Posted on: 18 May 2018    

If you are an Esri user, you will know that there are a lot of products to choose from. Esri lists 29 apps on their website, these apps are integrated with the wider Esri product suite and often can be accessed as part of an ArcGIS Online subscription. This blog summarises the functionality of 11 popular Esri apps.

Insights for ArcGIS is a web-based, data analytics workbench that allows you to perform iterative and exploratory data analysis. It has a click and drag interface which allows you to bring in spreadsheets or GIS data and create on the fly graphs, maps and symbology. You can create relationships within your datasets and between the datasets you have added. The analysis tools help to visualise these relationships on maps also displayed within the Insights workbench.

Workbooks can be shared to others within your organisation or to a group. Currently workbook items cannot be shared with the public in the ArcGIS Online version of Insights. Insights was previously only available with Portal for ArcGIS but can now be accessed via ArcGIS Online, although Insights is not included as part of an ArcGIS Online subscription. You can sign up for a 21 day trial here.

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Collector for ArcGIS is a field data collection application that can be accessed with a smartphone or tablet, both online or offline. After installing the Collector application and logging in with ArcGIS Online credentials, field workers can access maps shared with them or their organisation and add new or update existing features. An external GPS receiver can be integrated with Collector for high accuracy data collection. Updates are synced back to a database allowing for newly captured data to be viewed on a web app or dashboard by those back in the office.

A new release of Collector known as the Aurora Project is due this year. This release will feature higher accuracy data collection, more streamlined workflows and a friendlier user interface.

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Survey123 for ArcGIS is a simple and intuitive form-centric data gathering solution. Surveys can be configured within the browser survey or through a desktop tool called Survey123 Connect. Access to the Survey 123 builders and the native Survey 123 application is included with your ArcGIS Online subscription. The application allows for offline survey data collection. Survey 123 surveys can also be accessed via the browser, which allows surveys to be easily embedded in websites, for example within a Story Map.  A survey can also be added to Collector, allowing for data capture to occur in the Collector app and attribute information to be added in the friendlier and more customisable Survey 123 platform.

Survey 123 differs from Collector in these key ways:

  • Surveys can be shared publicly online, use of Collector requires an ArcGIS Online login.
  • Currently Survey 123 cannot collect lines and polygons, but this functionality is planned for future updates. Collector can hold many data layers for data capture and easily displays other contextual data.
  • Field inputs are much more customisable and editable in Survey 123, for example it is possible to collect signatures or add radio buttons.
  • Survey 123 can show/hide or auto-populate fields based on previously answered questions in the survey. Collector can autopopulate fields but cannot show/hide them on the fly. 

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Operations Dashboard for ArcGIS is a web application that enables you to monitor, track, and assess your assets and daily operations. Web maps or data in your ArcGIS Online content can be added directly to a dashboard template. Visual elements, including gauges and graphs, are configured directly within the dashboard template and the size, colours and location of these elements are customisable. Filters and relationships can be established to streamline the displayed data or to add interactivity to the different elements on the dashboard. Dashboard is free to use for ArcGIS Online subscribers.  Follow this link for more information and to view dashboard examples.

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Workforce for ArcGIS allows coordination of a field-based work force. Workforce is a web application that is run in tandem with a native application installed on a mobile device. Workforce projects are configured in ArcGIS Online by following intuitive step-by-step instructions within a template. The first step is to add dispatchers and workers to a project. The web application allows for dispatchers to assign jobs to workers while the app allows workers to receive their assignments and update the status of each assignment whilst in the field.  By default, workforce data is hosted in ArcGIS Online, however with configuration it is also possible for Workforce to consume an Esri Rest Service. Workforce is free for ArcGIS Online subscribers.

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Navigator  for ArcGIS is a mobile app that is designed to provide directions to field workforces. It is possible to use the data provided or your own data to search and navigate directly to your organization's assets or chosen locations. Navigator can be used in Collector, Explorer, Survey123 and Workforce to get reliable directions even when disconnected. Navigator for ArcGIS is available to members of ArcGIS organizations with accounts that have been configured with a Navigator for ArcGIS license.

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Explorer is a simple but effective native application for viewing web maps created on ArcGIS Online quickly, easily and even whilst out in the field. The latest release of Explore on iOS provides an interface for viewing and toggling on and off data layers contained in a web map, viewing the attributes of different features, viewing media associated with those features and access to several map tools. This includes a measure, bookmark, base map switcher and the ability to provide directions to a feature and draw mark-up on the map. Mark-up is saved as a layer on your device and can be shared with others. Significantly, you can also take Explorer offline. The latest version of Explorer will soon be released on Android. Get started here.

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Story Maps let you combine web maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content. There are a variety of templates, either media, text or map focused, that can be easily configured to suit a purpose. Story maps are an excellent way to communicate multiple datasets or many different maps to an audience. Think of them as a microsite especially designed for show casing web maps and data. They are regularly updated by Esri (latest updates here) and are free to use with an ArcGIS Online subscription.

Drone2Map for ArcGIS is a desktop application that turns raw still imagery collected by a drone into a 2D and 3D map containing the collected images. Line features of your drone flight path and point features with geolocations of your images are also collected during the flight. You can choose between several different templates which allow you to produce a range of outputs, for example a Digital Terrain Model or Point Cloud. If you are an ArcGIS Online user you can register for a free trial of Drone2Map through the ArcGIS Marketplace.

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ArcGIS Solutions is an ArcGIS Pro add-in that offers ready-to-use, industry specific maps and apps which are regularly updated. If you are an ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5/10.6 user, you can incorporate your own data with an ArcGIS Solution and deploy it to ArcGIS Online. Essentially, Solutions is an easy way to publish ArcGIS Online content without configuration from scratch.

ArcGIS Hub is available as part of your ArcGIS Online subscription. ArcGIS Hub provides means to share your ArcGIS Online content ‘openly’ via an open data web page called your Hub site. The data on your Hub site comes from groups in ArcGIS Online that you or others have made available for open data and that you have selected. This content can also include feature and image services published from your ArcGIS Server. For more information refer to the Esri documentation

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Blog written by Ella Mroczek, Spatial Adviser, Abley

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