An update on an update.

26th September 2014

This week saw the latest update to ArcGIS Online. Much of the focus is on improving the existing capabilities and continuing to make it easier for content managers and administrators to work with.

From a workflow perspective one of the great new features is being able to update hosted feature services by reloading from a csv or file geodatabase. This makes it really easy to refresh data that has been prepared in house but is being served out through ArcGIS Online.

Some of the analysis tools have been enhanced and the Elevation Analysis Tools have come out of beta. I’d looked into these earlier in the summer and was impressed with how easy it was to use the hosted services for ad-hoc analysis.

GeoForm, another feature we’ve previously covered, is out of beta and available in the configurable apps gallery. For a lot of end users editing features through a form will be closer to their current practices, but you still get the benefit of them directly updating the GIS features.

The usability of the system continues to be improved, including some nice changes to make the different types of content more obvious in the content window. Custom roles were introduced a while back but more options have been added for fine tuning what your users can do. Being able to easily create and tweak the roles makes it much easier to align them to your own workflows and practices.

So what new toys have been added? There is a map gallery template app which is aimed at making browsing content easier, particularly on smartphones and tablets. But the one that I’ve been anticipating most is the Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, now included in beta. Although there are app templates for most workflows, we are now able to create even more tailored applications. The interface is really easy to use and I’ve just built a new app in ten minutes. As part of supporting responsive design you can preview your app on different devices. It’s the closest I’ll get to having an iPhone 6 for a while. To do it justice we’ll cover the AppBuilder in more detail in the next couple of weeks.

You can read the full details of the update here