Put Yourself on the Map with GIS Tribe!

GIS Tribe is a worldwide online supportive GIS community that is open to anyone interested in GIS. We recently hosted our first live web chat on Twitter with people tweeting in from all over the U.S., Europe, and Africa. It was great to connect with GIS tweeps from across the globe and we're planning to do it again, Wednesdays from 12 to 1 PM Pacific time.

To give us a picture of where the members are from, and because we're clearly interested in all things mapping, I decided to create an interactive map using ArcGIS online and invite GIS Tribe members to add their location. This is a good opportunity for me to learn how to create and embed an interactive webmap in a website, and learn how to set the properties so that the map can collect crowdsourced data. This should be pretty easy to do, I thought. Right? Well... not exactly.

From what I gathered through various tutorials, I need to have an "organizational level" membership at ArcGIS online in order to create an editable feature service (editable= others can add their locations). So I created one for GIS Tribe using the option for a free 30-day Trial. This means GIS Tribe members have 30 days to add themselves to the map! And what happens to the map at the end of the 30 day trial, well, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. (Addendum: I'm sorry to say I don't think you can add your location to the map now that we've passed the 30 day limit.)

In ArcGIS Online, I created a map called GIS Tribe Members using the National Geographic world basemap. Then I created Feature Layer using an existing ESRI template for Locations and then Edited it to add my location (Sedona, AZ).

Making the map editable was the tricky part for me. I set the Share Properties to "Everyone (Public)" for both the Map and the Feature Layer. Then I embedded the map in my blog by copying and pasting the HTML code. As you can see, the map sits prettily at the end of this post. But this map does not appear to be editable. So after much trial and error, I discovered that people could access the editable map using a link to the original map at ArcGIS online.

So, (drumroll please) to add your location,
  • Open this map,
  • Zoom in to your location on the basemap,
  • Click the Edit tool button (the pencil icon), 
  • click the Location symbol on the Add Features panel, 
  • move the mouse pointer over the map, 
  • then click to add your location to the map.

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