GEOG 865
Cloud and Server GIS

Assignment: Putting it all together with ArcGIS Server


In this assignment, you will put together all of the ArcGIS Server skills that you learned in Lessons 2 - 4. Starting with a folder of raw GIS datasets, you will compose maps, publish them as web services, and assemble those services into a web application. You will create a video tour of your web application so that you don't have to leave your server running as the project is graded.

The data for this assignment consists of vector feature classes covering an area around a town. I downloaded these from the State of California Geoportal (formerly the California Spatial Information Library - CaSIL) and did some post-processing on them so that they cover the same extent. Don't worry too much about what town this really is; for this assignment, consider that it could be Anytown, USA.

Download the data for this assignment

The scenario

Pretend you work for a town that up until now has only done GIS in the desktop realm (maybe there is no pretending needed). You are moving to ArcGIS Server for the first time. You want to take your GIS data and make it available in a series of highly-focused web applications.

Your first application will focus on your urban flooding dataset. This is a point feature class that shows areas in the city that tend to pool with water and flood during a storm event. Your web app will allow "non-GIS-trained" personnel in other city departments to add and remove points from this layer.

You've been asked to create a basemap web service that will be used as a backdrop in this web application and other apps your town will create in the future. You must design this basemap yourself and create a tile cache for it. An existing basemap from ArcGIS Online, Bing Maps, or Google Maps cannot be used because the map needs to show your town's own data. However, you can imitate design principles and techniques used in those maps.

You are also to create a separate web service containing only the urban flooding layer. This layer should be exposed as a feature service and should be editable. This involves loading the source data into SQL Server Express as shown in Lesson 3.

Once you have created these two web services, you must overlay them in a web application that allows the urban flooding service to be edited by the application user. Do this using the ArcGIS Web AppBuilder unless you already have extensive coding experience with another API such as the ArcGIS API for JavaScript.

Because this assignment takes a fair amount of time, there is no cloud computing discussion assignment this week.

Deliverables and grading

To minimize the amount of time your cloud-based server is left running, this project will be graded based on a short video tour of your app. You should record this using Zoom, Screencastomatic, or a comparable screen recording utility of your choice. Your video must demonstrate the following features in your ArcGIS Services Directory and your flooding application. Each item is worth 3 points, resulting in a total of 30 points available for this project (making it three times the value of a typical weekly assignment):

  • The application contains a basemap service that has a tile cache built at appropriate scale levels (not too large, not too small). To verify this, show the Services Directory page for this service and scroll down to the section that displays all the cache scales.
  • The application contains a second service that displays only the urban flooding layer. This service should have Feature Access enabled so that it can be edited. Show the Services Directory to prove that it indeed is a feature service.
  • The basemap has been cartographically designed not to overwhelm any operational services that are placed on top of it.
  • The basemap has been designed to be cartographically sound at all cached scales. The symbology and amount of detail shown adjust appropriately as you zoom in and out. Zoom in and out in your application, and point out how you have designed the basemap using appropriate scale ranges and symbol changes.
  • The urban flooding service has been designed to easily stand out when placed on top of the base map. If necessary, transparency has been set at an appropriate level.
  • The web application allows the user to edit the urban flooding layer. In your video, show that you can add a point and edit its attributes.
  • The services, the layers within them, and the attributes within them are intuitively named so that an end user can understand them. You can edit the dataset schemas to accommodate this requirement if needed.
  • The web application starts at an appropriate initial extent, contains an intuitive title, and includes other customizations as appropriate.
  • The video includes a short oral summary of things you learned, things you enjoyed, and challenges you faced when completing the project. If you can't fit this all in the video, you're welcome to write it up and post it as a comment when you share the video URL.
  • The video is no longer than 5 minutes.

I recommend you use your video recording software to export an .MP4 file or some other easily shareable format. You can either host the file on YouTube, your PSU Microsoft OneDrive space, or some other online repository and provide a link (make sure it is viewable to the faculty). Zoom is a tool available to PSU faculty, staff, and students that will easily allow you to screen share and easily record your screen.  Zoom recordings will save as an .MP4 file.  If you don't want to put the video online or can't get that to work, you can upload it to Canvas. Contact your instructor if these options don't work.

Do not host the video on your EC2 instance. Your instance should be stopped when you are not working on this course.