Viewing a legend
A legend displays the meaning of the symbols used to represent features on the map. Legends consist of examples of the symbols on the map with labels containing explanatory text. Legends have patches that show examples of the map symbols. Often, legend patches are points, straight lines, or rectangles that match the map symbols. The layer author may have customized the legend patches; for example, some areas are represented with patches of another shape, or rivers are drawn with a sinuous rather than a straight line.
To view the legend, follow the steps below.
- Open the map whose legend you want to view in the ArcGIS.com map viewer.
- Click the Details button.
- Click the Legend button . The legend opens in the left-side panel and displays information about each layer that is visible at the current map scale or time range. Not all layers contain legend information.
Hiding a layer in the legend
Sometimes, you do not want a layer to appear in the legend. For example, if your map focuses on unemployment rates for a county, you may want your legend to only show employment symbols and not street symbols and other reference data you've included in the map. If you own the layer, you can save the legend property with the item so the layer is hidden in web map legends by default.
To hide a layer in the legend, follow the steps below:
- Open the map in which you want to hide a layer in the legend.
- Click the Details button.
- Click the Contents button.
- Navigate to the sublayer you want to hide.
- Click the arrow to the right of the layer name and click Hide in Legend.
- Click the arrow to the right of the layer name and click Show in Legend if you want the layer you previously hid to appear in the legend.
- If you own the service layer and want the layer to appear hidden in web map legends by default, click Save Item Properties.
Considerations for viewing a legend
- Basemaps, image layers, OGC WMS layers, and layers that are not accessible externally do not contain legend information.
- Legends for map service layers may not match the legend in the ArcGIS.com map viewer. This typically happens when the legend in the ArcGIS.com map viewer becomes out of sync with the symbology in the layer. For example, the layer author has changed the symbology in the service but the map viewer still displays the older symbology. Often, the map viewer displays the latest legend after 30 minutes. Layer authors may need to clear the REST cache of the map service in order to see the legend updates in the map viewer. Internet Explorer 7 may store legend information infinitely. The layer author can trigger an update to the legend by changing to the layers in the map service, for example, by renaming a layer or reordering the layers.