ArcGIS Online

Managing ArcGIS Online Content with ArcGIS Dashboards and ArcGIS Notebooks

ArcGIS Online is a simple yet powerful system to connect people, locations, and data using interactive maps. There are literally millions of items stored in ArcGIS Online with tens of thousands of new items created each day. All of this activity, however, comes with its share of challenges. How can organizations manage all this content effectively? How can you reduce storage costs and identify data and apps that are no longer needed?

ArcGIS Online provides a number of tools for administrators to help you manage your organization, such as credit budgeting, the credit utilization chart, and reports. Using the ArcGIS API for Python, we can get even more information about the items in our organization. In this blog, we’ll explore how you can use ArcGIS Dashboards and scheduled ArcGIS Notebooks to create an interactive tool to help manage content in ArcGIS Online, and we’ll provide templates and instructions for deploying them in your own organization.

Anatomy of the dashboard

Let’s start by looking at the end product – the Item Management Dashboard (Live Version). The dashboard consists of three main sections: Filters, List, and Details.

1. The Filters section gives you access to a rich set of variables for filtering content. The available filters are as follows:

               – All: All content regardless of sharing setting
               – Private: Items that are not shared and private to the user
               – Shared: Private items that are shared to a group
               – Organization: Items shared to the organization
               – Public: Item shared to the public for anonymous access

               – View All Items: Items with or without the presence of user-defined words
               – With Keywords: Items with the user-defined words in the title or the tag
               – Without Keywords: Items without the user-defined words in the title or the tag

2. The List section shows the list of items in an organization based on the filters. This list is sorted by the last modified date in descending order.

3. The Details section provides additional contextual and trend information for the items, credit consumption, and users. The section is divided into the following:

Overview provides high-level summary of items in ArcGIS Online
Credit trends
Feature Service Storage Trend for the Organization
Detailed credit consumption by user per month
Access user profile within the Dashboard

Potential use cases

After exploring and getting familiar with the dashboard (Live Version), you might think of different applications for your own administrative workflows. Based on feedback and conversations with a number of organizations, here is a summary of the needs that can be addressed by the dashboard:

How does this work?

While the dashboard is great for exploring the data, the engine driving this dashboard comes from a scheduled ArcGIS Notebook hosted in ArcGIS Online. This notebook, which is scheduled to run once a day, automates the process of extracting relevant information about each item using the ArcGIS API for Python to update hosted tables that feed the dashboard. These hosted tables will store data about the items (table_items), feature services (table_fs), and users (table_user )in the organization like title, last modified date, size, and more.

Hosted notebook will write data to the tables

Want this for your organization? The next section discusses how you can deploy this dashboard.

Deploying

The deployment process is simple, but make sure to dedicate at least 30 to 60 minutes for it. The steps below assume that you are an administrator of your organization.

1. Publish three hosted tables.

Navigate to Content > Create > Feature Layer > From URL to create the hosted tables with the following URLs: table_item, table_fs, table_user. Once published, take a note of the item ID. You will need this for step 3.

Note: if you are unable to publish the tables from the service, please follow the instructions to manually publish with CSVs.

2. Add the notebook file to ArcGIS Online.

Download and upload the notebook file to ArcGIS Online. This will create a hosted notebook that will update the hosted tables created from the previous step. Navigate to the notebook settings and set Notebook Runtime to ‘ArcGIS Notebook Python 3 Standard – 4.0’. Do not run the file until you define user inputs (next step).

Set the runtime to the latest

3. Define user inputs.

The most important part is to correctly define the item ID of each hosted table. You can optionally adjust the variable days, which defines the length of historical data you will keep for trend charts like storage, remaining credits, and credit use per user. You can also define the words to search in the title and the tag.

4. Schedule and run the notebook.

Use the new scheduling capability released in the Spring 2021 update to automate the notebook processing. You can follow instructions in Scheduled Mode for ArcGIS Notebooks in ArcGIS Online blog.

5. Configure the dashboard.

You can view the dashboard or create a copy to see how they are configured. Make sure to sign into your ArcGIS Online account to save a copy to your account. It will be helpful to create two copies—one for reference and another for configuration.

There are two options to configure the copied dashboard with your hosted tables. You can take the traditional route and manually configure each element in the dashboard. This will give you a better sense of how the dashboard is configured but will be slow. The other option is to edit the Dashboard’s JSON configuration using ArcGIS Assistant as outlined in this post. This will be much quicker but be advised that mistakes during the edit can permanently break your dashboard.

If you choose to edit the Dashboard’s JSON configuration, you will need to replace the item IDs of the sample tables with item IDs of hosted tables published to your organization. Search and replace the item IDs of the sample tables as shown below.

6. Manage your organization.

You are now ready to manage your organization.

 

Closing thoughts

This is just the beginning of using ArcGIS Notebooks, the ArcGIS API for Python, and ArcGIS Dashboards to create a tailored experience of managing your organization. If you are new to managing an organization, we recommend starting with the robust set of tools already available in ArcGIS Online. But if you are managing a large, complex organizations ArcGIS API for Python and ArcGIS Notebooks can be helpful tools to facilitate your administrative tasks.

About the authors

Calvin is a solution engineer for Esri's Nonprofit and Global Organizations team in the Washington, D.C. office. He is passionate about applying GIS to maximize the impact of nonprofits, humanitarian organizations, and international groups all over the world. He loves collaborating with practitioners, learning from their experiences and demonstrating the power of the ArcGIS to help them succeed.

Connect:

Bonnie Stayer

Bonnie is the Operations Lead for Esri's Geospatial Center in Vienna, VA. As part of that role, she manages demonstration resources for Solution Engineers on the National Government team and create guidelines and best practices for ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise.

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Anonymous
Anonymous

I am trying to implement this for my Org. I have followed along up until the configuration of the dashboard – step 5. How do I change the dashboard over to my own set of tables? Is it best to edit the json of the dashboard and replace the sample item id’s with my set? Also – to get the notebook to work – I had to comment out availble credits and assigned credits from the User Admin section of the notebook. Is this configured assuming we have turned on credit budgeting for the users – and if we haven’t… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous

Great stuff! We built a very similar dashboard and process for my company. We even made a StoryMap about it (Link below) . Dashboards are such a powerful tool that it can be used for non-spatial solutions as well.
Make an Item Report Dashboard (Public StoryMap): https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/136db4d3aaa84151be594b496f423a52

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