Using search

Use the keyword search to find specific maps, data, applications, tools, and groups in the website. To find content, enter keywords in the search box and choose the type of items you're looking for from the search drop-down menu, for example, Search for Apps. A list of relevant results appears. If you don't see what you want, refine your keywords and search again. For example, if you want to find a street map, you could enter street and choose Search for Maps. You would see a list of all the maps related to streets. If the list is too long, you could search again for streets AND europe and you would then see only street maps for Europe.

Your search results depend on whether you've set the site to show web-only content or all content. By default, the website shows web content only. For more information on changing the setting to see all content, see Finding content for ArcGIS desktop products.

Narrowing your search results

You can use advanced keyword searches to narrow your results by specifying how you want to search for an item. Below are descriptions for the different ways you can do this.


When performing a search for content or groups, you can either specify a field or use the default fields. For items, the default fields are title, tags, snippet, description, accessinformation, spatialreference, type, and typekeywords. For groups, the default fields are id, title, description, snippet, tags, and owner. The best match is always returned. See the tables below for descriptions of these fields.

You can search a specific field by typing the field name followed by a colon and the term you are looking for (for a term with multiple words, use double quotes, such as "washoe county"). If you do not use a field indicator, the default fields are searched.

Item fields

You can refine your item searches by using specific fields in your search string. These fields include the following:




ID of the item; for example, id:4e770315ad9049e7950b552aa1e40869 returns the item for that ID.


Owner of the item; for example, owner:esri returns all content published by Esri. Field and value are case sensitive.


Uploaded is the date uploaded; for example, uploaded: [0000001249084800000 TO 0000001249548000000] finds all items published between August 1, 2009, 12:00 a.m., to August 6, 2009, 8:40 a.m.


Item title; for example, title:"Southern California" returns items with Southern California in the title.


Type returns the type of item and is a predefined field. For a list of supported item types, see What can you add to your portal? For example, type:map returns items with map as the type, such as map documents and map services.


Item description; for example, description:California finds all items with the term California in the description.


The tag field; for example, tags:"San Francisco" returns items tagged with the term San Francisco.


Summary; for example, snippet:"natural resources" returns items with natural resources in the summary.


The spatial reference; for example, spatialreference:102100 returns items in the Web Mercator auxiliary sphere projection.


The access field; for example, access:public returns public items. This field is predefined, and the options are public, private, or shared. You will only see private or shared items that you have access to.


The ID of the group; for example, group:1652a410f59c4d8f98fb87b25e0a2669 returns items within the given group.


Number of ratings; for example, numratings:6 returns items with six ratings.


Number of comments; for example, numcomments:[1 TO 3] returns items that have one to three comments.


Average rating; for example, avgrating:3.5 returns items with 3.5 as the average rating.

Group fields

You can filter your searches on groups by using specific fields in your search string. Only public groups or groups that you have access to will be searched. These fields include the following:

Group field



Group ID; for example, id:1db70a32f5f84ea9a88f5f460f22557b returns the group for that ID.


Group title; for example, title:redlands returns groups with Redlands in the title.


Group owner; for example, owner:esri returns groups owned by Esri.


Description; for example, description:"street maps" returns groups with street maps in the description field.


Summary; for example, snippet:transportation returns groups with transportation in the group summary.


The tags field; for example, tags:"bike lanes" returns groups tagged with the term bike lanes.


Contact information; for example, returns groups with as the contact.


Created is the date created; for example, created:0000001247085176000 returns groups created on July 8, 2009.


The access level of the group. Values are private and public. Private is the default; for example, access:private returns private groups.


The isinvitationonly field returns groups that require an invitation to join. For example, isinvitationonly:false returns groups that do not require an invitation to join. This field is predefined with the options true or false.

Range searches

Range searches allow you to match on field values between the lower and upper bounds. Range queries can be inclusive or exclusive of the upper and lower bounds. Inclusive range queries are denoted by square brackets. Exclusive range queries are denoted by curly brackets.

For example, if you wanted to find all items uploaded between December 1, 2009, and December 9, 2009, use uploaded:[0000001259692864000 TO 0000001260384065000].

The uploaded field contains the date and time an item is uploaded in UNIX time. UNIX time is defined as the number of seconds that have elapsed since midnight January 1, 1970. The website stores time in milliseconds, so you need to add three zeros to the end of the UNIX time. Additionally, you need to pad six zeros on the front of the number. This is because the number is stored as a string in the database.

Range searches are not reserved for date fields. You could also use range queries with nondate fields, for example, owner:[arcgis_explorer TO esri]. This will find all items from the owners between arcgis_explorer and esri, including arcgis_explorer and esri.

Boosting a term

Boosting allows you to control the relevance of an item by boosting its term. To boost a term, use the caret symbol (^) with a boost factor (a number) at the end of the term you are searching. The higher the boost factor, the more relevant the term will be. For example, if you are searching for "recent fires" and want "fires" to be more relevant, create the expression recent fires^5.

Boolean operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined through logic operators. The website supports AND, plus sign (+), OR, NOT, and minus sign (-) as Boolean operators. Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS.

Boolean operator



The AND operator is the default conjunction. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the AND operator is used. The AND operator performs matching where both terms exist in either the given field or the default fields. This is equivalent to an intersection using sets.


The OR operator links two terms and finds a match if either of the terms exists. This is equivalent to a union using sets.

To search for an item that contains either the term "recent fires" or just "fires," use the query "recent fires" OR fires.


The plus sign, or the required operator, requires that the term after the symbol exist somewhere in the given field or the default fields.

To search for items that must contain "fires" and may contain "recent," use the query recent +fires.


The NOT operator excludes items that contain the term after NOT. This is equivalent to a difference using sets. To search for documents that contain "California" but not "imagery," use the query California NOT Imagery. The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term.


The minus sign, or the prohibit operator, excludes items that contain the term after the symbol.

To search for documents that contain "California" but not "imagery," use the query California -Imagery.


You can create subqueries using parentheses to group clauses. This can be very useful if you want to control the Boolean logic for a query.

To search for either "California" or "recent" and "fires," create the expression (California OR recent) AND fires.

Field grouping

You can group multiple clauses to a single field using parentheses.

To search for a title that contains both the phrase "population change" and the word "recent," use the query title:(+"population change" +recent).

Search tips