Choosing a basemap

A basemap provides a background of geographical context for the content that you want to display in a map. When you create a new map, you can choose which basemap you want to use. You can change the basemap of the current map at any time by using the basemap gallery or using your own layer as the basemap.

Selecting a basemap from the gallery

The basemap gallery includes a variety of choices including topography, imagery, and streets.

To choose a basemap from the gallery, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the map viewer, for example, by clicking the Map button.
  2. Click the Basemap button.
  3. Click the thumbnail of the basemap you want to use in your map.
  4. View information about a basemap in the gallery by first adding it to your map.
    1. Click the Details button.
    2. Click the Show Content button.
    3. Click the arrow to the right of the basemap name.
    4. Click Description.

Using your own basemap

In addition to the basemap gallery, you can also use your own basemap from ArcGIS Server services and OGC layers. When you use your own basemap, your map uses the projection of that basemap instead of Web Mercator, the projection of the map viewer.

To use your own basemap, follow the steps below.

  1. Click the Add button. You can add a basemap by searching for an existing layer or adding a layer from the web.
  2. To search for an existing layer, choose Search for Layers.
    1. Enter keywords within the Find field.
    2. Choose where you want to search for layers.
    3. Click the Go button. A list of layers appears that relate to the keywords you entered.
    4. Click the title of the layer you want as your basemap.
    5. Choose Use as Basemap in the pop-up summary window that appears.
    6. Click Done Adding Layers to close the Search for layers to add window.
  3. To add a layer from the web, choose Add Layer from Web.
    1. Choose the type of data the layer references.
    2. Enter the layer's web address in the URL field.
    3. Click the Go button. When the map viewer finds the layer, its name appears in the results.
    4. Check the box next to Use as Basemap.

Basemap considerations