Hello Everyone!

What a whirlwind week that was, with next week promising much of the same as I am attending the Esri Developer Summit in Palm Springs. I participated in the App Challenge as a part of team GeoPanda – one of three teams representing COGS in the challenge this year. Along with fellow ECCE Student Associate and Visualization Virtuoso Anna, Senior Developer and Superhero Ellen and Chief Data Wrangler Robert, I helped to construct, test, and document a web mapping application using the ArcGIS API for JavaScript (v. 3.27) and Calcite Maps.

Team GeoPanda
Team GeoPanda, from left to right: Robert Anderson, Anna Sobotka, Ellen Uppington, and myself!

The App Challenge provided an excellent learning opportunity, and challenged us to go beyond what we have learned in our courses to help address real-world problems. I hadn’t used the Markdown language before, but I already appreciate how easy it makes creating well-formatted documentation, unlike products like LaTEX and similar, which produce amazing documents at the price of being complex and sometimes difficult to learn.

I learned quite a lot about the API and JavaScript itself in terms of structure and functionality, and gained experience in testing and debugging the app as it was built. I feel like I have a much better understanding of the widgets now and how to customize them to do what I want them to do. Things like configuring popups and changing the appearance of specific elements to override a theme can add an extra touch to your app and are fairly quick and easy, too! Of course there were things that didn’t work on the first (or third) try, but we discovered so many other things while searching for the answers to one question, there is really a huge network of resources and sample data out there to help.

I would really recommend anyone who is thinking about participating in the App Challenge to do so – there may only be one winner, but everybody learns something!