Explore a dashboard

First, you'll open and explore a dashboard that monitors emergency incidents in Redlands, California. This is the same dashboard that you'll create later in the lesson.

Open a dashboard

First, you'll sign in and open the Redlands Incident Management dashboard.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organizational account.

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

  2. On the ribbon at the top of the page, click the Search button.

    Click search button

  3. In the Search bar, type owner:Learn_ArcGIS Redlands.

    Type search string

  4. In the search results, click Redlands Emergency Dashboard by Learn_ArcGIS 2019. Several results may have similar names.

    Select dashboard from search results


    You may need to uncheck "Only search in Learn ArcGIS" to filter search results.

  5. Click View Dashboard.

    The dashboard opens.

    Default dashboard

    The dashboard contains a map and additional information that updates in real time as the underlying data changes. However, this dashboard displays simulated real-time data of emergency incidents and emergency service vehicles.

  6. If necessary, zoom in or out until you can see all of the emergency symbols. Pan the map to center all the symbols within the dashboard.

    For the best viewing experience, maximize the application window.

    Emergency calls and incidents

    Phone symbols represent emergency calls and other incidents. Black symbols represent emergency facilities, such as hospitals and schools. Blue, dark pink, and yellow symbols represent the current locations of police, fire, and ambulance vehicles, respectively. The red, orange, yellow, and green lines represent traffic conditions on roads. Unlike the emergency data, the traffic data is not simulated.

    Traffic conditions

    Red lines represent stop-and-go traffic, orange lines represent slow traffic, yellow lines represent moderate traffic, and green lines represent free-flow traffic. Traffic incidents are represented by yellow circles with black borders. The larger the red dot in the circle, the bigger the impact of the traffic incident.

  7. To the left of the map, under Open Incidents, click the incident at the top of the list.

    Current incident pop-up

    On the map, a pop-up opens with more information. The incident is highlighted on the map.

  8. Close the pop-up.
  9. Click any yellow ambulance symbol on the map to open its pop-up. In the pop-up window, click the Follow button.

    Select follow in pop-up

    The Follow state bar appears. As the data refreshes and the ambulance moves to a new location, the map adjusts to keep the feature centered.

  10. On the Follow state bar, click pause follow.

    Click pause follow

  11. Close the pop-up. Close the Follow state bar.
  12. On the map, click the Layers button. In the Layers window, uncheck all layers except the Reported Incidents - Dispatch and World Traffic Service layers.

    Check off map layers

  13. Close the Layers window.

    At the bottom of the dashboard, a bar chart shows the number of current incidents by type.

  14. On the Current Incidents by Type chart, click any colored bar.

    Incidents highlighted on the map

    The map and Open Incidents list now show only incidents of the chosen type.

  15. On the map, click the Layers button. Turn on all layers and close the Layers window.
  16. Click the Search button. For Place or Facility name, type Redlands Animal Shelter and press Enter.

    Search for facility

    The map zooms in to the Redlands Animal Shelter facility.

  17. Explore the dashboard on your own. When finished, close the dashboard.

You've explored a dashboard and now have a sense of the interaction between the map and its data, as well as how it updates over time.

Create a map

Previously, you explored a dashboard. Next, you'll create a web map in ArcGIS Online and add layers to it. The layers will be the same ones you saw in the dashboard: reported incidents, emergency facilities, emergency vehicles, and traffic. Later, you'll add this map to your dashboard.

Add layers to a new map

The map for your dashboard is created in ArcGIS Online.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organizational account.

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

  2. At the top of the page, click Map to begin a new map.

    Create new map


    The default basemap and map extent are set by your portal or organization administrator. Yours may be different from the example image.

  3. On the ribbon, in the search box, type Redlands. From the results, choose Redlands, CA, USA.

    Search for Redlands

    The map navigates to Redlands and a pop-up opens with information about the location.

  4. Close the pop-up.
  5. On the ribbon, click the Add button and choose Search for Layers.

    Search for layers

    By default, a list of layers shared within your organization is displayed. You'll change the search settings to find the layers you need for the map.

  6. In the search pane, click the arrow next to My Content and choose ArcGIS Online.

    Choose ArcGIS Online option

  7. In the search box, type Redlands dashboard.

    Search ArcGIS Online

  8. Click the Filter button. In the Filter pane, choose Only show content within map area.

    Filter search results by extent

  9. Close the Filter pane.
  10. In the search pane, click the Sort button. On the Sort pane, for Sort content by, choose Owner.

    Sort search results

    Your search results are sorted by owner, and it will be easier to identify results owned by esri_dashboardpub.

  11. Close the Sort pane. In the list of search results, locate the following five layers owned by esri_dashboardpub (other results may also be returned):
    • Police
    • Ambulances
    • Fire
    • Emergency Facilities
    • Reported Incidents - Dispatch

    Confirm search results

  12. Click the name of the Reported Incidents - Dispatch layer.

    A pane opens with a detailed description of the layer and a thumbnail of the layer content.

    Layer details and metadata

  13. Click Add to Map.

    The Reported Incidents - Dispatch layer is added to your map.

  14. Close the Reported Incidents - Dispatch layer description pane. Add the Emergency Facilities, Police, Ambulances, and Fire layers to the map.

    You can add the layers more quickly to the map by clicking the Add button for each layer.

    Add additional layers

    The layers are added to the map.

    Map layers added

    In addition to these layers, you'll add a layer of live traffic conditions. This layer will provide information about which streets emergency vehicles should avoid because of traffic or accidents.

  15. In the search pane, click next to Within Map Area to turn off the filter. Delete the existing search text, type traffic owner: esri, and press Enter.

    The list of search results includes the World Traffic Service layer by Esri.

    Add traffic layer

  16. Add the World Traffic Service layer to your map.

    The map now displays traffic conditions from the World Traffic Service. Because the data updates frequently, your traffic conditions likely differ from those shown in the example images.

  17. In the search pane, click the back button to return to the Contents pane.

    You may also need to click the Show Contents of Map button to return to the Contents pane.

  18. In the Contents pane, point to the Emergency Facilities layer. Point to the reorder layers icon to the left of the layer name.

    Reorder layers in the Contents pane

    The mouse pointer becomes a four-headed arrow.

  19. Drag the Emergency Facilities layer until it is directly above the World Traffic Service layer.

    As you drag the layer, its position is represented by a dotted horizontal line.

    The Emergency Facilities layer should be near the bottom of the Contents pane because the locations of these facilities don't change, and this layer is not as important to decision making as the other layers. By placing the layer near the bottom, the Reported Incidents – Dispatch, Police, Fire, and Ambulances layers will be more prominent on the map.

  20. Change the positions of other layers to organize them in the following order:
    • Reported Incidents – Dispatch
    • Police
    • Fire
    • Ambulances
    • Emergency Facilities
    • World Traffic Service

    Layers reordered in Contents pane

    This order reflects their importance to users making emergency response decisions.

Set the layer refresh intervals

When you work with real-time data, it's important to consider how often you want to refresh the data. You'll look at the current refresh settings on your layers and make a few changes.

  1. In the Contents pane, point to the Reported Incidents - Dispatch layer, click the More Options button, and choose Refresh Interval.

    Refresh Interval menu command

    The current setting is displayed. The refresh interval for this layer is set to 0.1 minutes (6 seconds).

  2. Change the refresh interval to 0.3 minutes (18 seconds).

    Refresh layer setting

  3. Set the refresh intervals for the Fire, Police, and Ambulances layers to 0.3 minutes.
  4. Check the refresh interval for the Emergency Facilities layer.

    No refresh interval is set for this layer, which is fine, because the facility locations don't change.

  5. Check the refresh interval for the World Traffic Service layer.

    The refresh interval for this layer is 5 minutes. The live traffic data is updated at 5-minute intervals, so this value is appropriate.


    Learn more about the World Traffic layer.

Configure pop-ups

Clicking a reported incident symbol on the map opens a pop-up with information about the incident. To make this information more accessible, you'll create elements based on the data contained in the pop-ups. These elements will be similar to the elements you interacted with earlier. First, you'll configure the pop-ups so you can see the attributes associated with the layer and control which details to display in your dashboard.

  1. Click one of the existing reported incidents, which are styled as phone icons with green backgrounds. (Your incident may differ from the one in the example image).

    Pop-up for an incident

    Information about the incident is shown in a pop-up as a list of fields and associated values. In the example image, the Contact Name field has the associated attribute value of Meg Sooley. This information is available to anyone viewing the map. It also determines the information shown in the elements in the dashboard that you'll configure later.

  2. Close the pop-up.
  3. In the Contents pane, point to the Reported Incidents - Dispatch layer, click the More Options button, and choose Configure Pop-up.

    Configure pop-up

  4. In the Configure Pop-up pane, for Pop-up Title, delete the existing text. Click the Add Field Name button and choose Incident {incident}.

    Updated pop-up title

    The pop-up title is made up of the contents of a field (indicated by the field name in braces). The fields come from the data in the layer on your map. In this case, the field name is incident. It displays the incident type. Field names work like variables, so when you click an incident on the map, its pop-up title shows the incident type for that particular report.

    Pop-up title

  5. For Pop-up Contents, click Configure Attributes.

    Configure Attributes button

    The Configure Attributes window opens. It lists the fields in the feature layer by their display state (on or off), field name (which can't be changed), and field alias (which can be changed).

  6. In the Configure Attributes window, check the Display box to select all. Check it again to clear the selection.
  7. Check the boxes for the following fields:
    • Open Date
    • Location
    • Synopsis

    Configure Attributes window

    The other fields will no longer appear in the pop-ups.

  8. Click OK. In the Configure Pop-up pane, click OK.
  9. On the map, click an incident to view its pop-up.

    Updated pop-up

  10. Close the pop-up.
  11. Enable pop-ups for the Ambulances layer.
  12. On the ribbon, click the Save button and choose Save As.
  13. In the Save Map window, for Title, type Redlands Emergency Map - Yourname.
  14. For Tags, type incidents and press Enter.
  15. For Summary, type Map for Redlands Emergency Dashboard.

    Save Map window

  16. Click Save Map.

Configure feature search

Next, you'll configure feature search in your web map so users can find an emergency facility by searching for it by name in the dashboard.

  1. In the Contents pane, click About to display the map's details.

    Map details settings

  2. Click More Details to go to the map's item page.
  3. Click the Settings tab and scroll to the Web Map Settings category.
  4. If necessary, in the Application Settings category, expand Find Locations.
  5. Check By Layer.

    The facility name is stored in the Name field of the Emergency Facilities layer.

  6. Click Add Layer to specify which layer can be searched.
  7. In the three lists, set the following parameters:
    • For layer to search, choose Emergency Facilities.
    • For field to query, choose Name.
    • For search condition, choose Contains.
    • For Hint text, type Place or Facility Name.

    Application Settings

    When the map is used in a dashboard, users can quickly find emergency facilities by searching for them by name.

  8. Click Save.

You've created and configured a map to use in your dashboard.

Create a dashboard

Previously, you created a map to go in a dashboard. A dashboard contains maps and displays for monitoring situations in real time. Like maps, layers, and other items, dashboards are stored in your ArcGIS Online organization.

Create a dashboard and add a map element

You'll create a new dashboard using the Operations Dashboard app. Once you create it, you'll add a map as the first component. Each component of a dashboard is called an element.

  1. If necessary, sign in to ArcGIS Online and click Home.

    You can create the dashboard using the map you created in the previous lesson or a similar premade map hosted in the Learn ArcGIS organization. The following steps walk through the process of using the premade map, but the same steps can be followed using your map instead.

  2. In the search box, type Redlands Emergency Map.
  3. Click Redlands Emergency Map by Learn_ArcGIS.

    Locate Redlands Emergency Map

    The map's details page opens.


    You may receive a warning that the Redlands Emergency Map layer is not responding. The layer shows real-time data from a geoevents service. You can continue building your dashboard and the geoevents service will be available at a later time.

  4. Click Open in Map Viewer.

    The map opens.

  5. On the ribbon, click Share.

    Share map

  6. In the Share window, click Create a Web App.

    Create a Web App

  7. In the Create a New Web App pane, click the Operations Dashboard tab.

    Options for the title, tags, and description of your dashboard appear.

  8. Add the following information:
    • For Title, type Learn-Redlands Emergency Map.
    • For Tags, type incidents, emergency, Operations Dashboard, fire, ambulance, police, traffic, Redlands, and California.
    • For Summary, type Redlands Emergency Operations Dashboard.
    • For Categories, click Assign Category and choose Trending and Current events.
    • For Save in folder, choose a location of your choice.

    Operations Dashboard settings

  9. Click Done.

    The dashboard opens in your browser window and displays the Redlands Emergency Map.

    Redlands emergency Operations Dashboard app


    You can also create dashboards from your ArcGIS Online home page or the Operations Dashboard home page.

Configure map tools

Maps typically offer a number of tools to users. For example, users may be able to search for locations, add bookmarks, or change basemaps. In this section, you'll choose the tools that will be available to users of the dashboard.

  1. Point to the upper left corner of the map and click the blue bar. Click the Configure button.

    Configure map tools

  2. On the Settings tab, turn on the following options:
    • Default Extent and Bookmarks
    • Layer Visibility
    • Basemap Switcher
    • Search
    • Zoom In/Out

    Configure map settings

  3. Click Done.

    Map tools

    The map tools that you've configured are displayed. The hint text in the Search tool matches the hint text that you entered when you configured feature search for your map.

Configure dashboard settings

Next, change the color of the dashboard elements, borders, text, and tabs.

  1. In the upper right of the Operations Dashboard window, click the Settings button.

    Settings button

    The Dashboard Settings pane opens. This pane contains options to change the theme and colors of your dashboard.

  2. On the Theme tab, change the settings for Dashboard Background Color and Element Background Color to a dark shade of grey (Hex #ADADAD or Gray68).

    Make dashboard settings

  3. Click Done.

    The settings are applied.

  4. In the upper right of the Operations Dashboard window, click the Save button.

The map now has the tools and capabilities you want. Users can turn layers on and off, change basemaps, and search for emergency facilities by name.

Configure elements

Previously, you configured the map elements. In this lesson, you'll add more elements to help users monitor emergencies in real time. These elements are also known as widgets. You'll add a summary of the current number of incidents, a list of open incidents, incident details, and a bar chart showing incidents by type. When you're finished, your dashboard will look like the one you explored in the first module.

Configure the dashboard header

Header panels serve many purposes, but they are also home to selectors (category, number, and date) that are very useful for interacting with the map. Next, you'll configure the dashboard header.

  1. On the dashboard application title bar, click Add.

    Elements such as the header and left panel can only be added once, but the remaining elements can be added as many times as needed. For this dashboard, you'll add a header panel, left panel, map, list, and chart elements.

  2. If necessary, click Add again and choose Header.

    Add a header

  3. In the Appearance panel, for Size, choose Small.
  4. For Title, type Redlands Emergency Dashboard. Leave the other settings unchanged.

    Specify header properties

  5. Click Done.

Add a category selector

Next, you'll add a category selector for all emergency facilities.

  1. Point to the upper left corner of the dashboard title and choose Add Category Selector. (There are two miniature blue expansion bars in the upper left corner; the one below the title is for the map (that's the one you clicked previously) and the one above the title exposes the Add Category Selector button.)

    Choose Add Category Selector

  2. In the Category Selector pane, for Categories From, choose Features.

    Selector Options

  3. For Select a layer, choose Emergency Facilities.

    Select a layer

    The default field configured in the web map is used as the Line Item Text parameter. Because the default field is the facility name, there is no need to change anything. Next, you'll add more options.

  4. In the Category Selector pane, turn on None Option.
  5. For Label for None, type All Facilities.

    Selector settings

  6. In the left pane, click the Actions tab.
  7. Click Add Action and choose Flash.
  8. For Add Target, choose Map(1).

    Next, you'll add an action to zoom to the Redlands Emergency Map.

  9. Click Add Action and choose Zoom. For Add Target, choose Map(1).

    Add flash and zoom actions

  10. Click Done.

    The selector is added as a list on the header panel. If an emergency facility is selected, the map will pan to and center on the facility and the facility location will flash.

    Selection list

  11. Click Save.

Add an incident count

Next, you'll add an incident count indicator, so users can see at a glance how many incidents are open at a given time.

  1. On the dashboard application title bar, click Add and choose Indicator.

    Add indicator to dashboard

    The Indicator pane opens.

  2. For Layers from 'Redlands Emergency Map' map, choose Reported Incidents - Dispatch.

    The Indicator configuration pane opens.

  3. On the Data tab, for Data Options, confirm that Value Type is set to Statistic and Statistic is set to Count.

    Indicator settings

    Because users are most likely only interested in open incidents, you'll configure the indicator to only show the total count of open cases.

  4. Click the Filter button and choose Operational Status.
  5. Confirm that equal is the operator type. For Value, choose Open.

    Set indicator filter

  6. Click the Indicator tab.

    The Indicator Options pane opens. It contains settings to control the color, text, and icons displayed by the indicator.

  7. For Middle Text, leave the default text unchanged. Click the color palette next to Fields{} and choose a green color.

    Indicator Options

  8. For Bottom Text, type Current Incidents.
  9. Click Done.

    The indicator element is added to the dashboard, but it's larger than you want it to be. You'll adjust the layout and positioning of the elements once a few more are added.

    Dashboard with incident count

    As incidents open or close, this element will update in real time to show the exact number of incidents that are open at a particular moment.

Add a list of incidents

Your users may want to focus on the most recent incidents. The map element is not the best interface for this purpose: it can be difficult to see when and where the most recent incident appeared. A list element provides users the functionality to sort incidents by date and time so recent incidents can be readily identified.

  1. On the dashboard application title bar, click Add and choose List.
  2. In the List pane, choose Reported Incidents - Dispatch.
  3. On the Data tab, for Sort By, click the Sort button.
  4. In the Sort By group, choose the Open Date field and choose Descending.

    Descending list

    The list element will sort open incidents according to their values in the Open Date column of the Reported Incidents - Dispatch layer. The descending sort order means that the most recent incidents will be shown on top.

    Now you'll make the list match the Indicator, showing only the open incidents. You'll use the same method you just used for the Indicator.

  5. Click the Filter button and choose Operational Status.
  6. Confirm that equal is the operator type. For Value, choose Open.

    This will show only open incidents in the list.

  7. In the left pane, click the List tab.

    The list uses the default display field as set by the map layer. This field can be changed to provide more meaningful information.

  8. Click the Insert button and choose Incident.

    Choose list field


    The list of field names shows both an alias and the actual field name. For example, Contact Name is an alias for the pocname field. Field names in this context behave like variables: the title of each incident in the list changes according to that incident's description.

  9. On a second line, add the Open Date field.
  10. Using the formatting options in the Line Item Text group, make the Incident field text bold and the Open Date field text italicized.

    The Preview pane shows what the element will look like. The sort order has already been configured so that the most recent incidents will be at the top.

    List field formatting

  11. Click the General tab.
  12. For Title, click the Edit button. Type Open Incidents.
  13. If necessary, in the General Options list, scroll to the Last Update Text option.

    In this case, the dispatch data is constantly refreshed, so it makes sense to leave this option checked. If your data is static, you may consider turning this parameter off to save space on the screen.

    For the incident list, when a user clicks an incident, you want the map to flash the location and show more information about the incident. You'll configure two actions to achieve this behavior.

  14. In the left pane, click the Actions tab.
  15. In the When Selection Changes group, click the Add Action button and choose Show Pop-up.
  16. Click the Add Action button and choose Flash. Click Add Target and choose Map(1).
  17. Click the Add Action button and add the Pan action. Specify the Map(1) to recenter the map at the location of the incident.

    Set list actions

  18. Click Done. In the dashboard, test the new functionality.

    Dashboard with list and pop-up

    The pop-up appears in the upper left corner of the map and remains until it is closed by the user. Also, the selected incident location flashes three times. As the status of open incidents changes, this list will update in real time, so users can easily find the most recent incident and receive information about it.


    By using the same dashboard settings that controlled the background color of the dashboard, you can also change the color of the flash halo.

Add a chart of incident types

The indicator element tells the user how many incidents are open at that moment. The list element displays and orders the open incidents by date and time. The map element shows the current location of the incidents. However, you can't tell at a glance how many incidents belong to which type. A serial chart element solves that problem.

  1. On the dashboard application title bar, click Add and choose Serial Chart.
  2. In the Serial Chart pane, choose ReportedIncidents - Dispatch.

    The Serial Chart element configuration window appears.

  3. On the Data tab, click the Grouped Values button.
  4. For Category Field, choose the Incident field.

    Serial Chart settings

    The preview pane updates as you configure the serial chart.

  5. Click the Series tab. For Bar Colors, choose By Category.

    When you choose this setting, the section expands, revealing an option to select a different color ramp.

  6. Click Apply Colors and choose the third color scheme from the top.

    Apply Colors color scheme

    The serial chart preview updates with the chosen color ramp.

  7. On the General tab, click the Edit button. For Title, type Current Incidents by Type. Center the title text and choose the Heading 2 formatting.

    General Options settings

    Charts can also be the source of actions. In this case, you'll filter the map display to only show incidents of a certain type.

  8. Click the Actions tab. On the Actions pane, for When Selection Changes, click the Add Action button and choose Filter.
  9. For Filter, click Add Target and choose the Reported Incidents - Dispatch map.
  10. Add two more filters and specify your list element to be List(1) and your open incident element to be Indicator(1). (Your element names may differ from the example images.)

    Actions settings

    When a user clicks a bar in the chart, the associated incidents will be shown on the map and the other elements will be filtered accordingly.

    This bar chart will update in real time as different types of incidents open and close. Users will know which types of incidents are currently open.

  11. Click Done.
  12. Drag and dock the bar chart element below the map using the drag item button on the chart element control, accessible from the upper left corner of the chart.

    Move and resize dashboard elements

  13. If necessary, pan the map to center the incidents in the dashboard. Rearrange and resize the dashboard elements by moving the incident list below the Incident indicator and docking these to the left of the dashboard.

    Arranged dashboard elements


To change an element's settings after it has been added to the dashboard, point to the Settings bar in the element's upper left corner and choose Configure.

Save and share your dashboard

Your dashboard is now configured with the necessary elements. Next, you'll stop editing and share the dashboard with the appropriate people.

  1. On the ribbon, click Save.
  2. On the ribbon, click Home and choose Dashboard Item Details.

    Dashboard Item Details option

    You can share your dashboard either with members of your organization or with everyone. Because this dashboard is meant for use by city authorities, and not the public, you'll only share it with your organization.

  3. Click Share.
  4. In the Share pane, check the boxes next to your organization's name and click OK.

    If you choose the Everyone option, your users will not have to sign in to open and use the dashboard. When you share a dashboard, like other ArcGIS Online items, the maps and layers it uses must be shared in the same way as the dashboard itself. In this case, all the layers are public (shared with everyone), but the Redlands Emergency Map you created for the map element is private.

Your dashboard is complete. You configured elements to help users monitor emergencies in real time and saved and shared the dashboard with your organization and the wider ArcGIS community.

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