Roadmap and Releases – OLD 2020

Roadmap – Key Development Initiatives

Arches for Science

2020 – Arches for Science (being developed through the Getty Conservation Institute’s DISCO project) is due to be completed in 2020 and will customize the Arches platform for the management, integration, visualization, and publishing of heritage conservation science data.

This customization will:

  • Allow conservation scientists to manage investigative and research activities on cultural heritage objects or places as projects
  • Include a IIIF Image Datatype that will permit users to annotate digital images of a heritage object or place to visually indicate the precise location from which a sample was obtained
  • Allow users to upload datasets, consisting of many individual files, derived from a selected set of analytical instruments to a secure onsite or cloud-based storage facility
  • Provide a means for dynamically displaying charts showing the content of ASCII files containing x/y data from analyses

Arches Workflow

Q1 2020 – As of v5.0, which is due to be released in January 2020, Arches will support the ability to define workflows. In Arches, workflows are configurable, multi-step, orchestrated data entry tasks. Think of a workflow as a series of steps, with each step presenting a data entry form to a user. Developers can take advantage of workflows to create data editing sessions that mirror business processes. For example, you could create a workflow to manage the data entry process and enforce the business rules related to tracking the status and outcomes of heritage impact assessments (known in the United Kingdom as casework and consultations) and heritage designations. Other examples include recording the location of a sample taken from a heritage object or place, describing the purpose of the sample, and the instrument used to analyze the sample.

Each step in a workflow can implement custom logic, data validation rules, and custom user interface elements to streamline data entry tasks. Workflows can support creation of multiple resource model instances, a process that might otherwise require a user to navigate many data entry forms across multiple models.

Workflows may be especially useful if you need to ensure a specific order of operations for a data editing task, or if you want to present a particular data entry form based on a user’s selection in a previous step (e.g., if user enters “x” in field “y” in step 1, then skip step 2 and jump to step 3).

Arches/esri Integration

Q2 2020 – In 2020, the Arches development team will begin work to support near-real time integration of data between Arches and esri’s ArcGIS Pro.

Our intent is to allow GIS users to access, create, update, and delete Arches data directly from esri’s ArcGIS Pro. To support this capability, we will extend Arches existing API services to include the ability to publish esri FeatureServices for any model that includes at least one geospatial data node.

Arches’ esri FeatureServices can be registered with ArcGIS online, and accessed by ArcGIS Pro. To enable data creation/update/deletions directly from ArcGIS Pro, the Arches development team will write an esri Add-in that will:

  • Ensure authentication between an esri user and an Arches server
  • Access and display Arches data in ArcGIS Pro
  • Support esri’s rich suite of geometry creation and editing tools to create and update geospatial data directly in Arches
  • Provide the user interface necessary to display and navigate Arches nested data entry forms
  • Use Arches API to ensure near-real time date synchronization between ArcGIS Pro and an Arches server.

Expected release date is late Spring 2020.

Roadmap – Planned Features and Development

In Progress – work is planned and funded
**PLEASE NOTE:** v5 has just been released. See v5.0 release notes here!
Technology Upgrades
  • Python 3.7
  • Django 2.3
  • Postgres 12.0/PostGIS 3.0
  • Elasticsearch 7.4
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
Componentized Search Filters
  • Implements modular search filters; allows an Arches administrator to select which filters (e.g.: spatial, temporal, advanced, saved) to deploy
  • Allows developers to add custom search filters to Arches
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
Task Manager
  • Adds a module to define and run tasks (such as data import/export) asynchronously, allowing long running jobs to complete outside a user session
  • Provides a way to implement custom functions or sophisticated data processing tasks without making a user wait for results
  • Provides a way to schedule recurring tasks
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
  • Adds the ability to alert a user when a long running task (such as data export) has completed
  • Integrated with the Task Manager
  • Implements a user interface in Arches where a user can review notifications
  • Supports emailing users as an alternate method of notification
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
  • Extends the Arches platform to allow developers to design multi-step data entry screens
  • Implements a “data entry wizard” user interface
  • Useful for supporting more sophisticated data entry tasks that may require conditional logic
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
Additional Data Entry Card Components
  • Adds a Grouping Card, which allows an administrator to group several data entry forms into a single form
  • Implements an improved map widget and map card that presents data entry forms, base maps options, and overlays in a more user friendly manner
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
Enhanced Map Services
  • Replaces tileserver with native vector tile support directly from Arches PostGIS database
  • Significant performance enhancement
  • Implements a GeoJSON endpoint in Arches API for enhanced interoperability with desktop GIS
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
Export Search Results
  • Allows an Arches Model designer to select which nodes will be downloaded as part of exporting search results
  • Supports search results that include instances of multiple models
  • Supports .csv, shapefile, and JSON formats
  • Supports models with multiple geometry nodes
  • Automatically creates a shapefile for point, line, and polygon geometries if a model allows multiple geometries
  • Integrated with Task Manager and Notifications to support large data export requests
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
Improved Data Import Speed
  • Implements a “-bulk” switch to data import that improves import speed by a factor of 5.
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
Improved Error Handling
  • Enhances error logging and messaging to users
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
Ontology Loader
  • Allows a developer to specify a specific set of ontologies to load for an Arches application
Arches v5.0  (January 2020)
Custom Indexing
  • Allows a developer to define an Elasticsearch index that flattens Arches graphs for use with Kibana (see below)
Arches v5.1   (June 2020)
  • Integrates Kibana dashboards into Arches
  • Implements dashboards as plugins (single dashboard, dashboard list)
Arches v5.1 (June 2020)
Real Time esri/Arches integration
  • Adds esri feature service endpoint to Arches, allowing Arches to publish to ArcGIS Online
  • Supports CRUD operations on Arches instances directly from ArcGIS Pro
  • Implements authentication and provisional data contributions for ArcGIS Pro users
  • Implemented via an ArcGIS Pro Add-in
Arches v5.1 (June 2020)
Add IIIF Image Support
  • Implement a datatype/widget/card component to support use of IIIF images
  • Support annotation of IIIF images
Arches v5.1 (June 2020)
Enhanced Permissions
  • Add support for instance-level permissions
Arches v5.1 (June 2020)
Improved JSON-LD Import/Export Support
  • Improves graph matching for JSON-LD
  • Enhances Arches data types to better support JSON-LD
Arches v5.1 (June 2020)
Arches Collector Improvements
  • Improve map navigation and geometry creation and editing tools
  • Enhanced support for uploading images from Collector to Arches
  • Support two-way synchronization of data edits between Collector and Arches
  • Improvements to error and status messaging
Arches v5.1 (June 2020)

Roadmap – Community

We encourage the Arches community to join in development efforts to improve and advance Arches.  If you are able to help contribute to Arches development, please see our contributor guidelines on Github.

Highly desirable but work is not funded
Reference Data Manager (RDM) update
  • Improve RDM concept management Workflows
  • Improve Management of collections
  • Implement API for RDM
  • Improve Import/Export of Vocabularies
  • Performance enhancements
Potentially available in Arches v5.2
(date unknown)


Arches 5

Arches v5.0 was released in January 2020. See v5.0 release notes.

Arches Collector

Arches Collector v0.2.1 was released in September 2019. See

Arches 4

Arches v4.4.3 was released in November 2019. See v4.4.3 release notes.

Arches v4.4.2 was released in June 2019. See v4.4.2 release notes.

Arches v4.4.1 was released in February 2019. See v4.4.1 release notes.

Arches v4.3 was released in August 2018. See v4.3 release notes.

Arches v4.2 was released in June 2018. See v4.2 release notes.

Arches v4.2 was released in June 2018. See v4.2 release notes.

Arches v4.1 was released in January 2018. See v4.1 release notes.

Arches v4.0 was released in October 2017. See v4.0.1 release notes.

Last updated: January 2020

To stay up-to-date on project news, sign up for the Arches project announcement list or join the Arches discussion forum.