GEOG 863:
Web Application Development for Geospatial Professionals



Over the rest of this course, we’ll be working with version 4.x of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript. This version represents a major change from the previous one in terms of both coding syntax and what you can do with the API. Probably the biggest upgrade in the API is in the ability to develop 3D apps that run directly in the browser without the need for a plugin. One of the best resources for ArcGIS JS API developers is the API’s software development kit (SDK) found at ArcGIS API for JavaScript. It provides a slew of sample pages that demonstrate how to accomplish various tasks with the API. A good method for learning the API, especially for novice developers, is to find a sample that does something close to what you’d like and modify it to your liking. So we’ll develop our first simple apps by taking that approach.


At the successful completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • import the Esri JS API library into a web page through a content delivery network or downloaded locally
  • understand the role played in Esri's JS API by the Dojo framework
  • describe how Asynchronous Module Declaration (AMD) works
  • understand when to use Esri's main.css vs. view.css files
  • orient yourself to the JS API Software Development Kit (SDK) site
  • navigate and interpret the API Reference
  • modify Esri samples in the code sandbox
  • list the most important classes in the API (Map, MapView, SceneView) and describe the relationships between them
  • incorporate web maps like you created in Lesson 1 and web scenes into a JS app
  • navigate a 3D scene
  • set object properties through their constructor or after initialization
  • use autocasting to avoid explicitly importing certain modules


If you have any questions now or at any point during this week, please feel free to post them to the Lesson 3 Discussion Forum. (That forum can be accessed at any time by clicking on the Discussions tab within Canvas.)