Skip To Content

View legend (Map Viewer Classic)


A new Map Viewer is now available. The new Map Viewer was previously available as a separate beta installation but is now available in the portal automatically. Open it from the app launcher to get started. To learn more, see the new Map Viewer help documentation.

A legend displays the meaning of the symbols, colors and styles used to represent geographic data on the map. Legends consist of examples of the symbols on the map with labels containing explanatory text. Legends have patches that show examples of the map symbols. Often, legend patches are points, straight lines, rectangles, or color ramps that match the map symbols. The layer author may have customized the legend patches; for example, some areas are represented with patches of another shape, or rivers are drawn with a sinuous rather than a straight line.

To view the legend of a map, do the following:

  1. Open the map whose legend you want to view in Map Viewer Classic.
  2. Click Details and click Legend Legend.

    The legend opens in the side pane and displays information about each layer that is visible at the current map scale or time range. Not all layers contain legend information.

Hide a layer in the legend

Sometimes you do not want a layer to appear in the legend. For example, if your map focuses on unemployment rates for a county, you may want your legend to only show employment symbols and not street symbols and other reference data you've included in the map. If you own the layer, you can save the legend property with the item so the layer is hidden in map legends by default.

  1. Open the map in which you want to hide a layer in the legend.
  2. Click Details and click Contents.
  3. Browse to the layer you want to hide in the legend, click More Options More Options, and click Hide in Legend .
  4. Browse to the layer you want to show in the legend, click More Options More Options, and click Show in Legend if you want the layer you previously hid to appear in the legend.
  5. If you own the layer and want the layer to appear hidden in map legends by default, click Save Layer.

Show and hide legend in the Contents pane

If your layer contains a legend, you see it in the Contents pane under the layer name. You can hide it if you want.

  1. Open the map with the layer that contains a legend.
  2. Click Details and click Contents.

    By default, the legend appears under the layer name.

  3. Click Hide Legend Hide Legend to hide it in the Contents pane.
  4. Click Show Legend Show Legend to show the legend in the Contents pane.

Considerations for viewing a legend

  • Basemaps, map image layers, map notes layers, and layers that are not accessible externally do not contain legend information.
  • Legends for map layers may not match the legend in Map Viewer Classic. This typically happens when the legend in Map Viewer Classic becomes out of sync with the symbology in the layer. For example, the layer author has changed the symbology in the service but Map Viewer Classic still displays the older symbology. Often, Map Viewer Classic displays the latest legend after 30 minutes. Layer authors may need to clear the REST cache of the map service to see the legend updates in Map Viewer Classic. The layer author can trigger an update to the legend by changing the layers, for example, by renaming a layer or reordering the layers.