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Portal for ArcGIS is a website and repository for GIS content. Deploy the portal on your network to allow sharing of maps and applications within your organization. On the site, you'll find maps and applications published by your organization, a gallery of featured maps and applications, a powerful search engine, map viewers, groups you can join and create, and a personal workspace for storing and organizing your content.

You need the following information from your portal administrator to get started using Portal for ArcGIS:

URL for the portal website

The URL is in the form For example, a portal website hosted on a server named using a Web Adaptor named arcgis has the URL

Open the URL in a supported browser. It is recommended that you use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer to access the portal website, especially if you will create or use maps.

Your portal account

Your administrator may have created a portal account for you or configured the portal to use your network login; or you may need to create a portal account the first time you connect to the portal. Ask your portal administrator which authentication method your portal uses.

  • If an account was created for you, click the Sign In link at the top of the portal website home page, sign in with your account, and update your profile with a new password and security questions.
  • You may not need to sign in if your administrator has configured the portal to use your Windows login. This depends on your web browser and its settings; you may be prompted to provide your network login and password to sign in to the portal.
  • If you need to create your account the first time you connect to the portal, click the Sign In link at the top of the portal's website home page and click Create an account. Once you provide the required information and click Create my account, you will be signed in to the portal with that account.

Once you are signed in or authenticated, you can begin using the portal website.

Portal website

Your administrator may have customized the look and functionality of your portal website, but all websites have the following functionality available:

  • A gallery of maps and applications that are available for you to use
  • A map viewer that allows you to create maps and share them with other members of your organization
  • A scene viewer that allows you to display 3D and 2D layers in a web scene, and share it with others
  • A way to create and manage groups to control access to the maps, applications, and other geographic information you store in the portal
  • A central location for you to add and share items with others in your organization
  • A search function to help you locate geographic information, maps, and applications

The following image shows the main navigation bar on the portal home page. Use the functions on this bar to browse the website.

Navigation bar of the portal home page


The gallery is a place to browse featured maps, web mapping applications, and mobile applications. Your organization's portal administrator selects which items appear in the gallery, and can pick items important for your work projects and show useful examples.


Click Map to open the map viewer that you can use to build interactive web maps and share them with others in your organization. You choose a basemap, an area of interest, and add information layers. These layers can be ArcGIS Server services, KML documents, or OGC WMS services you find on the portal website, the web (if your site is configured to access the web), or ArcGIS for Server. You can also create features and add features from text files, GPX files, and shapefiles. You can change symbols and configure pop-up windows.

Once you've finished building your map, you can refine it, save it to your personal workspace, and share it with others.


Click Scene to open the scene viewer where you can build web scenes and share them with others in your organization. Web scenes let you display 3D and 2D informational layers.

Once you've built a web scene, you can save it to your personal workspace and share it with others.


Groups are a collection of items, usually related to a specific area of interest. Anybody in your organization can create groups as a way to organize their items. As a group owner, you decide who can find the group, if others can request to join, and who can contribute content.

My Content

Use Portal for ArcGIS to add and share web and mobile applications, files on your computer, and content from the web. All your items are accessible through your personal My Content page.

My Organization

The My Organization page of the website is used primarily by the portal administrator to manage the portal website and members. This page may not be available to you if you are not an administrator. If it is available, My Organization allows you view your privileges and profile when you're signed in to your portal


The site has a powerful search function that allows you to quickly find specific maps or applications you need for your work. The search results help you determine the usefulness of each item and find related items. It also allows you to open the item where you want, for example, to see choices to open a map in the Portal for ArcGIS map viewer and ArcGIS for Desktop.