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Do-It-Yourself Geo Apps MOOC

Share Open Data Through a Web
Section 2 Exercise 1
Do-It-Yourself Geo Apps MOOC

Share Open Data Through a Web App

Use this guide and ArcGIS Online to reproduce the results of the exercise on your own.
Note: ArcGIS Online is a dynamic mapping platform. The version that you will be using for
this course may be slightly different from the screenshots you see in the course materials.

Time to complete
Approximately 30-40 minutes

Technical note
To take advantage of the web-based technologies available in ArcGIS Online, you need to
use a fairly new version of a standard web browser, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari,
or Internet Explorer. Older web browsers may not display your maps correctly.
For information on supported browsers, visit the documentation (

As you know, geo apps require an underlying web map (, and the web
map relies on one or more web layers ( As always, good apps and
maps are all about the data. Verifying the data is the first step in making a geo app or
performing any analysis.

In this exercise, you will learn how to find and explore open data and create a web layer. You
will use ArcGIS Hub Open Data ( and build a basic web app from your
search results.
In this section's lecture, Courtney discussed Washington, D.C.'s Vision Zero Initiative from her
perspective as a cyclist with concerns about safety. The Vision Zero Initiative crowdsources
locations of perceived risks by pedestrians, bikers, and car drivers, which the government

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hopes to use to improve safety on D.C.'s streets. The crowdsourced data is verified and made
public through the government's open-data portal for anyone to access.

Part I - Guided
The exercises in Sections 2 through 6 are split into two parts: the Guided part, which provides
step-by-step instructions, and the Do-It-Yourself part, where you can explore further and build
your own geo apps.
In the Guided part of this exercise, your goal is to create a web app that shares locations that
people feel are unsafe as they bicycle through the District.
First, you will find a dataset to use.

Step 1: Find an applicable raw dataset

a Open a new private (or incognito) web browser tab or window.
We recommend that you open a private or incognito browser window whenever you need to
work in ArcGIS Online to help prevent conflicts with your accounts.

b Browse to
This site consolidates all of the open data portals in ArcGIS Online and allows you to easily
search and visualize information.

c Scroll down to the Search Data section.

d In the Find field, type Vision Zero, and in the Near field, type Washington, DC, USA.
Note: As you type, the correct search query may appear in the drop-down menu for you to

e Press Enter or click the magnifying glass button to view results.

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Note: The number of datasets available through ArcGIS Hub open data site is growing
constantly; your search results may vary depending on when you enrolled in this course
The search results give you a lot of information about available datasets, including titles, the
individuals who shared them, descriptions, their number of features, and ways to filter the

f In the results, look for the Vision Zero Safety (Shared by DCGISopendata) dataset.

g Click the title (Vision Zero Safety) to review the dataset.

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You can see three main components:

1. The map view at the top of the page

2. Overview information in the center of the page
3. More metadata in the right panel

The data is represented in the map view. Because the map is zoomed out, the point features
are aggregated to polygons that visualize feature density.
You can pan, zoom, and click point features to retrieve information from pop-up windows
when you are zoomed in close enough.

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On the Overview tab, you can see the full description of the dataset, a list of dataset
attributes and data types, and a list of related datasets. There is more information in the right
panel, with links to additional detailed metadata. What you see on this page is data about the
data. You will next look at the data itself.

Step 2: Explore features in the dataset

A feature is a representation of a real-world object in the form of a point, line, or polygon. The
features are tied to rows in a table in which specific pieces of information about them can be

a Click the Data tab to view the table data.

Note: The number of rows in the table might vary from the above graphic, as data is
continually added. This may take a minute to load, depending on your connection.
You will analyze the features in this dataset.

b Use the horizontal scroll bar below the table or your arrow keys to scroll to the right to
view the information populating the different table fields in this dataset.

c Scroll down to view the different features.

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d Page through the dataset using the buttons below the table, and examine some of the
You have access to the entire attribute table in this view, but you will use the filtering tools to
help narrow the dataset to features that you are interested in.

Step 3: Filter the data

a At the far right of the table, in the USERTYPE field, click the Filter button.

A filter for USERTYPE appears above the table.

b On the filter, click the down arrow, check the Biker box to filter down to just the biker
data, and press Enter.
Not only is the table filtered to only show records where the Usertype is equal to Biker, but
the map extent filters what is shown in the table, as well.

c Zoom in and out on the map to see both the table and map view respond to your
selection, returning only features related to bicycle rider concerns within the map extent.
At this point, you have isolated a subset of the data and would like to export it so you can use
the more advanced symbolization and analysis tools in either ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS

Step 4: Export the data

a Zoom out so that all of the features are within the map extent.
Hint: Use the Zoom Out button in the upper-left corner of the map.

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You will download the dataset as a shapefile, which is a vector data storage format for storing
the location, shape, and attributes of geographic features. A shapefile is stored in a set of
related files and contains one feature class.

b On the right, click Download, and from the drop-down list, in the Filtered Dataset section,
click Shapefile.
This will download the subset as a zipped file.
The download status will appear in a pane on the right. The file may take a few minutes to be

c Save the Vision_Zero_Safety file to a location on your computer.

You will upload the file from your computer into ArcGIS Online.

Step 5: Publish a hosted feature layer

a Browse to and click Sign In.

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b Sign in to ArcGIS Online using the ArcGIS Online credentials explained at the start of this
Note: The Section 1, Exercise 1 PDF explains how to determine your ArcGIS Online
credentials (username and password) for this course. If you have trouble signing in, you can
check the Common Questions on the Help tab, search for other students with the same issue
in the forum, or use the Have A Question form at the bottom of the Help tab.

c At the top of the window, click Content.

d Click Add Item and choose From My Computer.

e Click Choose File, browse to the zipped shapefile that you downloaded, and click Open.

f Ensure that the Publish This File As A Hosted Layer box is checked.

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A hosted feature layer is the ArcGIS Online equivalent of a shapefile or feature class. In this
case, the features are the cyclist concern locations and the tabular information associated with
them. When you publish this data as a hosted feature layer, you have access to it on any
browser in ArcGIS Online.

g Change the title of your file so that it is unique by adding your name at the end.

h Add relevant tags such as biker safety and Washington D.C., pressing Enter after typing
each tag.

i Click Add Item.

Note: It may take a few minutes to finish publishing your hosted feature layer.
You are redirected to the new item's page. When the progress indicator stops and the service
has been created, you are ready to add your feature layer to a map.

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Step 6: Add a feature layer to the map

a On the right side of the item page, click Open In Map Viewer.
This will direct you to Map Viewer, the web client used to author maps in ArcGIS Online.
Your data is added to a new web map, with a default symbolization for the point features.

Next, you will update the point symbolization to provide more meaning.

Step 7: Symbolize the data

The Change Style pane was automatically opened when you added the feature layer. You will
symbolize the data based on the request type.
Note: If the Change Style pane is not open, in the Contents pane, pause your pointer over
the name of the layer and click the Change Style button.

a At the top of the Change Style pane, for Choose An Attribute To Show, choose
REQUESTTYP from the drop-down list.
You should see the features on the map change colors so that they are symbolized based on
the type of request made. Feel free to explore the different drawing type options (https://

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Do-It-Yourself Geo Apps MOOC In this exercise, you will leave the default symbology. Symbology means the
way that the features are represented with symbols on the map.

b At the bottom of the Change Style pane, click Done.

Next, you will change the basemap to help make the new symbolization clearer.

Step 8: Change the basemap

The cyclist concerns data is referred to as an operational layer. The other layer in the map is
the basemap, a non-editable layer that provides background, or reference information, in your
map. Operational layers are the features that are added to a basemap, which can be
symbolized, edited, and configured so that information is returned in a pop-up when clicked.
You will change the basemap to make the operational layer stand out better.

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a In the upper-left corner, click Basemap and choose Light Gray Canvas.

The red points stand out better on the light gray background.
Now that you have a map that looks good, you want to improve the functionality, as well. You
will change the pop-ups so that when users interact with the map, they see only relevant

Step 9: Modify the information pop-ups

a In the Contents pane, pause your pointer over the Vision Zero Safety layer and click the
More Options button .

b From the drop-down list, choose Configure Pop-up.

c Change the pop-up title to Vision Zero Safety.

d Under Pop-up Contents, click Configure Attributes (in blue text in the middle of the pane).

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Here, you have the option to enable or disable the display of an attribute and change the
Field Alias (the text that displays in the pop-up).

e Disable all of the fields except REQUESTTYP, REQUESTDAT, STATUS, and COMMENTS.

The names of these fields are standardized to make data processing more efficient. However,
you want the information to be easily understood and read in your pop-ups, so you will
change the field aliases.

f For each row, click the text in the Field Alias column, and then type the desired alias (see
the following list).

Field Name Field Alias


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g After you are done editing the pop-up, click OK to close the Configure Attributes

h In the Configure Pop-up pane, click OK.

i Click a point on the map to see that the pop-up reflects these changes.

Next, you want to make a geo app to better view and share this data. To create an app from
your map, you must first save it.

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Step 10: Save and share your web map

a Click Save, and then choose Save As.

b Type an appropriate title and summary, as well as relevant tags to help users find your
app in ArcGIS Online.

c Click Save Map.

Remember, Map Viewer is where you author maps. If you want to share your map, especially
with non-GIS users, you should share the contents of your map as a web app. You can choose
from many configurable apps, which serve as templates for web app creation. For this
exercise, you will share your information with the Basic Viewer configurable app.

d Above the map, click Share.

The Share dialog box appears, which allows you to share your app with the public, your
organization, or groups that you own or belong to. It is also used for sharing a map with an
app by using the Create A Web App button at the bottom.

e For now, select the Do-It-Yourself Geo Apps organization.

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By default, layers in ArcGIS Online are private. When you published the layer that you
exported from the Open Data page, the sharing settings were set to private. When you set
the sharing settings for a web map, ArcGIS Online detects any underlying layers in that web
map that do not have the same sharing settings and prompts you to update them. This
update is important because if a user opens a web map or app that is shared to an
organization or the public, and it has layers in it that are private, they would be asked for the
user name and password of the owner of that private layer.

f In the Update Sharing window, click Update Sharing to adjust the settings on your
Vision_Zero_Safety_Transportation layer.

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The following graphic illustrates how layers, web maps, and web apps can be shared in
ArcGIS Online. For more information about sharing, click here (

The Share dialog box shows that there is more than one way to share your map. You can
provide a link and send it to group, organization members, or the general public, or you can
share it on social media. You can embed it in an external website, as long as it is shared with
the public (because websites are available to the general public). Or, you can create a web
app, which you will do here.

g Click Done.

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Step 11: Create a web app

Now that you have the sharing options configured, you are ready to create the app.

a In the Share dialog box, click Create A Web App.

If you'd like, you can explore ( how the different configurable apps are
used. For this exercise, you will use a Basic Story Map app.
In addition to open data, the lectures for this lesson also talked about Story Maps (https:// Esri Story Maps are web app templates that let you combine maps with
narrative text, images, and multimedia content to tell your story. Story Maps are another type
of web app that you configure using interactive builders, without coding.

b On the Configurable Apps tab, on the left, click Build A Story Map.

c Choose the Story Map Basic template, and then click Create Web App.

The Create A New Web App dialog box already contains imported information from your web

d Make any changes to the title, tags, and summary that you feel are necessary, and then
click Done.

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You are now in the app configuration window for your Basic Story Map web app. Here, you
can see a preview of your app on the right and a configuration panel on the left. Whenever
you make changes, click Save, and your preview will be updated.
On the General tab, you can see the map has already been selected because you began the
app creation process from Map Viewer.

e On the General, Theme, Options, and Search tabs, make any changes that you want.

f After configuring your app, click Save, and then click Close.
Note: You must click Save at least once before closing.
You should now see your app's item page. Here, you could update any metadata or
reconfigure the sharing options.

g At the top right, click View Application to see and interact with the live app.
This concludes the Guided part of the exercise for this section. The exercises are written to
begin with a more step-by-step part, and then have a more do-it-yourself part. Please
continue on to apply what you've learned, follow your own interests, and explore on your
own. There are resources for learning more at the end.

Part II - Do It Yourself
The Do-It-Yourself part of the exercise contains additional optional goals for you to apply
what you learned in the Guided part to build your own geo apps with less guidance. Use your
creativity and have fun! Resources and samples to help you are listed in the Learning
Resources section at the end.
We do ask you that you read through this section even if you choose not to complete a DIY
project so that you will find and learn from your fellow students' work.

Leverage user-community data, or make a story map

In the Guided part of this section's exercise, you created a geo app from a configurable app
template, without using any code. In the DIY part of the exercise, there are two options; feel
free to choose either or both of them.
1. Talk to your organization about creating an open data portal
It's easy to set up a customized website and select the authoritative data that you want to
share—allowing anyone to search, view, and download your data in multiple formats. If you or
your organization has data that you think is useful and that you want to share, start a
conversation about open data portals. Use this ArcGIS Hub link ( as a

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start. You will need an organizational ArcGIS Online subscription outside of this class. Let us
know what happens in the forum!
2. Build your own geo app
Search ArcGIS Open Data or any other source for data that you are interested in, and then
create an engaging app using any of the configurable apps, such as a Story Map. For
inspiration, visit the Story Maps gallery (, or search the Living Atlas of
the World content page (

Share your work with the class

Both students and instructors would like to see what you did for this Do-It-Yourself part. When
you are done with your geo app or discussion about open data in your organization, please
tell us about it in the forums:

1. If you created an app, share it with Everyone (public).

2. Create a new forum post to tell students and instructors what you did.

• If you created an app, add the link to your app in the body of the post. This can be a
shortened link from the Share dialog box or the full URL, copied from the web
browser when viewing the app. Include a sentence that describes what the app does.
• If you spoke with your organization about open data, describe what happened and
what you learned.
3. Give the post a meaningful title, and add the hashtag #DIYSection2. This is how both
students and instructors will find what you shared. Here's an example: App to Find the
Best Beaches in Florida #DIYSection2.

Course instructors will recognize especially creative or high-quality student work, whether a
geo app or anything else that shows you've learned a lot in this class, at the end of the
course. So, be sure to share it with us in the forum. Only properly tagged posts will be eligible
for recognition. See above for the hashtag to use in your post for this section.
Have fun experimenting, but please don't share maps or apps from the Guided part of this
exercise; only share from the Do-It-Yourself part.

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Find the work of other students

Now that you have shared your work from this DIY part of the exercise in the forum, go find
and review the work of others. Feedback from the MOOC community will help everyone learn
and improve.

1. In the forums, search by the hashtag #DIYSection2.

2. Read other student posts, and check out their geo apps if they made one.
3. Give any helpful feedback or ask questions by replying to the forum post.

The recognition for the best student work by Esri instructors at the end of the course will be
based on the quality of the app or other work, along with the quality reflected in the
comments in the forum post.

Learning Resources
Nice work: you have learned about how geo apps can be used to analyze open data. You
have searched for and obtained open data from an online source, used it in a story map web
app, and hopefully completed one of the DIY stretch goals, too.
Here are some more resources to continue learning:
ArcGIS Open Data (
Story maps - get started ( (US government open data) (
The latest story maps blog posts (
More Esri training:
Training seminar: Power your Enterprise with ArcGIS Apps (
Training seminar: ArcGIS App Strategies (
Instructor-led course: Creating Story Maps with ArcGIS (

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