David Howes, LLC/GISPD.com Workshops


Instructor: David Howes

About the Instructor: 

David Howes is a geospatial information scientist and the sole owner at David Howes, LLC in Seattle, WA, specializing in the development of GIS tools, processes, and supporting infrastructure for a variety of clients from small operations to multinational corporations. With 29 years of academic and private sector experience in both the United Kingdom and the United States in geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and fluvial geomorphology (including a Ph.D. in geomorphology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an M.Sc. in GIS from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland), David has a diverse background that is well suited to developing innovative solutions to spatial problems. He is a regular supporter of and provider of GIS professional development activities and training, typically as part of his GISPD.com initiative.


Workshop1: Introduction to Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS Custom Widget Development

Description:

Esri’s Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS supports the creation of web applications that can be extended using widgets, which are built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. As an example, the Layer List widget consists of a button in the web application and an associated form, which provides information about map layers along with associated functionality. The goal of this workshop is to teach attendees the basic principles required to create their own custom widgets and, thus, add their own functionality to web mapping applications.

Specifically, widgets are based on the Dojo open source toolkit, while Version 3.x of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript provides capabilities for working with maps and for performing associated tasks. Custom widgets are developed using the Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS Developer Edition, which allows for the creation of web applications that can be hosted by organizations, especially within an ArcGIS Enterprise environment (widgets cannot be deployed to ArcGIS Online applications due to security concerns).

The workshop will provide an introduction to (1) the role of widgets in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, (2) the creation of basic Dojo widgets, (3) the use of Version 3.x of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript in widget development for 2D applications, and (4) widget deployment.

Visual Studio Code will be used for the demonstrations and a brief introduction to its features and capabilities will be provided.

This workshop will provide attendees with a solid basis for developing their own custom widgets for use in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS applications, which will help them increase the value of their ArcGIS investment and enhance their standing and employability as GIS professionals.

A Note about ArcGIS Experience Builder

Esri also provides a new web application development product called Experience Builder, currently at Version 1.1 and based on the React JavaScript library and Version 4.x of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript. This, of course, raises legitimate concerns regarding the value of continuing to make use of Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS; concerns that cannot reasonably be addressed by a simple recommendation one way or another. Choosing between the builder options depends on a variety of factors, such as the nature of any required applications and custom functionality, requirement timing, and the availability of developer skills. For those wishing to develop a simple, focused mapping application for use in a desktop environment without the need for new ArcGIS API JavaScript 4.x capabilities, the advanced mobile-first capabilities of Experience Builder may not be of interest at this time, especially given that the retirement date for Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS Version 2.16 is currently set as August 1, 2022. That said, the ArcGIS API for JavaScript Version 3.x is set to be retired on August 1, 2021, after which it won't be further developed. It is also reasonable to assert that the barrier to entry for widget development is higher for Experience Builder than it is for Web AppBuilder, given the need to learn React, TypeScript, and the ArcGIS API for JavaScript 4.x. In other words, the release of Experience Builder need not lessen the value of learning to develop basic Web AppBuilder widgets and could, in fact, be a useful small step into the world of coding, which can itself yield significant benefits for most GIS professionals.

Date: Mon, Oct 19 (Full Day- 8 hours)

Cost: $260

Intended Audience:

GIS professionals having basic familiarity with web development (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) and Version 3.x of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript.

Learning Objective: 

Extend the capabilities of Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS applications by developing custom widgets.

Requirements: 

The workshop will consist of a balance between lecture material and demonstrations. Attendees will be able to follow along during the demonstrations, but those who wish to do so must have both Visual Studio Code and Web AppBuilder Developer Edition installed on their computer. Links for both products are provided above and setup instructions will be distributed prior to the workshop. Exploring the capabilities of these products prior to attending the workshop is strongly encouraged.

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Workshop 2: ArcGIS Pro Python Tools and Processes Jumpstart

Description:

The value of coding for GIS is widely recognized, yet all too often GIS professionals attend programming-related workshops and then struggle to act on and employ what they've learned, typically as a result of feeling overwhelmed and being too busy. Additionally, it appears from previous Python tools and processes workshops conducted by the instructor that there is a strong appetite for help with introductory Python skills geared towards getting started with Python in ArcGIS Pro as simply and efficiently as possible. In response, the primary purpose of this workshop is to provide attendees with the resources and knowledge they need to start using Python in ArcGIS Pro immediately, while providing a solid foundation for learning more advanced capabilities on their own or in subsequent workshops.

Four primary topics will be covered: (1) Basic Python programming; (2) Use of the JetBrains PyCharm Integrated Development Environment (IDE) (the free Community Edition); (3) Using Python with ArcGIS Pro; and (4) Creating and running Python scripts, simple Script Tools, and Python Toolboxes.

A set of template Python scripts will be provided along with a set of workflow steps that can be readily applied to eliminate the barrier between learning and application of the necessary skills.

Date: Tue, Oct 20 (Full Day- 8 hours)

Cost: $260

Intended Audience:

GIS professionals familiar with ArcGIS Pro and wishing to use basic Python programming to automate GIS operations.

Learning Objective: 

Extend the capabilities of ArcGIS Pro using Python by issuing commands in the Python window, by creating and running standalone scripts, and by creating simple tools within the ArcGIS Pro geoprocessing framework.

Requirements: 

The workshop will consist of a balance between lecture material and demonstrations. Attendees who wish to follow along during the demonstrations and complete the learning tasks must have access to a computer with ArcGIS Pro (latest version) and JetBrains PyCharm (Community Edition) installed. Attendees may also find it helpful to review the PyCharm introductory materials available from the JetBrains website before attending the workshop.

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