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My question: Can this interactive chart element be done in ArcGIS Online with some clever CSS additions? Or would I need to host the map with ArcGIS for Server and use my own JavaScript?

In ESRI's The ArcGIS Book, they show a dynamic map of tornado occurance as an example of how ArcGIS Online (AGOL) can be used. This map is available here. When looking at the "behind the scenes" of this product (here), they list ArcGIS Online as the required software--however AGOL doesn't allow for custom JavaScript. You would need ArcGIS for Server to host it.

In the side panel, they have an interactive chart. When a chart element is clicked, the map reacts (see image below). The chart summary data also updates. enter image description here

My question: Can this interactive chart element be done in ArcGIS Online with some clever CSS additions? Or would I need to host the map with ArcGIS for Server and use my own JavaScript?

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ArcGIS Server is not required for this kind of capability. A hosted feature service in your ArcGIS Online account should suffice depending on how much data you want to visualise.

However what is required is knowledge of CSS and the ArcGIS Javascript API in order to replicate, along with a web server like Amazon S3 to host the web application which could then be registered back into your ArcGIS Online account.

The app is also open sourced on GitHub.

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Nowadays, in ArcGIS Online, in a Dashboard, I think you could use a Layer Action originating from the Serial Chart able to filter an Indicator for any of the five numbers shown along the righthand side.

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