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Creating an Image Visit Configurable App

In this tutorial, you'll configure an app to quickly record which properties were damaged by a recent fire to better target assistance.

You'll first prepare your input data (an input feature layer of all the building footprints that might have been affected). Then you'll assemble your web map (which drives the app). You'll create and configure an app using the Image Visit template. And finally, you'll use your app to categorize property as damaged or undamaged.

Check out a completed version of the demo app.


The Image Visit configurable app template lets you create apps to quickly review imagery at a predetermined sequence of locations, reviewing and editing attributes as needed. If you're using a dynamic image service, the image for the upcoming location is pre-loaded to minimize wait time. Depending on how the app is configured, users can:

  • Use a "Visit" layer (an editable hosted feature layer) or a web map's bookmarks to quickly review imagery at a predetermined sequence of locations.
  • Use an optional "Status" field to set the status of each Visit location as it's processed.
  • Use an optional "Notes" layer (a second editable hosted feature layer) to add or edit features associated with the Visit locations.
  • View information about the Imagery, Visit, and Notes layers in a dialog window.

Prepare your data

First, you'll need to prepare the input feature layer that you'll use to drive your app.

You'll download a shapefile of building footprints provided to you by the city. Next, to make the data accessible on the web, you'll publish the shapefile to ArcGIS Online as a hosted feature layer. You'll then add a new field where app users will record the damage status of each property. Finally, you'll enable editing and share the layer publicly.

  1. Publish your Visit data as a hosted feature layer.
    1. Download the building footprints shapefile from ArcGIS Online.
    2. In the same browser window, sign in to ArcGIS Online (if you're not already).
    3. Select Content at the top of your ArcGIS Online organization.
    4. Click Add Item > From my computer. Click Choose File and navigate to the zipped ImageVisitTutorial_BuildingFootprints shapefile you downloaded.
    5. Leave the defaults and add some tags. Click Add Item to publish the shapefile as a hosted feature layer in ArcGIS Online.

      The item page for your new layer will open in a browser (it may take a minute to load fully).

  2. Add a Status field to the hosted feature layer.
    1. On the ArcGIS Online item page, go to the Data tab. Select Fields at the top right.
    2. Create a new field by clicking + Add. Fill out the dialog as follows, then select Add New Field.

    3. Scroll to the bottom and select the new Status field. Click Create List. Add four options—"Not yet assessed," "Unsure," "Damaged," and "Undamaged."

    4. Click Save. (This creates a field where app users can determine property damage.)
    5. Click Table at the top and scroll to the right to find your new Status field.
    6. Click the field and select Calculate.
    7. Select Arcade. Enter "Not yet assessed" in the Expression box. Select OK. (This will set the initial status for all buildings.)
  3. Make the layer editable and publicly accessible.
    1. Select the Settings tab at the top, then scroll down to the Feature Layer (hosted) section.
    2. Click the check box to Enable editing.
    3. Under What kind of editing is allowed?, select Update attributes only. Click Save.

    4. Select the Overview tab, then click Share. Select Everyone (public), then click OK.

Configure the web map

Your Image Visit app is built around a web map that contains your imagery and a Visit feature layer. (You can also add an optional Notes feature layer, which will let you annotate your imagery by creating new features in a separate feature layer).

To create the web map, you'll first save a copy of the imagery web map to your ArcGIS Online Content. Next, you'll add the Visit layer you created in the last section (the building footprints). You'll configure the layer's symbology and pop-ups, which determine what information about the features appears in your app. Finally, you'll make sure the features will be visible in your app.

  1. Save a copy of a web map with imagery to your ArcGIS Online Content.
    1. Open the tutorial web map in a new browser tab (this map already has a tile layer of the imagery we'll use to identify damaged properties).
    2. Click Sign In (upper right corner) and log in to your ArcGIS Online organization.
    3. Click the Save dropdown and select Save As. Leave the defaults and select Save Map.

    This will create a copy of the web map in your Contents.

  2. Add your Visit layer (the building footprints) to your web map.
    1. In your copy of the web map, click Add > Search for Layers.
    2. Click the plus sign to add the Visit feature layer you created earlier, called ImageVisitTutorial_BuildingFootprints, to the map. To return to your web map, click the back arrow (and select Content if needed).
  3. Configure your Visit layer's symbology to make it easier to visualize property damage.
    1. Hover over your ImageVisitTutorial_BuildingFootprints layer. Click the icon to Change Style.
    2. Under Choose an attribute to show, select Status.
    3. Under Select a drawing style, choose Types (Unique symbols).

    4. Click the colored box next to each label and choose an appropriate color, or try to match the colors below. Use only an outline or make the fill mostly transparent so users can see the imagery underneath. Don't click OK yet.

  4. Make sure your features are visible in your app.
    1. Under Transparency, scroll down. Set Visible Range to include the smallest possible zoom level.

    2. Click OK, then Done to save your changes.
  5. Configure pop-ups to control the attributes that will be visible in your app.
    1. Click Content, then hover over your ImageVisitTutorial_BuildingFootprints layer. Click the three blue dots for More Options, then select Configure Pop-up.
    2. Click Configure Attributes. Click the checkboxes next to Edit and Display to uncheck all the attributes.
    3. Click the Display checkbox next to the following attributes so they'll display in your app, and click the Field Alias to rename them as follows.

      Default field aliasRename the field as:


      Use type


      Use description


      Year built

    4. Scroll down to the Status field. Click both the Display and Edit checkboxes so users can view and edit the feature's status, then click OK.
    5. Click OK to finish configuring pop-ups.
    6. In the web map, click on a feature to make sure the pop-up settings are correct.
  6. Save your web map.

Configure the app

You'll create your Image Visit web app from the web map you just created.

During configuration, you'll first give the app a title. Next, you'll add an About widget so users know what your app does and how to get started. Finally, you'll configure the Visit widget. You'll select your building footprints as your Visit layer, pick a scale at which to view each feature, choose a field to determine the order of the visits, and assign a status field to record users' assessments.

  1. Create your Image Visit app.
    1. Be sure your map is saved.
    2. From the web map you just created, click Share. Click the checkbox next to Everyone (public). Select Create a Web App.
    3. Select Interpret Imagery on the left, select Image Visit, and click Create Web App.
    4. Title the app ImageVisitTutorial_DemoApp, then click Done.

      The configuration panel for your app will open.

  2. On the General tab, do the following:
    1. Under Title for ArcGIS Online item, enter Property Damage Assessment.
  3. Select the Options tab, then do the following to add an About widget:
    1. Check on Add the About tool. In the text box that appears, copy and paste the following text:

      Use this app to quickly determine which properties were damaged by a recent fire to better target assistance.

      The city has provided the locations of all property that was possibly affected. You need to categorize each property as damaged, undamaged, or unsure based on drone imagery taken after the fire. To get started:

      • Select the Image Visit tool.
      • Click the Status dropdown and select "Damaged," "Undamaged," or "Unsure" based on the image.
      • The app will automatically proceed to the next location.

    2. Scroll down; under "Pick a tool to open automatically when the app loads," select About. (This will make sure the About widget opens automatically to tell users what your app does and how to get started.)
  4. Select the Imagery tab, then do the following to configure the Visit widget:

    (Because your app is using a tile layer rather than as image service, you won't have an imagery layer in this app.)

    1. Enter 400 to define the custom scale.
    2. Select ImageVisitTutorial_BuildingFootprints as your Visit layer.
    3. Select FID as your Order field.
    4. Select Status as your Status field.
    5. Select UseType as your Additional Filter field.
  5. At the bottom of the configuration panel, click Save to finish configuring your app.

Use the app to evaluate damage

The app you've built will let end users quickly evaluate and document which property was damaged in the fire.

As a user, the app will drive you to each site, where you will determine if the property in the image was damaged. You'll select the appropriate status from a dropdown menu, then proceed to the next site. The assessments will be recorded in the hosted feature layer, which insurance companies and first responders can use to focus their responses.

  1. At the bottom of the Image Visit configuration panel, click Launch to open your app in a new browser tab. (The app will automatically open the About widget you configured. This should tell the user what the app is and how to get started.)
  2. Review and evaluate property damage.
    1. Click Visit to view your first feature.
    2. To help you determine the degree of property damage, click Layer Toggle at the top and use the checkbox to turn the Visit layer on and off. You can also try zooming and panning to inspect the feature more closely.
    3. Select the Status dropdown to evaluate the feature—choose the level of damage that seems most appropriate.

      The app will automatically take you to the next feature when you select a status.

    4. Evaluate the next ten features.
  3. Use the filter to double-check assessments.
    1. Under Filter by visit status, select Damaged. Use the Next button to review these features, checking for accurate assessments. Change the status if necessary.

You've created an app to assess property damage using the Image Visit configurable app template.