A beginner’s guide to ArcGIS Online

August 5, 2020 Mingsze Ho

Are you new to GIS and just getting started with ArcGIS Online? Do you want to know common workflows such as how to style a map or publish a layer? Well, these resources will help!

I work mostly with customers who are new to GIS, and they usually ask questions such as:

  • How do I turn my data into a map?
  • I brought in data from a spreadsheet, but I can't run analysis or change the style in the map viewer. What am I doing wrong? 

To help address common questions like these, I’ve compiled a collection of stories using ArcGIS StoryMaps and some short videos, which serve as a beginner’s guide to ArcGIS Online.

Well here they are, for when you want a quick reminder on a particular step or workflow.

From data to map: The infographic above walks you through the steps on how you can bring in data to the map viewer or style a map. More information and additional resources are provided in this story.

The collection includes three story maps that walk you through:

  1. How to turn raw data into a web map or app (Introduction to ArcGIS Online)
  2. How to share your maps
  3. How to add a narrative around your map or app using ArcGIS StoryMaps

And to help you understand the processes more easily, I’ve created the following videos so you can follow along. (They’re about 10-15 minutes each.)

  1. Introduction to ArcGIS Online – what the platform is and how to navigate it
  2. Building a map
  3. Adding context to your data – this is done using the “Enrich Layer” analysis tool
  4. Customizing your map
  5. Adding point data – how to map data from your spreadsheet
  6. Customizing your popups
  7. Performing analysis in map viewer
  8. Sharing your map
  9. Building a quick simple dashboard
  10. Introduction to ArcGIS StoryMaps

You’ll also find these videos in this playlist. Happy mapping!

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

About the Author

Mingsze Ho

Mingsze Ho is a GIS Analyst for Esri Canada. Fascinated with displaying data in a spatial way, she focuses on generating story maps and other applications using Esri technology. She discovered her passion for maps when she started colouring and drawing maps in elementary school, and she was determined to become a cartographer. Mingsze loves how a map can illustrate the ways that certain features or phenomena affect human lives. While obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, she realized the world had moved on to digital maps. She was heartbroken initially, until she discovered the power of GIS and how it can be used to leverage both art and data to create beautiful, interactive maps. In her free time, Mingsze continues to draw maps. She just really likes maps.

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