What is ArcGIS Online?
ArcGIS Online is a collaborative, cloud-based platform that lets members of an organization create, share, and access maps, applications, and data, including authoritative basemaps published by Esri. Through ArcGIS Online, you get access to Esri’s secure cloud, where you can manage, create, store, and access hosted web services, and because ArcGIS Online is an integral part of the ArcGIS system, you can use it to extend the capabilities of ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS for Server, ArcGIS applications, and ArcGIS APIs and Runtime SDKs.
What can you do with ArcGIS Online?
With ArcGIS Online, you can author web maps, access ready-to-use content, publish hosted services, collaborate and share, access maps from any device, make maps with your Microsoft Excel data, customize the ArcGIS Online website, and view status reports. You can also use ArcGIS Online as a platform for building custom location-based applications. Watch a short video.
Author web maps
ArcGIS Online includes everything you need to make web maps. Through the built-in map viewer, you can access a gallery of basemaps to get you started and tools for adding your own data or layers. You can easily add shapefiles, spreadsheet data, KML files, OGC WMS and WMTS services, tile layers, geoRSS files, and GPS files and quickly create mashups with data and maps shared by others. Watch a short video.
Access ready-to-use content
Access ready-to-use, high-quality basemaps (imagery, topographic, and streets), demographic maps, and image services, as well as geoservices such as geocoding and routing. These basemaps and geoservices are delivered as a web service and can be used by anyone in the organization to make maps and apps. Esri updates the basemaps on a regular basis with content from commercial data providers and authoritative content from the user community around the world contributed through the Esri Community Maps Program. Watch a short video.
Publish hosted services
It’s easy to publish maps and data as a web service. This frees up your internal resources, since these web services are hosted in Esri’s cloud and scale dynamically as demand goes up or down. You can add these services to web, desktop, and mobile applications and allow others to use them as well. You can publish these services directly from ArcGIS for Desktop or the ArcGIS Online website without needing to install your own server, and share them with others inside your organization, who can add map or geoprocessing web services to their own maps and apps. Watch a short video.
Collaborate and share
Enable interaction with your organizational data by sharing content related to a common activity. You can set up groups that are private and by invitation only, or public groups that are open to everyone. You can also share maps by embedding them in web pages, on blogs, in web applications, and through social media. ArcGIS Online includes a number of ready-to-use and configurable web application templates with different layouts that you can choose from. With just a few steps and no programming, you can publish a web application that features a dynamic map that anyone can access through a browser. Watch a short video.
Access maps from anywhere, on any device with free, downloadable apps for smartphones and tablets. Browse map galleries, navigate maps, collect and report data, and perform GIS analysis using ArcGIS applications or, alternatively, via the browser on your mobile device. Watch a short video.
Make maps with your Microsoft Excel data
Create interactive maps of your spreadsheet data with the Esri Maps for Office add-in. Make color-coded, point, clustered point, and heat maps directly in Microsoft Excel, then share them in ArcGIS Online so others in your organization can access and use them. Watch a short video.
Customize the ArcGIS Online website
Customize the ArcGIS Online home page to fit the branding and operational needs of your organization. For example, you can add your logo and banner, choose what content to feature on the home page and gallery, and set a basemap and extent default for the map viewer. In addition, you can set the preferred language and region for ArcGIS Online. The language settings determine how the interface, time, date, and numerical values appear. More than 20 languages are supported, including Arabic, Chinese (simplified Han), Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. The region setting lets you choose a specific geographic region for the map on your home page, the content in your gallery, and the default map and extent in the map viewer. Regional content is available for more than 60 countries, including Argentina, Bulgaria, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and Thailand. Watch a short video.
Manage your ArcGIS Online organization
ArcGIS Online includes tools and settings that allow the administrator of the organization to not only customize the home page but also manage user accounts and access privileges and monitor account usage through an intuitive dashboard. Administrators can invite users, determine their access role, delete content and groups, and set and manage the security policy. Watch a short video.
Build custom applications
As a developer, you can access the ArcGIS Online APIs and Runtime SDKs to build location-based solutions that include directions, advanced analysis, maps, geocoding, and more.
How do you access ArcGIS Online?
You can access ArcGIS Online through web browsers, mobile devices, and desktop map viewers, as well as directly through other components of the ArcGIS system, for example, the web APIs and ArcGIS for Desktop. By joining an organization and logging in with your organizational account, you see the organization's customized view of the website and have access to the organization's authoritative data and other geospatial content that you can use to create maps and applications. With your organizational account, you can also share your work with other members of your organization, participate in groups, and save your work.
If an organization has enabled anonymous access to their site, you can access any resources they have shared with the general public without signing in. For example, they may have embedded a group of applications and web maps they authored in ArcGIS Online and into their own website and shared those resources with the general public.
A public account is another way to access ArcGIS Online. These accounts are not associated with an organization and offer a limited set of functionality. A public account lets you author web maps and share your maps, data, and applications with others. Public accounts are for noncommercial use only.