How to Create an Amazing Map with ArcGIS online

ArcGIS is one of the geographic information system software which was developed to allow you to work with the maps and geographic information. Thanks to it you can e.g create your own map and display some data on it or analyze the map information. Then you can share the datils of your map analysis with the others who are interested in our results. It is really important for many people, that’s why we created a special ArcGIS online tutorial to teach you and the others about this awesome tool.

About Esri

Environmental Systems Research Institute is a company which supplies the geographic information system(GIS) and other geodatabase applications. Also, they developed the ArcGIS online tool which we will be using. The company was found in 1969 as a consulting firm and grew really fast across all the years providing services for over a million users now.

Get started with ArcGIS online

To get started with ArcGIS online tool at first you need to create an account on their website. You can create there a public account which has some limited usage and capabilities and it is meant for non-commercial use only.

Once you fille all the required data and confirm your e-mail address you are prepared to start working with the ArcGIS online. Now on the menu above you need to choose the “Map” tab to start creating online your ArcGIS map.


How to use ArcGIS online map

Once you got redirected to the tab which we mentioned above you will notice a map with the friendly creator.


If you are not acknowledged with their map but know Google Maps you can notice that these two are really similar. In the top-right corner, you can find the search field which will allow you to find fast a location you want to see. Of course, if you are stubborn you can zoom in and find the place on your own but it is really time-wasting.


ArcGIS Online does not offer only one map template for the free users. Once you click on the “Basemap” option you will notice many various maps on which you can work. Whenever you need a dark map, imagery or oceans ArcGIS online tool provides it for you.

Overall there are 11 different maps to choose between so everyone will find one for them. Especially when they are not even close to being similar.


Once you choose your map now we are ready to change some other details on it. Let’s start with the layers which can change your map even more than the base templates.


Now you have a lot of possibilities with they ArcGIS map layers. You can search for layers which you have already added before, browse living atlas layers from the Esri database, or upload it form the web or a file.


On every layer, you can notice a special “+” button. Click on it and they layer will be added to your contents. Where you can turn it on or off whenever you want. You can use many layers at once, be careful to not downgrade the readability of the map.


But it’s not everything. Except the map changing layers with the ArcGIS online you can also add a Map note. You will also find it in the add layer button. They are really powerful and let you add more extended information to the map. You have a lot of types of note to choose:

  • Map notes
  • Citizen requests
  • Civic events
  • Oil&Gas infrastructure
  • Park planning
  • Recreation
  • Disasters
  • General Infrastructure
  • Damage

Each of these notes has specific icons which let you mark something that happened on the map. For example, to show you how it works we will choose the map notes and the damage notes.


Once you create the notes on the left menu you will notice a lot of new features. Remember that every type of the notes has its own features. In the case of map notes, you have there a possibility to add features like stickpin, pushpin and a cross.


Thanks to it you can mark the specific places on the map. If I would need to compare it to something I can say it is the same feature as Google Maps markers. You can set its title, description and the image to give other people enough information about the place which you marked.


Once you are done with editing you will notice your own pinpoint on the map.


There are also some customization options available. You can change the shape, size and the colour of your pinpoint by choosing one of the other available markers. Now it looks much better, doesn’t it?


With the ArcGIS map notes, you can also mark the specific area in various shapes like triangle or circle. Might be really useful especially if you want to mark the region where something important happened.


Not let’s change the more professional notes like disaster which allow you to mark you all the disasters which you want to show others. There are available special markers with the disasters name to make it easier to recognize what happened on the map.


Now you can add whatever marker you want wherever you want. The customization looks the same as with the pinpoint, you can change the size and other things. Also, there is a possibility to give users of the map a description which is really important in the case of disasters.


Once you add all the information on the map you can see how does it look like. Remember to make the map really easy to read for people who are going to check it.


The notes will be automatically added to your layers so you can manage them easily from the contents tab.


Now once you know how to add the map and the layers to it with our ArcGIS online tutorial we will teach you how to share your map with the others. Pretty simple, a first step to do is to save your map. You can find the save button on the menu above the map


When you save the map you need to insert the title, description and tags which can relate to your map.

Now when your map is saved you are allowed to share your map with the button next to the save feature.


There will be displayed a pop-up window which generates for you a shareable link to your map so you can link it to the others.


Remember if you don’t check the option “Everyone(public)” your map not will be visible for everyone. So if you want to share your map with the other people who you don’t really know e.g on your blog you need to make it public. Once they use the link they will display your map and see what changes you have made on it.


The public option also allows you to use embedding feature which allows you to display the ArcGIS online map on your website.


As you see in the screenshot above there are many customizing options which you can set before embedding the ArcGIS map. We will stay with default ones and copy the code to our WordPress website’s code. Everytime you change something the embed code is being changed.


Another option which allows you to share your ArcGIS online map is a print feature. Next to the share button on the menu, you can find the printer icon.


You can choose if you prefer to print the map with or without the legends. We advise you to print one with the legend since not everyone might know the icons you used. That’s pretty much everything in our ArcGIS introduction if it comes to the features and making a map. The last useful option might be a possibility to measure a distance from a point to point and saving places in the special bookmarks which are also situated on the menu above the map.

ArcGIS online map – Presentation

ArcGIS Online also offers a really useful presentation feature which allows you to display the map in other shape or template on each slide. It works also if you want to show disasters in e.g Europe and then in Africa.


Once you are redirected to the ArcGIS you can add or remove slides and edit each of them. You can change the current layer and the basemap so the slides can be really different. The big advantage of this system is intuitiveness and the possibility to display a professional presentation for people who listen to you or to the potential customers who you offer some services.

When you are done with all the slides you can just start the presentation with a single button above the map.


Final thoughts

Hopefully, our ArcGIS online tutorial helped you to deeply understand the basic features of this amazing tool. It is really useful to mark some important events or other things like disasters so people actually can get full data about the current situation in a specific region. It is also an attractive service because all the basic features of ArcGIS online are free and you can use them whenever you want if it is not for the commercial use. If it is you need to check their pricing plans and pay for the service so you can use their maps to earn money. Looks like a really fair deal to me and probably to the majority of other people.

Of course, it is not a tool prepared to be a store locator but to analyze some geographical data so don’t even try to mark your own location for the trips or for your physical stores because it is really pointless. There are many free alternatives for everyone like Google Maps, or professional apps which are fully dedicated to being store locators. One of these apps is NearPlace which with the functionalities and beautiful design provides currently the best map with locations from all the competitors. If you think that we missed some crucial information about how to create ArcGIS online map, please leave us some feedback! 🙂


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