Cityworks collects a large amount of data, and that data must be able to be queried, communicated, and shared amongst different systems. For many, eURLs are an essential component of their workflows and allow them to share and utilize data. The use of query eURLs brings additional enhancements and capabilities not found within other eURL types.
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eURLs are leveraged as a tool to make data more transparent. They allow organizations to easily share real-time information on everything from work activities and service requests to data related to emergency management and permitting. This gives organizations the ability to keep internal staff, key stakeholders, the community, and those who may not have full access to Cityworks informed.
Many find value in using eURLs to extend Cityworks data into other systems like ArcGIS. Here are five tips to help your organization start using query eURLs.
1. Get Started
Recently, the Saved Search to Query Migration Tool (compatible with Cityworks 15.8.1 or newer) was released, which facilitates the migration of saved searches from Cityworks Office to Cityworks Respond queries and accompanying eURLs.
When starting from scratch, query eURLs are generated by creating a query in Query Editor, filtering your intended parameters, and saving it. For example, if the query being created is for a current user—select the “Submit to Sid” field, and then from the three vertical dots, select the CurrentUserSid() option. For a query intended for current projects or contracts, find the “Status Description” and select “active and in progress”. In the event that a query label needs to be changed, Admin has a Query Labels page where text can be updated and carried through.
2. Expand your Use of eURLs
When in Respond, users can jump into the eURL page by selecting one of eleven query types from the Query editor’s left panel. In Office, eURLs are limited to just work orders, service requests, inspections, and Cityworks PLL cases. However, in Respond, eURLs have been expanded to areas such as PLL case tasks, projects, contracts, and even standard inspections. Want to share data related to current projects or contracts in a spatial view outside of Cityworks? There is an eURL for that.
3. Update Icons
Users can configure the display fields, enable them for public use, and update default symbols, or take advantage of the custom renderer with JSON. The default images render even on the dashboard’s map widget and can be changed or enhanced to be more representative and visible. This can be done by finding the corresponding eURL from the eURL list and by selecting Edit, they can “Clear Image Data”. Users can now select the new icon.
4. Utilize eURLs within Maps
In Respond, eURLs load into the Event Layers map tool, giving users the ability to turn various layers on and off. Event layers provide a uniquely dynamic and spatial view of activities, or they can be used to provide a filtered view of specific queries, lending further context for analysis of concurrent events. GIS queries can be added as selectable event layers—giving users the ability to create work activities against them—just like any other GIS feature in your map.
Event layers can also be utilized in a variety of widgets. Have a specific event layer that shows all of your water main breaks over a year span? You can use the heatmap widget to leverage that event layer to pinpoint areas more prone to breaks. Have an event layer that details your field staff’s open work activities for the day? The route widget can be leveraged to analyze optimum routes for them given their workloads.
Another thing to keep in mind is that query event layers are floor aware. This means that if your organization is using ArcGIS Indoors, those queries will work seamlessly with floor-aware maps as well as the floor filter widget inside Respond. They also include z-values, which come in handy when you are creating work activities using 3D data, allowing the exact elevation of an asset to be represented when using the 3D viewer in Respond or ArcGIS.
5. Expand eURLs Beyond Cityworks
Once an eURL has been created, users can extend their use of Cityworks data for further analysis and visualization by downloading the CSV, shapefile, and can jump to the URL or map preview.
Any Query eURL can be added as an item to ArcGIS Portal, ArcGIS Online, or straight to a web map by using its URL. Once it has been added to your organization or web map, it will act like any other non-editable feature service.
Traditionally, users have used these in ArcGIS Dashboards to give managers, directors, or citizens a real-time look at what is happening within their organization and community— all in a centralized location that’s easy to understand. For more advanced analysis, you can add eURLs to ArcGIS Insights to take advantage of years of data created by staff in Cityworks.
Additonally, many organizations are expanding their use of eURLs to encompass other Esri ArcGIS technologies. ArcGIS Hub, for example, is a great solution for organizations to communicate their goals and initiatives with residents. eURLs can be leveraged within ArcGIS Hub and Hub map to transparently share organization statistics and data with the community. eURLs can also be used to seamlessly integrate the ArcGIS Indoors viewer and app to streamline facility maintenance.
ArcGIS StoryMaps and ArcGIS Experience Builder are great solutions that allow you to use your eURLS and other GIS data to create interactive maps. You can then easily share these maps with your staff or customers to convey current and future capital projects, commercial and residential permit details, as well as general information about the work your organization is doing.
If you’ve regularly been using saved search eURLs with ArcGIS, you will be surprised how much you can expand your functionality through query eURLs. For starters, query eURLs can include items that do not have any coordinates, meaning that new install work orders that have not yet been attached to a GIS feature will show up, ensuring that you are getting an accurate count.
Query eURLs also allow you to include the description for many fields that have recently included codes using saved searches. They give you the option to show description fields like priority and status, allowing you to add those descriptions to your maps and apps, which gives more meaning and context than code.
By Carl Alexander & Dinorah Sanchez, Cityworks Subject Mater Experts