A few of the sessions at the 2013 Esri Developer Summit got me interested in learning more about how I could utilize some of the new features of ArcGIS Online to help me build web mapping applications. As a developer, my instinct is to approach each new application with a blank page in SublimeText and a cup of coffee, but I’m getting better at learning to utilize the services that are out there to help jump start new development.
Full disclosure: I’ve been working for Esri for close to a year now. I’m sharing my personal experiences in trying to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the ArcGIS Online platform versus other online mapping platforms. I won’t pretend to be able to be completely impartial, but it is also not part of my job to advocate for the platform.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way we can get down to business. My goals are to understand:
- How far I can get without writing a single line of code
- The limits of the built in features of the platform like web maps and templates
- How to start a project using those built in features (e.g. for rapid prototyping) and then transition to a custom solution to get beyond those limits