Build a feature layer

The first stage of the process is building a feature layer that will store the information collected during La Dérive—your urban exploration. You will use your app to capture points, lines, and polygons that relate to your passage through the city. The steps in this lesson show how to collect specific categories of data, but the feature layers and QuickCapture apps you build for your own explorations can be customized to collect the data that most interests you and your psychogeography experience.

Create a feature layer

The first step is to create a feature layer in your ArcGIS Online organization that will store the data from your exploration. The layer will contain attribute fields and lists of possible values that the QuickCapture mobile app will be configured to show as buttons.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organizational account.
    Note:

    If you don't have an organizational account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

  2. On the ribbon, click the Content tab and click New item.

    New item button

    The New item window appears.

  3. In the New item window, choose Feature Layer.

    Feature Layer option

    The Create a feature layer window appears.

  4. In the Create a feature layer window, select the Create a blank layer option and click Next.

    Create a blank layer.

  5. For Specify name and type, replace Layer_1 with Urban Infrastructure and ensure the layer type is Point layer.

    Similarly, you will add a line and polygon layer.

  6. Click Add.

    Add button.

  7. Replace Layer_1 with In-Motion Line Capture and change the layer type to Line layer.
  8. Click Add and change the layer name to Polygon Capture and the layer type to Polygon layer.

    Add point, line and polygon layer.

  9. In the Create feature layer pane, under Options enable Add GPS metadata fields and click Next.

    Enable Add GPS metadata fields.

    This layer will be used to collect the location of urban infrastructure points that may evoke an emotional response. There are many classes of urban phenomena that you may want to collect information about. In this diagram, the Urban Infrastructure set includes the categories you'll build the app to collect. You can create your own app later using your own categories.

    Urban Infrastructure category

    Now you'll add metadata for your feature layer, such as its title, search tags, and description.

  10. For the Title, type La Dérive Urban Emotions.
  11. For Tags, add tags to describe the project. For example, you might add La Derive, Emotion Capture, Psychogeography, Urban Infrastructure, Environmental Capture, and your location. When you've finished tagging the layer, press Enter.
  12. For Summary, type a summary of the purpose of the layer, for example:

    This is a feature layer built to collect urban emotions in Savannah GA. La Derive is an exercise of capturing psychogeography, your emotions as you explore the environment.

  13. Click Save.

    It takes a few moments to generate the feature layer. When the process is complete, the layer's details page opens.

    Layer details page

Add a field

The next step is to add a field specific to the urban infrastructure that you will be collecting. This field will store the types of urban infrastructure that you observe.

  1. Click the Data tab and click Fields.

    Fields tab

    By default, the Urban Infrastructure layer already has several fields. Some of these are ID fields, while others track the dates when features were created or edited. The Photos And Files field allows you to attach images and documents to your features.

  2. Click Add to add an additional field.

    Add button

  3. In the Add Field pane, add values for Field Name, Display Name, and Type.
    • For Field Name, type POINTSCapture. This is the name of the field in the feature layer.
    • For Display Name, type POINTS Capture. This is how the field name will be displayed.
    • Uncheck Allow Null Values

    POINTS Capture field parameters

  4. Click Add New Field.

    The new field is added to the layer. By unchecking Allow Null Values, you ensure that the person capturing the data must specify the type of the captured object.

    Now you'll create a list of options to choose from when filling out this entry in the form. Adding a list of values is useful when there are specific values that you want people to use, because they get a list of choices in the app, rather than having to type values. This helps maintain the integrity of your data by preventing typos and restricting the values that can be added. At other times, you may want to use a string field without a field list, for example, for a Notes field.

Customize a value list for a field

The layer has a field to record the type of infrastructure you note during your exploration. Now you'll add a list of possible values to make it easy to record these items.

  1. In the list of fields, scroll to the bottom of the list and click the new POINTS Capture field.
  2. On the field description page, click Create List.

    Create List button

    The list of values for POINTS Capture is displayed. There are not any items in the list yet. The Label box is where you will add the name of the infrastructure items, and the Code box is where you will add the code value that will be stored. The label is what you will see when collecting infrastructure items.

    List of Values page before adding items to list

  3. Under Label, click Displayed Value and type Bathroom.
  4. Under Code, click Stored Value and type Bathroom.

    In this case, the code and the label are the same. For two-word codes, omit the space between the words in the label.

    Add button

  5. Click Add to add a value for another infrastructure type.
  6. Add the following infrastructure items:

    LabelCode

    Bench

    Bench

    Bus Stop

    BusStop

    Crossing

    Crossing

    Fountain

    Fountain

    Intersection

    Intersection

    Mural

    Mural

    Ramp

    Ramp

    Rest Area

    RestArea

    Statue

    Statue

    Vacant Property

    VacantProperty

    Other

    Other

    You can add other infrastructure items that are relevant to your interest and location, and delete any of these that are not relevant.

  7. Click Save.

    Save the infrastructure list.

    Your layer now has a list of values that will be available in the QuickCapture app for recording infrastructure points.

  8. Close the POINTS Capture field description.

    Close the field description.

    This point feature layer needs one other field, to store notes. You'll add it next.

  9. If necessary, click Fields and click Add.

    Click Add to add a field.

  10. In the Add Field pane, add values for Field Name, Display Name, and Type.
    • For Field Name, type Notes.
    • For Display Name, type Notes.
    • Check Allow Null Values.

    Add a Notes field.

    Checking Allow Null Values means that for a given infrastructure item, there will be an option to add a note or to skip that step.

  11. Click Add New Field.

Add a field to store emotional reactions

Next you'll add a field to the Line Capture feature layer to hold emotional reaction information.

  1. From the Layer list, choose In-Motion Line Capture.

    In-Motion Line Capture layer

    This shows the fields for the line feature layer. You'll use the same process that you used with the point layer to add a new field to the line layer.

  2. Click Add.
  3. In the Add Field pane, add values for Field Name, Display Name, and Type.
    • For Field Name, type EmotionalReactions.
    • For Display Name, type Emotional Reactions.
    • Uncheck Allow Null Values.

    Add the Emotional Reactions field.

  4. Click Add New Field.
  5. In the list of fields, click the new Emotional Reactions field.
  6. Click Create List.
  7. Add the following emotional reactions:

    LabelCode

    Neutral

    Neutral

    Sad

    Sad

    Fear

    Fear

    Mixed Feelings

    MixedFeelings

    Disgust

    Disgust

    Happy

    Happy

    Surprise

    Surprise

    Other

    Other

    These emotional reactions will be shown in the QuickCapture app using graphics on buttons to make it easy for you to record your emotional reaction as you explore. When you tap one of the buttons, it will tag that part of the line recording your path with the emotion.

  8. Click Save and close the Emotional Reactions field description.

Add a field to store notes about areas

Next you'll add a field to the Polygon Capture feature layer to hold notes.

  1. From the Layer list, choose Polygon Capture.

    This shows the fields for the polygon feature layer. You'll use the same process that you used with the point and line layers to add a new field to the polygon layer.

  2. Click Add.
  3. In the Add Field pane, add values for Field Name, Display Name, and Type.
    • For Field Name, type Notes.
    • For Display Name, type Notes.
    • Leave Allow Null Values checked.

    There is no need to create a list for the polygon layer notes field.

  4. Click Add New Field.

Set the symbols for the feature layers

Next you'll set the default symbols that the feature layers will use.

  1. Click the Visualization tab.

    A map opens to your area of interest. You can change the symbols for the point, line, and polygon layers.

  2. Click Change Style.

    Click Change Style.

  3. For Choose an attribute to show, click Show location only, scroll down the list of fields, and click POINTS Capture.

    Choose POINTS Capture as the symbol field.

    The default drawing style is to draw the layer by Types, using the categories stored in the list for this attribute.

    Types is the default drawing style.

  4. Click Done.
  5. Click the Layer menu and click In-Motion Line Capture, and then click Yes to save changes to the Urban Infrastructure layer.
  6. Click Change Style.
  7. Click Show location only, scroll down the list of fields, and click Emotional Reactions.
  8. Click Done.
  9. Click the Layer menu and click Polygon Capture, and then click Yes to save changes to the In-Motion Line Capture layer.
  10. Click Change Style.
  11. Click Show location only, scroll down the list of fields, and click Notes.
  12. Click Done.
  13. Click Save Layer.

Make the layers time-aware

You will make the layers time-aware, so you can show your progress through the city over time.

  1. Click the Settings tab.
  2. In the Feature layer (hosted) section, for Editing, enable Keep track of who edited the data (editor name, date and time).
    Enable editor tracking
  3. Click the Overview tab.

    Click Overview.

  4. In the Layers section of the Overview page, click Urban Infrastructure—Point Layer.

    Click the Urban Infrastructure layer.

  5. In the Time Settings section, click Not enabled.

    Click Not enabled.

  6. Check Enable time and click OK.

    Check Enable time.

  7. Click the back button.

    Click the back button.

  8. Click In-Motion Line Capture and use the same technique to enable time for the line layer.

Share the layer

If you are going to be the only person using the QuickCapture app to record data about the city, you don't need to share the layer. However, if you allow others to use your app to collect data with you, you will need to share the layer so they can also add data.

  1. On the Overview page, click Share.
  2. If you want everyone to be able to edit the features, click Everyone (public).
  3. If you only want members of your organization to be able to edit, click Organization.
  4. If you have configured a group in your organization for your urban exploration, click Edit group sharing and choose the group with which you want to share.
  5. Click Save.

You have now created the feature layer to store your observations and emotions as you explore the city. The next step is to build the QuickCapture app that you will use as you explore.


Create a QuickCapture app

Next you'll create a QuickCapture project that will allow you to collect infrastructure points and emotional reactions efficiently as you walk about the city.

Start a QuickCapture project

You will create a QuickCapture project based on the layer you just created.

  1. Click the App grid in ArcGIS Online and click QuickCapture.

    Open QuickCapture.

    The ArcGIS QuickCapture home page appears.

  2. Click New Project and click Start from existing layers.

    Start from existing layers.

  3. In the Select feature layers pane, under My Layers, click La Derive Urban Emotions.

    Click the layer you created.

  4. Click Next, leaving the Create buttons from layer symbology box checked.

    Click Next.

    The project name will be set by default to match the layer name.

  5. Verify your email address.
  6. For Save in folder, click Root and click New folder.
  7. Name the new folder Derive Urban Drift and click Create.

    Click Create.

    After a few moments, the new QuickCapture project opens, showing the layout for your app. The list values for the Urban Infrastructure feature layer each have a button. If you scroll down the app window, you will see that the In-Motion Line Capture section contains buttons for the emotions list you added.

    Buttons for the list values appear in the app.

    The project designer allows you to check how the app will appear on different devices.

  8. Click Change device preview and click Tablet (medium).

    Change the device preview to Tablet (medium).

    Previewing the layout is a good way to verify that your app will work well on different devices.

  9. Click Change device preview and click Smartphone (small).

Customize the appearance of the buttons

Although each of the list values for the feature layer has been given a button, they are large, rectangular buttons. You'll change the style of the buttons to make them smaller and neater.

  1. On the preview click the Bathroom button.

    The button attributes appear on the Button design pane, beside the app.

    Click the Bathroom button to see the button styling parameters.

  2. Click Urban infrastructure, at the top of the button group.

    Click the Urban Infrastructure group name.

    Now you can see the attributes of this group of buttons.

  3. Set the Number of columns value to 3.

    The buttons are reorganized into three columns. Next you'll select all of the buttons in the Urban Infrastructure section and change their style at the same time.

  4. Click the Bathroom button again, and while pressing the Shift key, click each of the other buttons in the group to select them all.

    All of the Urban Infrastructure buttons are selected.

  5. Check the Border box, click the color patch for the border, and click the black color patch.

    Add a black border.

    A black border is added to the buttons.

    Buttons with borders

  6. Click In-Motion Line Capture to select the second button group.

    Click to select the In-Motion Line Capture group.

  7. Set the Number of columns value to 4.

    The buttons are reorganized into four columns. Next you'll select all of the buttons in the Urban Infrastructure section and change their style at the same time.

  8. Press Shift and click to select each of the In-Motion Line Capture buttons.
  9. Click the Rounded button.

    Make the buttons rounded.

  10. Click the Border color patch and click the black color patch to give the buttons a black border.
  11. You have given the buttons a consistent style, made them smaller, and arranged them in more columns.

Enable photographs

Next you will modify some of the buttons to allow pictures to be attached to your observations.

  1. Press Shift and click to select each of the buttons in the Urban Infrastructure section.
  2. Click the Data tab.

    Click Data.

  3. Scroll down to the Take photo section and click the slider to enable photos.
  4. Under Take photo, ensure the Minimum and Maximum value is set to 1 and Use photo location for captured record.

    Take photo settings

    When one of these buttons is tapped, the camera will be activated to take a photograph. A camera icon is added to the buttons to indicate that they will take photos.

Add notes

Next, you will enable the app to take notes input for the Urban Infrastructure points.

  1. Click the Bathroom button.
  2. On the Data tab, in the Capture fields section, scroll down to Notes.
  3. Click Input type and click Button user input.

    Click Button user input.

  4. Click Select user input and click Create new.

    Create new user input.

  5. In the New user input window, set the following parameters:

    • For Label, type Notes.
    • For Input type, choose Multiline text.
    • Check the box for Apply hint and type Add a brief note.

    Input settings

  6. Click Create.
  7. Repeat the process of adding an Input type value, clicking Button user input, and choosing Notes for any of the other Urban Infrastructure categories for which you want to enable notes. This process must be repeated for each button that will have notes enabled.
  8. Click Save to save the work you've done on the QuickCapture project.

    Click Save.

Change the emotion buttons to use icons

The emotion buttons in the In-Motion Line Capture section currently have text labels. You will add icons to these buttons to make them better represent the emotions you'll be capturing.

  1. Download the .zip file of emotion icons.
  2. Unzip this file to a location on your computer.
  3. In the QuickCapture app designer, in the In-Motion Line Capture section, click the Disgust button.
  4. Click the Appearance tab.
  5. In the Image section, click Add, and click Upload New.

    Upload a new image.

  6. Browse to the folder where you unzipped the SVG icons, click disgusted.svg, and click Open.
    Add the disgusted .svg file.
  7. Click the Fear button.
  8. On the Appearance tab, under Image, click Add, and click Upload New.
  9. Click fearful.svg and click Open.
  10. Repeat this process to add icons for each of the buttons.

    Buttons with icons

    Now that the buttons have emotion icons, the colors are less important. You'll change the background color for all of these buttons to white.

  11. Press Shift and click to select all of the buttons in the In-Motion Line Capture section.
  12. On the Appearance tab, under Colors, for Fill, click the color patch and choose the white patch for each emotion.

    The button backgrounds are now white.

Change the app background color

You can change the background color of your QuickCapture app.

  1. Click the General settings button.

    Click General settings.

  2. In the Background color section, click the color patch.

    Set the background color.

  3. Click a black patch to make the app background black.

Add a description for the app

Your app will need a description to let people know what it is for.

  1. Click the Additional settings button and click Project details.

    Set project details.

  2. For the Summary, type This app allows you to collect a city-dweller's emotions and impressions of the urban infrastructure as they explore the city.
  3. For the Description, type Use this app to collect infrastructure points, document their condition using photographs and notes, and record your emotions as you explore the city.

    Add a summary and a description for the app.

  4. Click Save.

Add a new button

After designing your feature layer for an app, you may decide that you want to collect additional types of features. You can add buttons to the app to collect other things.

  1. Click the New group button and drag a new group onto the app below the Urban Infrastructure button group and above the In-Motion Line Capture button group.

    Drag a new group onto the app.

  2. In the Group properties pane, click the group Label text and type Trees.
  3. Click the New button button and drag a new button into your new Trees group.

    Drag a new button onto the app.

  4. In the Button properties pane, on the Appearance tab, for Label, type Tree in the Text field.
  5. Change the button shape to rounded.
  6. Add a fill color for the button and set it to dark green.

    Set the style for the new button.

    The next step is to connect the button to a feature layer and specify the values that it collects. In this app there is already a point feature layer set up to collect Urban Infrastructure. The value list for the POINTS Capture field includes the value Other. You will connect the Tree button to this value.

    Recording a Tree point will result in a new point in the feature layer with the value of Other.

  7. Click the Data tab.

    Click the Data tab.

  8. Click Select to configure data collection for the button.

    Click Select.

  9. Click Urban Infrastructure.

    Click Urban Infrastructure.

  10. Scroll down to the Take photo section and click the slider to enable photos.
  11. Under Take photo, ensure the Minimum and Maximum value is set to 1 and Use photo location for captured record

    Take photo settings

    When one of these buttons is tapped, the camera will be activated to take a photograph. A camera icon is added to the buttons to indicate that they will take photos.

  12. In the Capture fields section, scroll down to the POINTS capture field.

    The POINTS capture field is highlighted.

    The POINTS capture field is highlighted to indicate that a value from the field must be chosen.

  13. Click Select value, and scroll through the list of values and click Other.

    Click Other.

    When the Tree button is clicked, a point with the value Other will be created.

  14. On the Data tab, in the Capture fields section, scroll down to Notes.
  15. Click Input type and click Button user input.

    Choose Button user input.

  16. Click Select user input and click Notes.
  17. Click Save to save the work you've done on the QuickCapture project.

    Click Save.

Remove a group

You can also remove buttons and groups if you decide that they are not needed for your urban exploration. The feature layer for this app includes polygons, but you don't plan to capture any polygonal features during your exploration, so you will remove that group.

  1. Scroll down the app and click Polygon Capture.
  2. Click the Delete button.

    Delete the group.

  3. Click Delete.

    Click Delete to delete the group.

  4. Click Save.

Share the app

If you are going to be the only person using the QuickCapture app to record data about the city, you don't need to share the app. However, if you allow others to use your app to collect data with you, you will need to share the app so they can install and use it.

  1. On the ribbon, click Share.

    Click Share.

  2. If you want everyone to be able to use the app, click Everyone (Public).
  3. If you only want members of your organization to be able to use the app, click Your organization.

    Choose Your organization.

    If you share the app at a broader sharing level than you shared the feature layers with, you will be reminded to share the feature layers at the same level. Click Share to update the layer sharing.

    Share layers at the same sharing level as the app.

  4. Click QR Code to get a QR code that you can scan to download the app.

    Click QR Code.

  5. Use your phone or tablet's camera to scan the QR code, and open the web link.
  6. If it is not yet installed, download and install QuickCapture on your phone or tablet.
  7. Open QuickCapture.
  8. If you are not signed in, sign in to your ArcGIS Online organization.
  9. Allow QuickCapture to use the device GPS and camera.
  10. On your device, tap the Add button to add your project.

    Tap Add.

  11. Scan the QR code for your project. Your app opens.
  12. On the QuickCapture designer, click Done to close the QR code window and save and close your project.

You've created the QuickCapture app and configured it to collect the data you're interested in for your urban exploration. The next step is to explore your city and capture urban infrastructure and your emotional reactions.


Collect information

Once the QuickCapture app is installed on your device and you download the project, you can take it out for a test. Remember that this is only a test and should not be extensive; it should cover a small area of interest. To make this more fun, pick an area that has a lot going on, where you can encounter surprises and spatial differences.

Test the app

It is best to test your app in an environment similar to the urban environment that you plan to explore, as you may discover types of features that you want to add buttons for, and may decide that more or fewer items should include photographs or notes.

  1. Go to the place that you plan to test the app in.
  2. If it is not running, start the QuickCapture app on your phone.
  3. Open the project.
  4. Start your exploration by tapping the button for your initial feeling as you begin to explore.

    Tap the button that indicates how you are feeling as you start.

    The app begins to record your track and a line segment tagged with that emotion.

  5. Start exploring.
  6. As you explore, tap other buttons to log other emotional reactions.

    Happy and surprised buttons are selected.

    You might be both happy and surprised to find a beautiful mural.

    You can tap an emotion button again to stop logging that emotion.

  7. As you explore, when you find infrastructure you want to record because it interests you, tap the corresponding infrastructure button.

    Tap to log infrastructure points.

  8. Take a picture of the item, and add notes.
  9. You may find that some infrastructure affects your emotion, so tap the corresponding emotion to log that too.

    You might be sad to find a broken fountain, or happy to see a mural. You might be frightened by a dangerous intersection with a poorly marked crossing.

  10. If you encounter infrastructure that is important to you that you did not include on your app, tap Other to log it.

    If you find during testing that you are missing buttons, make a note to add them to the project and the feature layer when you return to your computer.

  11. Tap the Map button to see your current location on the map.

    Tap the Map button to see your location.

    Tap the close button to close the map view and return to the infrastructure and emotion buttons.

  12. When you have some records stored on your device, an indicator appears on the map button. Tap this button and tap Send to upload the records when you have internet connectivity.

    Map with records

  13. When you are done, send any remaining records and close the app.

You've tested your app and recorded some infrastructure points and your emotions as you explore. The next step is to view the map.


Visualize the results

After you've tested your app and returned to your computer, you can sign in to your ArcGIS Online organization and view the results.

View the map

You can view the feature layer from your app in ArcGIS Online.

  1. If necessary, sign in to your ArcGIS Online account.
  2. On the ribbon, click Content.

    Content tab in ArcGIS Online

  3. Click My Content.

    Click My Content.

  4. Click your feature layer.

    Click your feature layer.

  5. On the layer's item description page, click Open in Map Viewer.

    Open in Map Viewer

    Your map will depend on where you explore and what data you choose to collect. The sample map below is from a test exploration of a park in Savannah, Georgia, USA.

    Savannah test map

    You can also explore the sample map.

    This map shows a capture of Wells Park in midtown. As you can see, the experience around the park shows a line capture of different emotions. Overall, the mood is green, for happy, except for the feeling of surprise that was recorded at the upper left corner where there is a mixture of structures, some that are very well kept up and others that are dilapidated and abandoned. There are a variety of points that represent different infrastructure elements.

    Here is a section of sidewalk that is in poor condition.

    Photo of sidewalk in poor condition

  6. Click a point that you collected.

    Type of infrastructure with notes and photos

    You can see the type of infrastructure and any notes and photos that you took.

  7. Click the image to see it in a new tab.
  8. Save the map.

    Now that you've tested your app, you can make any changes that you feel are needed. You might decide that you want to add additional types of infrastructure to the Urban infrastructure group, for example. After you make your edits to the feature layer and the app, you can take it on a longer exploration of your urban environment.

    Here is a sample map of a multiple-day exploration in Paris, France.

    Dérive Paris

    Unlike the first capture of Savannah, which was only one brief trip, the exploration of Paris took place on multiple days and included revisits to a few locations. The map is more complex, and you can see that it is possible to capture more than one emotion at once (for line captures). In these cases, there are two lines on top of each other, and if you click the lines, the pop-up says 1 of 2. You can click the arrow to see the record for the second line.

In this lesson, you learned how to create a QuickCapture app to record your exploration of the city. You can use the app to record infrastructure, note condition and safety issues, and record how these infrastructure elements affect your experience of the city. The map can be shared with decision makers and citizen action organizations. You can share your feature layer and app with others to capture a more detailed record of the city from multiple points of view.

You can find more lessons in the Learn ArcGIS Lesson Gallery.