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Guided tour for users

In this exercise, you'll manage evacuation shelters during a simulated emergency in Redlands. You'll find the shelter that has the most people in it so that you know the area where the most people are going. As more people are displaced from their homes, you'll monitor the space available in shelters so that you know when another shelter needs to be opened. Upon completion of the exercise, you'll have an idea of what Operations Dashboard can do to enhance your own operations.


The data used in this exercise is dynamic and changes with time. The status of the shelters, as well as the other data on the map, that you see as you follow this exercise will not exactly match the status of the operation when this exercise was written. That's okay, as it is not a real operation, and what you see is close enough to the status presented in this exercise.

Start the trial mode

Operations Dashboard has a trial mode that lets you use the app and its capabilities without having an organizational account and without creating operation views. This exercise takes you through the app using the trial mode to experience the available functionality.

  1. If you don't have Operations Dashboard installed, install it from ArcGIS Online.

    The app downloaded from ArcGIS Online can be used to connect to your ArcGIS organization (either on ArcGIS Online or on Portal for ArcGIS). However, your company may require that you instead install from your Portal for ArcGIS. To do so, search for Operations Dashboard on your portal, or contact your Portal for ArcGIS administrator.

  2. Start the app.
  3. If you've already logged in to the app, sign out.
  4. On the initial screen, tap or click Try it.

    The Esri Dashboard trial user's content is loaded in the app, and you are taken to the home screen. The trial experience has the same capabilities, look, and feel as you would see if you were to log in with your own user account.

    Trial user's home screen

    Since the trial user is a normal account, the operation views available to it are dynamic and periodically updated. You might see a different list of operation views than is shown here.

Find and open operation views

Get familiar with the home screen, which shows all the operation views accessible by the trial user. Take the following steps to open the operation view that you'll use to monitor the shelters:

  1. In the Search text box, type Redlands Shelter Management to filter the sample operation views shown. This allows you to more easily find the Redlands Shelter Management operation view.
  2. View the details of the Redlands Shelter Management operation view by tapping or clicking More, and tapping or clicking Details.
  3. Use the arrow buttons to the left and right of the details to view information about the other operation views.
  4. Return to the home screen by tapping or clicking close Close icon in the upper-right corner of the details.
  5. Open the Redlands Shelter Management sample operation view by tapping or clicking its thumbnail.

    The operation view opens. Along with the map, it includes (counter-clockwise from the upper left) a list, a details display, a gauge, and two charts. The details display shows information about the facility selected in the list, so when the operation view is opened, details of the top feature in the list display.

    Redlands Shelter Management operation view

From the home screen, you can tap or click Open an Operation View to use the item browser to find the map you're interested in. While the content is the same as that available on the home screen, it's presented differently. Instead of a single searchable list, the item browser has sections for content you own, you've recently used, and that is shared with groups of which you are a member.

Navigate the map

The shelters are shown on the map. In this section, you'll familiarize yourself with the map and learn how to navigate it, leaving it centered on Esri so you see the area near the displaced families.

  1. Navigate around the map by panning and zooming.

    Pan the map

    Tap or click the map, and drag it to move the map.

    Zoom in

    Double-tap or double-click to zoom in and see a smaller area and more detail. You can also zoom in using the mouse scroll wheel, using two fingers to stretch the map, or using the plus sign and the Zoom slider in the lower right corner of the map.

    Zoom out

    Use the mouse wheel to zoom out and see a larger area and less detail. You can also zoom out using the mouse scroll wheel, using two fingers to pinch the map, or using the minus sign and the Zoom slider in the lower right corner of the map.

    Return to the initial extent

    Tap or click the Home icon Home in the lower right corner of the map.

  2. In the search box, type Esri to find the Esri campus in Redlands.

    Multiple search results display.

  3. Tap or click the first result to go to that location.
  4. Tap or click the map to dismiss the list of results.

    To reopen the list of search results, tap or click the list icon Search box list icon in the Find Places search box.

  5. Tap or click the cancel icon Search box cancel icon in the Find Places search box to clear the results from the map.

You can also navigate the map using bookmarks and linking map extents if the author included them in the operation view.

If bookmarks are included, you can use them to zoom to defined areas of interest. When included, you'll see Bookmarks Bookmarks on the map toolbar.

If the operation view includes multiple maps and the Link Map Extents tool Link Map Extents inactive, the maps show the same area when Link Map Extents is active Link Map Extents active. The areas on the map can be different if the tool is inactive.

Locate a shelter and get information

As you manage the shelters, you need to get additional information about particular ones. In this section, you need to find the shelter that has the most people in it. If you were to only use a map to locate it, you would have to view the details of each shelter and manually determine which has the highest current capacity. Instead, use the other displays in the operation view to locate the shelter with the highest current capacity.

  1. Filter the map to only show shelters by tapping or clicking Layer Filters Layer Filters tool and checking Feature Type: Shelter.
    Shelter in Layer Filters
    Tap or click the map to dismiss the Layer Filter choices.

    Only the shelters will be shown on the map and in the other displays. The map, list, gauge, and charts now only show information about the shelters.

    Operation view filtered to show only shelters

    The data displayed on the map provides a context in which the rest of the data is viewed. In addition to filtering the layers shown on the map, you can also change the data displayed on the map by changing the basemap or toggling map contents on and off (when enabled for your operation view).

    The basemap (also called the background map or reference map) provides much of the reference for the data. Depending on the basemap, it may answer questions such as what is nearby, or what is the terrain like. While the map's author chose the basemap they think will be the most useful, you may want to see a different basemap. The change is only visible as you work with the map and does not change the map as it is stored online. When it is included in the operation view, you can use the Basemaps tool Basemaps icon to change the basemap.

    You can focus solely on the shelters and not include the vehicles or incidents. When it's included in the operation view, you can use the Map Contents tool Map Contents icon to change which layers display.

  2. In the Open Facilities list in the upper left corner of the operation view, the first shelter is selected by default. The list is sorted by the current capacity, so that shelter currently has the most people.

    The Shelter Info details window shows information about that shelter.

    Shelter Info details

    The details show there are currently 1800 people there.

  3. Press and hold or right-click the shelter in the list to see a context menu of actions you can take regarding that shelter.
    Shelter context menu

    On your own operation view, you might see a different list of actions available. The actions are specified as a part of authoring the operation view. The author can also include actions such as pan to, zoom to, and directions to. They can also include a follow action for features that are moving vehicles so that the map stays centered on the vehicle.

  4. Tap or click highlight to locate the shelter on the map.

    The shelter is highlighted and centered on the map. You can see the area where most displaced families are. You can use this information to determine the area most likely to need available shelter space.

    Highlighted shelter

Get total shelter capacity information (gauge)

As more people are displaced, you need to make sure there's room for them in the shelters. The Total Shelter Capacity gauge helps you keep track of the space available.

  1. Look at the Total Shelter Capacity gauge to see its minimum, maximum, current value, and threshold.
    Total Shelter Capacity gauge details

    In the gauge shown, the minimum total capacity is 0, the maximum 15000, and the current capacity is 5900. The threshold is set to 80%.

  2. Evaluate if more shelters are needed. The gauge shows a threshold line indicating the level when the shelters are 80 percent full. At that point, more shelters need to start opening. Right now, the number of people in the shelters is not near the 80 percent threshold and is far from the capacity of 15,000. No new shelters need to be opened at this time.
  3. As the operation progresses, keep an eye on the Total Shelter Capacity gauge. Once the level approaches the threshold, open additional shelters.

Get shelter status information (chart)

As long as you have closed shelters, adding additional shelters is easy: you can just open one of the closed shelters. However, once all the shelters are open, adding an additional shelter means finding a new location and setting up a new shelter. As part of your shelter management, you'll want to keep an eye on the number of closed shelters available.

  1. Look at the Shelter Status chart.
    Shelter Status chart

    There are four closed shelters that can be used if the current shelters approach capacity. No new locations need to be found at this time.

  2. As the operation progresses, whenever a shelter is opened, consult the Shelter Status chart. Once all the shelters are open, start looking for new shelter locations.

Explore other operation views

Now that you're familiar with the Redlands Shelter Management operation view and working with the information presented in it, open some of the other operation views to see the information available in them. There are some tools, such as measuring, getting directions, and turning layers on and off, that are not in the Redlands Shelter Management operation view but that could be included in your own operation views. See Navigate in a map and Interact with features in a map for details. Similarly, there are other types of information displays (widgets) such as histograms, indicators, and chat windows, that were not included here. See Interact with widgets in the operation view for details.