Custom Mobile ArcGIS Online
ArcGIS Online and the new ArcGIS 10.1 release are about to provide a plethora of online and offline mobile GIS solutions. We launched GeoMobile for ArcGIS nearly a year ago. The goal was to provide a custom mobile ArcGIS app. We include a configuration file so users could add their own map layers; basemaps, dynamic and tiled ArcGIS layers. The mobile app has proved to be very popular. But the need for a single service, which provides all map data, has nagged at us. To the rescue comes ArcGIS Online and web maps. Now users can publish their ArcGIS layers, shapefiles, CSV, GPX, KML ad WMS to a single service. The associated web map can then be consumed by mobile applications like GeoMobile for ArcGIS.
ArcGIS 10.1 is exciting for many reasons. Primarily, in this discussion, because it allows users to generate tile packages for use offline. More on this in a later post. Lets first walk through the steps to publish a web map in ArcGIS Online.
ArcGIS Online & WebMaps – Steps in Publishing your Data
1) Sign up for a new account or if you have an ESRI global account, register to become a member of ArcGIS Online:
2) This will give you access to a free account with the following features:
- Access, Share, and Manage Content (Details)
- Browse maps, apps, and data
- Access basemaps, image services, and Bing Maps
- Access maps from browsers, mobile devices, ArcGIS for Desktop
- Embed maps in web pages, blogs, applications
- Create groups and share items with groups
- Keep content private, share it publicly, or within groups
- Add your own data to maps or create mashups
- Access ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs
- Add World Geocoding Service
- Add World Routing Service
- Add Geometry Service
- Store maps, apps, and data in Esri’s cloud
3) When logged into arcgis.com open the map tab
4) Add a shapefile
5) Save the map
6) Make a web application
7) You will now see your data in a web map viewer.
Note the url. In our case:
That is it. Very simple. But what about mobile access?
Mobile ArcGIS Online Demo
We’ve been building mobile ArcGIS apps now for a couple of years. Our work has mostly focused on ArcGIS server endpoints. We wanted to demonstrate how we can quickly add ArcGIS Online web maps to one of our mobile ArcGIS apps. Taking one of our base mobile viewers, we switched the config file to load the web map above. So using the web maps id of 492cce45fa144edd95d3f511302ce074. The demo below shows the web map running on an Android smartphone:
Mobile ArcGIS Online Thoughts
Though we are not exclusively focused on GIS and ArcGIS specifically. Ever more of our time is spent building custom mobile ArcGIS apps. We feel that ArcGIS Online simplifies both the process of sharing spatial data and accessing it via mobile devices. Many of our clients are looking for cross platform solutions; to avoid the cost of building multiple apps for the different platforms; iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows. In addition they are looking for custom tools which fit their specific workflows. We feel that ArcGIS server and ArcGIS Online will provide us a cost effective way to build custom mobile ArcGIS apps for our clients.