Tutorials

Need Work Order management with Your GIS? Introducing Esri's Workforce for ArcGIS

Workforce for ArcGIS is one of Esri's native GIS applications that allows you to take advantage of a streamlined work order management system that is built directly on top of your GIS platform. This tutorial provides a basic overview of the application both from the desktop browser as well as a mobile perspective.

Folks, I’m here to tell you that Workforce for ArcGIS will revolutionize the way you conduct business between field workers and office staff. When we speak of disruptability, this is a game changer. Especially since most organizations of this type already have some type of Esri GIS platform already in place. Today, I want to share with you my top three reasons why this application will completely change your way of conducting business.

  1. Real-time Communication

    With a web-based application, the interaction between office staff and field workers is instantaneous. When the remote worker makes an update on their mobile device it is reflected in immediately to the office staff. This includes examples such as, ‘On break’, ‘Not available’, ‘On my way’, ‘Can’t get to it today’. The dispatchers can then make immediate decisions on how to re-assign or re-shuffle the work load to other workers if need be.

  2. Time Tracking of Labor Hours

    We know that time is money, and this is the same thing whether you are working in the office or conducting onsite work at various locations in the field. When you have the ability to capture start and stop times for simple day-to-day tasks, you now have powerful, time-based data to build on. Use this information for performing cost estimates, billing customers, or budgeting for future work.

  3. Trust the Process….

    Another goal that managers often have is to ‘processize’ their workflows. This creates efficiencies and repeatable workflows that can be easily taught to others and even documented for future growth. With a solution such as Workforce for ArcGIS, you can now have a built-in process to execute work orders and have a complete history in your work order management. And oh yes, did I mention this is all integrated with your GIS? So you not only have time logging, but add location to that and the sky is the limit with the amount of decisions you can make from that information. Establish the process and follow it through to see tremendous success.

There is no doubt if you give this work order management application a solid try, you and your staff will both be hooked. Its ease-of-use is unmatched by any other offerings available and it automatically integrates with your GIS because it uses your GIS platform as the backbone. No more expensive modules to connect components to each other, or finagling with software vendors to unlock key software tools. This is straight out-of-the-box Esri technology and can be easily configured to work with your current ArcGIS Online account. If you are ready to launch your organization into a new era of real-time connectivity and a stream-lined work order solution, contact us about our Workforce for ArcGIS kickstart package or any of our professional GIS services.

ArcGIS Pro Demo-nado

OK. The GIS World has had the much anticipated ArcGIS Pro for about 3 months now, and everyone is still using ArcMap. Why? Because change is hard. 

Geo-Professionals should really change that, because ArcPro, Pro, ArcGIS Pro, AGP whatever-we-call-it is actually a pretty good product. YES, it has some shortcomings, as most first versions do. However, in a very unofficial tally from a group of 12 GIS professionals, the good outweighed the bad 8-5. Not a blowout be any means, but a positive result nonetheless. 

It's no surprise that we (Cloudpoint) are behind the product. Ok, I am. I recently doubled my RAM in may MacBook in-part to be able to devote more speed to Parallels to run ArcPro. It runs well too! Drawing does slightly stutter when in 3D but that doesn't matter because I have yet to be convinced that my clients want or need 3D GIS.

I digress. This morning I created the two videos below in order to demonstrate ArcGIS Pro and several of it's best qualities (not 3D). The videos are fast paced, packed full and I kept them between 6 & 7 minutes. This is not GIS training, you can't train any person GIS in 7 minutes, let alone on a new piece of software.  I hope you enjoy them and then download your copy of Pro to try it out. 


  • In this first video of a two-part series, We simply walk around the interface and perform some SIMPLE actions. Opening a Map, Editing map notes and understanding what happens.


  • In this Second video of a two-part series, we will talk about importing an ArcMap MXD, Editing and touch briefly on navigating layouts. 

Please leave a comment on YouTube if you like it. 

Creating Line Features in the Field (Snap!)

Need to create line features in the field? Grab a tablet, the Collector App for ArcGIS supports point, lines and polygon creation and editing. Wait, but what about connectivity? If the lines are created on a touch screen device they are going to be as accurate as…well as drawing things with your finger, right? No worries. If you have ArcGIS for Desktop Standard, you have the Snap tool available to you, which will help you out. Once you’re done making your field additions, you can bring the data back into Desktop and run Snap to ensure coincidence of features. You could just consider it the most useful markup method ever. (!)

 

Ingredients

AGOL  Organizational Acct

Editable Feature Service(s) accessible on AGOL

ArcGIS for desktop Standard

Mobile Device

 

Before & After The red line was created in the field with Collector on iPad. The blue line has been snapped to the poles layer using the gp tool:

Important:  Ensure vertices are added at (or near) every coincidence location while creating line features, as you will need them later for this process.

Note: This method may be possible without Organizational Account/Collector but is very likely not near as fluid.

Getting Back Bing Maps

ArcGIS.com is a great online GIS tool. Earlier this year, Esri had to remove the Microsoft Bing basemaps that were previously available to users. All conspiracy theories aside, this was a huge blow to online data collection. The Bing imagery is crystal clear and while second to Google in overall coverage, In a few areas the quality is actually far superior. As well, Esri does not have a good imagery-plus-streetname basemap similar to Bing's hybrid map. 

There is some attempt to explain all of this on Esri's online resource page, but it doesn't get into the "why". It's worthy to note here that you should keep your MXDs with Bing Maps already added. While you can no longer add Bing imagery to a new ArcMap document, You will be allowed to keep existing layers. Also, you will be able to use Bing Maps in the free ArcGIS Desktop Explorer, which leads me to thing it's a MS licensing issue and not a Us vs Them problem. 

At at any rate. Bing Maps are great, and we all still want them on our maps. You can still do this by using a Microsoft Bing Maps Key. The video below explains how to do this in a short 4 minute tutorial.