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10 ArcGIS features, apps and activities to try in 2021!

With 2021 around the corner, we’re thinking ahead about ArcGIS features, activities and apps that you can try in the new year. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, check out our list of 10 awesome things to try this coming year.

As we wrap up this interesting year, we look to the future with ideas of teaching and learning adventures that we encourage you to partake in. No matter what ArcGIS level you’re at, we’ve come up with things you can try in 2021. Check out our top 10 list for ArcGIS users:

  1. The new Map Viewer!

    The Map Viewer Beta will be the main event in 2021. This is the biggest update to ArcGIS Online, as the map viewer is where we make our maps, analyse data and much more! The Map Viewer Beta is available now to try out and it’s the next generation in map-making. There are many symbology options, the ability to create field selections, and search a feature for a field. It will be the Map Viewer default later this month, but the current version will be available into 2021.

  2. Get started with ArcGIS Online

    These Esri Canada resources include tutorials for beginners and people looking for a refresher.
    Let’s get started with ArcGIS Online – for educators
    Enroute with ArcGIS Online – for students

    Make 2021 the year you begin your GIS journey.

  3. The new ArcGIS Experience Builder

    This app, which you access through ArcGIS Online, allows you to quickly transform your data into compelling web apps without writing a single line of code. Build mapcentric or nonmapcentric apps and display them on a fixed or scrolling screen, on single or multiple pages. You can also integrate 2D and 3D content and select designer templates or create your own.

  4. Cool Story Map features

    You may have made many story maps, but have you tried some of the latest features of the ArcGIS Story Maps?

    Check out this helpful guide, if you are still using the Classic Story Map templates but want to move over to ArcGIS Story Maps.

    Learn how to add background audio to your story map.

  1. Create ArcGIS Dashboards

    Dashboards allow users to highlight important data in a project or activity. Create your first one using this Esri Canada tutorial.

  1. Customize Basemaps Give context to our data and more using basemaps. Sometimes they are the main event! Basemaps are available in 24 languages and you can change basemap layers to be a reference layer. This allows you to set the visibility range for basemap layers and edit the transparency. You can even change the style of a basemap in the map viewer by using the vector tile style editor. This really lets your students customize and personalize their maps. Designing a custom basemap would make a great art project.
  2. ArcGIS Living Atlas – Indicators of the Planet
    These indicators are updated with near real-time information contributed in the Living Atlas by organizations such as NOAA, UN Environment Programme, and the US Geological Survey. 18 topics are covered, with more being developed. In addition to the summary statistics provided on the GeoCards, there are a series of maps and resources to better understand each issue.

    ArcGIS Living Atlas – Indicators of the Planet – include GeoCards that are a good way to engage your students in a discussion, or to discover a global issue that they would like to explore further.

  1. Get your students involved in a local project
    Learn how you can create your own fieldwork project using ArcGIS tools (Survey123, ArcGIS Dashboards and Story Maps) available to K-12 schools across Canada. Get inspired by checking out Tony Cushman’s grade 3 Recess Project.

  2. Create a Collection
    Follow a short tutorial and see how easy it is to bundle together related story maps or other apps in a collection.

  3. Explore GIS Careers

    Students can discover ways GIS is used for crime analysis and in healthcare. The Career Path Series lessons are a great way to learn how GIS is used in these fields to make informed decisions that will support the safety of the general public.

    Explore the world of GIS in health and crime analysis.

Thank you for your support this year. We wish you a Mappy Holiday! See you in 2021!

Image by Jan Antonin Kolar, Unsplash.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Resource Developer on the Esri Canada Education and Research team. She has over six years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela is responsible for producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum specific resources, conducting and creating custom workshops for educators and judging and developing the question for the annual GIS Skills Ontario competition in Waterloo, Ontario. Angela has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Western Ontario and completed the Applied Digital Geography and GIS certificate program at Ryerson University.

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