Build your first Dashboard

Step 1 – Create a new dashboard from your web map

Go to the InstantAtlas Dashboard Builder website at and sign in using your ArcGIS Online user account details. Once signed in you will see your ArcGIS Online folders and groups as shown below.  This index page is used to show the web maps in your organisation and dashboards that you have previously created.

Index Page

With the Web Maps check box ticked at the top of the index page, find a web map you wish to make a dashboard for.  Click on the web map to create a new dashboard. The web map you choose should have at least one feature layer in it.  If you don’t have a suitable web map you can choose a sample one from the ‘Web Maps (InstantAtlasTM Samples)’ folder.

New dashboard

Step 2 – Configure your dashboard

You should now see a page similar to that shown below. It shows a default dashboard and various menu options and tabs used to edit the dashboard. Please see here for an overview of this page. This is where you design your dashboard as required.  The ‘Quick Start Guide’, which can be accessed either through the link on the left hand side or through the Help button on the top right of the screen, has a set of steps that are useful in creating dashboards but you can work in any order you wish.



Step 3 – Choose Layout

You can start designing the dashboard by choosing a dashboard layout. Click on ‘ Layout‘ from the top menu bar. There are a number of layouts available from various categories and you can view examples of each of the layouts by clicking on the ‘Example’ button. The default layout for the dashboard is the Starter Dashboard. In this example choose the Standard – Time Series layout and click ‘Apply’ to apply this layout to the dashboard. The dashboard now looks something like this:

Layout applied

Note the time series chart will only be populated if you have appropriate data in the layer being mapped. See here for more information on time series data.

Step 4 – Manage Layers

By default all of the feature layers in the web map will be available in the dashboard. Users can manage the feature layers in the Layer Manager.  Click on ‘Layers’ in the top menu bar to open the ‘Manager Layers’ window. In this example there is only one feature layer available and it is the only data layer in the dashboard. Please note a minimum of one data layer must be present. Data Layers are ones you want to thematically map in the dashboard. Support layers are used to show contextual information.

Click on the icon to open the properties dialog of the data layer. Here you can change how the layer appears in the map as well as the name of the layer as it appears in the dashboard legend. Click ‘Close’ to apply the changes and return to the Manage Layers window.

Layer Properties

Leave the Manage Layers window open and move on the next step for managing data.

Step 5 – Data Management

Next you can organise the data / attributes that will be available in your dashboard. You can do this by clicking on the icon beside the appropriate layer in the ‘Manage Layers’ window . This allows you to organise your data into themes, rename indicators, apply dates and set up associates if required.

The left hand side (source data) shows all the fields available in your feature layer.  The right hand side (data model) displays the fields you want to be available in your end dashboard.  By default all source fields are included in the data model.

In most cases it is easiest to start with a new data model so click on the ‘Clear’ button.  Create a theme or two by clicking on the ‘Add Theme’ button.  These are used to group your fields / attributes under the ‘Data’ button in the dashboard.  In this example two themes, ‘Population’ and ‘Health Status’ have been created.  Next drag fields from the source on the left hand side into the appropriate theme.

We have also dragged the field called ‘State_Name’ onto the name field in the data model (next to the  icon) so that the correct name displays in the data table, map tips etc. The ID field ( icon) is using the field ‘ABBREV’ which will allow you to show comparison data – don’t worry if you don’t have comparison data; this is an optional step.

Click on ‘Apply’ to return to the Manage Layers window, then click ‘Apply’ again. You should see the changes reflected when you click the ‘Data’ button in the dashboard.

Step 6 – Making it my own

Now you can make a few more changes. With the Edit Mode button visible you can delete widgets and resize and move them. You can add new widgets using the ‘ Widgets‘ menu. You can change the appearance of various widgets by clicking on them and editing their properties in the ‘Properties’ tab on the left hand side.


You can also customise the legend/map palette by editing it in the ‘Legend’ tab on the left hand side. This will overwrite the layer’s colour from your web map. You can define a legend palette for categoric indicators that is different from the one for numeric indicators. To do that just set the dashboard in ‘Preview Mode’ and select a categoric indicator from the Data Explorer.

Finally, use the ‘Styling’ tab to customise the look and feel of the dashboard by changing colours, borders, fonts etc. You can view the dashboard over the full width of your screen by clicking the button to hide the settings panel.


Step 7 – Save

When you are happy with your dashboard click ‘ Save’ on the menu bar and then ‘ Done’ to take you back to the index page of the InstantAtlas Dashboard Builder website. Tick the ‘Dashboards’ check box at the top of the page and you will see the dashboard is now available in the folder. To view the end dashboard just move your mouse over the dashboard in the folder view and click on the icon to open up the URL of the application. You can also find the URL of the application and view the dashboard description page by clicking on the icon. You can control who has access to this dashboard through the ArcGIS Online website.