allow you to view geographic data across a range of scales—also known as zoom levels. Specifying at what zoom levels content is drawn is known as setting the visible range. Since most data does not need to be shown across all zoom levels, it is a good idea to confirm, and if necessary, change the visible range.

  • In the Contents pane, point to the Damage Sites-Heat map layer, click the More Options button , and choose Set Visibility Range between World to Town.
  • In the Contents pane, point to the Damage Sites layer, click the More Options button , and choose Set Visibility Range between Town to Room.
Now you can try to zoom in/out on the map to see the result.

Save and share the web map

Now that you have set up the map, you are ready to save it.

  • At the top of Map Viewer, click the Save  and choose Save.
  • In the Save Map dialog box, for Title, type Tropical Cyclone Harold-20 Damage Assessment.
  • For Tags, type TCHarold-20 and press Enter.
  • For Summary, type This is a web map showing the path of the tropical cyclone Harold-20 and the impact it had in Kadavu Province, Eastern Division, Republic of Fiji.
  • Click Save Map

Now that you have created the map, you can think about the audience that you want to share it with.

  • In Map Viewer, click Share
  • In the Share dialog box, check the box for Everyone (Public).

Remember, the map contains layers, which will not be visible to community members if they are not shared at the same level as the map, so the layers will need to be shared with the same permission level as the map. You can use Update Sharing to adjust the settings of the items so that they can be viewed in the web map.

  • If necessary, in the Update Sharing window, click Update Sharing.

The map and the layers it references are shared publicly for anyone to open and access.