ArcGIS Online

Live Feeds Powering Updates of ArcGIS Living Atlas Indicators of the Planet

Last month, we introduced the ArcGIS Living Atlas Indicators of the Planet (Beta): a website that showcases authoritative information for 18 themes of interest for tracking the state of the planet. These planet indicators provide a quick snapshot of the status of each theme and provide customized pages with further information about each theme. Particularly, Indicators of the Planet provides relevant information on a variety of topics from places undergoing a decrease in air quality to identifying places with rising COVID-19 cases. For example, we can track growth in protected areas or check how we’re faring in electing women to parliamentary positions. Most importantly, all themes display the latest information available, which is possible with automated near-real time updates by Live Feeds.

Vital Indicators of the Planet

Live Feeds

Live Feeds are dynamic layers that display the most recent information from an online source. Live Feed layers in Living Atlas enable us to display near-real time information such as tracking hurricanes, wildfires, forecasting river discharge, and more. Live Feeds layers are kept up-to-date by a script routine.

Live Feeds diagram

A Live Feed routine checks for updates, downloads and geoprocesses data, and overwrites online layers. For example, the Live Feed routines powering Living Atlas Indicators of the Planet update the information behind each GeoCard and also their corresponding map layers.

Live Feeds geocard

There is a set of tools and online resources available for the creation and implementation of Live Feed layers on ArcGIS Online.

Live Feeds Methodology, Tools, and Resources

ArcGIS Online includes materials for the assimilation, development, and implementation of Live Feeds. From online lessons to technical documents. These online resources can take you promptly from beginner to expert.

Additionally, you can explore the different courses we offer in our Esri training website.


Live Feeds are dynamic layers in ArcGIS Online that show the most recent information available such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or river discharge. These layers are updated by Live Feed routines that automate the process of overwriting the information in near-real time without service interruptions. Live Feeds power the updates behind ArcGIS Living Atlas Indicators of the Planet.

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About the author

Gonzalo Espinoza is a Principal GIS Engineer at ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. Gonzalo specializes in hydrologic modeling, real time climate and hydro-informatic tools such as flood mapping and forecasting using National Water Model data. He masters the full geospatial tech stack required to develop scalable and operational services relying on large volumes of EO data in the fields of water and environment. At Living Atlas, he also supports the development of workflows for automation of data updates known as Live Feeds, technology used at Esri’s Disaster Response Program. Before ESRI Gonzalo worked in the development of Water Accounting at UNESCO IHE. He holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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