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View maps in the map viewer

Below is a quick reference for viewing maps in the map viewer.

1. See map details

Details includes options to see information about the map, the map contents, and a legend.

  • The About button About displays descriptive information about the map, such as a summary, who owns the map, the last modification date, user ratings, and a link to more detailed information.
  • The Contents button Contents displays the list of the layers in the map. Click the name of the group layer to see the individual layers within the group. Uncheck the box to the right of the name to turn off (not display) the layer. Check the box to the left of the name to turn on (display) the layer. Click the arrow to the right of the layer name and click Show Item Details or Description to open a page with detailed information about the layer.
  • The Legend button Legend displays a legend for layers in the map. You will not see a legend for basemaps, layers that are not accessible externally, or on layers where the map author has hidden the legend.

2. Edit features

If you see an Edit button, you are viewing a map with an editable feature layer. Use the option to add, change, or remove the features in the map.

3. Navigate

  • To zoom, use the Zoom in button Zoom in or the Zoom out button Zoom out, the mouse and scroll wheel, or the arrow keys on the keyboard. To zoom in, you can also press and hold the Shift key and drag a box on the map.
  • To zoom the map to its initial extent, click the Default extent button Default extent. You can also browse the map to a predefined extent through a bookmark.
  • To pan, use your mouse and scroll wheel or the arrow keys on your keyboard.
  • To find your current location, click the Find my location button Find my location. You may need to authorize the site to access your location information. Your results may vary based on your connection type, Internet Service Provider, physical location, network, and browser.
  • To open an overview map, click the arrow Overview map in the upper right corner.
  • If you have a Mac with OS X 10.6 or greater, you can take advantage of multitouch gestures by dragging two fingers to pan and zoom the map. The default behavior is to pan. To zoom, press and hold the Shift key to zoom in or out. Dragging two fingers toward you zooms in; dragging two fingers away zooms out.

4. Perform analysis

Use analysis tools to find patterns, understand relationships, and make decisions about the data in your map. The button appears in the map viewer when you are signed in as a member that has privileges to perform analysis and when your data is a format that can be analyzed.

5. View pop-ups

Pop-ups bring to life the attributes associated with each feature layer in the map, such as hiking trails, land values, or unemployment rates. They display images and charts and can link to external web pages.

6. Share

If you see a Share button, you have privileges to share a map. Your sharing options depend on your privileges and can include posting maps on a social networking site, sending an email with a link, embedding maps in a website or blog, and creating apps with maps.

7. Print

Use Print to create a printer-friendly image of your map. Layers that are not accessible externally, KML, and time-aware layers do not appear on a printed map. If you print a map using your browser print button, other layers and logos may be missing as well.

8. Get directions

Click the Directions button to get a set of turn-by-turn driving directions.

9. Measure

Use Measure to measure the area of a polygon, the length of a line, or view the coordinates of a point.

10. Access bookmarks

Use Bookmarks to access a set of predefined locations on the map. If you are a map author, you can create bookmarks.

11. Search

Use the geocoder at the top of the map viewer to find locations on the map, such as addresses, places, intersections, cities, points of interest, monuments, and geographic entities. The geocoder shows suggestions as you type if your portal is using the default World Geocoding Service hosted in ArcGIS Online. Your map is automatically zoomed to the result and a pop-up appears at the location. If the location isn't what you wanted, click the Not what you wanted? link in the window and select a different location from the list.


If you see an arrow in the search box, your organization has configured multiple geocoders. To switch which geocoder the map viewer uses, click the arrow and click a geocoder from the list that appears.

12. View data over time

If you see a time slider at the bottom of the map, you can play the map to see how the information changes over time.

13. Understand map scale

The scale bar shows the scale of the map, which is set by the basemap. If you zoom beyond the visibility of the basemap, the map may not draw correctly. Your administrator sets the default units for the scale bar (and measure tool, directions, and analysis). United States standard sets the units to miles, feet, and inches; metric sets the units to kilometers, meters, and centimeters. You can change the units you see by updating your profile.