What is an ArcGIS web map?

An ArcGIS web map is an interactive display of geographic information that you can use to tell stories and answer questions. For example, you may find or create a map that addresses the question, How many people in the United States live within a reasonable walk or drive to a supermarket? This map has layers showing which neighborhoods are within a 10-minute drive or 1-mile walk to a supermarket, and for context, the map has a topographic basemap that includes cities, roads, and buildings overlaid on land cover and shaded relief imagery.

What do web maps contain?

Web maps contain a basemap; data layers; an extent; a legend; and navigation tools such as zoom, pan, place finders, and bookmarks. Many web maps also contain interactive elements such as a basemap gallery that lets you switch between maps like imagery and streets, plus measure tools, pop-up windows that display attributes about a specific feature, and buttons for playing data over time. They are constructed using data layers from services and files to communicate a specific message or provide specific map-based capabilities. Some web maps contain a series of annotated slides, each showing a specific view into the map with associated text and graphics. These are known as presentations.

Where can you use web maps?

Web maps can be opened in standard web browsers, mobile devices, and desktop map viewers. They can be shared through links, embedded in websites, and used to create browser-based and device-based applications.

How do you author web maps?

Web maps can be authored in three basic steps: choose an area, decide what to show, then save and share your work. You can start from a new map or work with an existing one. When you open an existing map, you can change the extent, locate places, view a legend, see information about features, and more. With either approach, you can select a basemap from the basemap gallery, add data layers, configure pop-up windows, include bookmarks to specific places, include a description of the map, then save it as your own item and share it with others through links or by embedding it in a website or application.