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Making our place in the Esri ecosystem

January 19, 2021

Today marks the first phase of a new, easier way to integrate Fulcrum and Esri™. Joint customers can now get more value from their existing Esri investments by extending their location intelligence capabilities beyond the specialized geographic information systems (GIS) user.

I’d like you to picture the people on one of your teams performing tasks using mobile devices. Maybe one is performing a safety inspection; another is taking inventory of physical assets. Whatever they’re doing, Fulcrum is at the heart of their efforts to collect data — including location data that enriches every record, photo, and data point they capture.

In a case like this, their data’s impact is bigger than just their team. Their inspection tasks are part of a larger contracting job for a construction firm, or their asset management efforts are important to a large transportation company.

So, to maximize the value you get from this rich Fulcrum data, you need to incorporate it into your analysis, planning, and operations. And for organizations with a strong location-oriented element to their operations, that often means leveraging the Esri platform.

Making it easy with no-code integration

And now, with just a few clicks, Fulcrum users can publish their data to Esri products, such as ArcGIS™.

In fact, it’s literally a single click to publish a view of Fulcrum data in the ArcGIS Online Map Viewer. Check it out:

See the ArcGIS button? Click it, and it will take you to ArcGIS Online, with all of the data in that Fulcrum shared view loaded up as a layer.

This is the kind of result you get:

Screenshot of Esri Feature Services in Fulcrum

The example above displays data from a building damage assessment collected with Fulcrum by Santa Barbara County following the Whittier & Alamo fires in 2017. You can see it yourself by following this link, which is nothing more than what we get when we click the ArcGIS button in the shared views dialog. Create a noncommercial public account and log in if you want to customize the map symbology and information pop-ups, share the map publicly, or embed it in your website.

A few nitty-gritty details…

To feed your Fulcrum data into other products, you can just copy that URL at the bottom of the Shared Services dialog where it says “Feature Service.” In layman’s terms, Feature Services are an Esri-defined, Esri-supported way to serve up features — essentially, locations of specific objects — for consumption in Esri web and desktop products.

If you like specifics, here’s they are: Any Fulcrum view that is explicitly shared now implements an Esri Feature Service endpoint with a single Feature Layer, representing the view’s records. This read-only layer can be queried directly, referenced in a web map, or added to desktop GIS. And, since Feature Layers can be queried with a wide variety of parameters and respond in a variety of ways, they enable exciting new opportunities for integration and collaboration. Finally, you can also use the ArcGIS API for JavaScript to pull in a Feature Layer from Fulcrum to build custom web maps and analytics apps.

Making an impact, and more to come

Recently, I spoke with a client who beta-tested a new integration capability. He oversees cross-functional teams in the telecommunications industry. Much planning and management occur in ArcGIS. For him, the major advantage was visualizing Fulcrum in integrated maps, dashboards, and reports. This aided insights for large-scale projects across multiple teams.

Now, I said at the top of this post that this is just phase one. As a preview of things go come: Phase two is currently slated for March, when joint Fulcrum and Esri customers will be able to push sophisticated maps from Esri products into Fulcrum, which will ensure that mobile workforces get complete, detailed location information as they collect data in the field.

That’s extremely powerful for Fulcrum users in the field. They’ll be able to use the latest maps for any type of scenario, such as fiber cable layout plans, electrical grid layouts, physical assets under management, and the like—on their mobile devices, even in locations without an Internet connection, and without writing code.

We’ll discuss that more when the time comes. Stay tuned!

Fulcrum is proudly developed by Spatial Networks, Inc. Any trademark, service or other mark, other than Fulcrum which is used under license, belongs to the respective company owning such marks.