All I want for Christmas is a new release of ArcGIS Online

14th December 2012

So Christmas has come early in ArcGIS-land and the busy elves as Esri Inc have released the latest version of ArcGIS Online. Apart from enjoying the chance for some bad festive puns one feature in particular prompted this blog piece: the ability to Register secured ArcGIS Server services with ArcGIS Online. An organisation can now use ArcGIS Online to broker secure connections to services and then control access through the ArcGIS Online sharing mechanism.

So why is this exciting enough for me to be posting this last thing on a Friday…? The Esri UK hosted map services ( ) can now be used within ArcGIS Online to provide basemaps in BNG (British National Grid). Having created a webmap with a BNG basemap additional BNG data can be added directly without a transformation. As a first go, I added one of the hosted services to my content and logged my datahub account details. In a new map I can set it as the basemap (by clicking on the service name in the listing and choosing the ‘add as basemap’ option) and then add a BNG shapefile directly to the map. I’ve also checked an existing BNG map service with the OS basemap too.

This feature also really opens up the potential for using ArcGIS Online alongside an organisation’s existing ArcServer based services. Perhaps using ArcGIS Online for hosting public communication sites, or by making use of the built in support for the smartphone apps.

So far I’ve only had chance to have a very quick look at a couple of the other new features. The filtering that can be applied to services within a webmap should allow subtle control of content within maps to ensure the target audience get just the information they need. The table display for data also looks set to be useful for comparative viewing of feature attributes.

Finally, I had a quick go with the the new application template that includes an elevation profile. I’ve only tried the demo elevation service that comes with it and the elevations generated quickly. The examples I was doing were a bit subtle and then I remembered how flat Aylesbury is… The profiles were much more exciting when I moved to a lumpier bit of the UK.

Full details of the features in the new release are here:

In summary, the ability to register secure connection details allows ArcGIS Online users to use OS base mapping via the Esri UK online data services.