In the previous lesson, you mapped homelessness in the United States. In this lesson, you will share your results using a web app. ArcGIS Online has several preconfigured templates for web apps, many tailored for displaying certain types of data. Since you want your users to look at and compare all three maps, you will use the Compare Analysis app, which displays multiple maps side by side.
Create a web app
Web apps are built from templates. The template configures most of the web app's settings for you. You start the process of making a web app by sharing a map.
- Return to My Content (from the Home menu, choose Content). Click the browse button next to the Number of Homeless, 2013 web map and choose Open in Map Viewer.
The map appears.
- On the ribbon, click Share.
Only shared maps and layers can be used in a web app. You already shared your maps and layers, so you are ready to begin.
- In the Share window, click Create a Web App.
The Create a New Web App window appears, which contains the available templates.
- Click Compare Maps/Layers to filter the list of apps.
- Click Story Map Series.
- Click Create Web App.
To see what the default version of the web app will look like before you create it, click Preview.
- Replace the default information for the following fields:
- Title: Homeless in the Badlands
- Tags: homelessness, United States, North Dakota, 2013
- Summary: A web application comparing homeless counts, percentages, and change in the United States, with an emphasis on the homeless problem in North Dakota.
- Click Done.
- Choose Tabbed and click Start.
- Name your Tabbed Map Series Homeless in the Badlands and click the Next button.
- In the Add Tab window, for Tab title, type Number of Homeless, 2013.
- For Map, choose Number of Homeless, 2013.
- For Location, click Custom configuration.
- If necessary, pan and zoom the map until the extent roughly corresponds with the contiguous 48 states. Click Save Map Location.
When you add the other maps to the series, they will use the same location.
- For Extras, check the box for Legend.
- For Alternative Text, type Map of the number of homeless people in each U.S. state in 2013.
- Click Add.
- The Map Series Builder appears, showing your map, a side panel with the legend, and some more options along the top.
- Click the Add button to add another tab.
- For Tab title, type Homeless as Percentage of Population, 2013.
- For Map, click Select a map and choose Homeless as Percentage of Population, 2013.
- For Alternative Text, type Map of the percentage of homeless people in each U.S. state in 2013.
- Click Add.
Next, you will follow the same pattern to add the last map.
- Click the Add button again to add a third tab.
- For Tab title, type Percent Change in Homeless Counts, 2012-2013.
- For Map, click Select a map and choose Percent Change in Homeless Counts, 2012-2013.
- For Alternative Text, type Map of the percent change in homeless counts in each U.S. state between 2012 and 2013.
- Click Add.
- At the top of the Map Series Builder, Click Save.
- At the top of the Map Series Builder, click View Story.
A new tab appears in the browser with your story map.
- Click each of the tabs to view the different maps. They each have a legend to explain the map symbols. Click some of the states to view their pop-ups.
Modify the app and add metadata
The web app is good but not perfect. You can add descriptions to make your app make more sense to a user.
- Leave the Homeless in the Badlands web app open in a tab or window. Return to the Map Series tab, which shows the Map Series Builder.
- Click the tab for Number of Homeless, 2013.
- Above the legend, type a paragraph that explains the story told by this map. You can write your own, or copy and paste the following:
In 2013, homeless populations were concentrated primarily in states with large urban areas, such as California, New York, and Florida. The rural and sparsely-populated central and western states, including North Dakota, had comparably fewer homeless in terms of count alone. While this map indicates that North Dakota does not constitute a homeless problem on a national scale, it does not show the struggles the state is facing on its own, smaller scale.
- At the top of the Map Series Builder, click Settings.
- Click Layout options, and for Description and legend panel, choose Small.
- Optionally change other properties in the Settings window, such as color schemes on the Theme tab.
- Click Apply.
- Write descriptions for the other two maps, or copy and paste the following sample text:
Homeless as Percentage of Population, 2013:
When homeless counts are normalized by population, a somewhat different pattern emerges than in the homeless counts map. While California and New York still dominate, several states in the Midwest display relatively large numbers of homeless for their population. Among these states, North Dakota stands out as having a particularly high homeless percentage, as migrant workers have flocked to the state in search of well-paying energy industry jobs, only to discover a housing shortage and high cost of living. A high homeless percentage may strain a state's ability to combat the problem with its own resources, necessitating external assistance.
Percent Change in Homeless Counts, 2012-2013:
Nationwide, homelessness is on the decline, with most states experiencing decreases in their homeless populations. Most of the exceptions are clustered in the northeastern and north-central parts of the country, but even in these regions the increases were for the most part relatively modest. In North Dakota, however, the homeless population exploded, tripling in only a year's time. Such a sudden and severe increase means that no existing shelters or local relief programs are in place to deal with homelessness at such a scale. Furthermore, an upward trend could cause the problem to worsen if nothing is done to stop it. As the Bakken oil formation that precipitated North Dakota's explosive growth and subsequent homeless problem shows no signs of running dry in the near future, effort must be spent to curtail this issue before it grows uncontrollable.
- Click Save and close the tab for the Map Series Builder.
- Return to your web app and refresh the page. A description is now shown above each legend.
The app is finished. Finally, you will update the app's metadata.
- Open another tab or window. Go to your ArcGIS organizational account and go to My Content.
- Click the Homeless in the Badlands web app.
The item details page appears.
- Click Edit Thumbnail.
The default thumbnail does not convey anything about the app. To replace it, you can use a screen capture of the app or another image.
- In the Create Thumbnail window, click Browse.
- Browse to the folder you downloaded at the beginning of this lesson and double-click homeless-in-the-badlands-thumb. In the Upload Thumbnail window, click OK.
- For Description, click Edit.
- Type a paragraph that summarizes the app, or copy and paste the following:
In the period from 2012 to 2013, discoveries in shale oil and advances in drilling techniques created an oil boom in North Dakota. Migrant workers from across the continent flocked to the rural prairie state in search of plentiful and well-paying jobs. The state now boasts high economic indices across the board, including the lowest unemployment rate in the country. But the boom has put a strain on North Dakota's infrastructure. As some cities nearly double their populations, housing has been unable to keep pace with the growth. Employed and healthy individuals are forced to brave the frigid northern conditions in cars and tents.
The three maps in this web application paint a picture of the homeless problem in North Dakota by showing how the state's homeless counts, percentages, and change compare to the rest of the United States. While North Dakota's total homeless population is relatively low, the population is high for its size and growing at a tremendous rate.
- Click Save.
- For Credits (Attribution), click Edit and type United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Click Save.
In these lessons, 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 web app.
These lessons dealt with an issue that occurred primarily in 2012 and 2013. New data suggests that the homeless problem in North Dakota has started to decline as infrastructure is built to sustain the migrant 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.