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Create web maps for dashboards

A good dashboard starts with a good map, and configuring your map to take advantage of the latest mapping functionality will greatly enhance its effectiveness. Here are some recommendations for creating useful web maps.

  1. Set appropriate refresh intervals: Refresh intervals determine how often the operational layer updates, and thus how often elements in your dashboard update that use the map as their data source. See Set refresh interval for details. You can also set a refresh interval on the media in your pop-ups, which can appear in elements like the details element. See Show images for details.
  2. Exclude irrelevant data from operational layers: Apply filters on operational layers so that only the information needed is shown. See Apply filters for details.
  3. Toggle operational layer visibility: Too many operational layers in a map can be a distraction. Be sure to uncheck the box next to unnecessary operational layers in the Contents pane of your map. Note that even if an operational layer is not visible in the map, it can still be used as a data source for other elements in a dashboard.
  4. Set visible range: Multiscale maps enable you to view certain data at specific scales or zoom levels. See Set visible range for details.
  5. Adjust pop-up fields: The fields specified in feature pop-ups determine the information displayed in many dashboard elements. See Configure pop-ups for details, and be sure to take advantage of the ability to show images, such as traffic cameras, if you have them.
  6. Bookmark areas of interest: You can bookmark areas of importance or relevance on a map. See Bookmark places for details.
  7. Style your data: A map is powerful because of its ability to show data in a variety of ways. However, due to its complex nature, it's sometimes hard to get your data to tell the right story when displayed on a map. Fortunately, there are many styling options to explore and techniques to try. See Change style for details.
  8. Include labels for map layers: Labels are short pieces of text that can provide clarity to a map. See Create labels for details.
  9. Choose appropriate colors: When choosing the basemap and colors for layers in your map, consider what kind of environment the dashboard will be used in. For instance, if the dashboard will appear in a dark room, use a darker basemap. In this situation, you should also use darker colors for symbolizing layers, such as deep oranges. Conversely, for a dashboard that will be used in a brightly lit workspace, consider using lighter colors for the map.