ArcGIS Configurable Apps

Introducing Nearby, a new Configurable App

The new Nearby app (introduced with the October 2019 update of ArcGIS Online) discovers what’s nearby and reveals the directions to get there. Community members can explore neighbor resources; for example, they can find the closest library or identify all available medical facilities within a specified distance. And…what’s more, the app can generate directions.  Viewers can select a location on-screen or enter an address, and then get results for a given radius. To expand the exploration, all that’s needed is a simple adjustment to the search radius.  Nearby automatically responds to a variety of screen sizes and includes directions for different modes, such as driving or walking. This blog walks you through the configuration of the Nearby app so you can help viewers better explore their desired locations.


Nearby configurable app

How does Nearby work?

The Nearby app requires users to input a location through one of three options:

Once selected, the user specifies a search distance and a minimum and maximum search radius.  The app reveals all results within the default search radius. Viewers then have the option to adjust the search radius using a slider to explore results within different distances. Grouping results into a layer further expands a viewer’s ability to review results for specific features of interest.

Now let’s look at how to configure Nearby!

Create your map

Nearby includes features that intersect the search radius around either point, line or polygon features. In the following example, multiple layers have been used to show community resources in Juarez, Mexico.

Take time to configure the pop-up information. Like the Zone Lookup app, the pop-up drives results.  Configure your pop-up to display relevant information in an easy-to-understand way. Nearby offers a configuration option to reveal the pop-up title as a label for map features as you mouse over the results portion in the app.

Features labeled on a map while hovering or selecting a result.

Choose an appropriate basemap that complements your symbology. Be sure to test at different scales. Set your map extent to determine a starting point. When the app searches an address, it zooms to the searched area, changing the scale to show only the searched area.

Share your map to a template

Once you create the map and save it, click the Share button in Map Viewer and click Create a Web App.  Select Nearby as your app.

Nearby selected in the Configurable Apps tab of the Create a New Web App window.

Configure the app

Configure your app with the available options, as follows:

In the About section you have the option to update your app title and customize your title and welcome text. Edit the Introduction Panel title and details to introduce the app to your users and include any needed instructions.

Custom welcome text in the configuration panel

Choose between a light or dark theme, with the option to enabled shared theme if your organization has created one.

The Interactivity options include setting layers to be returned in the results and defining search slider and search dialog options. By default, all layers are returned in the results. However, you can refine the list by checking on specific layers. You can choose to add Directions to each result as well. The slider settings define the minimum, maximum and default search distance in the slider. These settings correlate to the search slider in the application.

Search slider settings in the configuration panel

In addition to setting the defaults, there is an option to enable users of the app to edit these distances by clicking on the numeric values and entering new ones.  This option is found in the full setup of the application in the Interactivity – Search Slider settings.

Slider in app with search radius being edited

Finally, configure a message to indicate when the app returns no results, so users know no results meet the search criteria.

For a complete list of all app options, switch to full setup.



Switch to full setup option highlighted in the Configuration Panel

Test and share your app

Once you like your app configuration, publish it and test it. If you’ve enabled directions, you can easily test your proxy settings by either using your app in an incognito window or once you’ve logged out of your window.  Once testing is complete, share your app with your audience!

About the author

Beth is a Product Engineer on the ArcGIS Online team.


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