What are Web maps?

Web maps are ArcGIS documents that reference a set of map and GIS services that compose a useful map for use on any ArcGIS client—in desktops, Web applications, mobile devices, and ArcGIS Explorer Online. Each Web map is composed of one or more Web map services that are combined to create a useful map experience for ArcGIS users.

Web maps are useful because they can be shared and used through a Web connection without the user having to install any ArcGIS software. They can simply use their Web browser, mobile phone, or ArcGIS Explorer Online to access and use these GIS Web maps. Web maps can also be shared and used by ArcGIS Desktop users.

Creating a Web map at ArcGIS.com

See ArcGIS Web maps for an overview on working with Web maps.

Creating Web maps

To create a Web map, connect to ArcGIS.com (www.ArcGIS.com), and click Map on the menu bar at the top of the page. Web maps you create at ArcGIS.com can be easily embedded into your own web pages or turned into applications using a set of templates that are provided. Alternatively you can use ArcGIS Explorer Online. ArcGIS Explorer Online is a client that runs inside a web browser that adds some additional functionality, such as the ability to create a full-screen presentation based on your map.

In this application, you add content by referencing a set of Web maps that compose your basemap plus a set of operational overlays for your composite Web map. You can also specify how you interact with each map layer and what tools or capabilities are included (editing, a tool for working with time-aware layers, and so on).

Adding Web content to a Web map
Web maps can be created and shared at ArcGIS.com. You can create Web maps by combining Web maps from many locations—Web maps referenced at ArcGIS.com, from a specific ArcGIS Server, or from the open Web.

Key Web map properties

Web map sharing

  • Map title, summary, description, and so on
  • A set of one of more map service URLs that compose the basemap
  • The ordered list of Web map URLs used as operational layers
  • A list of tasks (for example, whether a layer can be queried)
  • A set of widgets to use the operational layers (for example, for editing or for time-aware layers)

A Web map URL, which can be opened and used in

  • ArcGIS Desktop
  • ArcGIS Explorer Online
  • Windows Mobile applications
  • Apple iPhone applications
  • ArcGIS Web map applications
  • ArcGIS API for Flex
  • ArcGIS API for SharePoint

Web map properties and applications

Sharing and using Web maps

ArcGIS Web maps are universal and can be opened and used in many ArcGIS clients.

Once you create your Web map, it is saved in your content (My Content tab at ArcGIS.com), so it is easy to share it with other ArcGIS.com users using Groups.

Also, you can share the Web map's URL with others—for example, you can e-mail the Web map URL or tweet its URL.

These all make it easy to share key information as ArcGIS Web maps.

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