Join tabular data to spatial data

Because of the oil boom, North Dakota is one of the most economically successful states in the country. To illustrate the scope and need for more housing, you'll need data. You'll use ArcGIS Pro to join tabular data on homelessness from the federal government to spatial data of the United States from ArcGIS Living Atlas.

Explore the data

First, you'll download and open an ArcGIS Pro project containing the data needed to complete this tutorial.

  1. Download the Homelessness compressed folder.
  2. Right-click the downloaded folder and extract it to a location you can easily find, such as your Documents folder.
  3. Open the Homelessness folder. If you have ArcGIS Pro installed on your machine, double-click Homelessness.aprx to open it. If prompted, sign in using your licensed ArcGIS account.

    If you don't have access to ArcGIS Pro or an ArcGIS organizational account, see options for software access.

    The map appears, showing the United States.

    Map of the United States

    The orange layer, USA_States_Generalized, is provided by ArcGIS Living Atlas. You can find out more about this data on the layer's item page.

  4. In the Contents pane, right-click Sheet1$ and choose Open.

    Open Sheet1$ from the Contents pane.


    If there is a red exclamation point next to the stand-alone table, you may need to install the Microsoft Access Database Engine driver. Alternatively, to add the table, use the Excel to Table geoprocessing tool.

    The table appears. Sheet1$ is the first sheet in a spreadsheet, Homeless Data.xlsx, provided in the download folder. This spreadsheet was adapted from the Point-in-Time (PIT) Counts by State files published by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, which are available on the HUD Exchange site. PIT counts are the annual practice of counting people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January. The National Alliance to End Homelessness offers an additional explanation of PIT counts.

    Table view of Sheet1$

    The table contains five fields:

    • State—Abbreviation of state name
    • Change—Change in total unhoused count between 2012 and 2013
    • Pop13—Total population in 2013
    • Homeless13—Total homeless count in 2013
    • ObjectID—Identifier number added by ArcGIS Pro
  5. Locate the row representing North Dakota (abbreviated to ND).

    ND row selected in the table.

  6. Review the Total unhoused count for North Dakota (ND) and North Carolina (NC).

    In 2013, North Dakota had a total unhoused count of 2,069 while North Carolina had a count of 12,168.

    What does this mean in a national context? North Carolina had nearly six times as many people experiencing homelessness as North Dakota, and some states had even more. Many of these states have significantly higher population than North Dakota, which may explain their higher population of people experiencing homelessness.

    The more dramatic number is in the Change column. The value of 2.007 represents an increase in their unhoused population of more than 200 percent. Such a sharp increase indicates the problem in North Dakota may be more severe than the total count suggests.

  7. Deselect any selected rows in the Sheet1$ table, if necessary.
  8. Close the Sheet1$ table.
  9. In the Contents pane, right-click USA_States_Generalized and choose Attribute Table.

    The attribute table appears.

    Attribute table

    The attribute table contains data describing the features of the layer. Some of the fields in this table include the state name, the state's abbreviation (STATE_ABBR), and the region of the country the state is in. The abbreviation field has identical data to the State column in your Homeless Data table and can be used to join the two tables together.

Join the unhoused data to the spatial layer

A table join takes data from one table and connects it to data from another. You cannot join any two tables; both tables must share a field of common values. Otherwise, the software will not be able to identify which records in the join table match which records in the target table. In this case, the tables you want to join have common records of state name abbreviations.

  1. Open the attribute table of USA_States_Generalized, if necessary.

    There is a lot more data here than you need. It distracts from the work you need to do to map the unhoused population. Before you add even more data with a join, you will clean up this table to show only what you need.

  2. In the Contents pane, right-click USA_States_Generalized, point to Data Design, and choose Fields.

    The Fields view shows all fields for the layer. The Visible column shows which fields are visible in the attribute table.

  3. Click the check box next to the Visible column header to turn off all fields.

    Uncheck all fields as visible on layer.

  4. In the Visible column, check the boxes next to the following fields to turn them on:
  5. On the ribbon, on the Fields tab, in the Changes group, click Save.

    Save button on the Fields tab on the ribbon

  6. Close the Fields view and confirm that in the attribute table only the STATE_NAME and STATE_ABBR fields remain visible.

    The other fields have been turned off but not removed entirely.


    Before continuing, confirm no records are currently selected in the Sheet1$ table.

  7. In the Contents pane, right-click USA_States_Generalized, point to Joins and Relates, and choose Add Join.

    The Add Join tool appears.

  8. For Input Table, confirm that USA_States_Generalized is chosen. Change Input Join Field to Abbreviation.
  9. For Join Table, choose Sheet1$.
  10. For Join Table Field, confirm that State is chosen.

    Add Join tool

  11. Click OK to join the tables.
  12. In the attribute table for USA_States_Generalized, view the five new fields added.

    Table with original and joined fields

  13. Close the attribute table.
  14. On the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of the ribbon, click the Save button.

    Save button on the Quick Access Toolbar

You've joined stand-alone table data from a spreadsheet to a spatial layer of the United States. Next, you will prepare and publish your layer.

Prepare and publish a layer

Previously, you joined your unhoused population data to a layer of the United States. You can use this layer to map unhoused population variables in North Dakota and the rest of the country. To share your results as widely as possible, you will publish your layer to ArcGIS Online.

Copy the layer to a new feature class

The current layer cannot be published for two reasons. First, it is already a published feature service on ArcGIS Online. Second, you cannot publish a layer if all or part of its table is from a data source unsupported by ArcGIS Online (such as Microsoft Excel or a similar spreadsheet program). You can bypass both problems by copying the layer as a new feature class, which will preserve the data but change the source to a publishable file type.

  1. On the ribbon, click the Analysis tab. In the Geoprocessing group, click Tools.

    Tools in the Geoprocessing group on the Analysis tab

    The Geoprocessing pane appears.

  2. In the Geoprocessing pane, search for and choose the Copy Features tool.
  3. In the Copy Features geoprocessing pane, for Input Features, choose USA_States_Generalized.
  4. Click inside the Output Feature Class box to see the full path.

    Full path of output feature class in the Copy Features tool

    The new feature class will be saved inside the project’s geodatabase, Homelessness.gdb.

  5. In the Output Feature Class box, type USA_States.
  6. Click Run.

    A new layer is added to your map.

  7. In the Contents pane, right-click USA_States_Generalized and choose Remove.
  8. Right-click the new USA_States layer, point to Data Design, and choose Fields.

    Another benefit of exporting data is that fields that are not visible are not copied to the new dataset. The FID and Shape fields were not visible but were still copied because they are mandatory fields managed by the software.

Clean up the new layer

Before you publish data, it must be as clear and concise as possible. You have already removed some fields to show only the data you intend to use, but you can also make this data easier to read.

When the data was joined from your spreadsheet, prefixes were added to the field names to indicate the source of each field. Field aliases act as display names for fields and can include spaces and hyphens, while field names cannot.

  1. In the Fields table, double-click the cell for STATE_NAME in the Alias column. Change the alias to State.
  2. Change the aliases of the following fields in the same way:
    • Sheet1__ChangeHomeless Population Change (2012-13)
    • Sheet1__Pop13Total Population (2013)
    • Sheet1__Homeless13Homeless Population Count (2013)

    You now have four fields with updated alias values.

    Four fields with updated Alias values

  3. Uncheck visibility for the following fields:
    • L0USA_States_Generalized_STATE_ABBR
    • Sheet1__State
    • Sheet1_ObjectID
    • Shape_Length
    • Shape_Area

    Fields view showing all rows as edited except for Shape

  4. On the Fields tab, in the Changes group, click Save and close the Fields view.
  5. Open the attribute table of USA_States to confirm your changes.

    The headers for the columns now show their short aliases instead of their long field names.

    Attribute table showing aliases instead of field names

    You know the total population and the population of homeless in each state, but a single number for percentage of homeless would be more useful.

  6. At the top of the attribute table, click the Add Field button.

    Add Field option on the attribute table

    The Fields view appears with a new row at the bottom.

  7. Assign the following values to the new field:
    • Field NameHomelessPopPer10000
    • AliasHomeless Pop per 10,000 Total Pop
    • Data TypeShort
  8. Click Save on the ribbon and close the Fields view.
  9. Confirm that the new field has been added to the attribute table.

    All of its values are <Null>. Next, you will calculate the values for this field.

  10. Right-click the column header and choose Calculate Field.

    Calculate Field option in the context menu of the Homeless per 10,000 column of the attribute table

    The Calculate Field tool appears.

  11. Confirm Expression Type is set to Arcade.
  12. For HomelessPopPer10000 =, copy and paste or build the following expression using appropriate fields and math operators:

    $feature.Sheet1__Homeless13 / $feature.Sheet1__Pop13 * 10000

    Expression for HomelessPopPer10000

    The expression divides the homeless count of each state by the state's population and multiplies the result by 10,000 to create a value that is easier to interpret.

  13. Click OK. Confirm that the values were added to the Homeless Pop per 10,000 Total Pop field.
  14. Close the attribute table.
  15. On the map, click one of the states to open a pop-up.

    Pop-up showing correct attribute values

  16. Close the pop-up.

Publish the layer to ArcGIS Online

You'll now publish the layer as a hosted feature layer to ArcGIS Online. To transform a disk-based layer to a web-based layer, you must have a Publisher role in an ArcGIS Online organization.

  1. In the upper corner of the ribbon, look for your sign-in status. If it says Not signed in, click it and click Sign in.

    Sign-in status expanded to show Sign in option.

  2. On the ribbon, click the Share tab. In the Share As group, click Web Layer.

    Web Layer button

  3. In the Share As Web Layer pane, provide the following:
    • For Name, type USA Population experiencing homelessness, followed by your name or initials.
    • For Summary, type or copy and paste Data for U.S. population experiencing homelessness in 2013, including the change in homeless populations between 2012 and 2013. From the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    • For Tags, type Homelessness, United States, 2013, HUD, and press Enter.
    • For Layer Type, choose Feature.
    • For Share with, check Everyone.

    Share As Web Layer pane with all fields filled in


    You cannot create two layers in an ArcGIS organization with the same name. Adding your initials to a layer name ensures that other people in your organization can also complete this tutorial. Once a layer has been created, you can rename it in the map to remove your initials, which will not affect the name of the underlying data layer.

  4. Click Analyze.

    There is a single error related to allowing the assignment of unique numeric IDs for sharing web layers.

  5. Double-click the error.

    The Map Properties window appears.

  6. On the General tab, check the box for Allow assignment of unique numeric IDs for sharing web layers.

    Allow assignment of unique numeric IDs for sharing web layers checked in the General tab in the Map Properties window.

  7. Click OK.
  8. In the Share As Web Layer pane, click Publish.

    The map is now accessible through your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise account. When ArcGIS Pro has finished publishing the layer, you will see a confirmation message that includes a link to manage your web map.

  9. Save the project.
  10. Under Finish Sharing, click the Manage the web layer link to view your map in ArcGIS Online.

    Manage the web layer link at the bottom of the Share As Web Layer pane

    The item page for your USA Population experiencing homelessness feature layer appears.

  11. Close ArcGIS Pro.

You've prepared your layer for the web and published it. Next, you will create three layers using ArcGIS Online that help to analyze the unhoused population of the US by state from 2012 to 2013.

Map homelessness by state

Previously, you published a layer of the United States with data on total population, homeless population, and change in homeless population between 2012 and 2013. Next, you'll use this layer to create three layers displaying the data in different ways.

Open your web map

Your first map will show the total number of people experiencing homelessness by state.

  1. Go to the item page for your USA Population experiencing homelessness web map, if necessary.
  2. Sign in to your ArcGIS organizational account.
  3. Click Open in Map Viewer.
  4. Zoom in until the extent roughly corresponds with the contiguous 48 states.

    Next, you will rename the layer to reflect the data this map will show.

  5. In the Layers pane, point to the Population experiencing homelessness layer. Click the Options button and choose Rename.

    Rename in the More Options menu

  6. Rename the layer Count of homeless population and click OK.

    The layer is renamed.

    The layer is renamed Count of homeless population in the Layers pane.

Symbolize the layer by unhoused population

Next, you will symbolize the number of people experiencing homelessness by drawing a circle within each state. The size of the circle will vary depending on the attribute value. Using graduated symbols instead of colors helps the user compare symbols to one another independently of the areal boundaries of the states. It also avoids creating the impression that unhoused people are evenly dispersed throughout each state.

  1. In the Layers pane, ensure the Count of homeless population layer is selected.
  2. On the Settings (light) toolbar, click Styles.

    Styles on the Settings toolbar


    The toolbar may be collapsed by default and only show the tool icons. You can expand the toolbard by clicking the expand button at the bottom.

  3. In the Styles pane, for Choose attributes, click Field.

    Field under Choose attributes in the Styles pane

  4. In the Add fields window, choose Homeless Population Count (2013) and click Add.

    Choose an attribute to show set to Count Homeless Pop (2013).

    The pane updates to show the ways the attribute can be symbolized.

  5. Under Pick a style, click Counts and Amounts (size).

    Counts and Amounts (size) style under Pick a style on the Styles pane

    On the map, each state is symbolized with an orange circle that changes size depending on the state's unhoused population.

    Map symbolized with orange circles using Counts and Amounts (Size)

  6. For Counts and Amounts (size), click Style options.

    Style options button for Counts and Amounts (size) style

    The Style options pane appears to show the options. You can adjust symbol size, color, and more.

  7. Scroll down the Style options pane and turn on Classify data.

    Classify Data turned on in the Style options pane

    Classify data uses a mathematical formula to determine the values at which symbols change size on the map, also known as breaks. You will set the classification scheme to Natural Breaks, which uses large differences between groups of values to set breaks.

  8. For Method, choose Natural Breaks and set the number of classes to 5.

    Classify data Method set to Natural Breaks and 5 classes

    The number of classes determines the number of breaks in the data. When you change the classes, the symbols on the map update automatically. Many of the symbols are unnecessarily large and cover smaller symbols, so next you will change the maximum and minimum symbol sizes.

  9. Scroll up in the Style options pane, and for Size range, set the minimum size to 9 px and the maximum size to 24 px.

    Size range set to 9 pixels to 24 pixels

    You can also change the symbol color.

  10. Toward the top of the Style options pane, click the symbol under Symbol style.

    Symbol style for the layer

    The Symbol style pane appears with additional symbology options.

  11. Click Fill color and on the color palette, choose a blue color.

    Blue color selected on the color palette

  12. Click Done.
  13. For Outline color, choose a dark blue color and click Done.
  14. For Outline width, set it to 2 px.

    Outline width set to 2 pixels

  15. At the bottom of the Style options pane, click Done twice.

    On the map, you can see that North Dakota and many of the rural plains states have smaller unhoused populations compared to the more urbanized states such as Illinois and New York.

    Map symbology updated

    The size of the symbols remains the same when you zoom in and out. Your symbols may appear larger or smaller relative to the state boundaries depending on your extent. You can change the symbol sizes in the Change Symbol window.

    The default Topographic basemap is better suited for a reference map (which emphasizes the geographic location of features) than a thematic map (which focuses on a specific theme, such as homelessness). Next, you will change the basemap to something simpler.

  16. On the Contents toolbar, click the Expand button. Click Basemap. In the Basemap pane, choose Light Gray Canvas.

    Light Gray Canvas in the Basemap pane

    The basemap changes.

    Part of the map with blue circles in each state and a light gray basemap

    The map gives a generalized visual representation of the data but not exact numbers. The exact counts are accessible through pop-ups, so when users click a state, they can see how many people experiencing homelessness live there.

Configure pop-up fields

When you were preparing your data in ArcGIS Pro, you reset the configuration of the pop-ups to show a feature’s attribute information. You can further customize pop-ups to only show the information relevant to the map.

  1. On the map, click North Dakota.

    Pop-up for North Dakota showing all attributes

    The default pop-up appears. It displays all the attributes in the layer. There are several opportunities to improve the pop-up. First, this layer only displays the count of the homeless population, but other attributes are also visible in the pop-up. Second, the state name is displayed twice. Third, the attribute values for population and count are not easy to read.

  2. On the Settings toolbar, click Pop-ups.
  3. In the Pop-ups pane, click Title.

    Title on the Pop-ups pane

    A field name in braces is substituted with the attribute for that field when a feature is clicked. For instance, when you click North Dakota on the map, the pop-up will display North Dakota as the title.

  4. Click the Fields list.

    All the fields currently showing on the pop-up appear. You only want one field to appear in the pop-up.

  5. Click the remove button next to each field to remove all the fields except Count Homeless Pop (2013).

    The Count Homeless Pop (2013) field is the only one that remains.

    Check Display only for Homeless Count (2013).

  6. Click OK. In the Configure Pop-up pane, click OK.
  7. On the map, click North Dakota (or any state) to view the pop-up.

    Pop-up for North Dakota showing only Homeless count

    The pop-up shows only the information that this map is supposed to show.

  8. Close the pop-up.
  9. On the Contents toolbar, click Save and open and choose Save as.

    Save as in the Save and open menu

  10. In the Save map window, provide the following information:
    • For Title, type US Homeless Population 2013.
    • For Tags, type homelessnesshomeless counts, United States2013, and press Enter after each word.
    • For Summary, type Map showing various statistics on the population experiencing homelessness in the united states from 2012 to 2013.

    Save map window

  11. Click Save.

    You plan to share your map using ArcGIS StoryMaps. For others to view your map in the story, you will set the map share settings so anyone can view the map.

  12. On the Contents toolbar, click Share map.
  13. In the Share window, choose Everyone (public) and click Save.

Symbolize the layer by the percentage of people experiencing homelessness

Although the total number of people experiencing homelessness in North Dakota is small, that does not mean the problem is less severe for its scale. A state with nearly 40 million people, such as California, is going to have more unhoused people than a state with almost 800,000 people, such as North Dakota. But the state with more people will also have more resources to handle the problem. To help your audience better understand the context of the data beyond the count of people experiencing homelessness, your next map will normalize counts by each state's total population to show what percentage of a state's population is unhoused.

  1. On the Contents toolbar, click Layers, if necessary. In the Layers pane, for the Count of homeless population layer, click the Options button and choose Duplicate.

    Duplicate on the Options menu for the Count of homeless population layer

  2. Rename the copied layer Percent of homeless population.

    You now have a copy of the layer to show the percent of homeless population. You will turn off the visibility of the count layer.

  3. For the Count of homeless population layer, click the Hide layer button.

    Hide layer button for the Count of homeless population layer

  4. Under the Percent of homeless population layer, click the Change Style button.

    In the Count of homeless population layer, you used graduated symbols to represent the count of homeless people. One reason you did not use color shading was that you did not want to suggest that homeless people were evenly distributed throughout each state. Now that you want to show a ratio, that consideration does not apply.

  5. In the Layers pane, ensure the Percent of homeless population layer is activated. On the Settings toolbar, click Styles.
  6. In the Styles pane, under Choose attributes, click the field Homeless Population Count (2013).

    Count Homeless Pop (2013) field under Choose attributes

  7. In the Replace field window, choose Homeless Pop per 10,000 Total Pop to replace the field.

    The Homeless Pop per 10,000 Total Pop field selected and the Replace button

  8. Under Pick a style, click Counts and Amounts (color) and click Style options.

    Counts and Amounts (color) style and Style options button

  9. Under Symbol style, click the color ramp.

    Color ramp under Symbol style in the Styles pane

    Since you are symbolizing by color instead of size, the symbols window has several color ranges for you to choose from.

  10. In the Symbol style window, click the color for Fill color.

    Color for Fill color on the Symbol style window

  11. In the Ramp color window, for Category, choose Reds and yellows. Choose the Orange 4 color ramp and click Done.

    To see the name of a color ramp, point to the color ramp.

    Red to yellow color scheme

    The map updates with the new colors.

  12. In the Style options pane, turn on Classify data and change the number of classes to 5.

    Map with red to yellow color scheme showing North Dakota as dark orange

    The layer does not currently show that there is a high percentage of people experiencing homelessness in North Dakota. The current class break between categories are currently skewed by a few high values. While the Natural Breaks classification method is useful for showing outliers, you will adjust the Method to show that North Dakota is among the states with the highest percentage of homeless populations.

  13. For Method, choose Quantile.

    Quantile determines class breaks by distributing an equal number of values into each class. Since your data has 51 features (all states plus the District of Columbia) and you are using five classes, each class has roughly 10 features.

    The map now shows the states in darkest red color represent about the top 10 states with the largest percentage of homeless populations.

    Map with red to yellow color scheme, showing North Dakota as dark red

    North Dakota is in the highest class, which consists of the 10 states with the highest homelessness rates.

  14. At the bottom of the Style options pane, click Done.
  15. Save the map.

Configure pop-up text

Next, you'll configure pop-ups to show a sentence of text with dynamic fields that better explains the data.

  1. In the Layers pane, ensure the Percent of homeless population layer is selected, and on the Settings toolbar, click Pop-ups.

    You will remove the Fields list content since you want your pop-up to only contain a sentence of text.

  2. For the Fields list content item, click the Options button and click Delete.

    Delete the Fields list in the Pop-ups pane.

  3. Click Add content and choose Text.

    Text on the Add content menu in the Pop-ups pane

    A text editor window appears.

    In the text editor, you can add attributes that will be linked to your layer's attribute fields. The field names within the curly brackets represent the attribute field value you want to display in the pop-up.

  4. In the text editor window, type or copy and paste the following:

    In 2013, {L0USA_States_Generalized_STATE_} had {HomelessPopPer10000} people experiencing homelessness for every 10,000 people in the total population.


    To paste the text without any formatting, press Ctrl+Shift+V.

    To help the data value stand out more, you will format the attribute to be a bold text.

  5. Highlight the text {HomelessPopPer10000} and click the bold button.

    The attribute bolded in the text editor window

  6. Click OK.
  7. On the map, click North Dakota (or any state) to view the pop-up.

    Pop-up for North Dakota

  8. Close the pop-up and save the map.

With your second layer, more of the full picture is uncovered. Although North Dakota has a relatively lower count of people experiencing homelessness compared to other states, the count is relatively high for its total population. Other states have both higher counts and higher percentages, such as California and New York. To add one more way to visualize the unhoused population in North Dakota in 2013, you will create one more layer that shows how the homeless population grew between 2012 and 2013.

Symbolize the layer by percent change

Change in homeless population size over time plays an important role in better understanding the resources needed to support the unhoused community in a state. A state that experienced a low increase or even a decrease in the number of people experiencing homelessness will likely have enough shelters and resources from previous years to support the homeless community in the year to come. However, a state with high increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness may not have such infrastructure, programs, and resources in place to adequately those who need it.

Your final layer will depict percent change of people experiencing homelessness between 2012 and 2013.

  1. In your US Homeless Population 2013 map, in the Layers pane, use what you have learned to duplicate the Percent of homeless population layer and rename it to Change in homeless population.

    The original Homeless Data Excel sheet expressed change data as percentages, but when you viewed that data in ArcGIS Pro, it was formatted with fractions, so 200.7 percent was written as 2.007. You will style the layer using an Arcade expression and multiply those fractions by 100 to convert them to percentages.

  2. In the Layers pane, ensure the Change in homeless population layer is selected, and in the Settings toolbar, click Styles.
  3. Under Choose attributes, remove the attribute Homeless Pop per 10,000 Total Pop.

    Remove Homeless Pop per 10,000 Total Pop attribute in the Styles pane

  4. Click the Expression button.

    The Expression Builder window appears.

  5. In the expression window, select and delete all existing code.
  6. Expand the vertical toolbar and click Profile variables.

    Profile variables option

  7. Under Profile variables, for $feature, click the arrow to see more options.Change Count (2012-13).

    Expand $feature.

  8. Scroll down and click $feature.Sheet1_Change.

    Click $feature.Sheet1_Change.

    The expression adds to the expression editor window. Next, you will use Arcade to multiply the field value by 100 so that the resulting value is shows as a percentage value.

  9. In the expression builder, after $feature["Sheet1__Change"], type * 100.


  10. At the top of the Expression Builder window, next to New expression, click Edit. Rename the expression Percent change 2012-2013 and click Done.

    Expression title updated

  11. In the Styles pane, under the Pick a style, click Color and Size.

    Color and Size style under Pick a style on the Styles pane

    You want to show which states had an increase and decrease in their population experiencing homelessness, so you will style the layer using the Above and Below theme.

  12. For Color and Size, set the Theme to Above and below and click the Style options button.

    Theme set to Above and below and the Style options button for the Color and Size style

  13. In the Style options pane, under Symbol style, click the symbol . In the Symbol style window, click the symbol for Fill color.
  14. In the Ramp window, set the following:
    • For Category, choose Best for dark backgrounds.
    • Choose the color ramp Green and Gray 3.
    • Click Flip ramp colors.

    Counts and Amounts (Color)

  15. In the Ramp window, click Done. In the Style options pane, click Done twice.

    In this map, the states that are red have the highest percentages of people experiencing homelessness relative to their total population. States in yellow have the lowest percentages of people experiencing homelessness relative to their total population. The layer you just styled is shown as a layer on top of the homeless population percentage layer, as arrows pointing up and down. The states with larger, light green arrow experienced the greatest percent increase of people experiencing homelessness between 2012 and 2013, while states symbolized with dark gray and smaller arrows experienced a decrease in the percent of people experiencing homelessness in the same time period.

    Map with yellow to red color scheme for homeless population percentage and green and gray arrows for homeless population change between 2012 and 2013.

    By styling your map using graduated colors and symbols, you can show two kinds of data at the same time, allowing you to draw connections.

    Your map shows that in 2013, North Dakota was among the states with the highest percent of people experiencing homelessness relative to their total population and experienced a very high percent change of the number of people experiencing homelessness between 2012 and 2013. This will be your most persuasive map for informing your audience of the challenges facing the unhoused community in North Dakota.

Create field expression for pop-ups

You'll now update a pop-up you configured earlier to display the information for percent change. To reduce the number of pop-ups appearing, you will combine information for the percent of homeless population layer and the change in homeless population layer onto one pop up. First, you will turn off the pop-up for the change in homeless population layer.

  1. In the Layers pane, ensure the Change in homeless population layer is selected. On the Settings toolbar, click Pop-ups.
  2. In the Pop-ups pane, turn off Enable pop-ups.

    Enable pop-ups turned off for the Change in homeless population layer

  3. At the top of the Pop-ups pane, click Change in homeless population.

    Change in homeless population option

  4. For Layers, click Percent of homeless population.

    Active layer in Pop-ups pane set to Percent of homeless population

    The Percent of homeless population layer is now active. You will need to configure a new attribute expression so that you can display the percent change as a percent value with only one decimal place.

  5. Under Options, click Attribute expressions.

    Attribute expressions under Options in the Pop-ups pane

  6. Click Add expression.
  7. In the Expression Editor window, change the title to Change Percent. In the expression text editor remove any code and type Round($feature["Sheet1__Change"]*100, 1).

    Expression title updated to Change Percentage and expression provided in the text editor.

  8. Click Done.
  9. In the Attribute expressions pane, click the back arrow.
  10. On the Pop-ups pane, click Text and click the Edit text button to edit the contents.

    Edit text button

    The Text editor window appears.

  11. After the existing sentence, press Enter. Type or copy and paste the following:

    Between 2012 and 2013, {L0USA_States_Generalized_STATE_} experienced a {expression/expr0} percent change in counts of people experiencing homelessness.

  12. Use the Bold button to add bold formatting to {HomelessPopPer10000} and {expression/expr0}.

    The text for your pop-up is updated and ready.

    Pop-up configure window

  13. Click OK.
  14. On the map, click North Dakota (or any state) to view the pop-up.

    Pop-up for North Dakota describing 200.73 percent change in homeless counts

  15. Close the pop-up and save the map.

You've created three layers showing a different way to display data on the homeless population. In the next section, you will create a story and share your findings.

Share your results

Previously, you mapped homelessness in the United States. Next, you'll share your results using a story. ArcGIS StoryMaps has several features that are tailored for displaying data and telling a story with.

Create a story with ArcGIS StoryMaps

To showcase your map, you will create a story that allows your users to evaluate your three maps.

  1. On the ArcGIS home page, click the App Launcher button and choose ArcGIS StoryMaps.

    Open StoryMaps from the App Launcher.

    The ArcGIS StoryMaps app appears.

  2. Click New story and from the drop-down menu, choose Start from scratch.

    Start a new story.

    The blank template opens to make your story.

  3. In the Title your story section, type The impact of housing shortage crisis on oil workers.

    Title added to the story

  4. In the Start with a short introduction or subtitle section, type  The story of how an oil boom increased the unhoused population in North Dakota in 2013.

    Subtitle added under the title in the story

    To start filling the contents of your story, you will add a Text content block.

  5. To start your story, click the Add content block button, and add a Text block.

    Add a text block.

  6. Type or copy and paste the following text:

    In 2013, nationwide, the total number of people experiencing homelessness was on the decline, with most states experiencing decreases in the amount of homelessness. Most of the exceptions are clustered in the northeastern and north-central parts of the United States, but even in these regions, the increases were for the most part relatively modest.

    However, in North Dakota, the number of people experiencing homelessness exploded, tripling in only a year's time. Such a sudden and severe increase posed unprecedented challenges in a place where no existing shelters or established local relief programs were available to support those experiencing homelessness at such a scale.

    Add a descriptive paragraph.

Now that you have added an introductory paragraph, you will continue building your story by creating a sidecar slideshow.

Add a sidecar and configure your first slide

Next, you will add a sidecar. One of the most useful for creating smooth transitions between maps, images, and other media is the sidecar block. Using a series of slides, you can integrate media with text to create a simple scrolling experience. Sidecars allow others to access your mapped data one step at a time.

  1. Point below the paragraph you just added, click Add content block, and choose Sidecar.

    Add a sidecar.

  2. In the Change layout panel, confirm Docked is selected and click Done.

    The sidecar block appears.

  3. In the media panel of the sidecar, click the Add button, and choose Map.

    Add a map media type.

  4. In the Add a map window, choose your US Homeless Population 2013 map.

    Add Number of Homeless, 2013 map.

    The Adjust map appearance window appears.

    For this first map, you want to show the count of unhoused people in each state.

  5. Under Map layers, click the visibility buttons for each layer so that only the Count of homeless population layer is visible.

    Visible map layers

  6. Click the Options tab and turn on the Allow map navigation, Search, Legend, and Keep legend open options.

    Map options

  7. Zoom in to the map so that the contiguous United States fills the extent and click Place map.

    Place map button

    The map now appears on the right side of the sidecar.

    The map is added.

  8. Above the map, click the Options button.

    Click the Options button.

  9. In the Web map options window, for Alternative text, type Map of number of people experiencing homelessness, 2013.

    Add alt text.

  10. Click Save.
  11. In the narrative panel of the sidecar, type or copy and paste the following text: Count of Homeless Population.
  12. Highlight the text, click Paragraph, and choose Heading 2.

    Choose Heading 2.

    The text format updates, making it clear that the text is a heading or title for the slide.

    Title updated with Heading 2.

  13. Press Enter to start a new line. Type or copy and paste the following text:

    In 2013, unhoused populations were concentrated primarily in states with large urban areas, such as California, New York, and Florida. The rural and less densely populated central and western states, including North Dakota, had comparably fewer people experiencing homelessness in terms of count alone.

    While this map suggests North Dakota does not have a high number of people experiencing homelessness compared to other states, it does not provide the full picture of the challenges the state is seeking to address at a more local level.

    Add narrative text.

  14. Click the Change panel size button to increase the size of the narrative panel and expand the text.

    Use the Change panel size button.

    The narrative panel widens.

    The sidecar is updated.

Add slides for your remaining maps

Next, you will add slides for the other two maps you made to help readers follow and better understand the issue in your story.

  1. In the bottom panel of the sidecar, click the more options in the first slide and click Duplicate.

    Duplicate in the options menu for the first slide in the sidecar

    A duplicate of your first slide is added to the sidecar.

  2. On the second slide, in the map panel, click Edit.

    Delete in the map panel

    The Adjust map appearance window appears.

  3. Under Map layers, turn off the Count of homeless population layer and turn on the Percent of homeless population layer and click Place map.
  4. Above the map, click the Options button.

    Click the Options button.

  5. In Web map options, for Alternative text, type: Map of the percentage of people experiencing homelessness by state, 2013.

    Add the alt text.

  6. In the narrative panel, replace the heading text with the following text: % Experiencing Homelessness.
  7. Press Enter and replace the narrative paragraph texts below the heading with the following text:

    When the number of people experiencing homelessness counts are normalized by dividing that value by the total population, a different pattern is revealed.

    While states like California and New York still have the highest proportion of people experiencing homelessness, several states in the Midwest are also showing relatively high proportion of people experiencing homelessness. Among these states, North Dakota stands out as having a particularly high percentage of people experiencing homelessness. This is largely due to the increase of workers who have flocked to the state in search of well-paying energy industry jobs.

    The state was unprepared for the new arrivals and was unable to accommodate the housing needs, resulting in a housing shortage and high cost of living. The increased percentage of an unhoused population may strain a state's ability support such individuals with its own limited resources, potentially necessitating external assistance such as federal funding support.

    Narrative paragraphs updated in the slide showing percent of unhoused population

  8. Use what you have learned to duplicate the second slide to create and configure the third slide:
    • Configure the map to show both the Change in homeless population and Percent of homelessness population layers and click Place map.
    • Set the Web map options so the Alternative text is the following: Percent change of people experiencing homelessness by state between 2012 and 2013 and percent of homeless population relative to total population by state in 2013.
  9. Update the text in the narrative panel as follows:
    • For the heading text, replace the text with the text: Percent change of Unhoused, 2012–2013.
    • For the narrative paragraph, replace the text with the text:

      Between 2012 to 2013, new discoveries in shale oil and advances in drilling techniques created an economic boom in North Dakota. Workers from across the continent flocked to the rural prairie state in search of plentiful and well-paying jobs. Although the state was able to boast having the high economic index across the board, including the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the boom has put a strain on North Dakota's infrastructure. As some cities nearly doubled their populations, housing was unable to keep pace with the growth. Employed individuals were experiencing homelessness, working by day and taking shelter in temporary, unsustainable housing situations like cars and tents by night.

    The sidecar is configured.

    The sidecar is updated.

You have completed added the text and maps to your story. Now you'll update the design and publish the map.

Design your story

The narrative content of your story is complete. Now you will customize the design.

  1. On the ribbon, click the Design button.

    Choose Design from the ribbon.

    The Design panel appears.

  2. Under Optional story sections, turn on Navigation.

    Alter the Design pane.

    By turning on Navigation, your story generates tabs to separate the different sections of your story.

  3. Under the Theme section, choose Slate.

    Add the Slate theme.

    The theme is updated.

  4. Close the Design panel and scroll to the beginning of the story.
  5. On the cover of your story, click the Add cover image or video button.

    Add a cover image.

    The Add image or video window appears.

  6. Download this image to use as the cover image.
  7. In the Add image or video window, click Browse your files and choose the image you just downloaded.

    Add the cover image.

  8. Click Add.

    The cover image updates.

    If necessary, click the Options button and adjust the image.

Publish your story

Now that you have built your story, you'll publish it so it can be shared with everyone.

  1. On the ribbon, click the Preview button.

    Preview the map.

    Review your changes and make sure everything appears as you expect.

  2. At the bottom of the page, click Close preview.

    Close preview in the Preview mode of the ArcGIS StoryMaps editor

  3. On the ribbon, click Publish. In th Share window, for Set sharing level, choose Everyone (Public) and click Publish.

    Set the sharing option to Everyone (Public).

    Choosing the setting for Everyone (Public) will allow anyone to view your story. Your story is now finished, and you can share the link with everyone.

In this tutorial, you downloaded tabular data and joined it to a layer. You published the layer to ArcGIS Online and created three maps using your data. Finally, you shared your results as a story.

This tutorial explored an issue that occurred primarily in 2012 and 2013. New data suggests that the management challenges in North Dakota have declined as policies changed to enable further infrastructure construction and investment to sustain the oil worker population. Although the problem has not been completely resolved, the work of advocates and analysts has made and will continue to make a difference in North Dakota.

You can find more tutorials in the tutorial gallery.