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Inspire your organization to stay active using ArcGIS Map Viewer (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of your guide to creating a company-wide health engagement initiative. We’ve implemented this here at Esri Canada called ‘See Every Street’  to motivate our colleagues to stay active. In Part 1, we deployed a Quick Capture project using a built-in template. We made it our own by adding custom activities and configuring them into the project. In Part 2, we’ll focus on ArcGIS Online’s Map Viewer component.

Now that you’ve configured your ArcGIS QuickCapture project in Part 1 and recorded some activities, let’s talk about how we created our heatmap using Map Viewer in ArcGIS Online.

My QuickCapture template is ready, how can I now display the data in a meaningful way?

Quick Tip:

  • Submitting a couple test routes via QuickCapture allows for a better idea of what your dashboard will look like.

Now that your users are off loving life and collecting sweet GPS tracks, let's talk about displaying their data. As previously mentioned, we chose to create a heatmap of everybody’s activities. Of course, there are many ways one could symbolize this data and once again, please feel free to get creative. We originally thought about assigning one colour per participant for example, but the colourblind in me shuddered at the thought of more than half a dozen colours!

To create this heatmap, we utilized the new map viewer (not the classic), and its cool ‘Effects’. It’s important to add here that this type of visualization is only available in the new map viewer. Should you choose to go back to your old ways and use the map viewer classic, don’t hit save or you will lose all the ‘Effects’.

Start by going into your content page in ArcGIS Online and finding the webmap associated with the QuickCapture project. In the map viewer, the first thing we will do is remove the filter put in place by the template. The template was configured to show tracks recorded within the last 24hours. On the right-hand column, click on the third icon representing the filter and delete the expression. Save this change. We will then move on to symbolizing the routes. Click on the ‘Routes’ layer on the left-hand menu, then the second icon on the right-hand menu. We chose  light blue and changed the line’s stroke width. Again, don’t limit yourselves to our colour palette. The only thing to note is that a thinner line will make for better visualization later if you get a lot of entries:

Web map style options

Web map style options for ‘FunRun (dashboard view) – Routes’

To give the lines the electric blue heatmap feel, we then turned on the blooming ‘Effect’ using the fourth icon in the right-hand column. We chose the following settings, but these will need to be changed over time. A heatmap looks best with more data, and with these settings and very little data on the map, the heatmap is not very visible. Something else to keep in mind is the basemap being used. Depending on the colour you choose for your lines, a light or dark map will be best. We of course encourage you to use the Esri Canada Community Basemap.

Web map configurations for bloom effects

Web map configuration for bloom effects

With that done, you have yourself a heatmap that can represent your organization's activities. If you are keen to customize things some more, you can change the symbol used for the photos. We chose a small icon that we made slightly transparent so as not to obstruct underlying data. We also enabled clustering to avoid too many points floating on the map. In fact, we even took it one step further with the dashboard. It turns out that people love photos, and before we knew it, our map was overrun. So, in the dashboard by default, we only show a month's worth of photos. As a last thought for customizing the web map, we encourage you to edit the popup to show the user, its activity type and the kilometers covered. This will make it easier for your users to pan around the map and see what their colleagues have been up to.

Coming up next, we’ll walk you through how we set up an interactive visualization of our map along with some cool statistics using ArcGIS Dashboards in Part 3.

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

About the Author

David Albert-Lebrun is a Bilingual Enterprise Consultant for Esri Canada. He studied environmental science at the University of Guelph, where he discovered his love for GIS and went on to take every course they offered. This then led to an advanced diploma from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS). David has always been fascinated with better visual ways to interpret and explain data; he was thus naturally drawn to GIS. When he's not assisting clients with their enterprise deployments, you will most likely find David following a map, running in the bush and looking for seldom used trails.

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