Create a map
First, you'll convert addresses into data points that could help you discover whether four drivers are misusing the fleet fuel card. You'll use Create Buffer and Derive New Locations, two geospatial tools that will help you convert seemingly random data points into insightful information. You can complete this lesson using ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, depending on your configuration.
You'll download a comma-separated values (CSV) file that includes the addresses for gas station transactions. Then, you'll geocode the addresses so you can investigate purchases made by the four suspected drivers. Geocoding is a GIS operation for converting street addresses to spatial data so that they can be mapped.
- Sign in to your ArcGIS organizational account or into ArcGIS Enterprise using a named user account.
If you don't have an organizational account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.
- At the top of the window, click Map.
If you're in a new session, a new map opens with a basemap. A basemap is the global reference information that provides geographic context to the data layers that you'll add.
If an existing map opens instead, click New Map in the upper-right corner of the page and choose Create New Map.
- Download the GasTransactions CSV file.
- Locate the downloaded file on your computer and open it.
If the file opens in protected mode, click the button to enable editing. Depending on the application you use to open the file, the appearance of the data may differ from the example image.
The file contains information about the gas station stops of your four suspected drivers. The fields include the station's name and address as well as the fuel type purchased, card user, and amount paid. Later, you'll analyze the data and communicate it to company officials.
- Close the file. Drag the CSV file from its location on your computer onto the map.
The Add CSV Layer window opens. This window allows you to choose which fields in the CSV file will be used to determine the location of features. You'll use the address field to map the gas stations.
- For Locate features by, confirm that Addresses or Places is chosen.
- If necessary, change In to United States.
- For the ADDR (Address) field, in the Location Fields column, click Not used and choose Address or Place.
- Click Add Layer.
The layer is added to the map. The map zooms in to show the new points that represent locations where drivers made a purchase with the gas card. The Change Style pane also opens. By default, the points are assigned unique colors on the basis of the card user name. Other drawing options are shown in the Change Style pane. For this layer, the individual names aren't important, so you'll give all the points the same symbol to show only the location of each transaction.
- In the Change Style pane, for Select a drawing style, for Location (Single symbol), click Select.
- Click Done.
The map updates to display all the points with the same symbol style. Next, you'll enter two addresses that represent shipping locations for your company. For this lesson, those two points are the starting and ending locations for the drivers.
- On the ribbon above the map, in the search box, type 900 Brentwood Road NE, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.
As you type, a list of possible matching addresses is displayed.
- Click the matching address when it appears in the search box.
You can also copy and paste the address into the search box and press Enter. If you use the list, be careful to select the correct city and state.
The map zooms to the address and displays a pop-up.
- In the Search result pop-up, click Get Directions.
- In the Directions pane, on line B, type 250 N Boundary Road, Jamaica, New York, USA and press Enter.
The default directions assume that you're driving a small automobile, so it generates a route and travel time appropriate for that type of vehicle. Instead, you want a designated truck route that's optimized for travel distance, so you'll change this setting.
- Click Driving Time and choose Trucking Distance.
The directions adjust for the new truck route. The Directions pane shows the estimated driving distance and time for a truck. The map also updates to show the new route. You may need to zoom out to see the entire route and all the point features.
You can save this route as a layer in your map to perform further analysis. In this case, you want to create an area around the expected route to see which refilling stops are beyond an acceptable distance from the predetermined route.
- Click the Save and share route button.
- For Result layer name, delete the text and type Washington-New York Route.
Saving the route will preserve the data on your map and add a layer to the Contents pane.
- Click Save.
- When the route has been successfully saved, click the Close button to close the Directions pane.
Next, you'll change the basemap from Topographic to Streets to give your presentation more context by identifying major roads and emphasizing city names.
- On the ribbon, click Basemap and choose Streets.
You've successfully downloaded your data and created the map you'll need for the Create Buffers and Derive New Locations tools. A buffer is an area that covers a given distance from a point, line, or area feature. Deriving new locations creates new features based on the criteria you specify. Next, you'll use these two geoprocessing tools to analyze the gas transactions report for the four suspected drivers.
Create a buffer and organize layers
As an investigator, you must impose thresholds on your data so you can distinguish between abnormalities with acceptable explanations and those that suggest misuse. The first threshold involves the acceptable distance from the prescribed route. You decide that 10 miles is an acceptable buffer to account for drivers who exit and seek inexpensive gas stations. The most expensive gas stations tend to be along interstate highways. Drivers who fill up beyond the 10-mile buffer raise suspicions.
- On the ribbon, click Analysis.
- In the Perform Analysis pane, click Use Proximity.
- Click Create Buffers.
- If necessary, for Choose layer containing features to buffer, choose Washington-New York Route (RouteInfo).
- For Enter buffer size, change the buffer size to 10 Miles.
- Expand Options, and change the buffer type from Overlap to Dissolve.
Dissolving buffers can clarify a map because it places one continuous buffer on your map. Overlap places a buffer around each feature, which, in this case, would clutter your map.
- Collapse the Options section.
- For Result layer name, type Buffered route. Add your name or initials to make sure the name is unique within your organization.
New items created by analysis operations must have unique names within your organization; otherwise, their URLs will conflict. Once the layer has been created, you can rename it in your map.
- If necessary, pan and zoom the map so you can see the entire route and all the point features.
Most analysis tools use the information shown in the current map extent. If you are zoomed in too far, your analysis may not include all the relevant data.
- Click Run Analysis.
The tool may take a moment to complete. When the operation finishes, the Buffered route layer is added to the map.
You'll rename the layer so it doesn't show your name or initials.
- In the Contents pane, point to the Buffered route layer. Click the More Options button and choose Rename.
- Remove your name or initials and click OK.
Layers and sublayers are best displayed in a map with points on top, followed by lines and polygons. This order ensures that a layer won't obscure the one underneath. Also, turning off unnecessary layers and sublayers can clarify a map by removing clutter. Currently, Washington-New York Route, a line layer, hides some of the points from the GasTransactions layer.
- Click the arrow next to the Washington-New York Route layer to display its four sublayers.
- Uncheck the Washington-New York Route (RouteInfo) sublayer.
The Washington-New York Route (Stops) and Washington-New-York Route (DirectionLines) are the only checked sublayers.
- In the Contents pane, point to the gastransactions layer, click the More Options button, and click Move up. Repeat until the gastransactions layer is at the top of the Contents pane.
- In the same manner, move the Washington-New York Route layer to the second position.
You can also reorder layers by clicking the vertical ellipsis to the left of a layer name and dragging the layer to a new position.
Derive new locations
Previously, you established a 10-mile buffer around the authorized route so you could identify indicators of fraud. Next, you'll identify receipts that signal abnormalities for fill-ups involving your fleet of diesel trucks, which are equipped with 35-gallon fuel tanks. Considering diesel and gas on the American East Coast ranges between $2.50 and $3.00 a gallon, you decide that a maximum fill-up should cost no more than $105. Allowing for unexpected spikes in gas prices, you decide that any diesel receipt over $125 is suspicious.
You want to find transactions that are more than 10 miles from the designated route and for which the charged amount is over $125. You also want to find transactions where the fuel type purchased is not diesel. You'll use the Derive New Locations tool to find these transactions. With this tool, you can build expressions to filter data based on combinations of attribute values and spatial relationships between layers. The result will be a new layer of features that meet your conditions.
- Click the Analysis button.
- In the Analysis pane, expand Find Locations and click Derive New Locations.
- In the Derive New Locations pane, click Add Expression.
You need an expression that finds the gas transactions that are outside the buffer area.
- In the Add Expression window, change the relationship type from where (attribute query) to does not intersect.
- Change the intersection layer to Buffered route.
Your expression reads gastransactions does not intersect Buffered route.
- Click Add.
The expression is added to the expression box in the Derive New Locations pane.
- For Result layer name, type GasTransactionsNotIntersect and add your name or initials.
- Click Run Analysis.
The tool runs and a new layer is added to the map. It shows all gas transactions that occurred outside of the buffered route. You'll run the tool again with an expression for the amount charged at the transaction.
- Click the Analysis button. In the Analysis pane, expand Find Locations and click Derive New Locations.
- Click Add Expression. In the Add Expression window, build the expression GasTransactionsNotIntersect (your name) where Pay is at least 125.
- Click Add.
Before you run the tool, you'll add one more expression. You may have noticed in the report that the fuel type for some purchases is listed as gas instead of diesel. Your company's cargo trucks have diesel engines, so gas purchases are another indicator of fraud.
- Click Add Expression.
- Build the expression GasTransactionsNotIntersect (your name) where Fuel_Type is Gas. (In the final field, select Unique to get a list of valid field values; in this case, Gas and Diesel.)
- Click Add.
The expression box now has two expressions linked by the and operator. The Derive New Locations tool will create new features on the map from areas on the map that match both expressions. But you want to find locations that meet either condition, so you'll switch the and operator to or.
- Click the and operator to change it to or.
- For Result layer name, delete the text and type PotentialFraudLocations. Add your name or initials to the end.
- Click Run Analysis.
The expressions you created emphasize the gas stations located outside the authorized buffer area for which receipts are above the $125 threshold. Your result also includes locations where drivers purchased regular gas. The new layer has 10 points, displayed as large blue circles.
- Rename the PotentialFraudLocations layer by removing your name or initials.
- Uncheck the gastransactions layer.
- For the GasTransactionsNotIntersect (your name) layer, click the More Options button and choose Remove. In the Remove window, click Yes, Remove Layer.
You can make your map easier to interpret by changing symbols. In this case, the blue dots blend with the blue buffer, so you'll change them to red flags.
- Point to the PotentialFraudLocations layer and click the Change Style button.
- For Select a drawing style, under Location (Single symbol), click Options.
- Click Symbols.
- In the window that opens, change the symbol category to Basic. Scroll down and click the red flag symbol.
- Change Symbol Size to 25.
- Click OK. In the Change Style pane, click OK and click Done.
You now have a map that shows the result of your analysis. You started with a CSV file with 94 fueling stops and finished with 10 point features that indicate possible fraudulent transactions. Next, you'll save your map and its data.
Save your work
You'll need to create a title, tags, and a summary to save your work.
- On the ribbon, click Save and choose Save.
- In the Save Map window, type the following values:
- Title: Potential Fuel Card Fraud
- Tags: Washington-New York Route, fraud
- Summary: Research map for potential fuel card fraud
- Click Save Map.
The map is saved to your folder in My Content.
You've successfully identified 10 locations where drivers exceeded the acceptable thresholds of a 10-mile route buffer and $125 of fuel. In a few instances, the drivers bought regular gas despite driving a diesel truck. Now you know where to focus further investigative efforts. Next, you'll configure pop-ups and create a presentation so you can share your findings with company officials.
Report your findings
Previously, you identified the information revealing drivers who may have abused the company's fuel card. Now that you've assembled your information, you need to report your work in a way that company officials can readily understand. After all, it's your responsibility to present information in a clear and concise way.
Pop-ups provide descriptive information about a layer's features, which are often based on attributes in the data. Pop-ups appear when you click a feature on the map. You can control what information is displayed in pop-ups and how that information is presented.
- If necessary, open your Potential Fuel Card Fraud map.
- Click any red flag on the map to display its pop-up.
Pop-ups display a list of fields and values from the attribute table associated with a layer. In this pop-up, several fields are irrelevant for your report and the format can be improved.
- Close the pop-up.
- In the Contents pane, point to the PotentialFraudLocations layer, click the More Options button, and choose Configure Pop-up.
- In the Configure Pop-up pane, click Configure Attributes.
In the Configure Attributes window, you can change the appearance of the data in your map's pop-ups.
- Check and uncheck the Display box to clear all the checkmarks.
- Check the boxes for the fields listed in the following table. For each field, click the value in the Field Alias column and type the new alias.
Field name New alias
The Field Alias column contains the names that your audience will see in the pop-up.
- Click OK. At the bottom of the Configure Pop-up pane, click OK.
- For Pop-up Title, type Potential Fraud Locations. Click OK.
- Click any red flag on the map.
The information in the pop-ups is much easier to read. (You may have to click the white arrows to advance the pop-up to the attributes that reflect the potential fraud information.)
- Close the pop-up and save the map.
This workflow focused on a simple pop-up configuration. Pop-ups offer map authors a wide range of possibilities to focus the attention of readers on information that needs emphasis. When creating pop-ups, map authors must decide which data to show and how to display it.
Create a presentation
With ArcGIS Online, you can create presentations to tell a linear and interactive story based on the information already in your map. You'll use your map as a basis for your two-slide presentation. The first slide will illustrate the investigation criteria and the second will show the results.
Before you create a presentation, you must first prepare your data and map for the slides you want your audience to see. Presentation mode is specifically designed for creating slides, so while working in this mode, you won't be able to edit data. Sublayers you turn off while editing a map will appear while you're creating presentations. In this case, the blue dots that represent turns in the DirectionPoints sublayer will appear while you're creating the presentation. They would clutter your map and distract your audience. You'll adjust the visibility range so you can suppress this distracting data.
- Expand the Washington-New York Route layer.
- Check the Washington-New York Route (DirectionPoints) layer box.
- Point to the DirectionPoints sublayer and click the More Options button.
- In the menu, point to Set Visibility Range. In the Visible Range window, move the slider all the way to the right.
When layers are suppressed from view, their title in the Contents pane turns from black to gray.
- Check the Washington-New York Route (RouteInfo) layer box.
- Save the map.
Your data is now ready for you to create a presentation.
- Above the map, click Create Presentation.
The Slides pane appears to the left of the map. The ribbon above Map Viewer changes to include options for creating a presentation. The same layers in your map are available for editing as you create your slides. Individual slides can have different operational layers, map locations, visible pop-ups, and titles.
- Click the Add button to add a new slide.
- In the slide title, click in the text box and type Four drivers on the Washington-New York route suspected of fuel card misuse; we examined their 94 refilling stops along the 243-mile route.
As you type, identical text is displayed along the top of the slide.
Similar to changing data in the map, turning layers on and off in a presentation displays or hides data. You can turn different layers on and off as you create new slides. In the first slide, you want to illustrate the problem you're attempting to solve.
- For Layers, uncheck PotentialFraudLocations and Buffered route.
- Check gastransactions.
- Click Slide List.
You have your first slide. You'll create your second slide by following the same top-to-bottom pattern in the Slides pane. In this slide, you want to emphasize your analysis.
- Click Add.
- For the slide title, type Screening criteria: 10-mile route buffer; refills exceeding $125; purchasing regular gasoline despite driving diesel trucks. (Pause slides and click red flags for details).
- Uncheck gastransactions.
- Click Slide List.
You have the option of inserting timed advances into your slide show. People viewing your presentation can opt to advance slides manually. You decide on a 10-second delay, because you feel that's generally the right amount of time to read a slide before advancing.
- On the ribbon, click Options.
- In the Auto advance box, choose After 10 seconds.
- Click Save.
- On the ribbon, click Play to test your presentation.
You can pause the slide show to interact with the slides and test the pop-ups. You can advance the slides manually or resume auto play. The manual pause and play button are at the bottom of the screen.
- When the slide show reaches the second slide, click Pause.
- Click several red flags to open their pop-ups.
- Close the pop-ups and the window with the presentation to return to Create Presentation mode.
- Click Edit Map to return to the map.
Share the map and its presentation
You're ready to present your findings to your supervisors who work in a different city. When you share the map, you can get a URL to email them a link to your presentation.
- Above the map, click Share.
- In the Share window, check the box to share with your organization. Click Update Sharing when prompted.
- In the Link to this map section, choose Presentation and copy the short URL, which you can email to your supervisors.
Alternatively, users can access your presentation from the map. In the About pane, click More Details. On the map's item details page, click Open Presentation.
- Click Done.
- Open a new browser window and paste the URL into the address bar.
Now that your presentation is open, you can explore your detective work even further. The presentation is interactive, so you can pan and zoom as well as open pop-ups and compare data. For example, you could make hypotheses as to why Buford is associated with six red flags and Bo is associated with one red flag. (In Buford's case, two red flags along the New Jersey shoreline could suggest his stops weren't business related.)
Further, you could expand your work into fraud indicators by examining clusters of fill-ups in the same cities where your drivers live. Also, your trucks use diesel, so fuel stops showing regular gas indicates the driver may have purchased gas for a private vehicle.
- Close the presentation window.
In these lessons, you began with a CSV file of data and, with the help of two geoprocessing tools, found evidence of potential fuel card fraud. You then created an interactive presentation to share with supervisors in different locations.
The tools and workflows presented in this lesson could be applied to any process in which you want to use geography to help you analyze data. Other scenarios could include verifying the miles that ambulance drivers and traveling salesman claim in their travel expense reports.
You can find more lessons in the Learn ArcGIS Lesson Gallery.